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  #11  
Old 11-03-2020, 08:19 PM
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I water it about once a week so it should be drying out between waterings.
mam ------ you mention once a week.

A video that shows exactly how you water (and how much water is applied, and for how long etc) the orchid can provide clues about what the issue is most likely due to.

Videos and pics can be worth lots and lots of words, and makes things really clear.

In a particular environment, such as my tropical environment, where the humidity can support an orchid most of the time, and if I use very airy growing media and have good gentle air-movement ------------ then all I have to do is just water every couple of days if I like, or even water every single day if I like.

As long a grower has an understanding (from reading and learning and experience etc) of how to come up with a good strategy or plan for watering that takes into account their environment, pot type and potting media type ........ then everything will be ok.

So if you water once a week, then it will help a lot to understand how soggy the media and the roots becomes (how wet) not just immediately after watering ...... but also for the whole amount of time there-after ..... such as 1 day later, 2 days later, a few days later etc.

And not just for 1 region of the media in the pot ...... but pretty much different (various) regions of the media and roots within the pot ..... within the depths of the pot.

If the media and roots stay too soggy and wet and sludgy for too long (particularly when there's not much water movement within the pot), then that can be a problem. Also, if portions of the media dry up (and the roots in that portion dry up too) for long periods of time ----- when you're not expecting it to be super dry .... then that's also a problem.

So one way I deal with that sort of thing is to dump water into the media mainly toward the edges of big enough pots. And then put much less water toward the central regions (and even sometimes occasionally no water toward the central regions ---- but I can still spray a little bit of water toward the central parts --- which is ok).

In that way mentioned above ------ I can actually water every day if I want to. And I do actually water my orchid every morning ----- because I want to, and also allows me to get a good look at each one. I watch them all like a hawk hehehe. Big and small ----- I watch them all.

Everybody has their treasured orchids that they want to keep and stay healthy for very long times - the aim is indefinitely long time. So there's no way that I will do anything to harm my orchids. So we have to come up with good plans and strategy.

Each grower has their own method and an important checklist - to ensure that they cover pretty much all known bases ---- in terms of humidity, temperature considerations, watering considerations, pot type, media type, fertilising, mag-cal ------ everything. I mentioned in some thread before that ----- if a grower seems to have overlooked something simple, such as root temperature, and state of media and roots (how wet and/or how dry they get at various regions within the pot), drainage, or airing/air-movement within the pot and around the leave and stem etc. ------ then they really need to go to the checklist to make sure that they don't overlook certain known important aspects.

If say a regular tropical orchid is just provided with pretty basic and satisfactory conditions, then they'll do just fine.

This also means that - if we do choose to water just once a week ------ then we need to really consider what is actually happening within the depths of the pot, and also in and around the roots. That is, what is the water doing? Does the media stay super wet for say half a day or 1 day? And does the media dry out and drain out real quick, so that the roots in the top layer become dehydrated for 5 days until the next watering. And also think about how wet the media is toward the top of the pot and the middle of the pot and the bottom of the pot for the whole of the week ----- or each day (at every moment).

I've included some pics that show various catts and other orchids ----- including a ground/terrestrial orchid (Spathoglottis plicata) ----- all growing nicely in scoria. This doesn't mean that everybody should use scoria. It works well for me in the tropics here. Really well.

Even if I were going to grow my orchid indoors, I really would want a way to water my orchids without moving my pots, and without moving the plants ----- without needing to touch the plants or pots. And I think a watering wand, with drainage grates, and pot dish will work nicely indoors too. Just need to have a nozzle setting that doesn't spray too wide hehehe. Don't want to get water on tables or floor while indoors hehe.

Google drive links (higher res pics), as the attachments have max size of 1024 x 768 pixels:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5
Link 6
Link 7

Attached Thumbnails
Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-1_rlc-memoria-helen-brown-sweet-afton_big-410mm-pot-jpg   Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-2_rlc-memoria-crispin-rosales-2_middle-300mm-pot-jpg   Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-3_rlc-memoria-helen-brown-sweet-afton-splash_middle-300-mm-pot-jpg   Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-4_paph-saint-swithin-jill_middle-300-mm-pot-jpg   Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-5_laelia-anceps-var-chamberlainiana_250-mm-pot-jpg  

Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-6_c-maxima_410-mm-pot-jpg   Cattleya roots dying suddenly-scoria-7_c-maxima_roots-jpg  

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-03-2020 at 08:43 PM..
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2020, 05:38 PM
nuriko1set nuriko1set is offline
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Cattleya roots dying suddenly
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So if you water once a week, then it will help a lot to understand how soggy the media and the roots becomes (how wet) not just immediately after watering ...... but also for the whole amount of time there-after ..... such as 1 day later, 2 days later, a few days later etc.

And not just for 1 region of the media in the pot ...... but pretty much different (various) regions of the media and roots within the pot ..... within the depths of the pot.

If the media and roots stay too soggy and wet and sludgy for too long (particularly when there's not much water movement within the pot), then that can be a problem. Also, if portions of the media dry up (and the roots in that portion dry up too) for long periods of time ----- when you're not expecting it to be super dry .... then that's also a problem.

So one way I deal with that sort of thing is to dump water into the media mainly toward the edges of big enough pots. And then put much less water toward the central regions (and even sometimes occasionally no water toward the central regions ---- but I can still spray a little bit of water toward the central parts --- which is ok).


This also means that - if we do choose to water just once a week ------ then we need to really consider what is actually happening within the depths of the pot, and also in and around the roots. That is, what is the water doing? Does the media stay super wet for say half a day or 1 day? And does the media dry out and drain out real quick, so that the roots in the top layer become dehydrated for 5 days until the next watering. And also think about how wet the media is toward the top of the pot and the middle of the pot and the bottom of the pot for the whole of the week ----- or each day (at every moment).
Thank you SouthPark for giving me the link to this post! I understand it is VERY important to know how much water evaporates and how fast. I like your tip about watering along the edges of the pot, I will try that next time. Although my pots are all very small, smaller than 4", I'm not sure if there's a point still to using that method?

I'm wondering how can I measure how wet the medium is and how fast water is evaporating? I honestly can't tell with the weight of the pot. It seems that they get heavier right after the watering, then literally a day later they get much lighter. I've put a stick into my cattleya pot. The stick now stays in the pot and I take it out periodically to check how moist it is. Honestly I have not seen a difference between two days ago and today, if anything the stick seems more moist than 2 days ago. Maybe because it's been in there longer? I've attached a photo of the stick. What's your method for finding out what's happening in the pot? How can you tell the difference between 1 day vs. 3 days?

I understand we want to keep it moist, but not wet, it's this delicate balance that I have a difficult time achieving.

thank you!
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2020, 07:19 PM
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People focus on wet/dry, but what epiphyte roots really need is air. If there is plenty of air at the roots the roots can stay moist during appropriate temperatures. They are normally moist but exposed to air during their rainy season in habitat.

The bark mix you are using looks large. The pot has plenty of holes to conduct air, and there are air spaces for the roots. With a mix like this you could water every day during appropriate temperatures and the plant would be fine.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2020, 11:40 PM
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Thank you SouthPark for giving me the link to this post! I understand it is VERY important to know how much water evaporates and how fast. I like your tip about watering along the edges of the pot, I will try that next time. Although my pots are all very small, smaller than 4", I'm not sure if there's a point still to using that method?

I'm wondering how can I measure how wet the medium is and how fast water is evaporating? I honestly can't tell with the weight of the pot. It seems that they get heavier right after the watering, then literally a day later they get much lighter. I've put a stick into my cattleya pot. The stick now stays in the pot and I take it out periodically to check how moist it is. Honestly I have not seen a difference between two days ago and today, if anything the stick seems more moist than 2 days ago. Maybe because it's been in there longer? I've attached a photo of the stick. What's your method for finding out what's happening in the pot? How can you tell the difference between 1 day vs. 3 days?

I understand we want to keep it moist, but not wet, it's this delicate balance that I have a difficult time achieving.

thank you!
You are most welcome. Experience and pre-testing allows us to get a good idea of what is happening within the pot. One method of testing is to use a pot of similar size and similar media. Or start with various pots of the same size and similar media. These will have no orchids growing in them. For testing only.

Then water in the way that you plan to do - each pot. Then, after a day or two ----- slowly and carefully dig or scoop out the media ..... bit by bit, and examine how dry or wet the media is at different depths, and different regions of the pot.

You don't necessarily need to use those pots as permanent 'controls'. They can just be useful for getting to understand what the water and media is doing through the week, and throughout the month and through-out the year. Some parts of the year may be cold. Some other times might be hot, and dry etc. But at least we know roughly how the media and water (amount) will work for particular potting conditions.

Also ---- if you get a big pot, and fill it up with bark....and them dump water into there. Really soak the bark. What you may find is ...... if the bark in the deep depths is saturated with water, then the water can just hang in there for days ...... soppy/wet conditions. Those can potentially be root drowning conditions ----- for any regular roots that haven't adapted to water condition or lower oxygen or slow-moving water conditions.

If you use relatively small pots ..... then that is ok too. This is where the method of finding the right watering strategy (how much water to apply, and when to apply) comes in. One way is 'trial and error' ..... which is not necessarily great, but will eventually work ----- as you will eventually come up with a watering plan that allows the orchid to grow nicely.

The other way is to use methods like shallow pot, and good drainage pot, and airy medium, which may mean watering more (such as every day) is needed. Various was of obtaining desirable results.

Also ----- digging into the media of 'control' pots during 'trial periods' (with no orchids growing in those pots) ----- can allow you to see if the media dries out too quickly or not. Drying out for long times can be no good too ..... since orchids need enough water to function properly.

Once again - there are always exceptions. There can indeed be special cases ---- such as a juvenile baby seedling with small little roots. And if a bark or rock medium is watered heavily every day ...... then it is possible that the new roots of the baby seedling (or even big plant) can adapt to the very watery conditions ........ and eventually a grower can find a mass of roots inside the pot ------ super healthy, and yet super wet. Those kinds of roots will have 'adapted' to the watery conditions. But also - as mentioned ...... even adapted roots have their limitations. So growers must still 'watch out' ----- since good conditions can turn 'bad' if we're not 'on the ball'.


Last edited by SouthPark; 11-05-2020 at 07:42 PM..
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2020, 11:55 PM
nuriko1set nuriko1set is offline
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Once again - there are always exceptions. There can indeed be special cases ---- such as a juvenile baby seedling with small little roots. And if a bark or rock medium is watered heavily every day ...... then it is possible that the new roots of the baby seedling (or even big plant) can adapt to the very watery conditions ........ and eventually a grower can find a mass of roots inside the pot ------ super healthy, and yet super wet.

Wow, that is genius. Haha so simple, but not something I would've thought of by myself! I will start my own control group of pots.

From what I understand, the more healthy roots you have, the faster the water get absorbed is that right? So if you have healthy roots, that means your plant pots should dry slightly faster than your control group pots right, well depends on how extensive the roots system is. What did you mean by "grower can find a mass of roots inside the pot - super healthy and yet super wet."?

Thank you for the great method!
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Old 11-06-2020, 12:15 AM
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nuriko ---- if there are more working (functional) roots in the pot, then under normal conditions --- the plant is able to get water into it more, and the water also can come out via the leaves. It is like a pumping system ..... except not at the same rate as like a motor pumping system.

The water can be removed from the media via the roots, and also via regular evaporation.

Regarding the "grower can find a mass of roots inside the pot - super healthy and yet super wet." ----- what I mean there is ...... in general, regular roots of orchids don't handle very wet conditions well ----- or can't handle it at all ----- they drown, due to not enough oxygen.

But it is known that orchid roots can adapt to very wet and lower oxygen conditions ---- probably when those roots are brand new ones. Maybe new extensions of 'old' roots can do it too ------ but not sure. But ----- 'adapted' roots can/may handle very wet lower oxygen conditions.

So some growers may become 'surprised' ----- thinking that they may have drowned their orchid due to applying lots of water to their media every day. But instead of finding a pile of rotted roots ---- they can sometimes maybe find a pile of very nice roots instead. Wet and yet healthy.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:26 PM
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Thanks for the advice all!!

It definitely sounds like a watering issue. Either over or under watering. When I water the top layer of bark generally looks pretty dry so I was thinking the plant had dried out enough to water again. Does anyone have any tips on how to make sure it's dry in the middle of the pot? Do I have to just stick my finger deep in the pot to check for moisture? It sounds like I also need to make sure they aren't drying out too much. Maybe I'll try to check mid-week to see if any plants have dried out and need some extra water.

it sounds like people have had luck with lava rock, so I've got some on the way and am going to see how it works for me. I'm excited to try it!
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:48 PM
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MAM ------ one thing that I do, which can be seen in this video



---- and can turn on the captions CC text in that video ..... it can be seen that, with a wide enough pot, adding the bulk of the water toward the outsides of the pot can sustain an orchid really well. Basically - more water outside regions, and less water inner regions. And if you want ----- occasionally no water in the inner region is quite ok too.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:48 PM
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Skewers to check moistness don't work as well in large chunky medium with big air spaces. However, with such media, you can water every day when temperatures are good for the plants. During cool spells it is better to let most Cattleyas be quite dry between waterings.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
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mam ------ you mention once a week.

A video that shows exactly how you water (and how much water is applied, and for how long etc) the orchid can provide clues about what the issue is most likely due to.

Videos and pics can be worth lots and lots of words, and makes things really clear.

Even if I were going to grow my orchid indoors, I really would want a way to water my orchids without moving my pots, and without moving the plants ----- without needing to touch the plants or pots. And I think a watering wand, with drainage grates, and pot dish will work nicely indoors too. Just need to have a nozzle setting that doesn't spray too wide hehehe. Don't want to get water on tables or floor while indoors hehe.

Google drive links (higher res pics), as the attachments have max size of 1024 x 768 pixels:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5
Link 6
Link 7

SouthPark - Thanks for the thorough response and advice! I am definitely going to be keeping a closer eye on how long my plants are staying moist after I water them. I actually do water most of my plants without moving them. I have them on a shelf with humidity trays and water them using a turkey baster. I have the humidity trays connected to tubing so they drain into a plastic container. I used to keep water in the humidity trays to increase the humidity around the plants but they would get pretty gross so I made a system to drain them each time I water. I don't think they do much in terms of humidity this way, I just use them to catch the water.
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