Free Orchid

plantomaniac08(8)October 8, 2012

Was taking the trash out to the dumpster yesterday and saw this lonely fellow lying on the ground. I don't know a lot about orchids but you know I wasn't going to just leave it there. I have a new pot and some soil for it, going to let it adjust first before I repot.

A really nice person on the Orchid Forum stated that he/she (Sorry!) believes it is Oncidium "Sharry Baby" but that it would be impossible to identify 100% without it currently flowering (the bloom stalk on it is almost two feet long but the flowers have long since died).

I just wanted to share my FTGH (Free to a good home) orchid, I'll keep ya'll updated on it's progress. I've always wanted an orchid but wasn't sure I could grow one. This is a better chance than ever eh? I know it looks in pretty bad shape, apparently whoever owned it didn't water it enough, but I'll do my best to give it the TLC it needs!

Planto

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sheesh! That looks like a really healthy plant, I think, never seen one like that, but admit to ignoring the leaves when I see them at stores. Would love to know why someone didn't want it anymore, especially knowing how much they cost.

I have some of those same hair clips. Are those Hattori Hanso (spelling?) swords?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:35PM
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birdsnblooms

Planto..hey congrats. What a find!

I think your new Orchid looks good..a brown tip or two. No biggie..it is rootbound, however, but roots are healthy.

It's amazing how people buy flowering plants, 'sometimes at high costs,' then toss them after flowers fade.
Guess, most don't want to bother, or just don't care. If they can afford paying high prices, then discard, all the better for those who have a passion for plants and, with a little luck, happen to find it.

Since you were unsure you can keep an Orchid, the price worked out, just fine. :) Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:44PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Fabulous! Id get it out of that see thru pot tho!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:36PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Congrats! Nothing better than free plants, especially free orchids. It's better that whoever had it didn't water it - usually people water them and the roots rot cause they put them in cache pots without drainage, and the sphagnum they're packed with just holds onto water. Orchids are all about super drainage. This would be a great time to try some of Tapla's gritty mix, or if you don't want to go into that, get some orchid mix, which is mostly bark chunk. water frequently, drain well, bright indirect light, and patience - I think this is one of the species that flowers only once a year.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:58PM
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emerald1951

what a great fine....good luck....I would get orchid bark to plant it in.....I have one orchid and I planted it in bark/orchid pot and I set the whole pot in a bowl of water with orchid fertilizer once a week on tuesdays and just plain water once a week on fridays...since I have been doing that I have 3 new leaves...I am just learning about orchids.....linda

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:33PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Thanks for all the great comments, I really wanted to share this with you all.

I was able to purchase some orchid bark in town today (that has an interesting story to it too). The nursery I went to was out of orchid bark, BUT they had a bag behind the counter that was ripped and couldn't be sold as is. So, they poured enough in a paper bag for me to repot my new friend in and it only cost me $1.00.

I've read online that the clear pots are good for orchids (I'm new myself, perhaps this is just personal preference) but wasn't able to find any in town and the only ones online cost me like $10 for shipping (ridiculous!). So... I found a plastic container that had cored pineapple in it (cost me like $4 for the yummy pineapple) and I figure it's just a little bigger but enough that the orchid will be able to spread it's feet out. I just need to put some drainage holes in it. I'll post a photo this weekend after I repot.

Thanks so much again, I did read all your comments!

Planto

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:00PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Normally Id say that see thru pots are bad because the roots turn green and algae grows in the soil. Maybe thats ok for orchids?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:23AM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Larry,
Well, I did experience that with a clear pot that my peace lily came in. I'm not sure if it was because it had soil in it or if it's because of moisture inside the pot period. I know orchids don't like to be put in soil (hence the moss or bark) so I'm hoping I won't experience the algae with the bark.

Planto

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 7:42AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

"The nursery I went to was out of orchid bark, BUT they had a bag behind the counter that was ripped and couldn't be sold as is. So, they poured enough in a paper bag for me to repot my new friend in and it only cost me $1.00. "

I love these kinds of anecdotes. Good job for you to tell them what you needed, and good job for them for finding a way to make it happen. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I talk to the lady who owns the garden center here in town. Worth the effort every time.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:28AM
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birdsnblooms

Larry. Are you against see-thru pots because of algae or is there another reason?

4 of my Orchids are in 6", clear, plastic pots. In fact, while seeking smaller, 3-4", Orchid containers, via an Orchid nursery I've bought other pots from, sells clear, plastic Orchid pots..If you understand what I wrote you get a gold star..lol.

I thought, perhaps you meant roots would stay too hot or cold in clear pots..Toni

Never had algae problems, and I like the fact roots can be seen..Another advantage is checking color of bark to see if a drink is needed..for my Orchids, not me. lol.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:42AM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Maybe it has to do with light. When I've left orchids in the clear pots they're grown in, and they're outside, the roots tend to turn green, plus they stay too wet, plus they have no room to spread out - that's why I try to put them into bark and baskets as soon as I can.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:07PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Toni, its well known that light + roots = trouble. I tried it with a Cuphea once. It curled up its toes and died

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:57PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Larry,
I'm by no means an expert so I'll just keep it in a plastic pot for now and see what happens. If it starts to look like it's declining, I'll switch it out. But, it's nice to experiment sometimes. Not that I want to kill my free orchid, but at least it didn't cost me right?

On a different note, just to share, I got a new orchid today. Darn that person who left the free one by the dumpster, I think it bit me and I've got the orchid bug! It's a Dendrobium I found at Lowes for $2 on clearance.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:03PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Purple,
I'm so sorry, it just hit me I forgot to answer your question about the swords. They're just some swords Hubby's Dad got for him while he was serving in South Korea, I'm pretty sure they're just replicas.

Planto

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:05PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Planto, I think orchids roots work differently to most plants. The ones on my phal are green when cut, I believe they are photosynthetic just like the leaves. Other plants arent.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 6:24AM
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birdsnblooms

FW...Except for two Orchids in wood baskets, my Orchids do not go outside.
One year, I placed the whole shabang outdoors..They were on the third tier of a shelf, thick bushes behind, obstructed by taller plants in front and sides, yet leaves burned..talk about red leaves..That was the only summer they went out.

Larry, I tried growing Cuphea, 'better known as Cigar Plant, bearing little, orange flowers,' in different pots, (plastic/clay) yet they died..does the description sound like the plant you had?
Cuphea's grown here as annuals, 'outdoors,' but can be kept as house plants, too..but I've never had luck keeping them indoors.

Think I'm a root ogler..lol

Planto..WOW..what a beauty for 2.00! Wish there was a nearby Lowes here.

An Orchid that size, 'at HD' would run between 20-30.00.
It's in excellent condition.

One word of advice, remove Sphagnum Moss. It holds water and can attract Fungus Gnats, especially if kept wet.

Lovely...Toni

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:29AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Toni, my Cuphea was one with small purple flowers, never seen it before, or since!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:52AM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Toni,
No worries, I'm waiting until it finishes blooming (and giving it a rest period) before I change it out of that moss. I read online Dendrobiums like to be in the bark more so I have enough to repot it.

Planto

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:08PM
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birdsnblooms

Green...Google Cuphea Hyssopifolia purple..if it doesn't work, try w/o adding purple.

Planto..is the entire Orchid potted in moss or is used as top dressing?

Everytime I think about bark, I want to scream. Yesterday I went to 3 stores, plus 2 Home Depots..One employee said there was no such thing! lol.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:33PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Toni, you got it, hyssopifolia! I remember the name sounding like a herb now! It means it has leaves like Hyssop.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:42PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Hopefull, I only have phaleos and dendros right now, and they're all outside, hanging in trees. My goal is to get enough that I can have them on the outsides of all the windows. Of course, then bringing them in for the winter would be a challenge. 2 years ago it got REALLY COLD down here,(West Central Fla), and I didn't get them in in time, and its taken till a couple of months ago to see any real growth or flowers. So this year I determined I'll bring them in the first time we get 40 degree temps, and they'll stay in till spring.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:37PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Toni,
I repotted the Dendrobium earlier; it was completely encased in moss and it was so packed in I'm surprised it survived (I can't imagine how there was any form of aeration). I'll post some photos tomorrow of my repot (I couldn't wait until the weekend, sort of glad I did seeing the mess I found with the Dendrobium).

Planto

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 11:03PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

I'm still getting used to Photobucket. Apparently when I moved my photos, it broke the links to the original pictures I posted. Oh well. Here's a couple new photos of the free Oncidium orchid repotted. It's in a bark mix with charcoal on the bottom of the pot and sphagnum peat moss as top dressing:

While I was taking some pictures, our dog posed for the camera:

And also to share, I found this ZZ plant 50% off (I bought it for $$4.50) at Lowes. Now I need to stop going to Lowes, first the $2 Dendrobium orchid, now this (Not that I'm complaining):

Planto

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:06PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Nice Zamia! Ive tried twice to propagate that plant from a leaf and failed!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:27PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Here's a photo of the $2 Dendrobium, a bit better to see than the other photo I took:

Larry,
I was going to take a photo for you of the progress of one of my ZZ Plant cuttings but my camera just died. >.Planto

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:46PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Thanks planto, thats great! I did get the beginnings of a baby plant then it just withered. I dont particularly desire the plant but I got the leaf for free and I was curious. Plus its an Arum and I love that family!

Lovely orchid there too!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 3:17PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Greenlarry - Once when I was caring for a ZZ, a stem broke off. Since I don't like to waste things, I took it home and put it into a vase of water in the bathroom. Lo and behold, after about a month, there were roots growing from the bottom. Who knew. So you can use a stem to propagate.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:33PM
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birdsnblooms

Larry, the Cuphea H you had grows large! Wow. Unlike small C. Cigar plants sold here..lol

TFW..that's right, you're in z9/10..and it got that cold? Are winters normally 40F degrees, or have you noticed a change throughout the years?

Detaching Orchids from trees is going to be a real project..

Planto..your ORchid and African Violet are lovely. I can't believe the price!! Right place, right time.

Doggie looks very comfortable..getting a tan, she is..lol.

Hey, nice window for plants..Large sills, sun!!

I'm not a ZZ fan, but didn't know they'd root in water..Thought they were more succulent? Toni

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:45PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Toni et al, this is a photo I found online of the plant I had, Cuphea hyssopifolia.
Grows to 24 x 35 inches

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:10PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Hopeful - Yea, sometimes it gets cold. 2 years ago, in Jan & Feb, we had a bad cold winter, nearly 2 months that hardly got over 50degrees, and a couple of cold snaps of several days below freezing at night, and only 40 during the day. Or something like that. Don't quote me. But it was really cold. Last year there was a cold snap - frost in morning - for like 3 or 4 days in december, then the rest of the winter was warm, just like the rest of the country. Can't draw any conclusions though - every year is different. Historically, it snows here about every 15 - 20 years, and a bad killing freeze a couple times a century. But who knows now? Anyway, my orchids are all hanging in slat baskets, so it's not hard to take them down. The hard part is finding places to put them in the house. Normally, the winters alternate between cold periods of lows in the 40's - 30's, with longer periods of lows in the 50 - 60 range, highs 70's even low 80's sometimes.

Re ZZ's, I also never thought it would root, thought to just keep it as an interesting greenery until it rotted. I was amazed.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 8:22PM
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birdsnblooms

Larry, your Cuphea was a beautiful plant. Pretty, lavender flowers. So unlike C. ingia with hanging stems, and long, orange blooms.

FW...Weather here has changed drastically. Annuals that never reseeded popped up this year.
Last winter, it snowed, basically flurry's, three times..Only once did it accumulate, and not much at that.

Whenever I hear someone say, it's freezing in Fl or GA, well, it amazes me. lol.

One person who was a regular, 'haven't seen her lately,' also lives in Fl..She lost two fully-established Mangos and a couple other fruit trees due to freezing temps.

Maybe one day, 'a zillion years from now,' IL will have Fl's climate and Fl will have IL climate..lol. Palm trees in IL...although there is a guy in Chicago, also on the Palm Forum, who has a huge Palm in his back yard. His tree is huge, and now severl years old.

About your Orchids..finding a suitable location plus watering. Will each need to be watered in the sink/shower or do they have saucers? I wish you luck..

What about light? How will they hang and receive sun/light?

One reason I'm curious...I purchased two plaques meant to hang on a wall..in front, nearest the bottom, are thick-plastic wire baskets that holds moss sheets...
They'd work fine, but would need removing the entire plaque to water then drain.
I assumed you might have a solution to water w/o removing.

Impossible, right?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 2:32PM
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