Using skewers to determine when to water
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  #1  
Old 11-28-2014, 09:05 PM
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WhiteRabbit WhiteRabbit is offline
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Default Using skewers to determine when to water

Gently twist a bamboo kabob skewer into the potting media - as near to the center of the pot as you can. At the very least, as far from the perimeter of the pot as possible. To check moisture, remove the skewer and touch it to your cheek or upper lip. (If you have VERY sensitive skin, prone to contact dermatitis, use caution - I've only read of one person reporting a problem, but just wanted to put that out there). A dry, but cool feeling skewer means there is just a very slight amount of moisture in the media.

Replace the skewer into the same place you removed it from. Or, leave it out of the pot until the next time you wish to check, but make sure the skewer is in the media for at least 30 minutes before checking the moisture, and try to get it into the same spot as previously.

At what point water is needed varies with the type of orchid, as well as individual species requirements.

Most of my orchids get watered at the "dry, but cool feeling" stage - ones that like to be moister get watered when the skewer feels slightly moist. If a particular orchid likes to dry inbetween waterings, you can wait until the skewer is DRY dry (feels dry, and NOT cool), tho I have found many of mine start to look a bit underwatered if I continuously let them dry that much - but better to err a bit dry, and then increase watering slightly if you start to see signs of dehydration.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2014, 09:11 PM
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silken silken is offline
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I think this is an excellent sticky. I've been using skewers for a few years now and it certainly is a helpful way to tell if a plant is ready to water. It's deep and in the centre of the pot where root rot is most prone to happen, so the skewer method can help prevent that.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2014, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by silken View Post
I think this is an excellent sticky. I've been using skewers for a few years now and it certainly is a helpful way to tell if a plant is ready to water. It's deep and in the centre of the pot where root rot is most prone to happen, so the skewer method can help prevent that.
I know my orchid growing improved quite a bit after I started to use skewers! Before that, I had tended to water on a schedule which doesn't work for me with the temps and humidity varying a lot with seasons, and even changes in weather within seasons ... And even the "schedule" was guess work, and hit and miss
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:29 PM
sundanz sundanz is offline
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Using skewers to determine when to water Female
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I have skewers in all pots. I leave them in there and don't use them to check for moisture. I go by weight of the pots. My plants get watered in the sink really well so I know how heavy the pot is while wet. After a few days I check the pots and if they feel light it's time to water again. So far this has worked for me!
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:24 PM
Plant Happy Plant Happy is offline
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Using skewers to determine when to water Female
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Have I missed something? You leave the skewers in, but you don't use them to indicate need for water. Rather, you go by the weight of the pot, right? So how do you use the skewers? Bear with me if I'm asking a stupid question~
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Plant Happy View Post
Have I missed something? You leave the skewers in, but you don't use them to indicate need for water. Rather, you go by the weight of the pot, right? So how do you use the skewers? Bear with me if I'm asking a stupid question~
That was my question too. Can't see the point of the skewers if they aren't being pulled out???? I found my pots often felt light but when I checked the skewer, it was still damp near the bottom centre. So I still use skewers when I am in doubt.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:09 PM
sundanz sundanz is offline
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Using skewers to determine when to water Female
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Ok, to the dumbfounded ones about my skewers: I like the looks of the skewers in the pots, and I have labels attached to them like little flags. With the name of the Orchids on them!
My other hobby is cacti, over 200 of them, and for them I have to use skewers to check for dryness.They
are on the other end of the spectrum, the drier the better. My cacti are in the Greenhouse and my Orchids are in the house!
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:21 PM
Plant Happy Plant Happy is offline
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Oh, to have a greenhouse~
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2015, 05:27 AM
oscar freak oscar freak is offline
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using the skewer method now as well and its really saved my orchids,i nearly downed them to death.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2015, 07:49 AM
Wolfrott Wolfrott is offline
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Using skewers to determine when to water Female
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Excellent tip!
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