Hello from Arizona

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Hi, my name is John. I am new to this group. I have been interested in growing things since I was a child, especially slipper orchids. The first orchid I ever saw was a wild yellow slipper growing in a field behind my house when I was ten. Sadly I have never seen another in person but would love to. However in my teens we moved closer to the Adirondacks still in New York state and I was blessed to see the glowing pink blossoms of cyp. acaule on our property in the late spring each year. Eventually I grew up, got married, discovered paph and phrags, bought too many at the time and moved to Arizona. I have been here since '92. Sadly my collection did not like the low humidity or bright light and became weak and died through lack of knowledge and experience. They grew so well back in New York. Disappointed I took up growing desert plants which seemed impossible to kill here. Now I have a nice collection of frankincense and myrrh plants mostly from Arabia and Africa which love it outdoors here in AZ. Several years ago however my love for slipper orchids resurfaced and I decided to give them another try, vowing to make them survive in the hostile Arizona climate, indoors of course! So far so good, yet I lost many after my wife's death two years ago. At that time I was too upset and often forgot to water and let mealy bugs take over. I didn't care about much at that time after losing my best friend of over 22 years. Thankfully 2/3rds of my collection hung on and I eventually babied them back to health, giving them the attention they need. Now I have several dozen paphs. a few phrags, and assorted other orchids. I have been reading through the posts and searching them for answers to my many questions. There clearly are many knoweldgeable people in this group with a wealth of knowledge to share. It has been a blessing thus far. Even amusing at times, reading of people so "taken" with this "hobby" that some don't appear to even have a place to sleep. Yet in this often crazy world, it is much cheaper to be "taken" with this "hobby" than to give your money to some very nice mental health doctor and have nothing but a bill to show for it and still be depressed. If healthy, glowing green plants, with cheerful long lasting blossoms do not cheer a person up, I do not know what would. God certainly used them to help me through an impossible time in my life. My favorite slippers are the cyps, though they would never make it here in Arizona though I would love to try and recreate a "cold" room in my house some day, or just move back to New York where I could grow them outdoors. Since I cannot have cyps, I enjoy the variety the paphs have to offer the most, tending towards the parvis and their hybrids. Though how can you not be impressed by a mature roth in bloom! My favorite is paph delenatii and I was particularly suprised to find a dunkel variety has appeared on the scene while I was away. Too bad this species has such short lived flowers. Also it is sad, but due to the low humidity here in AZ, fragrances of any sort are very hard to detect, good ones or bad, so I cannot enjoy that about my delenatii's of which I have nearly a dozen various sib crosses. Currently I have a Paph prim. var purp. in bloom, two Magic Lanterns one nice one in late bud, another in sheath. Several vinicolors in sheath, a Gloria Naugle in sheath, along with a Satin Smoke. I am a bit excited that I might have a delenatii var dunkel that might be about to start a sheath. Though I am worried it is a one growth plant and I have read many people do not allow first bloom, single growth plants to bloom, allowing the plant to not lose its strength in flower production. I currently grow my plants in an east window with supplemental lighting. I am trying out the new wide spectrum LED lights OL is selling. So far I like the extremely low wattage and very low heat and that they can be placed well above the plants and still produce noticeable shadows. I am doing my best to keep up the humidity, create air movement, and use good water. I do know one thing, the plants do not like the city tap water here at all! Someday soon I need to get a RO system to save on trips for bottled water. I hope a carbon prefilter will take care of the chlorine in the city water. Well, I have said enough for now. Thanks for having this group.
Welcome from NYC! While plants can never take the place of our friends, the excitement and moments of tranquility orchids provide can also nourish our souls. :)
Hi John,
welcome from another new one! This is where I normally live (rural England), but I'm currently in Germany.


I've only just been here a few days myself, and I'm still catching up with reading. As far as I can see: If you grow Paphiopedilum there's no alternative but to come here!

I think we both have come to the right place!!!!;)

Thanks for the welcomes Eric and John and Heather. Very nice pics John, in Germany/England. The first photo is very beautiful, really captures the moment and makes you want to be there. I recognize the Mexi in the second photo but is the other flower a Ma Belle or Lynleigh K? Very nice, both of them!
Welcome, John. When I retired some years ago, I thought about moving to Arizona, and did a little research to see if there were orchid growers in that state. I learned there are, indeed, Orchid Societies there. Have you looked into that?

Lovely photos, John Boy.
Thanks to everyone for the kind welcomes. Yes, Dot, when I first moved here I found an orchid society and went to a few meetings however that was many years ago and after nearly all of my plants died I never went anymore thinking Arizona was too harsh for most orchids. Again, just recently, I started again with paphs so yes, I should look into finding others nearby to "enable" me and compare notes with. Thanks for the encouragement.
:clap::clap:WOO HOO! WELCOME! Mighty fine intro you gave us there! Sounds like you're on the right track to the right type of paphs for you at that locale!
hi hi from r.i.

if you really want to try to grow Cyps, there are some that are amenable to pot culture, though you'd probably have to put pots in a refrigerator or whatnot....
welcome john from someone who is still in the foothills of the adirondacks! you can search through these threads and find pics of cyps out in the wild (or maybe new ones this year) to tide you over. you may not be there in person, but if you used to live near the adirondacks then I'm sure that you remember the mosquitos, blackflies and deerflies, and probably don't miss them at all! :)
Charles, yes, I have been searching through the files to look/lust/long for those cyps I fondly remember. Seeing those pics makes me want to move back. However you made me think twice by reminding me of those horrible biting insects, a new one each month starting with the blackflies in May, the Mosquitos from June onward, then the deerflies come around July and August by September the bite of the early frosts takes care of most of those pesky critters. Enjoy those cyps in person for me! I was born in Utica and lived north-east of Syracuse. I know where Oriskany is, in the Mohawk Valley, the foothills of the Adirondacks, home of beautiful vistas and terrible hayfever in the summer.