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  #1  
Unread 11-02-2011, 02:14 PM
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Lightbulb Watering orchids if you're going to be a way for 2 weeks

I have a plan to take a vacation over the winter and will be away for 2 weeks. I don't have any really close friends or family nearby who could feasibly come to my place and water them. So, I have two choices:

1) Find a friend who will take my most sensitive orchids (about 3, seedlings) and care for them while I'm away, or
2) Find a way to rig up a watering system.

I used a siphon based water system for normal plants that partially worked (one was successful, but the other got air inside and failed). That system needs packed soil, so it won't work with orchids.

I had an idea to rig up a large bottle of water with tubes coming out of it (one to each plant), and on the ends would be a filter cap to allow a very slow drip. The idea is for it to slow trickle the water for a week, then give the plants a week without water. By the time I'd come back, they'd be doing fine and ready for a fresh watering. The degree of moisture would not be like a full dousing from a normal watering, but I suspect it would be enough to keep the potting mix moist enough so that the plants will be much better off than if not watered at all.

I looked on-line for other techniques, but most involved expensive systems designed for such a purpose and a large collection of plants. Would my technique be feasible enough? If you have a successful technique in unattended watering, please post! Thanks.
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  #2  
Unread 11-02-2011, 02:23 PM
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you can invest on that globules where you fill it with water and then stick it in the media...2 weeks is not that scary...I soaked the orchids the day I left and came back in 2 weeks they were still thriving but severely dehydrated...you may be surprised how tenacious they are.
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  #3  
Unread 11-02-2011, 05:34 PM
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^ Good to hear it -- thanks, Bud!
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  #4  
Unread 11-02-2011, 05:48 PM
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I don't think most potted orchids, that you would usually water every 5 days or so, would have a problem with two weeks. I would water well before you go, and make it a priority to water again when you get back, but otherwise they should be OK.
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  #5  
Unread 11-02-2011, 05:49 PM
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You can leave most of orchids two weeks unattended without problem. Seedlings are placed in an empty 10 liter water bottle, with a little gravel and some water. Dont soak the pots! Close carefully, so you will have maximum moisture in the air, the little plants will not dehydrate.

Fer
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  #6  
Unread 11-02-2011, 05:49 PM
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The only time I've had a problem was with one that had root problems anyway, the weather turned hot suddenly and it's failing roots caused it to loose a lot of leaves. But that was Jul 2008 (the reason I first came here) and the plant is still alive now.
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Unread 11-02-2011, 05:54 PM
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I don't know your growing conditions, but I would put the seedlings in a plastic tent to boost humidity. Bring down the light and heat to slow the plants metabolisms, and a thorough drench before you leave. Good luck
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  #8  
Unread 11-02-2011, 07:49 PM
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Ah... perfect. Thanks for the suggestions Fernando, Rosie, and Matt. The humidity tent sounds like the right thing for the seedlings. They tend to get really dried out in about 7 days, so the tent plus gravel covered humidity tray should help tie them over.
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  #9  
Unread 11-05-2011, 01:21 PM
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Just explain to them that you will be back in 2 weeks and you love them very much and not to start dying or anything silly like that! They will understand

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  #10  
Unread 11-09-2011, 02:35 PM
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^ Cute.
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