Growing orchids

Provincial living: homesteading, farming, gardening, self-efficiency and animal husbandry.
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PSD-Kiwi
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Growing orchids

Post by PSD-Kiwi » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:32 am

Any of the green thumbs on here have any tips for growing orchids in Cambodia? I've got half a dozen plants growing in coconut husks on my balcony, have had some beautiful flowers from them, but once the flowers finally died I haven't had any more grow. Any tips and hints will be much appreciated.

(I must be getting old, asking for advice on growing flowers!)
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StroppyChops
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:13 am

I read up on this a couple of days ago as I'm doing the same, only one of my plants is getting copper spots.

After the flower spike is finished cut that part of the plant aggressively so there is only one or at most two major leaves left. Just cut it off square, with scissors, above the leaf you want to keep. It won't look pretty but the plant will sort the cut over time. A new spear should kick in from the base soon after, or if not at the next season.

The magic is in the watering. Mornings, never nights. The air roots have a fine paper-like covering on them and it's this that does the magic. I use a spray bottle to wet down the coconut, but spend time on the air roots getting them soaked. Some people lift a bucket of water up under the basket and soak it for a few minutes, which works too, but bigger risk of knocking or breaking off the air roots - once those are gone, plant is going to struggle.

The base of each stalk should be plump, and the leaves chunky and solid. Apparently they should dry out a fair bit in the afternoon and through the night, so it's important to water them well in the am.
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by giblet » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:17 pm

Most of the stuff online is about how to get orchids to thrive in non-tropical environments so not as pertinent to us. I struggle with mine, but have started just leaving them outside to let nature water them, and they seem to be doing better now.

SC, I was only cutting off the spike. You mean cut off the whole area?
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StroppyChops
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:46 pm

Yeah, cut the whole 'branch' back to one or two solid leaves.
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by badneighour » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:46 pm

they are understory plants in most cases , so direct sun is not the best. soaking them in a bucket of water helps them for sure...
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StroppyChops
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:32 pm

Definitely not direct sunlight, you'll burn the roots, and then game over. Apparently you can soak them for even up to a couple of hours, but once that paper layer on the air roots is wet I don't think there's any advantage to longer soaking - assuming your coconut is wet by that point. From what I understand the point is that they need to be drying out by sundown to avoid the air roots rotting - naturally if they're receiving rain there's not much you can do.
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by Username Taken » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:40 pm

The orchid 'spike' will only host one flowering spike. That's it.

After flowering, you can cut that back so as to encourage new spikes to grow. But only one flower spike per spike. [If that makes sense].

If your orchid looks idle and not doing much, just check to see if there is new growth emerging (new spikes). If 'Yes', then relax, flowers are coming in the months ahead.

:hattip:



A little secret: plants prefer rain water to tap water (big time).
... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ...

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StroppyChops
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:48 pm

^ possibly the ozone
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PSD-Kiwi
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by PSD-Kiwi » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:19 pm

Thanks for all of your responses so far team...I will heed your advice and see how they go.
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frank lee bent
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Re: Growing orchids

Post by frank lee bent » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:37 pm

ever see the little flasks full of clones they sell in thailand?
it is an enormous business over there with perhaps the best selection in the world.
very genteel pastime.
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