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  #1  
Old 04-24-2019, 03:55 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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Cold climate help?
Question Cold climate help?

Hi there!

I live in a sort of colder climate, namely Belgium. I saw how sphagnum moss is not recommended here but i kind of want to give it a try since it seems to be not as much of a mess to report with (bark chips leave so much dirt!). But as it's not rerally recommended, i have no idea how to do this. if i place my orchids on a windowsill, and just mist the top layer of moss, would the orchid be fine? i could do some light misting, or some heavier misting? i odnt know what's more suited, so if anyone has aney experience with this, that'd be great! our living room is usually set to 18 degrees during the day (but is actuallty feels like 20 apparently)


I'm asking this because i had to trim some dead roots on an orchid i have, and now it only has a few short roots that keep it alive. It's a phal so i kind of place it on top of the soil, and now the roots get dy quickly, misting them doesn't make them plump and green. They turn g reen, but not plump, and over the course of a few hours, they're dry again. I don't know how to mist them properly, bc it's alreayd in a very small pot, and yet it's too big after the trim, and misting it mists media (bark chips) that dontt have any roots to suck at their moisture.

This is why i thought a) putting it in a shallow tray with some bark and watering that, or moisting it, with an occasional soak if they stay a bit dry. or b) using a bit of spaghnum moss. Its because i want to encourage new root growth. This is good to know because if you have to cut a long stem or a dried out tem that only has aerial roots, i have no clue on how to get them hydrated well as they dry out so quickly and never seem to get nice and plump.

I'm sorry of my question is a bit dumb, i'm very new to this, don't know what to do and it's strssing me out a bit, since orchids are kind of becoming my passion.

Thank you in advance!

edit: i also saw a method where you place an orchid in a class and have the leaves hanging over the glass. you then fill the glass till just below the stem. they say it'll promote new root growth
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2019, 05:22 PM
plantzzzzz plantzzzzz is offline
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Depends on the plant? I grow phals with sphagnum in clay pots, here in central Canada. I water like normal, albeit much less often. I wouldn't try it with cattleyas, though.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:25 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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what are your temperatures? and i'm afraid that if i watre like normal, it'll be too wet. do you know any setup to help the roots?

ps: 1 of the leaves is turning slightly yellow and drooping....i watered it well, but not too much i think and gave just the right amount of light i think. i did repot it a few times bc i made wrong setups, but it looks happy, i think...so idk what's up. i feel like i dont know what i'm doing, despite doing as much research as i can....

Last edited by OrchidNut555; 04-24-2019 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:07 PM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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NZ sphagnum moss is a great medium if it is of good quality (long-fiber AAA or AAAA grade) and if the pot allows for fresh air to get to the roots (basket-type pot, shallow pot, or a clay pot that just fits the roots). With the moss, water, let dry completely, water again. You can usually tell when the moss has completely dried by the weight of the pot. When the moss has begun to decompose and becomes compacted, it is time to replace with new moss.

I currently grow Phals, a few Bulbophyllum, and a Pleuro in moss and they are all quite happy.

My favorite medium is red lava rock. I absolutely do not like bark because 1) splinters 2) it is a pain to remove from the roots of orchids 3) it is expensive when you need to pot up a bunch of orchids. 4) It seems rather wasteful to throw out all of that bark every year. I like the rock because, once I pot up the orchid in that an a basket pot, I do not need to ever replace the medium.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:21 PM
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Whatever the medium, when you water, water well - so that it runs out of the pot. That pulls air into the root zone and flushes out salts and other junk. If using moss, best not to let it get crunchy-dry, since it is really hard to re-wet. Ideal is barely damp before the next watering. The big consideration is air in the root zone - those epiphytic roots really want "damp air" rather than "wet" for most of the time, and that is what one gets with any medium that is permitted go through a wet-dry cycle.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:56 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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so even though my living room is 18-20 degrees c, NZ sphagnum moss would work?


i also diy'd a super small pot with hole puncher ventilation holes since the roots are so small and i'd prefer to grow it in medium. it may not be professional, but at least it's in a pot that's closer to the size it needs now!

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Old 04-24-2019, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrchidNut555 View Post
so even though my living room is 18-20 degrees c, NZ sphagnum moss would work?


i also diy'd a super small pot with hole puncher ventilation holes since the roots are so small and i'd prefer to grow it in medium. it may not be professional, but at least it's in a pot that's closer to the size it needs now!

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If your Phals grow at that temperature (it's a little cool for them but they can adapt) NZ sphagnum is no different than any other medium. It just has somewhat different characteristics for watering than other media. The goal, for any medium, is to achieve that wet-dry cycle that permits the roots to get air. Phals might benefit from a seedling heat mat to provide a bit of extra warmth in the root zone. If you use one of those, of course pots will dry out faster - but if you compensate with higher watering frequency, that is a good thing.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:15 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
If your Phals grow at that temperature (it's a little cool for them but they can adapt) NZ sphagnum is no different than any other medium. It just has somewhat different characteristics for watering than other media. The goal, for any medium, is to achieve that wet-dry cycle that permits the roots to get air. Phals might benefit from a seedling heat mat to provide a bit of extra warmth in the root zone. If you use one of those, of course pots will dry out faster - but if you compensate with higher watering frequency, that is a good thing.
ok; nice! i was thinking of just misting the top part of the moss? since from the tap may be a bit much since the amount is harder to control?
and i didn't know it was cool for phals, those temps, our max temp is like 20 degrees, which i thought was the usual for alot of ppl. i hope the mini setup helps the teeny tiny roots as well
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:21 PM
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Misting is not as useful as flushing the medium. The amount is not important - water should flow through the pot freely. Lots of water. Let it drain well Then don't water again until nearly dry. You can't water an orchid too MUCH... you CAN water it too OFTEN...
As the pot dries out, guess what replaces the water... AIR! Which is what you want. You don't get that aeration if you just moisten the top of the medium.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:23 PM
OrchidNut555 OrchidNut555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Misting is not as useful as flushing the medium. The amount is not important - water should flow through the pot freely. Lots of water. Let it drain well Then don't water again until nearly dry. You can't water an orchid too MUCH... you CAN water it too OFTEN...
As the pot dries out, guess what replaces the water... AIR! Which is what you want. You don't get that aeration if you just moisten the top of the medium.
i often hear that in the temperatures i have, that much water given to the roots while using moss may be a bit too much? i heard it from missorchidgirl on youtube. i'm not saying i don't believe you! that isn't the case, it's just she's also rly experienced and tends to say that? and if only the top portion is wet, wouldn't tha tmean the rst is dry and so having more air pockets? that' sjust my reaosning, i hope i don't come off rude
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