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  #1  
Old 10-20-2018, 01:15 PM
Unplant Unplant is offline
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Ice cube logic?
Default Ice cube logic?

Hi again. Very very much a newcomer to the world of orchids.

Some places instruct to water phals with an ice cube or two. Aren't orchids a tropical plant, or does the ice cube make the roots colder which promotes blooming??

Thank you,'kind orchid sages😄
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:29 PM
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I've always thought the logic was to shock the plant, induce it to fail, and encourage the customer to go out and buy another plant. You find these instructions in "buy and toss" plants, not plants from reputable orchid growers who cater to other growers.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:04 PM
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Most such plants are in sphagnum. If you overwater sphagnum, the open spaces within the strands fill with water and suffocate the roots (that's how most plants are killed). If you slowly, gently trickle the water in, the fibers absorb it and spread it around, leaving the voids open.

Most beginners aren't smart enough, and/or are too lazy to do that, so someone came up with the (not so smart) idea to let melting ice do it..
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:53 PM
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Your instincts are right. Use water that is room temperature for best results.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:31 PM
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Thank you, all of you, for your kind responses, and sharing your knowledge with us newcomers!
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:58 PM
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The number 1 orchid killer is too much water. You can't over water with 1-3 ice cubes. I've met dozens of people who have been advised this ( I sell at shows ) and it makes sense. Most proclaim that it works.
No harm in it for new growers. Experienced growers can move on to a scientific basis.
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Last edited by orchidsarefun; 10-20-2018 at 11:03 PM..
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:00 PM
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Trouble with just dampening the medium (sphagnum moss) is that most of it stays rock-like and airless. If you water, water thoroughly - like under the faucet until water runs out the bottom of the pot. And drain well beforwe putting into a decorative container or protective dish. This flushes out hard water buildup, fertilizer salts, and other crud. It also pulls aerated water into the root zone. Then let it dry out to almost (but not completely) dry. As the water evaporates, guess what replaces it - AIR - which is exactly what the roots want, damp air more than water. You can't water an orchid too much - the more volume the better. You CAN water an orchid too often, so that it stays wet and airless. They need that wet-dry cycle.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Trouble with just dampening the medium (sphagnum moss) is that most of it stays rock-like and airless.
I find that to be the case only with old, and/or poor quality sphagnum.
Quote:
They need that wet-dry cycle.
Why is that? Many orchids stay wet for months at a time. Yes, they need air at the rots, but that doesn't require drying unless the potting medium is lousy.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:26 AM
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A couple of my own observations, based on experience.

Soaking wet sphagnum is fine for 2-3 days, but combine that with cooler temperatures of around 60f and it's generally fatal for all orchids. Especially phalaenopsis.

My catasetum are placed in saucers of water and remain "wet" for months. Growth is unbelievable. However only when outdoors as air movement and light keeps the water "wicking" up the plant.

Ambient humidity has a major impact on the need for more regular/irregular watering.

As with most things, people should experiment to see what works best for their unique growing conditions.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orchidsarefun View Post
As with most things, people should experiment to see what works best for their unique growing conditions.
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