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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 04-15-2012, 11:32 AM
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Unhappy Killed some root growths on my Paph...

I just noticed this today when I decided to lift the sphagnum I have covered the surface of the medium with, on my Paph. I spotted two fuzzy root knobs with very dry tips...

It never occurred to me to keep the surface of the medium moist since I thought the roots would emerge lower down on the stems. Seems I was wrong. I have added a bit more sphagnum on top of the medium and will now try to keep it moist so as not to repeat the mistake.

The reason I'm writing this is so that other Paph newbies out there, will hopefully learn something from my mistake.
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  #2  
Unread 04-15-2012, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by The Mutant View Post

It never occurred to me to keep the surface of the medium moist since I thought the roots would emerge lower down on the stems. Seems I was wrong. I have added a bit more sphagnum on top of the medium and will now try to keep it moist so as not to repeat the mistake.
How are you watering them? If you water from the top and let it run thru the pot several times, the top of the mix should get sufficiently moist.

Bill
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  #3  
Unread 04-15-2012, 06:32 PM
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Well, since I've gotten this notion that the roots are more sensitive to salt and mineral buildups than Phal roots, I always flush the medium/pot thoroughly under the water tap (being VERY careful as to not get any water in any crowns) and then I dip it. I have no idea if this is a good thing to do or not. The thing is, the medium dries out very quickly on top so I think I'll have to spray it to keep the moisture required not to dry any new root growths out again.

But I don't know. It is my very amateurish estimation that the new growths have been kept too dry to survive.

I'll see if I can take some pictures of them tomorrow and upload them. It might help.
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  #4  
Unread 04-15-2012, 07:02 PM
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Mutant, I use tap but I think thats a bad idea in my area. We have lots of dissolved solids. 391.0 mg/L and I've been having probs with salts.
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  #5  
Unread 04-16-2012, 01:13 AM
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Well, I have no idea what the term "dissolved solids" might be in Swedish (I've been trying to find its Swedish counterpart but so far, to no avail) so I can't tell if the water in my area has that problem too. All I know is that the water is soft and that the pH-levels are a bit too high for both Phals and Paphs. This I've solved by using citric acid in the dipping water.

My Paph gets watered with both tap water and my dipping water - it gets watered from both above and below in other words.
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  #6  
Unread 04-16-2012, 01:25 AM
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Hi Mutant. Total dissolved solids are all the minerals and elements in solution in your water. In the States you can get a water report from your municipality water supplier. You probably can, too, and it may be on their website.

Soft water isn't good, especially if it has lots of sodium. Salt kills orchids.

Also, I wouldn't dip orchids in shared water. Doing that is a a good way to spread virus throughout your collection.
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  #7  
Unread 04-16-2012, 02:42 AM
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When you have a lot of orchids, shared bath water is sometimes the only solution. What I do is always soak the same ones together, so that if there is a disease issue, it's contained to 4-5 plants. I rather have that then spend my life watering!
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  #8  
Unread 04-16-2012, 02:44 AM
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I have access to the water report from the municipality water supplier, but I don't know if they have listed things differently as compared to how they do it in America. There's no total number of dissolved solids in the water - only different values for different bacteria and chemicals.

As far as I can tell from the report, there's no sodium in the water.

Interesting, I've heard that soft water is supposed to be good for orchids since they don't like Ca that much? Or high pH-levels? Have I misunderstood things as per-usual?

I know that you're not supposed to use the same water to more than one, but I really don't have any choice - it's waste several amounts of water, fertilizer, seaweed extract, time, and energy I don't really have, or risk the spreading of virus for example. I always dip the same chids in the same water and always the newest and therefore untrustworthy ones last. Also, I disinfect the bowl I use between every watering.

I do what I can with what I have.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 03:01 AM
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Total disolved solids is not always given as ppm or mg/l. On the water report of my town it is given in mS/cm, which is a measure of conductivity, and it is called such on the report. There is a calculation you can do to convert that to ppm.
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  #10  
Unread 04-16-2012, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mutant View Post

Interesting, I've heard that soft water is supposed to be good for orchids since they don't like Ca that much? Or high pH-levels? Have I misunderstood things as per-usual?
The idea that orchids don't like Ca much is an overgeneralization.

Certain orchids actually grow on limestone in the wild! Particularly certain types of Paphs and Phrags.

Some prime examples of Paphs and Phrags that grow on limestone outcroppings are:

Paph armeniacum
Paph emersonii
Paph malipoense
Paph micranthum
Paph niveum
Paph stonei
Paph vietnamense

Phrag fischeri
Phrag kovachii
Phrag schlimii

There are hosts of others as well, but I'm not too familiar with them.
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