1. Semi-Hydro (SH) – Type A
The “A” personality likes to be in charge and be in control of their environment and their lives. They are normally not very detail oriented. They are usually very goal oriented and practical in their solutions. However, arriving at their solutions and goals will entail a no-nonsense, “bottom-line” approach. They may seem impatient at times especially if they believe someone is spending too much time going over details with them or impeding their successful completion of whatever goal or project they are focusing on at the moment. The “A” personality will do whatever is necessary to prevent themselves from falling into a pattern or routine and seek freedom and independence instead.
About the A-Type Orchid Grower: they prefer the semi hydro growing method because its perceived ease, cleanliness; and for the fact it allows them to collect more orchids because the effort of keeping individual plants is less of a time burden. More orchids in their collection appeals to their desire for avoiding routine and consistency (even if watering all those plants does not). Semi-hydro is their also their preferred method of growing because it provides that no-nonsense, “bottom-line” approach to orchid care. If a species or type of orchid doesn’t do well for the Type A grower, it’s tossed in the garbage and generally avoided in the future. Advanced growers of this personality type rarely even bother tracking their collections (because it’s a waste of time); they are more likely to have a “wish list” for all the orchids they want. Some of the more list-oriented types will keep a basic ledger of species in their collection…but it’s rare.
2. Water Culture (And Whatever is Popular) – Type B
The “B” personality are enthusiastic, outgoing, friendly, and they have an impressive ability to persuade even the most skeptical of people. They tend to be “dreamers” and can often turn those dreams into very practical ideas. “B” personalities are normally spontaneous and use their quick wit and humor to make people like them. Some natural weaknesses associated with the “B” personality include being impatient, having a relatively short attention span, and not being very detail oriented. “B” personalities tend to socialize and spend less time doing work because they seek social interaction over tactical achievements.
About the B-Type Orchid Grower: they may grow in Water Culture (FWC), but if they’re experienced growers, they likely don’t grow exclusively in FWC and will experiment with all the growing options. These orchid growers tend to care less about “the best way” to grow orchids, and are more interested in experimentation, community, and exploring the limits of orchid care. For this personality type, it’s about the journey, not the destination. They have a tendency to follow fads and enjoy “the collective orchid interest”—meaning they desire what others desire. In their orchid collection you will likely find trendy orchids like Phal Mini Mark, new Catisetinae hybrids, novelty phals, and other trendy orchids of the time. Advanced growers in this category will track their collection but not care about minor details like flower count or individual requirements.
3. Bark, Sphagnum, Perlite, Pumice, Peatmoss, and Charcoal – Type C
The “C” personality is a very detail oriented individual that likes to be involved in things that are controlled and stable. They are interested in accuracy, rationality and logic. They will also dislike being around people who are full of “hype”, since they desire facts, accuracy, and logic. “C” personalities tend to be quite controlling, both of themselves and others and you will often find them telling other growers they are wrong. They are very outcome driven and will be sticklers for following procedures and protocol. They are careful, resourceful, and above all, excellent thinkers who will look at all aspects of an issue before taking a stand. Once they take a stand on an issue, they will have the facts to back it up so anyone who challenges them better be prepared; because of their detail orientation, they are meticulously prepared with all the details so nothing is left for anyone to disagree with. In other words, you’ll never convince them that FWC is a viable option for growing orchids.
About the C-Type Orchid Grower: typically these people grow their orchids in a blended “custom” orchid media; their goal is to create the ideal conditions for each individual orchid. The “C” personality strives for originality, cleverness and uniqueness, and you’ll find that their orchid collection is often a reflection of this. They may collect odd-ball things, or pay an exorbitant amount of money for “must have” clones. Sometimes Type-C growers will get micro focus on a single species or genus and will collect variations of the same orchid. They often gravitate toward orchids that are difficult for others to grow, and have an abrupt opposition to “NOID” grocery-store phals (simply because they’re too common). They will experiment by making micro alterations to existing methods but unlike the Type-B, Type-C’s will reject/oppose orchid trends and fads unless they’re proven or have an angle of uniqueness. Advanced growers in this category will likely exhaustively track their collection down to the last detail including the orchid’s preferred temperature, altitude, light, pH; as well as the plant’s linage, origin, flower count, bloom time, and flower longevity. Also, do not get the orchid name wrong, Type-C growers will be sure to point it out…every. single. time.
4. Mounted or Bagged Bark – Type D
The “D” personality takes a slower, easy pace towards their orchids and life in general. They seek reliability and process and are very happy doing a repetitive task, day in and day out as the repetition allows them to become very skilled in what the do. They won’t like it, however, if the rules change a lot as that is contrary to their desire to minimize change and stick with what they know works. The “D” will resist change out of concern that even though the current way may be unpleasant, the unknown may be even more unpleasant. They often think the “A” personality type is crazy for taking so many risks and not showing much concern for their orchid’s care and longevity. “D” personalities are usually very organized and being around a messy environment or disorganization will bother them. They are patient, good listeners and will persevere when all others have given up.
About the D-Type Orchid Grower: they love watering. New D-Type growers are often guilty of over watering their orchids; but as they evolve to better-understand orchid care they graduate to either a coarse orchid bark medium (which allows them to water often), OR they go all the way to mounted orchids. Mounted orchids provided a natural look, but more importantly appeals to their desire for repetition and serenity within their collection. Vandas are also a favourite of this personality type because of their reliable blooms, and need for daily watering. The type D collection tends to evolve over time; starting as mostly NOIDs, but ending up as either exclusively species growers, or mostly single-genera growers. Advanced growers of this personality type will have impressive collections either in a greenhouse or in designated growing room.