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my first orchid

i bought it tonight from lowe's. 2 stalks, with lots of flowers forming as i write this. it's in 4" pot with what looks like bark as the medium.

my questions:
what kind of water? distilled, rain, ro? or is tap water ok? tray method? just mist it?

fertilizer? i bought the orchid fert. should i use it? what strength shoud i mix it?

should i use superthrive?

light? how much? direct or indirect?


i think that's it!

technoracer, now try to grow plants other than vft's...
Okay, some general rules:

Oncidiums, (most) Dendrobiums and Cattleyas need bright light but not direct sun - a protected southern or bright western windowsill is ideal. Be careful not to shock the plant by changing the light level too much at one time.

You didn't ask but they're fine with normal household temperatures - 70s and 80s. They also appreciate moving air. The warmer it gets, the more they need a breeze. If you're going to keep them in stagnant area, a small fan pointed near them is a good idea.

They must dry out between waterings - if in doubt, wait another day or two. They need 'good' water - anything that is good for a CP would be fine (there's lots of RO ads in the orchid magazines). If your local tap water is soft, it's probably okay, too.

Fertilization should be done very sparingly. Use ½ the recommended dose every 3 or 4 waterings - less if the plant isn't in active growth. A plant in bark should be given a high nitrogen fertilizer (like 20-10-10). A plant in any other medium should get balanced fertilizer (like 20-20-20).

There's been a lot of conversation about using Superthrive. I use it, but some folks don't see the need. I put 2 drops per gallon in the water about once a month.

Humidity should be in the 50-70% range, although they can probably survive (if not flourish) down to 30% and up to 90%.

Have fun with it!
cool! thanks a lot!

orchid magzines? any specific one i should get? how about a book? something like an orchid version of "savage garden"?

thanks again!

Congrats on your orchid, Technoracer.
I'm glad you rescued it from Lowes. So many of the orchids there are terribly neglected and many die...so you probably saved it from impending death.

Dens are pretty easy to grow. I grow mine in an east window and they do well. I have my very first orchid, a dendrobium, that now has 25 flower spikes in various stages of bloom. Its something to see! I have tried to photograph it but the pics don't do it justice.

You can buy orchid bark, orchid fertilizer and different kinds of orchid pots at any garden or hardware shop.

Hopefully yours will put up some spikes this fall.