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  #1  
Old 12-04-2010, 05:55 PM
Cinderella Cinderella is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Best pots and medium for cattleyas Female
Question Best pots and medium for cattleyas

Hi,
I have been reading and my head is really swirling. Can a few of you give me some idea what you have found really benefit the cattleya orchids? I need new pots and new medium so if there is a website that you buy from that is good and not get in trouble for advertising, that would be great too.
I currently have 2 cattleyas in grey plastic pots. One is flowering! Then I just bought 2 more that came in dark green 2 inch pots that really need to be repotted. I have noticed that there are a lot of white, clear and opaque looking pots for orchids too. thank you!
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2010, 06:24 PM
tucker85 tucker85 is offline
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I grow a lot of Cattleyas. But I grow outdoors in south Florida so you may want advice from someone who grows in an environment more like yours. I use unglazed clay orchid pots. The Home Depot near me carries a 5" clay orchid pot that I really like for many of my catts. Clay pots are heavy so they don't tip over as easily and the the medium dries fast. I use Hydroton as my medium. I use it alone or I sometimes mix it with charcoal and tree fern fiber. I let my Cattleyas get very dry between waterings but they are in a humid environment here in south Florida so that helps. When I do water, I water several times a few minutes apart to make sure I get everything good and wet. During the growing season I give a lot more water with an occasional dry spell.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2010, 06:32 PM
BobInBonita BobInBonita is offline
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In my opinion, the big distinction among plastic pots is clear or opaque - color (grey, green, white, etc) doesn't matter (except for your aesthetic sensibilities. Clear pots allow light to hit roots for photosynthesis, and also allow visual checks of the roots and media without disturbing the orchid. The downside of plastic pots is the lack of air-flow and somewhat restricted drainage.

If you use clay / ceramic pots, you can use a plastic pot inside the outer pot to facilitate inspection of the roots, but this eliminates the benefit to the orchid from root photosynthesis. Clay will transfer moisture for more rapid drying, whereas ceramic might as well be glass it is so impermeable. Both are available with single or multiple bottom drains as well as slots or holes on the sides to facilitate aeration.

Another choice are wooden baskets filled with the media of your choice. They are rapid draining and provide excellent aeration, but you can only see roots that have grown out between the slats.

Yet another option is mounting and not using a pot at all. This is closest to the natural growth habit of many orchids, but requires a bit more care and attention to prevent overly dry conditions.

I personally use wooden baskets for about 80% of my orchids. THe rest are about evenly split between decorative ceramic pots with side and bottom drainage, clear plastic pots in clay outer pots, and and directly in clay pots. I am experimenting with a couple of cork mounts. Finally I have several orchids naturalized on trees, but they are very difficult to protect from temperature drops/frost.

The most important thing in YOUR choice of pots is how you want your orchids to look and grow and how much attention you want to give them. My baskets dry out MUCH faster than plastic pots but are nearly impossible to overwater. I have to water more frequently but rarely get any root rot.

Probably much more important than pot choice is media choice. The media, along with the pot (and obviously temperature and humidity), determines how rapidly the orchid will dry, which dictates much of the rest of its care.

I try to buy locally to support local emplyment and merchants. For common items - big box stores, for artsier things garden centers.

Good luck and many more spikes
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2010, 06:37 PM
Cinderella Cinderella is offline
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Best pots and medium for cattleyas Female
Wink Colorado weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by tucker85 View Post
I grow a lot of Cattleyas. But I grow outdoors in south Florida so you may want advice from someone who grows in an environment more like yours. I use unglazed clay orchid pots. The Home Depot near me carries a 5" clay orchid pot that I really like for many of my catts. Clay pots are heavy so they don't tip over as easily and the the medium dries fast. I use Hydroton as my medium. I use it alone or I sometimes mix it with charcoal and tree fern fiber. I let my Cattleyas get very dry between waterings but they are in a humid environment here in south Florida so that helps. When I do water, I water several times a few minutes apart to make sure I get everything good and wet. During the growing season I give a lot more water with an occasional dry spell.
Hi,
Yes, I believe we are at the opposites of the world with hot Florida and cold Colorado. My livingroom has passive solar so it gets quite warm even in there with a woodstove. I like the 5 in. pots too with my other variety of orchids. I also know exactly what you mean about the clay having an edge with steading the plant. I often wondered how top heavy orchids do in a light plastic pot. Thank you for your expertise.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2010, 06:43 PM
krystle krystle is offline
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Best pots and medium for cattleyas Female
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i would agree with tucker85 it does depend on where you live! i live in colorado so its dry here especially in the winter, i use both plastic and clay for my cattleyas. i also use bark, charcoal, spong rock medium on all my orchids and i have had great results.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2010, 06:43 PM
Cinderella Cinderella is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Best pots and medium for cattleyas Female
Default Clay pots vs. plastic pots

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobInBonita View Post
In my opinion, the big distinction among plastic pots is clear or opaque - color (grey, green, white, etc) doesn't matter (except for your aesthetic sensibilities. Clear pots allow light to hit roots for photosynthesis, and also allow visual checks of the roots and media without disturbing the orchid. The downside of plastic pots is the lack of air-flow and somewhat restricted drainage.

If you use clay / ceramic pots, you can use a plastic pot inside the outer pot to facilitate inspection of the roots, but this eliminates the benefit to the orchid from root photosynthesis. Clay will transfer moisture for more rapid drying, whereas ceramic might as well be glass it is so impermeable. Both are available with single or multiple bottom drains as well as slots or holes on the sides to facilitate aeration.

Another choice are wooden baskets filled with the media of your choice. They are rapid draining and provide excellent aeration, but you can only see roots that have grown out between the slats.

Yet another option is mounting and not using a pot at all. This is closest to the natural growth habit of many orchids, but requires a bit more care and attention to prevent overly dry conditions.

I personally use wooden baskets for about 80% of my orchids. THe rest are about evenly split between decorative ceramic pots with side and bottom drainage, clear plastic pots in clay outer pots, and and directly in clay pots. I am experimenting with a couple of cork mounts. Finally I have several orchids naturalized on trees, but they are very difficult to protect from temperature drops/frost.

The most important thing in YOUR choice of pots is how you want your orchids to look and grow and how much attention you want to give them. My baskets dry out MUCH faster than plastic pots but are nearly impossible to overwater. I have to water more frequently but rarely get any root rot.

Probably much more important than pot choice is media choice. The media, along with the pot (and obviously temperature and humidity), determines how rapidly the orchid will dry, which dictates much of the rest of its care.

I try to buy locally to support local emplyment and merchants. For common items - big box stores, for artsier things garden centers.

Good luck and many more spikes
Hi,
Very interesting. You have given me a lot of knowledge. One thing I am still unsure about is the plastic pots and the clear plastic pots. I understand the photosynthesis process, but I wonder if the roots are able to be hit by the sun, would that dry them out more? Also, with orchids, does the photosynthesis process in the clearer pots good for the plant or just again up to a person's preference. Thank you for all your help.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2010, 06:47 PM
Cinderella Cinderella is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Best pots and medium for cattleyas Female
Default Colorado too

Quote:
Originally Posted by krystle View Post
i would agree with tucker85 it does depend on where you live! i live in colorado so its dry here especially in the winter, i use both plastic and clay for my cattleyas. i also use bark, charcoal, spong rock medium on all my orchids and i have had great results.
Hi, neighbor
Yes, unfortunately it is very dry here. I do have a humidifier going 24/7. I see that you like the bark. I read somewhere that the Cattleyas like the fir bark. Is that what kind of bark you use? Do you mix up your own medium or is there some place in Colorado you purchase from? I live west of Colorado Springs about an hour. Thank you for your help.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2010, 07:19 PM
quiltergal quiltergal is offline
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I also prefer clear plastic. There are plenty of clear ones out there with oodles of drainage slits on the sides and bottoms designed specifcally for orchids. This is one I like for Catts. Slotted Clear Orchid Pot - 6" There is plenty of airflow in these pots so the plants dry quickly. That seems to be the key to success with Catts. They don't like to be kept wet all the time.

As far as roots photosynthesizing...that's what they do in nature. Most Catts grow up in the trees and their roots are exposed to light, air, rain...you get the idea. Potting them is kind of unnatural but often the only way we can keep them happy in our climates.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2010, 03:22 AM
krystle krystle is offline
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Best pots and medium for cattleyas Female
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yes it is and the funny thing is i dont use a humidifier at all, my room gets hot tho from all the windows so they may be why. i do like bark mix over anything had the best results from it, and i think it is fir bark look like it is. i buy my mix from a place called palinos gardens and its called special mix 5..glad to help!! happy to find another coloradian!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderella View Post
Hi, neighbor
Yes, unfortunately it is very dry here. I do have a humidifier going 24/7. I see that you like the bark. I read somewhere that the Cattleyas like the fir bark. Is that what kind of bark you use? Do you mix up your own medium or is there some place in Colorado you purchase from? I live west of Colorado Springs about an hour. Thank you for your help.
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