Orchid "forest"

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I received 3 Trader Joe-type orchids for my birthday party, and would like to combine them in one container for a sort of orchid "forest".
Have never dealt with orchids before, so wonder if my plan is even feasible.
Would like to remove them from their original (small) pots and transplant them together in one large, handsome, SHALLOW pot.
Questions:
1. Can this kind of TJ orchid take transplanting?
2. If so, how far apart must 3 plants be?
3. How deep must soil/orchid mix be? Ideally, the look I want is shallow, but would this work?
4. Should I add (good) garden dirt to the orchid mix from original pots?
Any wisdom, links, etc. gratefully accepted.
HB
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I'm growing Stop and Shop orchids. I have one plant blooming for the 4th time now. Each year about XMAS they start then bloom for 3 months or so. So, well worth keeping and growing.
You never use soil with orchids, the plants don't like it and will not get any nutrients that way. The roots need access to air. You'll find orchid planting medium in most garden stores.
I don't know how you are going to put 3 plants in one container you need a container like the one the plant came in. The water has to run through the plant and out the bottom.
If you can find the right container, 3 plants together should not be a problem.
Transplanting is a normal part of maintenance.
--
Dan Espen

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wrote:

There are terrestrial orchids that grow in soil.

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But probably not sold in retail stores.
Come to think of it, I've seen orchids in the Pine Barrens NJ growing in the ground. At least they looked like orchids.
--
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wrote:

I have gotten some really interesting orchids at silly little stores. But you have to agree that many do grow in soil.

Yup...not far from me. Woodland plants. They show up in local places in the spring. WIldflowers.
I have a *lot* of orchids, though not so nearly many now as I used to have. They grow like weeds. I keep mine in the kitchen.
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On 2016-02-19 01:32:13 +0000, Dan Espen said:

Maybe some species of lady's slipper orchid -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypripedioideae
You can find quite a variety for sale online. They are not difficult to grow and many like to grow in clumps. Most are expensive.
This place sells good specimens -
http://www.hillsidenursery.biz/cypripedium-orchids/index.php
but you can even score the more common species for cheap on eBay.
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Yep, that's it.

I wonder, I don't remember seeing any in the wild in central NJ so I assumed they needed the Pine Barrens climate to survive.
I'll have to look around at the local nurseries.
--
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On 2/18/2016 4:35 PM, Boron Elgar wrote:

Cymbidiums are terrestrial.
--
David E. Ross

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On Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:51:50 -0800, "David E. Ross"

There are many terrestrial orchids. I made no claim about cymbidiums at all.
I do tot grow mine in plain garden soil, however, I use a chunky, airy mix and keep them very potbound.
To get them to bloom, they like a big diff between day and night temps, being mountain dwellers.
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On 2/18/2016 7:39 AM, Hypatia Nachshon wrote:

It all depends on the variety of orchid. While many of Trade Joe's orchids are Phalaenopsis, they also sell other varieties.
Phalaenopsis are generally house plants, even in mild southern California areas. They need strong, indirect sunlight. I have my two in a north-facing greenhouse window, which is open to my breakfast room. If the leaves are dark green, they are not getting enough light.
I have my Phalaenopsis growing in bark chips, which are available at most nurseries and some hardware and lumber stores. Because the plant will grow with leaves stretching out a foot or more, you should plant each in its own pot. Be sure the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom, covered with a broken piece of another pot. Soak the bark chips in water for just a few minutes. Remove the orchids from their small pots, and gently shake loose any potting medium that remains with the plant. (No, you do not have to remove all of the existing medium.) Plant upright with the lowest leaf just at the top of the bark chips. Set the pot on a saucer that contains pea gravel or small stones. Keep water in the saucer to the top of the gravel or stones.
Once each week -- NOT more often -- hold the pot over a sink with one hand blocking the drainage hole and carefully pour water into the pot until the water reaches the top of the bark chips. Then let the water drain from the hole in the bottom. In alternating weeks, the water should contain orchid fertilizer, measured per the instructions on the container. I do this with the pot in a large bowl, letting the fertilizer mix drain immediately into the bowl while pouring all around the orchid. Capturing the runoff in the bowl, I can thus feed more than one orchid pot.
NOTE WELL: When watering or feeding a Phalaenopsis, do not allow even a drop of water into the center of the newest leaf. That can cause the plant to rot and die.
I also have a Cymbidium orchid, for which the culture is quite different from a Phalaenopsis. Mine is potted in a mix of peat moss and compost. In making the mix, I added a generous amount of bone meal and a small amount of blood meal. Cymbidiums are outdoor plants in southern California; mine sits on a small table in my back yard. I leave it there even when a light frost is expected, bringing it into my house when a serious freeze is expected (rarely) or when it is in bloom (merely to show it off). It is watered whenever my garden sprinklers run or when it rains. Cymbidiums require much more nitrogen than Phalaenopsis. I occasionally give it a pinch of ammonium sulfate. Although Cymbidiums will actually grow in the ground, they are especially attractive to snails, which can totally destroy them. Thus, they should be kept in pots that do not sit on the ground.
I have seen other varieties of orchids at Trader Joe's. While they make a nice display while in bloom, many of them require much more care than Phalaenopsis or Cymbidiums; some require greenhouses with controlled temperatures and humidity. Such plant are often purchased for display and then discarded.
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David E. Ross

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Mine is in a north facing garden window. In the summer it gets up to an hour of direct sunlight through a skylight, otherwise it's just ambient reflected light.
It grows lots of roots and new leaves (but they are dark green). It is flowering. It's also getting too big, it's got 10 9inch leaves.

Good stuff, thanks.
--
Dan Espen

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On Thu, 18 Feb 2016 07:39:28 -0800 (PST), Hypatia Nachshon

There are more than 2500 species of orchids. Even TJ's sells different species.
What kind did you receive?
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On Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 7:39:32 AM UTC-8, Hypatia Nachshon wrote:

Thanks to all for generous helpings of wisdom.
My harebrained scheme for a shallow "forest" is a non-starter, which I could have figured out by measuring the 3 ceramic containers. Pots are 4.5, 5, and 6" high. One is 5" wide, one 4, and one 3".
Unless I find a majestic container with high enough walls to contain all 3, the "forest" will have to exist on the wide glass "platter" where it is now.
*Two are Phala; the 3rd has no ID. Is it safe to conclude it's also Phala?
**I had some very old orchid medium out in back, but maybe I should get new?
***Don't understand David's comment: "The roots need access to air." Do you mean access from ABOVE via planting medium? How else would roots get air if pot is sitting on [surface]?
****Tag says, re: Continuing care: "After the last flower expires, cut the spike above the node from which the 1st flower appeared. A new spike can branch off within weeks.
Alternatively, remove the flower spike entirely to allow the plan to recover and form a new spike in 3-4 months."
DUH?!
This might be a steep learning curve <g>
Tx to all
HB
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On Thu, 18 Feb 2016 19:28:55 -0800 (PST), Hypatia Nachshon

Phals grow like weeds, are very resilient, and your biggest trick will be in betting it to re-bloom down the line.
Insofar as the mystery orchid, can you take a photo and post it somewhere where we can take a look at it? TJ's sells more than phals. I actually got one of my most prolific cymbidiums (think prom corsage) from there. Many times they have 3 or 4 types for sale, the phals, oncidiums, dendrobiums, paphs...
One other thing to note about the kinds of orchids one finds at places such as TJ's, Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, etc ---they are grown to be sold at peak bloom. They may not be potted correctly, they may be color-tinted, mis-marked, etc.
Basically, you have another option- think of these as you would a bouquet unless you really want to invest the time, effort, and cost in getting proper pots, medium, fertilizer, and providing a space with the correct light and temp. They will bloom or carry current bloom for quite a while, enjoy them while you can, then as with a dying bouquet, chuck it. No, I am no advising you to take that as a primary route, far be it from me, an orchid nut, to discourage anyone from the habit, but it is just a thought.
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On 2/18/2016 7:28 PM, Hypatia Nachshon wrote:

Soemone else -- not me -- said "The roots need access to air." However, that is true. That is why my Phalaenopsis are planted in bark chips. When you water them as I earlier described and the water drains away into the sink, air penetrates the planting medium.
--
David E. Ross

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On Friday, February 19, 2016 at 7:50:18 AM UTC-8, David E. Ross wrote:

ote:

could have figured out by measuring the 3 ceramic containers. Pots are 4.5 , 5, and 6" high. One is 5" wide, one 4, and one 3".

l 3, the "forest" will have to exist on the wide glass "platter" where it i s now.

ala?

new?

Do you mean access from ABOVE via planting medium? How else would roots ge t air if pot is sitting on [surface]?

t the spike above the node from which the 1st flower appeared. A new spike can branch off within weeks.

cover and form a new spike in 3-4 months."

See also Bruce Allen Murphy's definitive bio of the late, unlamented bully "A Court of One". Murphy knocked himself out to be fair, but the REAL Scali a -- unreconstructed pre-Vatican II reactionary who ruled according to his religious beliefs,not according to the Constitution, emerges loud and clear .
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On Friday, February 19, 2016 at 7:50:18 AM UTC-8, David E. Ross wrote:

David, what is the difference between bark chips and the planting mix sold for orchids for watering? From what I see, the planting mix is coarse enough to allow passage of water.
So, 2 questions:
1. Which "grade" of bark chips do you use--from fine to coarse?
2 Your comment above refers to "plantng medium". Do you mean JUST bark chips, or bark chips on top of orchid planting mix?
Sorry if this was obvious; am trying to do the best by these newcomers.
TIA
HB
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On 2/21/2016 12:16 PM, Hypatia Nachshon wrote:

The bag of bark that I use for my Phalaenopsis does not indicate a size or grade. It says the bark is from fir trees. The pieces are about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch across and slightly less thick. The bag weighed less than a pound, which should be enough to pot one or two orchids. Do not add any nutrients when potting; wait before adding fertilizer to the weekly watering.

Some Phalaenopsis growers prefer the fiber from tree ferns. Others use spagnum moss (peat moss that has not been ground almost to a powder). Thus, I used the term "planting medium" to include all three. Whichever you use -- bark, fern fiber, or moss -- use only one of these media. No soil, no compost, no vermiculite, no pea gravel.
NOTE: Cymbidium should be planted in a medium approximating real soil. Mine is potted in a mix of fine peat moss and compost with added blood meal and bone meal.

It's okay. :)
--
David E. Ross

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On Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 2:08:22 PM UTC-8, David E. Ross wrote:

============ Confirmed that mine are all Phals.
I bought a bag of the bark. Label said from pine tree.
Also asked at my nursery; plant guy confirmed use just one medium -- bark. Said ((IIRC) moss-y stuff is used in selling to keep moist. Not necessary for purchaser.
Must get other pots. The birthday orchids came in pots w/o holes!
Anybody: I found a jar of old orchid bark in junque area. Has been rained on, etc. Is it still good to use? Mix w/new bark?
TIA
HB
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Hypatia Nachshon wrote: ...

what is junque area?
what is etc?
songbird
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