Why do you grow what you grow?

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For me, there are specific reasons why I grow what I grow.

With Japanese orchids, I am fascinated by the history and compact growing habits of the plants that I have. There is enough diversity in the species that I wouldn't have to buy hybrids to keep me interested. I have a few hybrids made with Neofinetia, but if they die I am not going to replace them. Added to that is the great scent of the Neofinetia, which is the best orchid scent on the planet (ok, so I can't really know that, because I haven't smelled every orchid scent on the planet).

I branched out to Phrags in January of this year. I knew instantly that besseae was my favorite species Phrag. I bought quite a few besseae plants, and many besseae influenced hybrids as well. Now, I realize that some of the hybrids are fantastic, but most of them are not going to interest me after they bloom. In the future, I will stick to just besseae species plants, focusing on growing the natural style, flavum and a few of the current breeding stock. I just don't find the long petaled Phrags appealing, which may be related to my growing area and how small it is.

Which begs the question, why did I get into Oncidium intergenerics and Paphs, which both seem to be large growers?

I think the reason I like the Oncidium intergenerics is because they are hardy, and constantly in bloom. I like having something that I can be successful at growing without really trying.

With paphs, I took the suggestion of many forum members and bought what I thought I might like. I know for sure that philippinense is a favorite. And I am sure rothschilianum is going to blow me away. I have avoided most of the other species since they are either too expensive (sanderianum) or too big (kolopangii) or both. I would like to try growing a wilhelminiae but I can't find any for sale. I also think the complete opposite about Parvisepalum paphs than I do about Phrags. The species Parvisepalums don't interest me because of their rumored difficulty to bloom. I have many of the hybrid Parvis including many primary hybrids, and these are just fine for me.

With phalaenopsis, I have about half species and half hybrids. I only purchase what I like in Phals. If the color doesn't interest me, I don't buy it. If any of these die, I won't replace them either. They are just for fun.

So, I am definately not a species snob, and I am not a completist. I think I can honestly say I grow what I like (or think I might like based on photographs). Over the next year, I am not going to buy any more orchids. I am going to focus on growing what I have and making sure that I know what I am doing. After a year, I expect to have more space as some plants die. Then I hope to be able to buy only plants that I have seen bloom and know for sure that I can grow.
couscous74 said:
Fox Valley has some for sale last time I checked.

That wasn't the question Marcus...:poke:

I'm thinking about my answer...I think I need a better one than "so pretty, I like".

(tho, that's pretty much the gist of it...)
This is a long response so I'll understand people won't want to read it. So for the abridged in a nutshell version I'm going to have to echo Heather's response of
Heather said:
"so pretty, I like".
for the sanderianum.

Now for you crazies who want to read the long response, here it is. Read at you're own risk and don't tell me I didn't warn you :poke:

When I first started off in march I had a few of everything but mainly phal hybrids (my mom gave me one phal hybrid and thats where it all started) because I was told they were easy to grow indoors.

I read that the molted leaf phaps also do well with phals so I ended up getting some maude type paphs shortly there after. Then afterwards I started looking at strap leaf paph pictures online and fell in love with the sanderianum.

All of my phals are in s/h, both hybrid and species. I also have some oddball orchids that are also in s/h, 2 catt hybrids, a den. spectabile, a bllra tahoma glacier (on recovery from loosing all of its roots from my over watering)

I love the long petals of the sanderianum. Since the sanderianum is difficult to grow I resorted to sanderianum primaries. My polyantha hybrids, mainly are sanderianum primaries, are mostly seedlings and some multi-growth bs.

All of my paphs are in s/h except for 2 phil. alba. One, a multi growth from Heather, which came in s/h and ended up loosing roots to rot, i'm guessing from stress of shipment. (Weird cause all my other paphs are doing well in s/h). The other a seedling from Matt which I didn't put into s/h because it had no new roots growth. (btw I'm typing this and the fireworks started going off in my neigborhood so much for fireworks being illegal in NY..I'm going to look for some for next year) All the other paphs I have in s/h are doing well. I checked up on the seedling and some bs one 2 weeks ago and almost all of them have new root growth. (I told you it was a long response wasn't it)

I had all of my orchids in a bark mix initially but switched over to s/h mainly for the ease of water. My bllra tahoma glacier signaled me to the fact of root rot when leaves started to turn yellow and drop. No guessing and estimating on how moist the medium is and when the next time I need to water would be.

As for any new acquisitions, my final plant coming in is a sanderianum seedling (I can't afford one that's any bigger). After 3 months of seeing my paph hybrids grow I've decided to brave a seedling of this trophy

I'm hoping they will all survive. I'm taking John's stance of no new plants for a while until getting a handle on the culture. I don't mind lossing the dend or the catts. I'll definately be upset if I loose paphs (except for my maudes)although I am anticipaing a few to bite the dust after weathering my first summer and winter. By then hopefully I'll get the hang of the culture for polyanthas, specifically sanderianum and sanderianum primaries, plants I have and figure out what I can grow. If too many of my polyantha's die hopefully within a year i'll be able to find out what I need to adjust so I can grow them and keep them happy.
Why do you grow what you grow?

Because they reach out, grab me and command that I take them home and care for them. So of course, I do.
L I Jane said:
It's an orchid so I can't say NO!!!:rollhappy:

Yeah, that's about it. But I seem to have my fill of Oncids because I keep finding deals on them, Phals because I keep getting water in the leaves and they rot inside the stem, Paphs because I have found a few deals and run across a few in travels and.... , and Dends because they are the only other orchid I can find locally sometimes.... I still always want more and will never say no, but now I really want DIFFERENT and I have noticed in my internet browsing how many different orchids there are. So I want all of those!!!!
And I want really huge specimens and really itty bitty specimens....
Those are the reasons I grow I think. Along with LI Jane's reasons!
besides the one slipper i can rightfully call mine i have others that are mounted on bark with sphagnum, oncs, den, bulbo, milt. maybe some others. i love the way they look (even when not in bloom, which seems to be always due to lack of proper light in my dinning room)

i think part of the allure for me is the challenge. i tend to choose plants that are labeled "difficult" for some reason or another. i also like the uniqueness of orchids. i think this is why i generally prefer species, though i dont seek out the species.

i grow what appeals to me regardless of awards or popularity. but sometimes price influences my decisions (i am a professional student afterall :) )
rad said:
i tend to choose plants that are labeled "difficult" for some reason or another. i also like the uniqueness of orchids. i think this is why i generally prefer species

You should go get a paph. rothschildianum or stonei from Matt and seek out a "cheap" ;) paph. sanderianum :poke:
Okay, here is my serious answer.

I find many types of orchids fascinating, mostly because of their evolutionary tendencies. I prefer the slippers because of their overall shape, and their variety among species and hybrids. I find their pollination methods, like many orchids, amazing.

When I began growing, I had a smattering of other genera. Mostly because people gave them to me, not necessarily because I liked the individual plants. Probably the exception to those was a few species Phals, which I developed an interest for, and the small Japanese orchids. I enjoyed the Phal species for their scent and their unusual shapes (i.e. not a big white flat, round HD Phal., but a small, fragrant, star-shaped Phal.) The historical nature of the Japanese orchids grabs at my anthropological side. I would grow a Stanhopea if I had the room, because I find them fascinating, but their frequency of blooming (and short duration) would make me crazy.

I began with the slipper orchids collecting what I liked, and what I liked tended towards everything. I got the notion I should have every slipper species I liked. Then I disliked very much that the leaves were not like my larger strap leaved plants. I quickly realized I really adored LARGE growing plants. I also learned that I prefer the elegance of the outstretched petal to the fat bowl shaped pouch. Though I am intrigued by the brachys (for their spots primarily) and the parvis (for their pouches) I do not prefer their culture. I find it just different enough to throw me for a loop. I also do not like mottled leaved Paphs. I cannot really explain it, but it is similar to why I have to have all of my pots the same or go crazy. I don’t like the “difference” - how awful that sounds!

So, I collected just about every multifloral Paph species, a smattering of uniflorals, and as many Phrag species as I could get my hands on. And then they grew! I began to resent the largest ones whose blooms I did not adore, or the ones that hadn’t bloomed, and the ones that had mottled leaves. I began to fine-tune my tastes.
Then I had to move.

Out went the Phrags that were hybrids or had short petals. Out went all the uniflorals except for my beloved tigirnum (the beast she is!) Out! Out! Out! The multiple PEOYS and roths (w/in reason of course…who gets rid of roths??)

I am now left with those I truly cherish. The multi species and a few choice hybrids. The besseaes and their hybrids (I LOVE their breeding: big, fat, red, or fragrant). The long petaled Phrag. specie. For now, that’s it for me. I still have a few too may P. phillipinense related plants …pm me and make a case for your ownership. ;)

Because I have limited space, I have become very picky. I will trade away a fine, bloomed, and large St. Swithin for a small excellent cross of one in a short heartbeat. It isn’t pretty but one must choose what one wishes to grow most when space and good conditions are in short supply...

...and it totally sucks.
Heather said:
Two day's I've been trying to write that message ....and I could have just gotten away with that? :rollhappy:

For two days now I've been trying to read it all :poke:
So then, what are the voices saying?

For me, lately it has been primary hybrids in polyantha section. There is such an amazing range of flower shapes and colors. Consider, for example Armeniacum, Woluwense, Iantha Stage and PEOY. (Or Michael Tibbs, Vipanii, Recovery and Michael Koopowitz for that mattter.)
WOW:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


BTW, my voices say, "sure, no problem, you still have lots of space!