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  #1  
Old 07-16-2020, 05:25 PM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Watering With Humidity Trays Female
Default Watering With Humidity Trays

Hello Everyone,

I have a question regarding humidity trays and watering orchids. I grow my orchids under LED lights. I just purchased a set of nesting plant benches to house my orchids. My plants are on the opposite end of the house from kitchen. I use RO water that I store in pitchers to water my plants. Between grabbing pitchers and bringing two plants a time to the sink, it becomes time consuming (I have 40+ potted plants and 5 terrariums filled with micros and minis). As a result, my potted plants aren't watered as frequently as I should.

I was considering an option to help make the watering process simple. I could purchase humidity trays and fill them with LECA or some other wicking material. I could mist or water the plants carefully - until water starts dripping into the humidity tray. Thus preventing me from walking back and forth to the kitchen.

My concern is that if a plant is diseased is there a higher chance that other plants on the same humidity tray would get infected?

Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2020, 11:00 PM
Carebear2 Carebear2 is offline
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Hi,
it sounds like you just need something to catch the water during watering to stop carrying each one to the sink and back again.
I use plant saucers under each of my pots that I water, that way they can all stay separate. If you want to use a humidity tray with clay pebbles to raise humidity that is a separate issue that I know not everyone believes works well. It does and it doesn't. Depends how and where you use them, if you have a fan blowing in your area, chances are humidity trays won't change the humidity much at all, but in a mini greenhouse it can make a good bit of difference.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2020, 12:09 AM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carebear2 View Post
Hi,

I use plant saucers under each of my pots that I water, that way they can all stay separate.
Thanks for your response! Do you put anything in the saucers (like LECA or pebbles? Or do you leave them as is?
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2020, 12:13 AM
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Instead of bringing the plants to the sink, I bring the sink to the plants. I have a rolling cart with a plastic basin on top that I can take from room to room. I can water and allow the water to drain through into the basin. Then, I can empty the basin on my veggies outside--win-win. I also have various supplies with me in the cart, which saves a few more steps. I water with my weak fert/water from a gallon container that gets refilled as needed, but it's still a step-saver.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2020, 12:26 AM
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Here's what I did back in the days when my "greenhouse" was my spare bedroom. I used "egg crate" - the light-fixture diffuser - on top of rather large bins, I watered the plants, the water ran into the bins - plenty of capacity - so there was evaporating water that helped raise the humidity, but no mixing of water from plants. "Sharing" water may be something you can get away with for awhile, but one plant with a fungal infection can destroy any that it is sharing with . I wouldn't...

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  #6  
Old 07-17-2020, 02:19 AM
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Is the bottom of the current stand/shelf solid or are there holes or wire?

You could put a boot tray under the whole thing and way below the plants and then water to dripping and then move to the next plant. I imagine that judicious watering of the number of plants that one could fit above a boot tray would not fill it quickly.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2020, 04:25 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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I used to water by running water through the pots at the sink. Having issues similar to yours (and life got in the way and the orchids were on the back burner), I then started watering directly on the shelves by spraying water through the pots until it trickled out the bottom and would be caught in trays (no contact with plants) below. Seemed to work well enough and I did that for several years since it's quick and easy and the plants seemed fine. However, doing ok is not the same as thriving, and I noticed that the plants produced smaller spikes and plant/root growth seemed slower.

Very early this year I decided to go back to a tried and tested method (soaking the plants individually). The difference in growth has been phenomenal. Tons of roots growth, and Phals which were producing 1 new leaf per growing season before are now on the 2nd or even 3rd leaf.

My thinking is that compared to running larger amounts water through the pots at a sink or by soaking, the volume of water used with the spray until it trickles method is just not enough to properly wet the media and flush out waste products. If you could spray/pour a larger volume it would be fine (like Roberta describes), but you do have to think of a good system to deal with all the draining water.

I don't want to go back to the easy and lazy way so I now bring the water to the plants to make soaking easier. I bought a bunch of plastic containers in various sizes (so that each plant can sit in a container slightly larger than the pot itself), stick plants in them and fill the containers using a watering can. After soaking I return the plants to the shelves, dump out the water from the containers in a bucket, quickly rinse them and soak the next batch of plants. Even with 40+ plants, watering this way doesn't feel like too much of a chore.

But that's just my personal experience and my 2 cents on the topic, for what its worth.
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2020, 08:15 AM
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I purchased plastic garden totes from a big box store. Pretty colors, handy for everything. I put a bakers cooling rack over the top, set a few plants on it and water. Then I use that water for other, non orchid plants.

Like Camille, I will often leave a little water in the saucers on extremely hot days.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2020, 11:59 AM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmom View Post
Instead of bringing the plants to the sink, I bring the sink to the plants. I have a rolling cart with a plastic basin on top that I can take from room to room. I can water and allow the water to drain through into the basin. Then, I can empty the basin on my veggies outside--win-win. I also have various supplies with me in the cart, which saves a few more steps. I water with my weak fert/water from a gallon container that gets refilled as needed, but it's still a step-saver.
This is an excellent idea. I purchased a rolling cart. Not only will this be helpful for the watering basin - but also my water storage. I currently run a RO system outside from my garden hose. Bringing the water jugs to and from my spare room will be infinitely easier. Thanks for the idea!

---------- Post added at 10:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:56 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Here's what I did back in the days when my "greenhouse" was my spare bedroom. I used "egg crate" - the light-fixture diffuser - on top of rather large bins, I watered the plants, the water ran into the bins - plenty of capacity - so there was evaporating water that helped raise the humidity, but no mixing of water from plants. "Sharing" water may be something you can get away with for awhile, but one plant with a fungal infection can destroy any that it is sharing with . I wouldn't...

http://orchidcentral.org/GrowingAreas/indoor.jpg
Thanks for the advice, Roberta!

---------- Post added at 10:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:57 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyCoconuts View Post
Is the bottom of the current stand/shelf solid or are there holes or wire?

You could put a boot tray under the whole thing and way below the plants and then water to dripping and then move to the next plant. I imagine that judicious watering of the number of plants that one could fit above a boot tray would not fill it quickly.
That's not possible, unfortunately. The bottom of the shelf is solid.

---------- Post added at 10:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:58 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
I purchased plastic garden totes from a big box store. Pretty colors, handy for everything. I put a bakers cooling rack over the top, set a few plants on it and water. Then I use that water for other, non orchid plants.

Like Camille, I will often leave a little water in the saucers on extremely hot days.
Huh, I wish I had considered this before I purchased a bench. That won't work for my current setup. I did, however, find this really pretty bench. It's cool because it's branch themed, which I thought was fitting for orchids ... Nesting Plant Stands - Branch Plant Stands - Glass Nesting Tables
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