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  #11  
Old 03-23-2019, 11:07 AM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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Ah, that's most helpful. I know very little about them but knew they grew on tree bark, hence getting the special compost they need. I water them like you said but reading your post they need a decent airflow which these pots aren't giving them. I have a larger ceramic pot which I could use for orchid 2 but it has a hole in the bottom so should I put a little saucer underneath it to take any remaining excess water until I find something more suitable? With orchid 1 that fell out of its plastic pot, I'm thinking of putting it into a small dish of water for an hour to let its roots re-hydrate then will put it back in its original pot. Which type of water is best for them i.e. tap, rain or what I collect from my de-humidifier? I also bought an orchid mist which I have just used on them both. They are in a fairly good light but not in direct sun. Temp is about 18C.
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2019, 08:19 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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In answer to your watering questions, yes, keep a saucer of some kind under the pot with holes unless you want water all over the surface it is setting on. I usually hold my plastic pots over the sink just until the water stops running out continuously, then replace it in the saucer, but my saucers have little troughs or indentations to hold the remaining bit of water that drains so the clear pot isn't actually sitting in water. If you are using a flat saucer that doesn't have that feature, you can simply let your clear pots drain a little longer in your sink or dish rack. Five minutes should be adequate.

As far as what kind of water is best, different people will use tap, well, rain. I think most of us use what is available where we live. Your fertilizer regimen may need tweaking depending on what you are using. I have no idea whether dehumidifier water can be used. Hopefully, someone else here with more expertise in various water types will see this and make a post.

Your repotting plan for orchid #1 sounds fine. If a number of roots got broken in the accident, you would want to give those time to dry and heal up a bit before you soak it, but it sounds like it's already been several days, so it should be fine to go ahead and repot and then just resume normal care.

When you say your temp is about 18C, do you mean all the time? It never gets any warmer than that (about 64F)? If that is your high temp in the daytime, that sounds a bit too chilly to me, but, again, I hope someone else with more experience will chime in here.
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Last edited by Mountaineer370; 03-24-2019 at 08:21 AM..
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2019, 09:45 AM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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Thanks for this useful info. When re-potting do you fill the pot half-way, sit the orchid on top then top up with more compost, do you leave any aerial roots on the surface, and do you just leave any roots at the bottom to get on with their own thing or gently tease them out so they're not all tangled up?
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:39 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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If the roots seem dry and brittle, you can certainly soak them for a bit to soften them up. You generally want to remove as much of the old media as possible. Some bits may be stuck to the roots, and you want to be careful pulling them off so as to minimize any damage. Once in a while, there may be a piece that is firmly stuck, and it's okay to leave it if you think you might break or tear something trying to remove it.

I do tease the roots apart gently, but if they've managed to wind themselves around one another and you are still able to get them mostly free of the old media, then it's fine to leave them to their shape. I then set the orchid on top of the bottom layer of media, and if there are some very long roots dangling, I will slowly twirl the orchid in the pot to allow them to settle into the circular shape.

As far as filling the pot halfway up, if you are repotting into the same pot and your orchid has abundant roots, there will probably not be room to do that. Put a layer of media into the pot first, but it's okay if it's a thin layer. You just have to use your best judgment based on the size of your root ball. You want to avoid smashing or compressing the roots. Then gently add more of your media to fill up the pot. You can tilt the plant from side to side to make spaces to get the media in. Don't push anything in too forcefully, but the idea is to end up with the media more or less evenly distributed, with no gaping empty spaces in there. Gently shaking or tapping the pot as you go can help.

I like the looks of aerial roots, so I don't make an effort to put them down into the pot, unless it's a case where I have an orchid that has kind of outgrown its previous pot, it's raised up quite a bit above the existing media, and needs to be lowered in its new pot for stability.
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Last edited by Mountaineer370; 03-25-2019 at 08:42 AM..
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2019, 09:44 AM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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From what you've just said I will take them out of their pots because I haven't put them in low enough, then I'll follow your instructions about twirling them in so the bark will get amongst the roots, then I'll back-fill and tap the pot as I go.
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  #16  
Old 03-25-2019, 09:58 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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From your pictures in post #9 of this thread, I would say they are a little high in the pot. If you can set them lower without squashing the roots too much, that's good, or they could possibly use larger pots. They should be okay for now, though. You can consider larger pots the next time you repot. And, again, you don't want the media packed tightly, just filled in enough that there aren't large empty areas.
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2019, 12:07 PM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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Aha - I bought some pots that are the next size up so will use those when I do my re-potting tomorrow. Thanks a lot!
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  #18  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:35 AM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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Yesterday I emptied all the compost out and started again. I removed one or two bits of old compost that was stuck between a couple of roots, put some new in the bottom quarter of the pot, placed the orchid on top, and whilst gently turning it around I added some more, tapped the pot to settle it, filled it to the top then gave them a good watering. They already seem to look a bit happier! Ahem, I got two more mini ones today. They look healthy and are only 5 each which seems very good value. They have some larger and taller ones whose colours are rather tempting to say the least. Is there a name for an orchid addict??
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2019, 02:20 PM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goosegirl View Post
Is there a name for an orchid addict??
I don't know if there's a special name, but you're in good company here. Many -- most? -- of us would describe ourselves as orchid addicts. Fortunately, it's a good addiction that doesn't need to be cured, though sometimes it does need to be tempered a bit. It can be easy to run out of space, time, or money for new orchids.
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  #20  
Old 04-01-2019, 08:29 AM
Goosegirl Goosegirl is offline
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Methinks it's called Orchidelerium. Anyway I'll try to stick with my 4 mini ones and see how they do. I bought a great little book by Philip Seaton called "Growing windowsill Orchids" which has lots of colour pics, diagrams and plenty of info that's written in a simple way so as to guide a complete newbie towards success. Do I keep posting on here or do I go onto the beginner's forum?
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