Types of Orchids

Orchid Care Q& A: What’s Growing On My Orchid?!

Today’s Orchid Care Question comes from my blog reader Dan.  He’s new to Phals and has a couple of new leaves growing off the side of his plant.  He sent me some great photos and I thought I’d share his question and photos with all of you!  Enjoy :-)

Reader Question:

Hi Carol,
I have been growing a Phal orchid for the last six months or so. When I bought the orchid it had a large stem with many beautiful flowers on it. The flowers have since died off and the stem turned yellow/brown. I went ahead and trimmed the stem back to the first node and it continued to yellow and harden. Now the plant is growing new leaves off the side of the main plant and was wondering if this is normal? Also I am curious as to when I can expect a new flower stem to grow? I have attached a picture of the orchid to help with my description. Thanks for the help and tips.

- Dan Binzel

 

Phal with Basal Keiki      Detail of Phal with Basal Keiki

Answer:

Hi Dan!

So glad you’ve included some photos with your question!  They are very helpful in seeing what exactly your orchid is growing.

What you have there is a basal keiki (baby plant) growing on your Phalaenopsis mother plant.  Kekis can grow at the base (basal) or further up along the stem.  Not really sure why keikis grow on some plants and not others, sometimes they just do.  You can even force keiki growth on orchids with a product known as Keiki Growth Paste.  It’s a great way to propagate your orchids!

Some growers believe that basal keikis sometimes grow on orchids that are under a lot of stress and dying, but they will also grow on perfectly healthy orchids.  From what I can see, your plant has very happy green leaves and looks like it is quite healthy.  I do see a few dry roots on the surface of the pot.  You can take this time to remove damaged roots and repot your orchid if it needs it (since it is no longer in bloom).

You’ll want to continue to mist both plants regularly–paying special attention to the keiki as it should start growing roots soon and you don’t want those to dry out.  Once the roots get long enough, you’ll be able to repot the baby orchid in its own pot.  Check out my previous post of keiki repotting here: Orchid Keiki Repotting Instructions

As far as the mother plant goes, the keiki growth should not impact it very much  A new flower spike will emerge from the base when the plant is rested enough and ready for reblooming.  Phals typically spike in the late Fall/early Winter season.  You’ll want to give your Phalaenopsis cooler nighttime temperatures to encourage it to rebloom.  I’m personally waiting for several of my own phals to spike in a few months.  The wait is well worth it!

Well, I believe that just about answers you question.  I hope this proves helpful!  Thanks again for your question and for sending in a photo!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Orchids: Beautiful Cymbidium Orchids!

If you love cymbidum orchids, you’ll love the new Flickr Group I’ve recently discovered: Cymbidium Orchids Only

You can upload pictures of your cymbidium beauties at this link here: http://bit.ly/aMJQxH

Cymbidium Orchid, Orchid Care, orchids

Cym. Pontac ' Trinity '

Cymbdium Orchid, Orchid Care, Orchids, How to grow orchids

Cym. Apple Crisp

Cymbidium Orchid, How to take care of orchids, orchids and growing or planting

Cym. Misty Green

Cymbidium, Orchid Care and Maintenance, How to Look after Orchids

Cym. Everett Stockstill ' Sheilajo '

Want to keep your cymbidium orchids happy and healthy?  Don’t forget to sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care newsletter HERE.  He  includes Orchid Care Cheat Sheets with every book order!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

+ Courtesy of Vinegar Tips

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

+ Beautiful Cymbidium Orchid photos courtesy of Flickr User azn_linsie_hu

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Orchid Care : Diseases – Crown Rot

In today’s orchid care post, I’ll be sharing a few tips on how to care for orchids with crown rot.  You may have seen plants at your local grocery store suffering from crown rot (I see it all too often) or perhaps you’ve had to treat an orchid with crown rot in your own home.  Treating crown rot can be extremely difficult, but the more we know about it, the better we can treat, even prevent it!

Orchids are susceptible to various types of rot including leaf rot, root rot and crown rot.  Monopodial orchids (Phalaenopsis and Vandas) are most suseptible to crown rot—a fungal infection that is caused by water pooling in the center (or crown) of the plant.

Crown rot can cause immense damage to an orchid and must be treated immediately.  One solution  is to use hydrogen peroxide (3%).  You can treat the crown rot with full strength hydrogen peroxide, repeating every 2-3 days until the rot no longer fizzes and bubbles with the hydrogen peroxide application.  Sprinkling cinnamon from your kitchen cabinets can also be used to treat the fungus.

Of course, prevention is the best medicine, even when it comes to orchids.  Crown rot is 100% preventable.  Water your orchids early in the day, so that the plant has time to dry off before night time and provide your plants with proper air circulation.  Most importantly, always take the time to inspect the crown of your orchids regularly.  Take a tissue and soak up any water that has pooled in the crown.

(If you do decide to remove severely damaged orchid leaves, make sure you sterilize the blade for each cut.)

Want to receive more tips on caring for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–you’ll learn everything you need to know straight from the expert!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Flowering Orchids in Autumn

Autumn brings shorter days and cooler temperatures.  Vandas, cattleyas, oncidiums, dendrobiums, phalaenopsis, paphiopedilums (and their hybrids) are just a few of the autumn-blooming orchids.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Growing Orchids Anatomy & Terms : Pseudobulb

I’m continuing my series on orchid by writing about terms every person growing orchids should know and understand.  Today’s orchid anatomy and term lesson is pseudobulb.

The pseudobulb is a storage organ derived from the part of a stem between two leaf nodes.

It applies to the orchid family, specifically certain groups of epiphytic orchids, and may be single or composed of several internodes with evergreen or deciduous leaves along its length.

In some species, it is hardly swollen at all and looks like a normal stem with many leaves while at the other extreme, some genera such as Bulbophyllum have single, spherical pseudobulbs with one (or two) leafs at the apex of each.

Whether cane-like (with many joints) or spherical (with one or few joints), they are all produced from a long lived creeping stem called a rhizome which may itself be climbing or pendulous.

The pseudobulbs are themselves relatively short lived (1–5 years), but are continually produced from the growing tip of the rhizome.

The other growth habit used by tropical epiphytic orchids is known as monopodial orchid.

Want to learn a few tricks about how to care for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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How to Care for Orchids : Trivia Fun

The world’s smallest known orchid (pictured)—just over 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) across and nearly see-through—has been discovered nestled in the roots of another flower in Ecuador.

Lou Jost, an ecologist with the EcoMinga plant-conservation foundation, has studied the plants of the South American country’s mountainous forests for 15 years.

Earlier this year he’d collected an orchid of a larger species to study in his greenhouse. “Several months later I saw this tiny plant,” he said.

Ecuador’s mountains are havens of biodiversity, where plants on one mountain may be entirely different from those on a neighboring peak.

In the region where the tiny orchid was found, Jost also recently discovered 28 new orchids in the Teagueia genus, a group previously thought to contain only 6 species. Ecuador as a whole is home to 4,000 known orchid species—a thousand of them discovered in the past 12 years alone.

The newfound orchid, part of the Platystele genus, hasn’t yet had the type of scientific review that would lead to its official designation as a new species. But, Jost said, orchid expert Carl Luer, a researcher affiliated with the Missouri Botanical Garden, agrees that the plant is a unique species.

The bloom has, for now, no name. “It’s just sitting here with lots of others that need to be described,” Jost said. “These forests are just filled with new things.”

Want to learn a few tricks about how to care for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ NationalGeographic.com

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Orchid Care Basics: What Kind of Orchid Is it?

The best way to care for your orchid is to know exactly what kind of orchid you have.  But what do you do if you don’t know what kind of orchid you have?  Easy!  Narrow things down by determining your orchid’s growth pattern.

How Do Orchids Grow?

There are two basics growth types for orchids–Monopodial and Sympodial.


Monopodial (Latin for “single foot”): Orchids with a main stem that continuously grow upward.  Flower spikes, or inflorescences, alternate from one side of the stem to the other.  Angraecus, Phalaenopsis, and Vandas are monopodial orchids.

Sympodial (Latin for “many footed”): Orchids that grow sideways along the surface.  Psuedobulbs grow from the base (the connecting stem is called a rhizome) and mature at the end of the growing season by flowering.  Cattleyas, Dendrobiums and Paphiopedilums are sympodial orchids.

Learn more about these Orchid varieties with Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Cheat Sheets. They come in so handy when I just want a quick refresher on orchid care!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchids Care and Maintenance Tips: Vanilla Orchids

I recently received an email from a reader in California wanting to know a little more about Vanilla Orchids.  I’ve never cared for a vanilla orchid before, so I decided I would take the opportunity and learn a little more about them.  I ran across a great Vanilla Orchid Care Sheet that instructs you on harvesting the vanilla pods and thought I’d share it with you!

Natural vanilla comes from the seed pod of an orchid plant. Vanilla planifolia is a vigorous, vining orchid that can reach up to 300 feet. Keep the plant in a warm, brightly lit area with plenty of water. The vanilla plant starts producing fruit only when it is mature, generally larger than 10 feet. The vine produces greenish-yellow flowers at the leaf axils, in clusters from which one or two open at a time over a two week period. They are short lived and must be pollinated during the first day when they are fully open and most receptive. Fruit pods grow to about 6-9 inches long and are harvested in about 8-9 months after flowering.

To pollinate the vanilla use two toothpicks. Remove the entire pollen cap from under the hooded anther on top of the column with one and place it on a clean piece of paper. Now rub the end of the toothpick on the hairlike portion of the frilled petal lip. Its sticky secretion acts as an adhesive in picking up the pollinia. The drawing shows where to find the pollinia in the pollen cap. Pick it up with the sticky toothpick.

Pry and hold open the top flap of the rostellum with the other toothpick. Place the sticky end of the first toothpick (with pollinia) up and into the stigmatic opening under the rostellum flap. Remove the toothpicks and the rostellum flap snaps closed, trapping the pollinia.

The seed pods, or “beans”, will take six to nine months to mature and should grow up to nine inches in length. Beans are ready to harvest when the green tips begin to turn yellow. They will have no vanilla fragrance until the curing process activates the enzymes and produces vanillin.

Kill the seeds by placing them in boiling water for about two minutes. Find a piece of clean wool and lay the pods on the cloth in the morning sun. About noon wrap the pods in the cloth, allowing them to sweat. Put them in an airtight box overnight. Repeat the process until the pods shrink, turn dark brown, and give off a slight vanilla odor. They will be very rubbery at this stage. Store the pods in a container that is air tight and light proof.

Discard the beans if they split or develop mold since the mold may develop a toxic substance. Prevent mold by daily rubbing the beans dry with a cotton cloth.

To use the beans, boil them in water for about 15 minutes. Split the beans lengthwise with a knife several times, then place 5 to 6 beans in a 750 ml bottle of vodka or bourbon for thirty days. If you wish, you can add more vodka or bourbon as the vanilla extract is used.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Vanilla Orchid Culture Sheet

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Orchids and Growing or Planting Fragrant Varieties

Orchids and growing or planting fragrant varieties.

Aerangis
These are smaller sized orchids that are very fragrant in the evening hours.

Aerides
These tall lanky orchids can have good fragrance that need to be careful because some of them do not.

Ancistrochilum rothschildianum
This is a small species that is deciduous during winter.

Brassavola
The popular lady of the night orchid is out of the Brassavola species which include other orchids that give off their sense in the night.

Brassia
Not only smells good but it is striking to with its large spiderlike flowers.

Brassidium
These brassia hybrids are nicely scented and very popular today.

Brassocattleyas
A cross between cattleya and barcarole, these files can be very strongly scented.

Catasetum
This large deciduous plant bears male or female flowers and has many species that are quite fragrant concluding the tenebrosum and pileatum. There are also many popular hybrids that are very fragrant as well.

Cattleya
The most fragrant species this orchid can be iricolor, bicolor, dowiana, labiata, maxima, schilleriana, warscewiczii and mossiae. Some of the hybrids can be intensely fragrant.

Clowesia
These orchids lose their leaves during the winter time and have many species which are scented.

Dendrobium
A popular genus of orchid having tall canes which those leaves in winter. Most of this species of orchid or scented and you might recognize some of the more popular ones which include monoliforme, speciosum, nobile, kingianum, loddigesii and parishii.

Dendrochilum
these orchids have chains of tiny flowersand many of the species assented including the magnum, glumacaeum and cobbianum.

Gongora
These small and highly fragrant species can be rather short-lived.

Haraella odorata
These of a popular miniature orchids which are very fragrant.

Sedirea japonica
Cultivated in Japan these orchids can be on the small side and rather long but are highly fragrant.

Vanda
these orchids are harder to grow in northern regions and a big long a real roots. The smaller scented species include suavis, denisonia, cristata and tessellata.

Zygopetalum
Consisting of complex hybrids the species are highly scented with wonderful fragrance.

Planting orchids or growing them in pots can be a challenging but rewarding experience and with these species you’re sure to get a nose-full!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Identify an Orchid: Q & A

Question: Is it possible to identify an orchid from a photo? I have a plant that my mother left me when she died 30 years ago, and I have never known its name. — Norman H.

Answer: Plants with lost name tags are a common occurrence in the orchid world. Though the original grower always puts a ‘genera/hybrid/variety’ identification label on each plant in production, it seems that this important information often gets lost along the way.

Over the years, the orchid may be re-potted and split into pieces but the owner doesn’t write a new tag for each division. Before long, there are nameless plants in circulation everywhere.

Some orchids are immediately identifiable by an expert seeing the flowers. Occasionally, the foliage alone yields the name. The vast majority of no names, however, remain as such due to the hundreds of thousands of possible hybrids.

A rank novice can determine the genera of common orchids strictly from the foliage. Cattleyas, dendrobiums, and oncidiums all have tell-tale pseudo-bulb shapes while phalaenopsis and paphiopedilums have uniquely tapered leaves. Even less common types such as cymbidiums, miltonias, and vandas are easy to identify.

The exact hybrid name is much more challenging unless the plant was mass-produced by cloning, in which case the variety might also be known.

Need to identify an orchid?  Check out Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Sheet Cheats when you purchase his book Orchids Made Easy.   Learn more about his free growing orchids email newsletter here.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Arthur Chadwick Richmond Times Dispatch

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