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  #1  
Old 02-21-2017, 03:31 AM
Brauwin Brauwin is offline
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Question Repotting into Glass Containers

Was wondering if anyone else has tried potting their orchids in glass containers with no drainage. I have read a lot of conflicting information. Most people say it's a terrible idea and no orchid can survive. There are some out there who swear by it and the types of media they have used is pretty varied.

If you have had any experiences potting into glass, good or bad, I would love to hear about them. What kind of orchids did you pot and what medium did you use?

Currently I have 2 mini phalenopsis in bark in glass, 1 mini phalenopsis in moss in glass and one large sized phalenopsis in moss in glass.

Thanks in advance for sharing!
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:11 AM
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Of course, it CAN be done, but it has some limitations I don't think are particularly good:

You have to water extremely carefully, only slightly moistening the medium.

You cannot flush the medium, so it will build up mineral deposits and plant wastes relatively quickly.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:30 AM
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Subrosa Subrosa is offline
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I disagree with Ray, with reservations. A former customer kept Phalaenopsis very successfully in glass vases full of large pebbles, nickel to quarter sized stones. His watering regimen was simple. When all the roots had turned silver he filled the vase with warm water from the tap (water has a tds of around 200ppm)and let it sit for 15 minutes or so and then carefully poured off as much water as readily poured out. Naturally a bit of water was left in the bottom, and it definitely flushed out the media so I consider this method a crude form of semi-hydroponic culture. When the roots turned silver he repeated the process. My main reservation is that its a pain in the ass to not pour out the pebbles every time you water! I'd much rather endure the pain in the ass that drilling a hole entails because it's a one time pain.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:32 AM
jcec1 jcec1 is offline
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I grow all my vandas bareroot in glass containers. There is a thread in the vanda section about 'vase culture'. I know some others who grow phalaenopsis this way too.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brauwin View Post
Was wondering if anyone else has tried potting their orchids in glass containers with no drainage. I have read a lot of conflicting information. Most people say it's a terrible idea and no orchid can survive. There are some out there who swear by it and the types of media they have used is pretty varied
To give you some context & insight into this phenomenon, consider the fact that there are people out there who have grown various kinds of epiphytic orchids successfully in plain potting soil.

That doesn't mean it's a good cultural practice. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of us wouldn't have a lot of success with it and would end up with a rootless collection of dead or dying orchids if we tried it. But, there are some folks who've managed to make it work.

Quote:
Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
Obi-Wan Kenobi

Saying that no orchid can survive is a bit of hyperbole, but I assume those folks are just steering you away from a growing method that's fraught with pitfalls and not recommended for beginners. And, I tend to agree. I wouldn't recommend switching any valuable plants to this growing method, and I definitely wouldn't recommend moving an entire collection to it. However, if you have some inexpensive plants that you don't mind if they die, then by all means experiment. If you end up figuring things out and your plants do well, then you can try it with more valuable plants or convert more of your collection to this method.

I think your best chances of survival are as listed by some others here. Use an inorganic potting mix (stones, LECA, etc) instead of bark and moss. Adapt semi-hydro methodology, flush frequently and feed sparsely to avoid fertilizer buid-up, things of that nature.

By using an organic mix, you probably can't do the adapted semi-hydro, though. You'd need to water very sparsely, then ensure that no excess water remains in the jar. Frequent repotting may be necessary as well, since an organic mix will break down quickly, and will be difficult to flush excess nutrients out of it.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2017, 01:25 PM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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I have a mini Phal that's been in a glass vase with no medium for about a year. It has lovely fat roots that I can keep an eye on, and currently has a flower spike that hasn't quite opened but is looking good. I water depending on the weather and how the plant is looking. Winter has been once a week, fill the vase, soak for 1-2 hours, then drain completely. Summer (hot and dry here) was 3x/week, fill the vase, soak for 1-2 hours, then drain completely. I fertilize the same as my other Phals, weekly/weakly with the same soak and drain.
I've tried leaving some water in the bottom of of the vase, but then I get algae growth--ugly but not harmful. Draining completely seems to work fine here. Either way, it has healthy roots and no mold or rot. If you add pebbles, they will rattle around and bump the roots when you drain out the water.
If you have a container that keeps you from periodically thoroughly rinsing the media, salts will build up and eventually stunt then kill the plant. Most tap and well water has a fair amount of dissolved minerals, and fertilizers are salts of various minerals that are essential to plant growth in small quantities, but toxic if they build up in the root zone.
I suggest giving it a try, see how it works for your plants, climate, and schedule.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:18 PM
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I don't think there has been any disagreement at all in this thread.

The objection for me was with the use of an organic medium, as that was the original inquiry, and in the need to hold any medium in place when draining. PITA, anyone?
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2017, 02:24 PM
bil bil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHappyRotter View Post
To give you some context & insight into this phenomenon, consider the fact that there are people out there who have grown various kinds of epiphytic orchids successfully in plain potting soil.
Mind.

Blown.

Seriously?
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
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PITA, anyone?
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