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Phal pal

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I'm new to this site so here's my intro. I started growing orchids in 1990 when I moved to Fort St John, BC on the Alaska Highway, where winter starts in Sep and lasts til May! I started with a Cattelaya, a dendrobium and a Phaleonopsis. My collection has grown to include 6 phals, 5 dendrobiums, 3 Coelogene crystata, 3 oncidium, one paph, one cymbidium, one brassia (longissima) and one chysis (langleyensis). I have had successful reblooming on all these plants except the paph (just aquired last summer), the brassia and the chysis. I moved to Ottawa ON in 1998 and brought a number of orchids with me but I have also aquired a number of new ones since. I picked up the brassia and the chysis as seedlings about 5 years ago and they are still only about 3" across with very little growth. I picked up a phal at the same time and it has grown to about 6" across and looks very healthy. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
My one regret is that I haven't been too careful about recording proper names and species for my plants. However, I am improving in that area.
 
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Phal pal

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Thanks Eric. I'm actually doing very well with my phals. They bloom faithfully every year and often for about 5 - 6 months! My problem has been in getting the chysis and the brassia to grow to blooming size. I have also found the oncidiums to be a little reluctant to re-bloom (after successfully re-blooming 3 yrs in a row).
 

NYEric

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Can't help w/ those. As I'm a chronic over-waterer the only Onc. I can grow are equitants [in a fast draining media]. Good Luck.
 
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Grandma M

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Welcome

This is a great forum and you will get a lot of advice. We also will help to get you totally hooked on slippers. We are good at that. :clap:
 

smartie2000

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Welcome, from Edmonton, Alberta!
Sorry I'm not a oncidium alliance specialist, but I know they love light.
Generally people grow seedlings in slightly lowerlight because it promotes growth and leaf developement (thats true right?). Of course don't starve your plants from light.
I know that I have somewhat stunted some of my paph seedlings because I gave too much light (well it seems that way). However the multifloral seedling (paph haynaldianum) didn't mind. And phrag growers tend to also put seedlings in lower light to have them grow rapidly before they move them to higher light for blooming as mature plants. These are all slipper orchids I'm referring to, and not oncidiums though. Growing seedlings requires patience...
 

gonewild

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smartie2000 said:
Welcome, from Edmonton, Alberta!
Generally people grow seedlings in slightly lowerlight because it promotes growth and leaf developement (thats true right?). Of course don't starve your plants from light.
I think we could discuss this for a whole lot of pages. Generally higher light levels promote more growth. Low light levels may appear to promote faster growth because the leaf/stem cell structure is stretched out. Lower light levels tend to starve the plant for it's growth below the surface.

Bright light = more energy. More energy = more growth.

How do you measure more growth? In inches of length or cells per inch?
 

smartie2000

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I'm going by leaf size. The wrong way to do it? I haven't been measuring, but just observations. Most my paphs had bleached out leaf colour, or red pigments on the top side of vini's, darker undersides on parvis so it seems I have given them more than enough light.

Humidity probably affects growth the most now that I think about it.
 

gonewild

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smartie2000 said:
I'm going by leaf size. The wrong way to do it? I haven't been measuring, but just observations. Most my paphs had bleached out leaf colour, or red pigments on the top side of vini's, darker undersides on parvis so it seems I have given them more than enough light.

Humidity probably affects growth the most now that I think about it.
Smartie, why don't you start a new thread and let's talk about light. It is a good subject but we don't want to hijack Phal pal's introduction thread. :)
 
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Phal pal

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Thanks

Wow - thanks for the great responses. I think I'm OK for light and humidity. I have 1/2 of them in a large window facing south-east so they get early morning sun only. I now have them on a pebble tray which has really helped with the humidity. I was just reading some details on watering on another site and saw strong warnings about salts in the water. We installed a water softener a couple of years ago and I almost killed a Mayer's Lemon Tree with the water. Since then I have used rain water in the summer and water from a bypass for the winter and things have improved. Could that also have contributed to the orchid problems?
My one phragmipedium is looking very healthy and I'm hoping for a second bloom in the near future. (I think that will really convert me Grandma M). I joined here because I fell in love with the Showy Lady Slipper which is native to Canada. In fact, we have the Purdun Conservatory just outside of Ottawa which puts on a display of over 20,000 blooms in their natural setting. When I was up north, a member of the orchid club had one or two growing in his garden (in Fort St John!) so I'm hoping to acquire one or two for my own garden. But first, I need to learn a bit about care and needs etc and then find a source to get some.
 

SlipperFan

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Welcome Phal pal. I'm not sure where you can get native slippers in Canada, but if you subscribe to the Orchid Digest, there was a good article in the last issue about growing them.
 

gonewild

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I remember finding a native orchid specie at the Laird Hot Springs on my first trip up the highway. But that was many years ago, I wonder if they still exist there?
 
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Phal pal

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Native Species

I bought a cabin on Charlie Lake (just outside Fort St John) and discovered some native orchids growing wild among the aspens on the property. I protected them carefully for several years but we sold the cottage and the new owners razed the front yard so I have no idea if they survived. As near as I could determine, I think they were Corallorhiza maculata.
But I'm still searching for a source of Showy Lady Slipper.
 
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dustywoman

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Welcome from Maine!!!!

Spring is around the corner!!! :rollhappy:
 
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Gene

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Hi Phal Pal,
Have you looked at the Canadian Orchid Congress web site under Cdn Venders. Some there do cary native orchids, two come to mind in Quebec who carry what they refer to as "Hardy Orchids" and shold have what you want.
 

smartie2000

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I got mine on eBay...I've still gotta plant them. He still lists them occasionally. Cyp reginae and cyp parviflorum is what he carries.
 
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