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Old 04-30-2008, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to care for orchid in bottle?

Yesterday a friend of the family returned from a visit to the Philippines. She brought us an orchid sealed in a 3.5 cm x 8.5 cm (1.4 in x 3.3 in) bottle. The brief instructions that came with it translated to "do not open until ready to plant".

O.K., I grow orchids indoors and outdoors which have come from a nursery, but never in a bottle! For you successful orchid growers: how to raise and care for this specimen, and what species might it be?

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Old 04-30-2008, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

I don't pretend to be an expert but, over the years, I have had several thousand orchids. From the picture I cannot determine the species. (maybe someone else can)
Orchid seeds are sown on an agar type medium, similar to that used in TC. From what I can see, this could be either a seedling, or a tissue culture plant. You have to look at the roots and, when it looks like they are developed enough, you can transplant. I would use a mixture of peat moss, perlite, some coir chips (if available) and long fibred sphagnum. Of course, the acclimatization must be done gradually, because the humidity is much higher in the vial.
A couple of years ago, at a trade show in Florida, there was a grower from Hawaii and Taiwan, who had some plants, and a few flasks of seedlings, that he didn't want to have to carry back with him, after the show closing. When I spoke to him, he said that most of the plants were sold, but he wished that someone would buy the flasks. He said there were at least 50 plantlets in each of the 4 flasks. ( they were lalea-catleyas) I got them for $10.00 each and, when I transplanted, I got a total of 470 plants!
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Looks like it's long overdue for transplanting. Some of the canes have exhibited attempts to bloom and some leaves are dead. At least it's not in a flask. The plants will slide out without the roots binding along the neck of the jar.

What I've done is to just slide the plants gently out of the jar, and wash the plants off of the agar medium with distilled/r-o water. If there are several plants, separate them and dust them with a mild fungicide. Then place each of them in a sterile (or sterilized) 2-in pot, preferably clay with side vent holes, or basket, and in sterile medium, e.g., coco chunks, charcoal, fine fir bark, preferably with cambium layer separated, etc.

place the pots near a medium bright window, in a tray with cover to control the humidity, similar to your rooting chamber. 60% to 80%RH will be ideal. Do not let them run dry, but keep it moist, not wet.

From looking at the picture, my best guess is the plants are Dendrobium Anosmum (syn. Superbum). Which is a misnomer because this plant is the most fragrant orchid that I know. I had several clusters of these and when in bloom, you can smell the fragrance several blocks away.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Chong, thanks for the great advice. You are correct about the health of the plant(s). I now have 3 rooting chambers and can definately devote one to this plant. I'll pick up a humidity meter tomorrow. What temperature do you suppose I should keep these at, and what duration of light would be appropriate?
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

I think its a Vanda, beautiful orchids!
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Chong, thanks for the great advice. You are correct about the health of the plant(s). I now have 3 rooting chambers and can definately devote one to this plant. I'll pick up a humidity meter tomorrow. What temperature do you suppose I should keep these at, and what duration of light would be appropriate?
Nighttime: 12 hours gradually reducing to 11hrs, 68-72F, daytime: 12 hours gradually increasing to 13 hrs., 70-90F. Initially, I would keep nighttime temps on the high side of the scale(70-72F), daytime on the middle scale (78-85F), until they are somewhat established.

Last edited by chong : 05-01-2008 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Corrected the night vs. day hours
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Quote:
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I think its a Vanda, beautiful orchids!
In reviewing the photo, I can identify a well developed cane, where I presume the deceased leaves came from. This is what led me to believe that this is Dendrobium Superbum. In my experience, Vandas do not produce canes. However, if the globs of brown on the leafed stem are decayed flowers, they may well be Vanda. But then again, they may still be another Dendrobium variety of the D. Phalaenopsis family, because of the cane showing in the middle of the bottle. But I cannot, for the life of me, imagine someone coming home from the Philippines, bringing a hybrid plant like a D. Phalaenopsis, because those are very inexpensive here. The D. Superbum is more rare.

Richard, are those globs of brown, at the base of the leaves, decayed flowers? Or, growing medium?
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Quote:
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...
Richard, are those globs of brown, at the base of the leaves, decayed flowers? Or, growing medium?
It is medium, probably agar. I will move it out of the bottle in a day or two and we will know more.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Shown below are the two plantlets I found in the bottle, with a little agar on them prior to washing and dusting with fungicide. The second photo shows them in peat pots with small orchid bark and a teaspoon of sterile soil mix (Jiffy Mix) on top. I like the Jiffy pots because they provide a quick indication of overall moisture.

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Old 05-02-2008, 02:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Well, Daen might be right. What I perceived to be a cane in the bottle, appears to be a FAT root. The leaves fan out flat, so it is definitely in the vanda/ascocenda family. They have pretty flowers and some fragrance, also. Not quite the D. Superbum, though.

I saw some Vandas for sale at the Costco store in Lantana, FL for $13.00 each. They had several over 2 feet of bloom spikes, with colors from yellow, white, pink, blue, fuschia, to deep red. If I could have hand carried them on the plane to Seattle, I would have bought 10 of them. But they were huge!

Oo-oo--o-ouch! Richard,
I hope Jiffy Mix does not contain any soil. Your orchids will not last if it does. Sphagnum moss would be better for moisture retention, unless you definitely know that your Vanda species can tolerate soil. Just a reminder.
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Vandas cost here often more than 20 euros, often around 40 euros.
Richard, I think that is a Ascocentrum, thats family with the vanda (just like musa and ensete)
they love warmth (25-32 degrees) and moist, you don't need to give them fertilize i think.

Your soil is looking like it contains soil. Vandas can even grow without soil etc. *(little bit risky with your seedligns)
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Old 05-02-2008, 01:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Ascocendas are not popular in the Philippines. Vanda Sanderiana is. However, it is listed in CITES. So unless you can provide a clearance from the country of origin, certifying that it is nursery grown, the only way you can bring it into the country is if it were from in-vitro, as is the case with your orchid. Again, I cannot imagine that someone would go to the trouble of bringing back something that is not so rare, so I would guess that that is a V. Sanderiana.

Richard, ask your friend who gave you the plant if she might think that it could be called "Waling-waling".
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Quote:
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...
Oo-oo--o-ouch! Richard,
I hope Jiffy Mix does not contain any soil. Your orchids will not last if it does. Sphagnum moss would be better for moisture retention, unless you definitely know that your Vanda species can tolerate soil. Just a reminder.
Jiffy mix is half sphangum peat moss, half vermiculite, and a touch of lime to adjust the pH to 6.25. There is only a teaspoon of Jiffy Mix in the peat pots, the rest is small orchid bark.
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Last edited by Richard : 05-13-2008 at 05:33 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Here's the only clues I have so far to the nature of the orchid my colleague brought back from the Philippines in the bottle. I'll know more next week when they all return from a business trip in Poughkeepsie, NY.


(Writing on bottom of orchid bottle)
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

"V41" could imply Vanda.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Look like Vandas to me - and my neighbour grows them bare rooted on posts - of course high humidity is essential!!

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Old 05-18-2008, 11:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to care for orchid in bottle?

Here they are after two weeks in the herbarium, averaging 85 F and 80% humidity. I fed them 1/8 teaspoon of GroPower 3-3-3 and they have about doubled in size. In the background there are some rooting starts from a piece of Schlumbergera bridgesii, and on the left are leafs from some new Bulgarian Carrot chili pepper seedlings.

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