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  #1  
Old 03-14-2015, 08:32 PM
Stray59 Stray59 is offline
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Thoughts on watering a mount Male
Default Thoughts on watering a mount

Hello Everyone:
As I am doing some mounting for a public display, I get a lot of people who want to know how to water a mounted orchid at home. In reality, that is one hard question to answer. So many variables have to be considered, such as the species, the mounting material and the temperature, moisture and air circulation in the particular area you are placing the plant in. Plus, as our tap water has high levels of dissolved solids, and TONS of chlorine, I only use RO water or rain water for all my orchids.
Sometimes, look and feel can tell you if the root ball is in need of water, but if the plant is mounted with a good size pad of sphagnum moss around the root ball, it can be harder to tell when the inside area, next to the mount is dry. One solution I have found it to stick a small dowel or even a popsicle stick between the moss and the mount at the top of the root ball, going down as deep as I can without damaging roots, but enough to gauge what the moisture near the roots. I pull it out and check it to see if it is dry - if so, then I water. After a few weeks of this, I know when the roots are dry and in need of a drink and I throw the popsicle stick away; for miniatures, I use a toothpick.
A bare-root mounted plant in a dry environment may need multiple sprays a day, with a complete soaking every few days, in order to maintain a functional level of moisture withing the roots and leaves. But in a highly humid area, one daily misting and a weekly dunking is usually enough for me.
I look for a couple of things on my mounted orchids - if they start to shrivel, either leaves, stalk, pseudobulbs or previously plump roots, I increase the water. If the media is damp at all, I don't. I don't mount a lot of orchids that need a consistently damp media as it is so hard to maintain such. I have found, if the mount will allow, I can stick one end of the mount down in a pot with part of the root ball submerged in a moisture-retaining media so that the plant can "wick" moisture out of the media. These can work out nice and it is a way of having a mounted orchid in with your potted ones too!
If you kind of follow what I am talking about, you will see that it is really not that easy to advise someone on how to water a mounted orchid. For me, it was all trial and error and a lot of looking at other mounts and ideas.
Hope this helps someone! Enjoying growing!
(BTW - I fertilize my mounts with my misting. Once a week I spray the plants heavily with a 1/2 strength fertilizer - if you use a salt-based fertilizer you have to occasionally "flush" the roots and the mount to keep the salts from building up and choking off the roots. If you see any white powdery buildup on the roots or the root media, you should flush the plant well with low TDS water well.)
That's just some of how I approach watering mounts. Any other ideas or input?

Last edited by Stray59; 03-14-2015 at 08:37 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:51 PM
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WhiteRabbit WhiteRabbit is offline
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I use skewers in the moss (yes, I'm "skewer lady")
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:35 PM
Stray59 Stray59 is offline
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Whiterabbit:
Skewers would work great and probably would work for even the smaller varieties. Unfortunately, the only skewers I have around the house either have the crust of a corn dog or Chinese buffet teriyaki chicken bits left on them! LOL....
I just had a lot of pop-sickle sticks and toothpicks around, which have NOT been in my mouth, so I feel they may be a little better for my orc's.
But yes, wooden skewers would be great to use.....and I have noted someone mentions "skewers" a lot on the Board - now I know who it is.
Great suggestion...
Steve
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray59 View Post
Whiterabbit:
Skewers would work great and probably would work for even the smaller varieties. Unfortunately, the only skewers I have around the house either have the crust of a corn dog or Chinese buffet teriyaki chicken bits left on them! LOL....
I just had a lot of pop-sickle sticks and toothpicks around, which have NOT been in my mouth, so I feel they may be a little better for my orc's.
But yes, wooden skewers would be great to use.....and I have noted someone mentions "skewers" a lot on the Board - now I know who it is.
Great suggestion...
Steve
Hehe - yeah, I can see that you might not want to use used skewers Since I use skewers in nearly all my orchid pots, and they don't last forever, I usually have plenty of unused ones around.

Honestly - using skewers improved my orchid growing so much! So, I do often suggest their use to others who may be having trouble with, or questions regarding watering
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:07 PM
Stray59 Stray59 is offline
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And it is a great suggestion, as they are usually made out of a soft, absorbent wood, like toothpick material, so I can see that they would work great - I will have to pick some up next time I stop at WallyMart!
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:23 AM
snowflake311 snowflake311 is offline
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I only have 2 tolumnia mounted on a thick chunk of wood. It is covered with moss not too thick. I water it daily. Because the moss gets crunch dry by morning.

Mounted orchids are cool.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:38 PM
ALToronto ALToronto is offline
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My mounted orchids get watered every day whether they need it or not. Because the roots are in air, they can handle being drenched.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:46 AM
mtorchid mtorchid is offline
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<I have found, if the mount will allow, I can stick one end of the mount down in a pot with part of the root ball submerged in a moisture-retaining media so that the plant can "wick" moisture out of the media. These can work out nice and it is a way of having a mounted orchid in with your potted ones too!>

Yes, I discovered the same thing. I use food-grade plastic buckets that accommodate the orchid and cork mount with Sphag moss on the bottom. It provides a nice humid micro-climate, especially as buckets sit on a seedling heat-mat during the winter months. Other orchids on "sticks" I place in a tray with Sphag moss which seems to reduce evaporation. It's always interesting to show visitors what an orchid in the wild sort of looks like - "They grow like that???"
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:49 AM
mtorchid mtorchid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteRabbit View Post
I use skewers in the moss (yes, I'm "skewer lady")
Thanks to the "Skewer Lady" I'm now a happy convert to this method. It takes a little jiggling for my plants in S/H conditions getting through the LECA but it works. Also use it on my soil-based house plants. Great trick!
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:42 PM
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Hey now that's a great way to leave your mounts.
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