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Rookie Mistake- buying a "Just Add Ice" orchid...
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  #41  
Old 07-17-2011, 09:02 PM
4accord 4accord is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid...
Default Ice Cubes Can Work Well But...

My two cents as a newby who has done a lot of online "homework" and gained some fast-lane experience...

To me it seems obvious that there are SO many variables that it is impossible to make sweeping generalizations about the just-add-ice phal orchids. I have bought many from the local grocery chain (Krogers in the Dallas area). Some are very healthy and bloom a long time with no signs of problems. Others, however, quickly developed yellow leaves and on repotting showed advanced root rot - came from the store that way.

A key issue is that homes vary so much that no "just add three cubes once a week" can fit everyone. I've seen some phals show wrinkled leaves on a once a week schedule and clearly need twice, especially when kept in a warm home (80-ish temps); others turn yellow on the same schedule (70 temps). Humidity, air flow, plant size, planting medium, light level, flower stalks, and temperature are among the many variables. Pot types are also important - clay versus plastic, vented or not, inner/outer or just one pot... And not all ice cubes are the same size, either. And going from, say, three to four at a time would alone be a 33% increase in watering volume! Then there's the question of what's in your ice - pH, salts, chlorine, etc.

It seems clear to me that one has to watch the individual plant for signs of too much or too little watering and adjust accordingly. Also, a lot of plants that are blooming beautifully at the store may have hidden rot that will not show up for a week or two after they get home.

Many people have posted super results from the ice method. If the plant is healthy to begin with (big if) and we are alert to the signs, I think it can be a very successful method. It's working great on a few of mine, but most I transfer to bark as soon as possible, and to clear plastic inner pots so I can see how the roots are doing - and then watering and feeding by the dunk method. After blooming, I would certainly move any to bark and dunk. Hope this is helpful.

Last edited by 4accord; 07-17-2011 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: paragraphing
  #42  
Old 07-17-2011, 10:15 PM
sii sii is offline
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid... Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undergrounder View Post
So has anyone actually killed or hurt a plant watering it with ice cubes themselves?
Yup, me. Learned the hard way, unfortunately. I thought I was okay because I was following the instructions. Poor plant.
  #43  
Old 09-15-2011, 05:33 PM
OOAJ OOAJ is offline
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid... Male
Default There are other factors at play with these plants

From what I've seen these plants doing well or bitting the dust has more to do with factors other than the solid or liquid application of water.

I got 2 of these from home depot, they were my first orchids. I am a novice with orchids, but I've been growing other things for a while. I bought the plants a few weeks apart, the first one I got was when the shipment was fresh and there was a lot of choice, so I could actually look at the plants and pick the one that had 3 big spikes and healthey leaves and roots.

I've been using 2 ice cubes at a time, about twice a week. I have an ice tray that includes some 1/2 strength general purpose miracle grow that I use every other to every third time. This plant has been growing like wild and seems to be very healthy.

I bought the second one a few weeks later, and it was clearly the tail end of the shipment, again, I tried to pick the healthiest one of the bunch, but even in my experience, I knew this one wasn't as healthy as the first. I had it on the same regimen that I had been using with the first, but I had a leaf start to wrinkle after a few weeks. I called my mother who has much more experience than I do and she said it was either dehydrated or had root rot. Upon examination, I found that there was substantial root rot. I cut off all the dead stuff and repotted and it seems to be doing well right now.

I think what actually caused the rot was the fact that the medium it came in was very tightly packed and somewhat broken down and more importantly, the inner plastic pot had created a seal against the outer decorative pot preventing any air from circulating. I've since jammed a pencil in between the inner and outer pots so that air can circulate, and this combined with the new looser media seems to have made the little phal happy again, I've got new growth coming up.

I guess the short version of what I'm saying is that you need to start with a good plant to begin with, also, general care principles still apply; the plants need air and water. As far as the ice goes, luke warm water may be ideal, but in my opinion, the ideal amount of cold water is much better for the plant than too much of the ideal kind of water. Also, don't just say, "the instructions say 3 cubes once a week and that's what it's getting". That said, I water my other orchids in the more tradditional "soak in room temp water" fashion. Check it and pay attention to it and it will let you know what it needs.

Last edited by OOAJ; 09-19-2011 at 05:26 PM..
  #44  
Old 12-15-2012, 12:31 PM
mdomaz mdomaz is offline
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid...
Default Just Add Ice has worked for me

We were given a Just Add Ice Orchid as a gift and since have purchased several more orchids, some from Just Add Ice and others from a different company. I have used the Just Add Ice directions for all of them and they have actually been doing well as far as I can tell. I have never gotten yellow leaves and have gotten new sprouts and flowers on some. The directions do not say 3 ice cubes will work for everyone. They say that melted they need to come to 1/4 cup. For my ice cubes, that means I give them 4 ice cubes a week. I surely haven't killed any orchids with this method. I am not going to say there is not a better method and I am surely open to learning about other methods for care. I just wanted to say that none of my orchids have been killed by the ice cube method. I stumbled across this board and will be scouring it to see what else I can learn.
  #45  
Old 12-15-2012, 01:50 PM
beezermommy beezermommy is offline
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Do you soak up to the pot line or just put the pot into water so it will soak from the bottom?
  #46  
Old 12-15-2012, 02:45 PM
Orchidjim Orchidjim is offline
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The way I would recommend is to always soak the pot thoroughly from the top down draining it into the sink after it's finished training put it back where it belongs. You can soak from the bottom up but in my opinion it is not the best for preferred way to do it.
Thanks Jim
  #47  
Old 12-15-2012, 02:51 PM
beezermommy beezermommy is offline
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All of my phals are on my screen patio. I live in Florida and only bring them in when they are flowering. I use a spray hose and water 1x week wetting the whole plant. They are in sphagnum moss. They seem to like the moss. I check them 1-2 times a week. Water when moss gets dry. I am going to change over 1-2 plants to bark mix and see if they do better with soaking them in a bucket and draining them. Thanks for the info.
  #48  
Old 12-15-2012, 03:06 PM
Orchidjim Orchidjim is offline
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The way I would recommend is to always soak the pot thoroughly from the top down draining it into the sink after it's finished training put it back where it belongs. You can soak from the bottom up but in my opinion it is not the best for preferred way to do it.
Thanks Jim
  #49  
Old 12-15-2012, 03:13 PM
beezermommy beezermommy is offline
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid... Female
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If it's bark medium, doesn't it float all over the place?
  #50  
Old 12-15-2012, 04:31 PM
escualida escualida is offline
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Rookie Mistake- buying a &quot;Just Add Ice&quot; orchid...
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Just one or two things to keep in mind when soaking the plants, by running the water from the top through the bottom it will also flush out built up salts which can harm the plant if they become too concentrated. You should do this at least once a month.

If you decided to soak it in a bucket DO NOT use the same water and bucket for multiple plants, if one of the plants is diseased this will spread the disease to the other plants. Even if you empty the bucket and fill it up again without cleaning it properly this will spread disease. Cleaning the bucket properly would mean sterilizing it which can get very tedious if you have a lot of plants that need to be watered on the same day.

That's why I find it much much easier to just run the water through it and letting it drain out each time.
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