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  #1  
Old 06-04-2022, 11:25 PM
sunfire sunfire is offline
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Hello! From waterlilies to orchids!
Default Hello! From waterlilies to orchids!

Hello, I am new to trying to seriously grow (ok, really just-not-kill) orchids. I have read so much of this forum already and there is such good information here. Love the forum format!

For the last 8 or so years I have spent the warm months growing tropical (and a couple hardy) water lilies, the exact opposite of orchids and house plants! I also have several planted aquariums. I have been successful enough through hard work and because I have never had to figure out how to water them! That is one of the things that led me here, to learn about semi-hydro. I hope this technique will work for me (but I am also trying some in bark and also made a nice cork mount). Orchids are an experimental new hobby for me, but I certainly hope they work out.

Hardy waterlily "Sunfire". Vigorous and stunning for a hardy.
Hello! From waterlilies to orchids!-sunfire-jpg

A bunch of cut tropical water lilies by my pond.
Hello! From waterlilies to orchids!-bunch-jpg

The single massive Lotus (Maggie Bell Slocum) I have in a tub.
Hello! From waterlilies to orchids!-maggie-bell-slocum-jpg

My pond. Not the best photo but shows a bit of everything.
Hello! From waterlilies to orchids!-pond-4-jpg

In case the posted images are too low res, here is an imgur link.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2022, 11:50 PM
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Dusty Ol' Man Dusty Ol' Man is offline
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Welcome to the OB. Beautiful lillies.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2022, 12:59 AM
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Hello! From waterlilies to orchids! Female
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Welcome and good luck with your orchid journey. Your lilies are just gorgeous.
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2022, 10:57 AM
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Sunfire!

I got into orchids by building a small pond, around 38 years ago. Dug it larger, then larger, then LARGER over the years. Went to our local lawn and garden trade show one February to look at a friend's pond display, and the booth he was next to was orchids. Made friends with the orchid grower, and came home with a few orchids to play with.

Fast forward a decade plus, and I opened a water garden and hardscape business, subcontracted out the pond building aspect (my pond building buddy). Started that business to pay for my plant addictions, both water plants, landscaping around ponds, and a growing orchid collection. Started renting the space at the garden show next to the orchid guy I'd met and kept in touch with. Fast forward another ten or so years, and retired.

Six years later, still have the pond and the water plants. And a LOT more orchids than the few I started out with. Agreed... water gardening is by far the easiest garden I've ever grown. No guessing on water requirements, and very little weeding. Orchids fill in the gardening itch for the five cold months out of the year.

Good choice to branch out into orchids, says me.
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Old 06-05-2022, 02:03 PM
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Oh sunfire...that's a little bit o' heaven! Colorful, relaxing zen atmosphere. Water lilies and ponds are things I'd love to hear from you about. Welcome.
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Old 06-05-2022, 02:40 PM
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Welcome! I built a pond right after buying my house in 1986. I love water lilies! It's too hot and dry here for lotus (Nelumbo) but I keep trying. One of these years I want to try Anecphya but they've become difficult to find.
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Old 06-05-2022, 05:57 PM
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Hello and welcome!

I think you will find that keeping orchids is easier than having an in-ground water garden. I did that for thirteen years, when the kids were young, and I found it to be quite a bit of work (worth it at the time as the kids loved the fish, cattails, water hyacinth, lotus, lily blossoms, etc.) Now I just have a barrel pond with my goldfish, some duckweed, submersible plants, mini-lotus, Green Maiden, and, for the first time, a tropical water lily (Star of Zanzibar). I am excited about the tropical water lily.
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Old 06-06-2022, 10:48 AM
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Well, I disagree on a well-constructed pond being more work. Much less maintenance than orchids, in my opinion.

Star of Zanzibar is a beautiful tropical. My favorite in that color range is King of Siam. Back when I was working during days, one of my favorites was also a white night bloomer, usually Woods White Knight or Trudy Slocum. Lovely in the moonlight.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2022, 12:33 PM
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The pond had to be less than eighteen inches deep due to my town's laws so it was less than perfectly constructed. No way to fix that.

I think it is neat that you made a business of selling pond supplies. If I had more room in my little pond, I would probably try the two you recommended but there is only room for one. Since I was new to tropical lilies, I let them choose one for me that they felt would do well in the barrel pond with the lotus. I am pretty pleased as the leaves are quite pretty.
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:42 PM
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Yeah, small ponds are much harder to maintain. I get it. If you work during the day or spend a lot of time outside in evening, try a night bloomer next year. They are really hard to winter over anyway, and most just treat them as an annual.
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