First Orchid Buds - Gritty Mix!

jodik_gwDecember 16, 2011

Several years ago, a dear friend sent me a very small Dendrobium Keiki, which I thought for certain would have met its demise by now. My indoor environment simply isn't conducive to orchid growing, being as dry as it is.

But, I decided to try anyway, and I potted it in a tiny clay pot using a very gritty rendition of "Gritty Mix". It has not only survived, it has thrived! It sits in an east facing window, and has popped out growth after growth. I've had to re-pot it once already to a larger pot, this one an opaque plastic that won't hold any cold in winter, as clay tends to do, and I'll be able to see root growth.

As I was watering the other day, I noticed something very surprising, and very thrilling... buds! My little Dendrobium has buds! It's going to bloom for the very first time!

The flowers should be a shade of purple, though I have no idea how light or dark. I'm just excited to see buds! And I just wanted to share this bit of excitement with everyone!

Happy Growing!

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Congratulations! I had similar results with a couple phalanopsis orchids I transplanted to gritty mix in June. Within three months, one produced two flower spikes and the other produced an offset (technically a keiki, I think) and a flower spike. They have both been blooming for more than two months in my office.

I used the classic gritty recipe with gypsum, and I've been fertilizing only with Foliage Pro. These orchids had not bloomed in more than two years, but since I transplanted, they have grown vigorously and produced several new, healthy leaves. I've thrown out the special orchid bark and orchid food I used to use.

This mix is amazing. I transplanted several amaryllis bulbs into it at the same time I transplanted the orchids, even though that is considered nonstandard treatment. One of them even produced a flower spike in July after having bloomed in February. I've never seen anything like it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 8:14PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Jodi!!!

What a wonderful surprise!!! I know you are happy!! : )

Everything seems to grow better in the Mix!!!

I have had great success as well..

Hope all is well with you and your family.

Have a Merry Christmas!!!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:01PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Lol - I love success stories and happy friends! :-) Good job, Jodi - and Merry Christmas to you and Larry ...... and everyone else, too!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:53PM
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Thanks, Everyone!

I will agree that there's something very special about the grittier mediums and how well they perform in container settings. The concept is very sound, and all these successes tell the story very well!

Orchids are a little pickier about their environment, but I can say that I've had problems with the commercially sold orchid barks, the bagged mixes, and the moss some areas can use with success. It appears that all the roots were looking for was a compromise... a little decent aeration, a tiny bit of moisture retention for my dry environment, and something that would allow for a bit of humidity to surround the roots and plant. The Gritty Mix gave me all that!

The Gritty Mix has already proved very useful for my bulb collection, the Hoyas, Plumerias, and other plants I keep... and just about everything I've planted in it has thrived! I'm just so excited to finally have brought an orchid to bud... it's like a milestone in indoor growing! I'll post photos as soon as the buds open!

Merry Christmas and the Best New Year to all of you, and your families, too! :-)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:43AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Merry Christmas, Jodi, what a wonderful surprise! ;-)
Same to you, Ohio, Laura, and Al!

Jodi, I've found the gritty mix to work excellently for Hoya and Orchid, indeed.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:50AM
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Hey, Josh! I've also had an Epiphyllum Cactus burst into growth once I potted it in Gritty Mix! Everything does extremely well in it, except one plant... a little pot of South African bulbous plant who's name escapes me at the moment. It likes more moisture retention.

Merry Christmas to you, Josh, and to your family! :-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:32AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Jodi!

Could that little plant be a Squill (Scilla)?
Al told me it would prefer 5-1-1, and as soon as I re-potted it (within two weeks) new growth emerged.

I also sprouted Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undulatus) in gritty mix, and it is finally starting to make branches.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 9:44AM
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And to All of you too, that being Jodi, Josh, Al, Ohio, and Laura!

Nice going Jodi! You have taken my fear of trying this method away! I have always used just bark, but still have a stubborn time with Orchids! I will try the gritty mix on my next purchase. I do see the little bud. Oh, it's so exciting isn't it? I can't wait to see that in flower.

Jodi, are you adding humidity in the air or locally, or are they by nature easier to handle growers in dry air?

I got myself..Let me see, let me try the name here..

It is an Orchid �Siam Jade� AVO AM/CST (Epicattleya hybrid)lol. The flowers will be a beautiful pale green and white combo and very fragrant. I can't wait to see action on mine:-)

Josh, how is yours doing? Do you have an updated pic? I love yours too.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 2:16PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mike! Good to see you!

I will have to get an update pic of my Orchid. It hasn't bloomed, but it's put out two
new leaves since I received it. I still need to slip it into another container to increase
humidity (as you mentioned a while ago). I've been watering every four days or so.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 3:17PM
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Hello old buddies Jodi, Laura, Al, Josh, Mike

Congrats, Jodi. Now you can grow orchids! What greatness!

Merry Christmas to all my friends across the pond :)


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 7:28AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, Xuan! Merry Christmas to you!
I hope you are enjoying the Holidays. One more day until Winter Break for us....


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 3:34PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hi, Xuan - soo nice to hear from you - don't be a stranger ....! Merry Christmas!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas too!

It certainly is nice to see you...

Love to see what is happening with your containers/flowers this time of the year...


How is the bud doing? Still growing strong? Hopefully you will have a beauty to look at over the holidays!!!

How special... : )

Take care,


    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 9:23AM
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Xuan! It is always a pleasure to see a dear friend like you swim across the pond once in a while.
Hello to you too:-))))))

Laura,Jodi, Al, Josh and Ohio, have a safe Holiday and happy time with your loved ones!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 9:42PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I feel better already (longer days). Merry Christmas to you too, Mike.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hail, friends!

I don't want to count my chickens before they've hatched....but I just might
have the start of a spike emerging from the newest leaf on my orchid. I'll update....


    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:45AM
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