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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID DISCUSSIONS > Beginner Discussion
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  #1  
Unread 11-08-2009, 09:29 PM
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Default Rookie Mistake- buying a "Just Add Ice" orchid...

So being a newbie to orchids and well, caring for anything other than a cactus, I fell for the gimick of Just Add Ice orchids. Now that I've done some research it seems like the whole ice idea is a crock and actually harmful for my phal. Should I just ignore the instuctions and water it the normal way?
  #2  
Unread 11-08-2009, 09:38 PM
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PJPerez, I saw some of those at our Wal-Mart. Just remember to check the root system and if its in moss repot in Orchid Bark Medium ASAP. After that water as usual. I water mine when I see the bark drying out. Don't allow the orchid to sit in water. Feed it weekly with a weak mix of fertilizer. Try and flush it at least once a month to wash out the salts. BYW I good to use those clear pots so you can see whats going on inside.

Good Luck
Sheridan
  #3  
Unread 11-08-2009, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJPerez View Post
So being a newbie to orchids and well, caring for anything other than a cactus, I fell for the gimick of Just Add Ice orchids. Now that I've done some research it seems like the whole ice idea is a crock and actually harmful for my phal. Should I just ignore the instuctions and water it the normal way?
Yes, that is the single worst piece of cultural advice I've ever heard, and unfortunately it is well entrenched 'common wisdom'. I think it is Martha Stewart's fault, and she should be locked up again if only for that.

Water your plant with room temperature or warmer water (no warmer than you'd put a baby in). Water if and only if the medium is actually dry or approaching dry (that may be once a week, or not, you really need to check every time), and water the daylights out of the plant when you do decide to water it. Fertilize with a weak fertilizer solution monthly, or an even weaker solution at every watering. You'll be happy you did.

Ice... mutter mutter... grrr...

Rob
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  #4  
Unread 11-08-2009, 09:44 PM
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I've heard about the ice treatment... I actually heard it in a sitcom, and thought it was weird, but I can't imagine it would be good for the plant. They are tropical plants not from the north pole... Hee hee...
I think the cold would actually harm the roots.

I have well over 15 phals in my home. I have them all potted in bark and I water them once a week. I have small buckets that I put them in, fill with tepid water and let them sit in it for about 15 min. then I drain them, do one quick rinse, and won't touch them again for another week. By then the roots are white and the medium is dry. All of these have bloomed every year and I already have 6 that have started to spike.

The cold weather is what tells them its time to spike. so put it close to a window and it'll spike for you in no time.

Good luck.... just ignore the ice...
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Unread 11-08-2009, 09:59 PM
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The best advice I've heard for taking care of orchids is to think about what you would like if you were that plant... would you like an ice cube dripping frezzing water on you or a nice soaking in luke warm water? It seams easier if you think of it that way.... I think.
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  #6  
Unread 11-09-2009, 07:25 AM
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Not to mention that 1 or 2 ice cubes once a week as they recommend is nowhere near enough water for them! Mine too take a good 15-30min soak every 5-10 days depending on the season. Thank goodness that this absurd advice is not seen on tags here in Europe. They write other idiot things, but not that bad.
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Unread 11-09-2009, 08:47 AM
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I would also like to address the fact that they are not quality hybrids. They look pretty to the nongrower, but once you begin to see the potential that the phal group has, these phals will look like deformed overcloned throw-aways. I am always rather disgusted when I see them. I'm not even tempted to buy.
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  #8  
Unread 11-09-2009, 08:51 AM
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So has anyone actually killed or hurt a plant watering it with ice cubes themselves?
  #9  
Unread 11-09-2009, 10:28 PM
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Default What is the proper type and amount of fertilizer for a weekly feeding?

If I fertilize weekly with my usual watering routine, how much fertilizer should I add? I bought a fertilizer that is specifically for blooming- is that ok or should I have just gotten the regular stuff?
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Unread 11-09-2009, 11:06 PM
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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?
Not myself, but I have seen plants that died from dehydration from that treatment. The owner had ignored repeated advice on how to water because she believed the printed instructions must be right, and she will never buy an orchid again because they are 'impossible'. I don't think the cold does any real harm, but it just isn't anywhere near enough water.
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