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  #1  
Old 05-19-2022, 07:12 PM
JasperBuddy JasperBuddy is offline
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Repotting beginner encounters boatloads of moss
Default Repotting beginner encounters boatloads of moss

Note: I was going to attach pics, but I need to figure out how to reduce file size. Yikes! I'll add them later if can.

This is my first repotting endeavor with a plant I bought last year.

It was the first that bloomed again! Long story I won't bore you with.

Anyway, I bought it at King Soopers or some other chain store. Not sure what I expected, but I had to cut the plastic pot off. It was packed with moss. There were a lot of dead roots. I was surprised it bloomed again and has produced more leaves since my purchase.

One thing I noticed is that many of the roots I removed looked fine at the end. It was closer to the plant that roots were black and mushy. Is that normal?

I'm going to put all of them (I have 2 others bought more recently) in bark.

Thanks! Steph
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:31 PM
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Both bark and moss work well for Phals. Moss requires different watering. Wait until the top is crisp dry. Then run water over the top for only one second. The water will diffuse through and evenly moisten the moss, leaving lots of air. Don't soak the moss thoroughly. That obliterates the air spaces and suffocates roots.

Moss only lasts 1-2 years before breaking down and needing replacement.

You probably cut off living roots. I recommend people not cut off roots. It isn't always possible to tell which are alive. They won't hurt the plant if you leave them on.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JasperBuddy View Post
Note: I was going to attach pics, but I need to figure out how to reduce file size. Yikes! I'll add them later if can.
Thanks! Steph
To post pictures, I use this method. Upload the picture to the free hosting site Postimages — free image hosting / image upload. Click the 'hotlink for forums' tab. Paste the copied link into your post. Your pic will appear in your post.
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Old 05-19-2022, 11:34 PM
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I'm not using moss. Using bark. Interesting that you said water for a minute as instructions that come with them are very different.

---------- Post added at 08:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:11 PM ----------

I replanted the other two. One the roots looked really good. The other, 50/50. well see how they fare.this tiny house I'm renting has pretty poor light. Maybe if I put them in the dining table in the kitchen they'll get some south and west sun. The big one (first one I repotted) was nlin the west window when it bloomed in the hotel. But I think the amount they'll get here wont be as much.
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Old 05-20-2022, 01:48 AM
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I wrote to run water over Phals in moss for one second, not one minute. The directions on mass-produced Phals tend not to be good.

Phals are low light plants. They do need a 12 hour daylength in summer, but they grow and flower best at around 1,000 foot candles. That is medium to low shade. They don't ever need direct sun on their leaves.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JasperBuddy View Post
One thing I noticed is that many of the roots I removed looked fine at the end. It was closer to the plant that roots were black and mushy. Is that normal?
The "cord" (conducting bundle) inside the "pool noodle" called the cortex, is the thing that draws water into the plant. The cortex is where CAM transport happens. CAM is a type of respiration specialized to desert plants and also plants that hang from trees (Epiphytes) like Phals and many orchids and succulents that grow in trees.

If one or more parts of the roots are still working, and intact, there is really no problem that there is a "gap" from one side to the other. It is just "ugly" and not "dead."

Dead is when there is basically the "cord" and the velamen, but nothing inside-- no cortex. So you can peel the old velamen off and you will see only the string-like cord.
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Old 05-20-2022, 03:43 PM
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Whatever medium you use, make certain that there is good air flow to the roots. Phals grow bare-root in very humid places so the medium's purpose is just to keep the air humid around the roots.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:17 PM
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I used bark. I soaked it for couple days (only because life interrupted). But now the bark seems really drive. Does bark need watering more often than moss?
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:58 PM
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Yes, bark needs watering every 1-10 days depending on the size of the bark, ambient temperature/humidity and water use of the plant.
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:34 PM
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In fact, one of the advantages of bark is that it much harder to overwater than a more retentive medium like sphagnum. It naturally has lots of air space, which is what orchid roots love. So how moist you need to keep it is dependent on what type of orchid it is. For instance, an Oncidium wants to be a lot wetter than a Cattleya. So you'd use smaller bark for the the Oncidium and larger bark for the Catt. Then you can water both at the same interval, and each will get what they want. (THat's what I do with my large collection... I could not possibly customize the watering for each plant, not enough hours in the day. But by using different media for different types, I can water everything on the same schedule and each will experience the conditions that it needs - some stay wetter and some dry fast.
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