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  #21  
Old 01-11-2021, 12:59 AM
PhoenixIndo PhoenixIndo is offline
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Roots and calcium
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Grey skinny roots can branch out too.
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Roots and calcium-20210111_081316_2-jpg   Roots and calcium-20210111_083129-3-jpg  

Last edited by PhoenixIndo; 01-11-2021 at 01:05 AM..
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2021, 01:34 AM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kollba View Post
The roots on my mounted orchids are not dead - they just get more and more grey.

But I water the mounted ones 2-3 times a day and the orchids in baskets just 1 time (some days not at all, depending on the weather) so I think that is the reason why the roots on the mounted orchids get grey - just like the leaves on the pics.

And I believe the media (coconut husk and sphagnum moss) will suck up much of the calcium so the roots will not get very much compared to the mounted orchids.
I see! So it seems that the health of the roots and plant might not be impacted negatively - despite the colour change, right? In that case - maybe ok to keep watering with the same water. They can always 'hang on' - at least until the next rainy season. This is providing that the orchids are all handling the water that you've been using.
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2021, 01:58 AM
Kollba Kollba is offline
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Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
I see! So it seems that the health of the roots and plant might not be impacted negatively - despite the colour change, right? In that case - maybe ok to keep watering with the same water. They can always 'hang on' - at least until the next rainy season. This is providing that the orchids are all handling the water that you've been using.
That is one of the thoughts I had - hanging on...
But... There will not be any significant rain before the thunder season (my name for it) that normally start in the end of March. Then there will be some thunder every now and then until the real rainy season start in mid May.
That means 3-4 more months with the water hose (and that water).
So... That is the reason why I was asking for some simple solution to stop calcium from building up on the roots and now I know that I can try to measure and change the PH. Next winter I will hopefully be able to buy a reverse osmosis "thing".
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  #24  
Old 01-11-2021, 03:42 AM
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Kollba .... thanks for your message and comments. I'll pay attention to this thread. I reckon that if using vinegar or some weak acid is a simple effective approach toward addressing this particular situation .... then it would already be well known.

Maybe it might not be so straight forward ... as in seemingly little or no discussion about this sort of thing online .... for orchid growing that is.


Last edited by SouthPark; 01-11-2021 at 03:45 AM..
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  #25  
Old 01-11-2021, 04:18 AM
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Is it not an option to collect rainwater during the rainy months which you can use in the dry season? I realize that you have a rather large collection, but you could then use it only to water your mounted orchids, and could mix it 50/50 with tap water to make it last.

I'm not sure that changing the pH will solve the problem. The calcium will still be present in the same quantity in the water, and will still form deposits once the roots dry out.
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  #26  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
Is it not an option to collect rainwater during the rainy months which you can use in the dry season? I realize that you have a rather large collection, but you could then use it only to water your mounted orchids, and could mix it 50/50 with tap water to make it last.

I'm not sure that changing the pH will solve the problem. The calcium will still be present in the same quantity in the water, and will still form deposits once the roots dry out.
I will need a very big storage tank for 300+ orchids X 4-5 months X water 1-2-3 times every day so I think it would be cheaper with reverse osmosis

I don't know if a lower PH will solve the problem, but I am new to this so I am testing and asking more experienced people for advice and then it is trial and error...
For the moment it is about keeping my mounted orchids alive and healthy until the rainy season start. And then it will be about keeping the orchids in wooden baskets from getting root rot
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  #27  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kollba View Post
I will need a very big storage tank for 300+ orchids X 4-5 months X water 1-2-3 times every day so I think it would be cheaper with reverse osmosis

I don't know if a lower PH will solve the problem, but I am new to this so I am testing and asking more experienced people for advice and then it is trial and error...
For the moment it is about keeping my mounted orchids alive and healthy until the rainy season start. And then it will be about keeping the orchids in wooden baskets from getting root rot
That sounds like rather challenging conditions! With that many orchids and watering frequency, you may need a rather large RO system to be able to produce the volume you need.

What I meant with the rain barrel suggestion is that you only water the mounts with it and dilute with tap water, unless all 300+ are mounted??
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Last edited by camille1585; 01-11-2021 at 06:50 AM..
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  #28  
Old 01-11-2021, 09:46 AM
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1) The business about nutrients being best absorbed between a pH of 5.5-6.5 is untrue. Basically, if it is in solution, it is available for uptake and can be. Read this.

2) There is nothing wrong or transient with vinegar as an acidifier. They’re more difficult to find, but I’d use citric or malic acid before an inorganic acid like phosphoric or nitric.

3) Acidifying may change the pH, but it will have no impact on the dissolved minerals in your water. They’re still present and will continue to have the same effect on your plants.
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Last edited by Ray; 01-11-2021 at 09:50 AM..
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  #29  
Old 01-11-2021, 11:01 AM
Kollba Kollba is offline
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Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
That sounds like rather challenging conditions! With that many orchids and watering frequency, you may need a rather large RO system to be able to produce the volume you need.

What I meant with the rain barrel suggestion is that you only water the mounts with it and dilute with tap water, unless all 300+ are mounted??
Yes. That is what I have to do when I get a RO filter, maybe next winter. I will monitor close what the roots look like and how they manage until then. Maybe the orchids (Vanda, Rhyncostylis, Brachiata, Aeriedes Falecata and some wild orchids a neighbor found in a tree) have grown a lot of new roots so they will manage well with a mix between tap water and RO water.
But still... 70 mounted orchids need a lot of water, and most of it will just drip off the roots down to the ground. (Yesterday I said 60 mounted, but I counted them today and it is about 70 plus a bunch of Hermits Beard).
To make it even worse, most of the plants standing on the ground under the orchids are Calatheas and they hate water with much minerals. Well... I made the bed so I have to sleep in it...
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  #30  
Old 01-11-2021, 11:30 AM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kollba View Post
Attaching 2 pictures. One is dry and the other is after watering. You can see the difference in color between the new root and the old.
woa, I'm surprised this thread has gone on to the usual what not to use and what not to use for ph control which I pretty much believe the opposite to Ray but lets just leave it at that, I like phosphoric acid, each to their own.

What surprises me is that nobody commented on the picture yet.

The "grey calcium color" of the roots is the same color of 99% of my roots. Roots turn grey when they are dry, it's not a calcium deposit or anything to be worried about, it is their natural colour.

What is more worrysome is that brown scar that looks like a bone joint on the root - a possible sign of an infection but the real thing to be worried about it why the new root tips have died. Yes they are dead so its not the grey roots that are the problem, it is the other roots that have burnt root tips that are the problem!

There is something wrong with your well water.

Last edited by Orchidtinkerer; 01-11-2021 at 11:37 AM..
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