Long blooming orchid

blondiel(NC)July 10, 2008

Hi All,

I am new to this forum, frequents often, but never posted. Thanks to all of you for the information that you share. I want to have a blooming orchid in my house all year. I know that they do go dormant, so I want to have one dormant and one blooming. What are the longest blooming ones? Is it practical to think that I can have one blooming and one dormant so that I can always have blooms? What do you orchid lovers suggest?

Thanks.

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bihai(zone 9)

It doesn't really work that way with orchids unfortunately. Especially ones grown in the house. Many orchids won;t get enough light in the house to bloom to full potential unless you have a nice big window in just the right spot.

Phalaenopsis orchids are probably the longest blooming. Their blooms can last for months.

Vanda orchids have big beautiful blooms that last quite a while (weeks sometimes) but they are very high light orchids not easily managed by most people in the house.

Dendrobiums are also high light orchids, but will do okay sometimes in less light. You have to realize there are hundreds of species of dendrobiums...the ones you see at the supermarket or at box stores are only the tip of the iceberg and they are hybrids bred for flowers, not species plants.

Cattleya alliance usually only bloom once a year and are pretty short lived flowers.

If you are serious about orchids, you need to go over the the orchid forum and lurk for a while. There are a lot of people over there who are in house and windowsill growers.

I grow in a greenhouse with full sun so my situation is 100% different.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 7:24PM
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blondiel(NC)

Thanks for responding, bihai. I will read the orchid forum.
Growing orchids is not as simple as I thought. I may have to
choose another house plant.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:06AM
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nova12(zone 2)

I bought a phal orchid five months ago from a big box store, on clearance. The flowers has already fallen off, but I wanted to try and grow orchids without spending a fortune. I put it in an eastern exposure, and it took off right away. Since then, it has not been without flowers. I don't do anything special to it, and it keeps blooming. The flowers on mine last a couple weeks before they fall off.

If you want to try growing orchids, start with an easier one like a phal. I think you will really come to enjoy them. I love the intricate flowers.

Good luck, let us know what you decide.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 4:05AM
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bihai(zone 9)

Some phals are 'everblooming'. I have a species phal that gets small yellow flowers with pink markings that is almost never out of bloom. Its also unusual in that it likes almost full sun. Most phals would burn in the kind of light this plant requires.

Many phals will re-bloom at least once from the same spike. One in the phal family that is especially prone to reblooming is Doriatonopsis (I probably misspelled that).

You should get a cheap orchid reference like Ortho's "All About Orchids" and look at the conditions you can offer in your house and the different types of orchids available in your area (or by mail order). You might be able to come up with something to do what you want to do.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 7:54AM
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mlevie

blondiel,

I'd definitely start with phalaenopsis. They bloom the longest and are easiest to care for. One caveat is that phals are "warm-growing orchids," which means they will generally sulk if temperatures go below 60 at night and love it if it gets into the 80s.

Many people choose orchids that are supposed to be easy, but don't suit their climate, and they try desperately to please them and conclude that orchids are impossible. Instead, if those people just tried other orchids, they'd probably find one that was thrilled with their environment.

If phalaenopsis do well for you, you might want to risk something like a vanda, which is another warm-growing orchid that is somewhat harder to care for.

If they don't, maybe you need to try intermediate-growing orchids, like cattleyas, dendrobiums, and oncidiums.

If even those don't do well, there are cool-growing orchids, which need cooler night temperatures (in the 50s) to bloom and won't like hot weather--for example, cymbidiums, masdevallias, and odontoglossums.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:27PM
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tootswisc(z4/5Wi)

I have 2 phals that have been blooming for about 6 months. You might have to be patient to get them to rebloom for you. My first one didn't rebloom for over a year.

My friends mother has a phal that has gigantic white flowers that bloom most of the year-it is quite dramatic. she has it in a west widow and fertilizes weekly with miracle grow.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 1:02AM
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