Rookie Mistake- buying a "Just Add Ice" orchid...
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Rookie Mistake- buying a "Just Add Ice" orchid...
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:08 PM
Ranchnanny Ranchnanny is offline
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You should use less fertilizer then the directions state. The saying goes water weekly weakly. I use about a 1/4 of the recommended amount in a one gallon jug.

Old 11-09-2009, 10:49 PM
flhiker flhiker is offline
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A very reputable and large orchid nursery here in south Florida does recommend 1 ice cube once a week. They are RF Orchids and here's a video I posted awhile back with this info. I have just started doing it and have not seen any problem's yet! There advise on growing Phals start at 2:40 in but the whole video is worth watching.

YouTube - wahoohiker's Channel
Old 11-09-2009, 11:31 PM
Ranchnanny Ranchnanny is offline
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Question after watching that video which the fellow states 1 ice cube a week is enough to keep the Phal. happy. Placing an ice cube on top of the medium allows the cube to drip on one side of the pot. That won't moisten all the medium. I just can't wrap my brain around that. The part of the video I liked was all the beautiful blooms and the the STUD greenhouse... I never thought of an orchid being a STUD :coverlaugh

Old 11-10-2009, 02:22 AM
greenbean greenbean is offline
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I have to agree with Sheridan about the icecube. I just don't see how that can be sufficient water for an orchid, nor how it would spread throughout the medium properly.

I have used crushed ice cubes during a very hot period when I had no AC to help keep the roots of a Masdevallia and Miltoniopsis cool, but they like cool temperatures. I'm convinced that it saved them, but the ice still wasn't a replacement for normal watering.
Old 11-10-2009, 03:30 AM
Undergrounder Undergrounder is offline
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I think an ice cube is a bit ridiculous, unless that advice is tailored for floridian growers who -with the humidity- might not have their plants dry out within the week.

But i spray virtually that much water into my small sphagnum moss Phals each week, literally about 5 or 6 pulls of the mister bottle trigger. And i doubt there would be much more water in there than an ice cube or twos worth.

The whole idea of only using a set amount of water on some set schedule is obviously flawed but i don't think its particularly bad advice for sphagnum moss plants.

And sphag isn't like bark, if you wet one side it is fairly good at distributing the water around like a sponge
Old 11-10-2009, 09:15 AM
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Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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I would be in fear of freezing the nubbins with ice! :
Especially if a basal kieki is developing ..
I believe 'icing' isn't a bad idea ..
again it depends on your conditions (Florida growers) and
the type of orchid it would apply to (cool temp orchids) ...
on what has been already been said

"Nothing beats the orchid -- as an offering of love"
- paraphrasing Marlowe Hood from 'Orchid Fossil Quells Evolutionary Quarrel'

Toto, I Have A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore! ...
Old 11-10-2009, 10:37 AM
flhiker flhiker is offline
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I felt the same way you all did when I first heard this but realizing that I know much less then the people at RF Orchids. I've lost several Phal's to crown rot and I'm hoping this method eliminates this problem. Some times common sense doesn't always apply and in this case I going to trust the experts who make a living growing these wonderful plants. I don't suggest anyone change what works for them. Good Luck with any method you choose.
Old 11-10-2009, 11:44 AM
Hedge Hedge is offline
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It wouldn't work here - as my daughter says "the ice wouldn't melt" - not quite true, but some nights it feels like that --- plus our humidity rarely occurs with hot temperatures.

I think you have to go with what's best for where you are in the world and your personal heating/cooling set up plus light. At the moment my Phals in big pots (6 inch plus) are lucky if they are watered more than once a fortnight.
Old 11-10-2009, 01:03 PM
harrywitmore harrywitmore is offline
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid... Male

Watering plants with ice cubes has been done for many years. My mother did it and I suspect her mother did it also. I think that if these are planted in sphagnum, they tend to not dry as quickly. I believe WAY more store bought Phals die because they are over watered than under watered and if I had one blooming the first thing I would do is NOT re-pot it., especially if I was only going to give it 2 ice cubes a week of water. These plants are meant to be similar to cut flowers and many people simply toss them after they flower. Now, I wouldn't but I do think they are nice to add to the home and worthy of some interest. I personally don't like any hybrids so it doesn't matter to me if they are not quality hybrids. They are just to make add some color to the normally dreary winter.

I have a friend that has a few of these. She does not re-pot them and always keeps them on the dry side. They seem to do well for her. I think it's all a matter of your growing area and what type of watering regimen you have. I do suspect in hotter weather they would need more than one ice cube if it was in the desert but that's the problem with advice from one person. Everyone's conditions are different.

I need to also fess up and say that I did buy one and like it but I'm not watering it with ice cubes since I have well water. It gets rainwater like all my other orchids.
Old 11-23-2009, 10:28 AM
Orchidjim Orchidjim is offline

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The " just add ice" gimmick is going very well...for the company that sell these plants. They originally are shipped come from Ohio. I'm guessing they sat down at a marketing meeting one day with a greenhouse overstuffed with phals, and decided this was the thing to get skeptical people to buy orchids. What a croc... My answer is always " Tell me... is there any ice dropping from the skys in the jungle where they grow?! This marketing is akin to a HUGE south Miami grower whose tags now include the line ...dont worry if you kill it...we'll make more.

Unfortunately what they are really saying is that the customer is too stupid to learn to follow growing guidelines. And with the prices getting so low for phals--people genuinely do not care that it's now a buy and throw plant.

...the double unfortunate thing is that is does work for a few people in certain circumstances ( esp here in hot FL ) and they tell 50,000 other people who believe them...
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