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  #1  
Old 11-20-2019, 10:01 AM
mofms1 mofms1 is offline
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Mounting orchids for the first time Female
Default Mounting orchids for the first time

I bought two bare-root orchids from a show a few weeks ago. The roots were wrapped in some kind of fiber (maybe coconut fiber) and there was a small piece of sponge in the center of the roots. The types of orchids were BLC and Polystachya Paniculata.

I have since mounted the Polystachya Paniculata on Tree Fern and hung it in my bathroom where it will get filtered NE (filtered through the blinds which are mostly closed for privacy) sun, and I can spritz the roots one or two times a day. I did put some sphagnum moss over the roots, but even that dries out over the course of a day. I'm not sure if it's thick enough to keep the roots damp, but also don't want to put on so much that it will rot the roots. It seems to be a very young plant and the roots are maybe only 1-2 inches long and there aren't many. Should I wait to mount this plant and give it a bit more time to grow? If the roots are dry by the morning and at night with me spraying it twice a day, should I add more moss if I keep it mounted?

I haven't mounted the BLC yet but would like to do so this weekend if it doesn't need more time to grow. I already have a Tree Fern to mount it to, and a place picked out to hang it, by the windows in my breakfast nook. It will receive shaded southern sun. I have two store-bought, potted orchids growing really well in the same location. The roots on the BLC are also not very long (1-2 inches) but they are thick and seem really healthy. They are in a little jar now, there is no standing water, but they seem to retain their moisture for about 2 days before they need a spritz or dip in water. Should I wait to mount this? When I mount it should I put sphagnum moss over it? If so, how thick should I layer the moss?

Any advice would be appreciated and thank you ahead of time for your help.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2019, 10:22 AM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Growing roots adapt to their present environment. Best to go ahead and mount. Some folks say very little sphag over and/or under the roots and/or base. I use a fairly good "wad" of it under, and a bit over it when starting out. Main thing is to get it where the mount won't "wobble" until the roots get set actually clinging to the mount. Otherwise the growing tips can be damaged. I sit mine that are mounted one by one into a sink a couple of times a week and soak the heck out of it with my sink sprayer or with a sprayer filled with RO water. I only have Tolumnia and a bunch of Phals mounted these days. I'll try to take a picture or two of some I recently moved to a mount.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:08 AM
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I recommend NOT putting sphagnum between the roots and the mount, but do put a decent wad over the roots.

I have found that a pad under the roots encourages the plant to grow roots into the pad, rather than in/onto the mount. It'll do so eventually in either case, but I like removing the fishing line I use to tie it on the mount sooner rather than later.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I recommend NOT putting sphagnum between the roots and the mount, but do put a decent wad over the roots.

I have found that a pad under the roots encourages the plant to grow roots into the pad, rather than in/onto the mount. It'll do so eventually in either case, but I like removing the fishing line I use to tie it on the mount sooner rather than later.
Yeah, but I'm a much lazier waterer than you are Ray.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2019, 12:24 PM
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DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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there are a lot of ways to mount an orchid too, lots of orientations to play with.

i made this "cookie" plate for a Phal a year or so ago and she's very happy. i have others mounted completely upside down and others on the side of logs.

i prefer to put less under the roots and more over them WHEN i add any media at all...the ideal is to have them with nothing so there is nothing to break down.....you cannot repot a mount lol

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  #6  
Old 11-20-2019, 01:14 PM
mofms1 mofms1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
Main thing is to get it where the mount won't "wobble" until the roots get set actually clinging to the mount. Otherwise the growing tips can be damaged.
What kind of "wobble" are you talking about? Right now it's tied to the tree fern with some cooking twine, and it's flat against the tree fern, but not super tight. Also, I wasn't sure where to place the orchid on the tree fern. It's towards the bottom now b/c I thought the orchid would move up the tree fern, but I've read some stuff saying the roots actually move down whatever they are mounted on. So now I'm unsure if I should move it up to middle or top of the tree fern.

---------- Post added at 01:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:09 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I recommend NOT putting sphagnum between the roots and the mount, but do put a decent wad over the roots.

I have found that a pad under the roots encourages the plant to grow roots into the pad, rather than in/onto the mount. It'll do so eventually in either case, but I like removing the fishing line I use to tie it on the mount sooner rather than later.
Do you mean a padding of sphagnum moss or a different type of pad?

---------- Post added at 01:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:12 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyCoconuts View Post
there are a lot of ways to mount an orchid too, lots of orientations to play with.

i made this "cookie" plate for a Phal a year or so ago and she's very happy. i have others mounted completely upside down and others on the side of logs.
That looks awesome. I have mine mounted flat against a vertical flat tree fern piece
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2019, 02:00 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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I put moss under the plant only for those that really need extra moisture (like Pleurothallids) I think the Polystachya will benefit from extra moss (if it is just over the roots that's OK)

For members of the Cattleya tribe, I usually use no moss at all - they need to dry out. But then, I do water mounted plants daily, or in winter perhaps every other day. (That's a factor in how much moss is used, for sure) But I have found that when there is moss under the plant, it tends to root into the moss rather than onto the mount. If the Blc isn't rooting actively, a little moss over the existing roots will help keep it going until it gets into gear, but then the new roots should go for the mount (ideally one mounts a plant when the roots are actively growing, but starting with a bare-root plant you do it right away) Also do look at the plant to see which way it's growing - the area of new growth is the part that needs to go toward the mount no matter what the plant is. (A monopodial orchid like Phalaenopsis or Vanda there isn't any particular direction, a sympodial one like Cattleya tribe or Dendrobium, there is a definite growth direction where new roots will appear)

Also, in a humid climate like where DirtyCoconuts lives, there really isn't much need for moss at all. So humidity, and one's watering habits, do affect the moss-or-not decision.
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2019, 06:54 PM
mofms1 mofms1 is offline
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Thanks for the advice, Roberta. Without the moss, the roots definitely dry out, but I can spritz with water morning and night. One of the reasons I put it in my bathroom was so I would be forced to look at it every day. No forgetting if I look at it every day. Btw, your page looks great and your collection of orchids is amazing
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofms1 View Post
Thanks for the advice, Roberta. Without the moss, the roots definitely dry out, but I can spritz with water morning and night. One of the reasons I put it in my bathroom was so I would be forced to look at it every day. No forgetting if I look at it every day. Btw, your page looks great and your collection of orchids is amazing
Glad you enjoyed my website. There is always room for one more orchid...
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2019, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofms1 View Post
Do you mean a padding of sphagnum moss or a different type of pad?
Sphagnum
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