First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter
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First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter
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  #1  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:46 AM
PityMyPhals PityMyPhals is offline
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First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter
Default First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter

Hi

I am trying to save my poor, rotted Phals, that were in old, packed, soggy sphagnum. I feel so guilty, but I didn't know...until I read up on it yesterday. So...I've picked away the dead, black, soggy 'stuff', and cleaned up the little stumps as best I can. I used hydrogen peroxide 3%, and finished with cinnamon powder. There are just one or two small, (hopefully viable) roots on each now.
I want to do the LECA (no more 'organic' materials for me), but I don't know which to get. FirstRay (many thanks for the invaluable info' on your website Ray) says he used Atami, but I checked online, and it seems they only do the 8-16mm size now (they call it B,Cuzz), but I thought I read somewhere (Ray?), that bigger diameter was overall better than small.
So, online, I see a big bag of hydroton Giant, which is 16mm -25mm, and wonder, should I get that one? (I read a comment that said that most of the clay balls are closer to 25mm, which is about 1", but I wonder if maybe it differs between batches?)

On a related subject, I took off three keikis that were looking dehydrated. I've put some of the aerial roots of each, into a glass of water to help them hydrate, but I don't know how long I can leave them like that, before they too start to rot? Can I leave them in the water for four hours? 24 hours? three days? Should I empty the glasses at night, and fill them back up again in the morning?

Also, I don't want to pot them up in commercial organic orchid mix, only to unpot them once the LECA arrives, but I will if necessary, so - should I? I think it will take a week to get the LECA mailed to me (and a couple more days to prepare the medium).
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:27 AM
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First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter
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First, get that cinnamon off of the roots. In addition to the fungicidal and bactericidal properties you used it for, it is a tremendous desiccant, and will cause any newly-emerging root tips to die immediately. I only use it on leaves, and never roots. You're better off letting the plant sit out for a day or two and letting the wound dry out.

8-16 mm or 16-25 mm is not likely to make all that much difference, if you're planing to water frequently, and/or your humidity is high. Otherwise, the 8-16 is perfectly fine.

As to the keikies, dunk them for a half-hour a couple times a day, and leave them in the air for the rest of the time. They can go on permanently like that, but it's inconvenient. Don't be in a rush to pot them up, and certainly don't do it twice.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:02 AM
PityMyPhals PityMyPhals is offline
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First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter
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Thank you Ray. I really appreciate the great advice.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:25 AM
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Sick Phals in the dead of winter are not the best candidates for repotting. I recommend a heat mat. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:47 PM
PityMyPhals PityMyPhals is offline
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First post newbie - need advice on diameter of LECA diameter
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Thank you for the tip, and I have put them on a heat-mat now.

When the leca media arrives, and I pot up the orchids, what about the brown, dried out stumps that were left, after cutting and pulling all the black rot away? I'm not sure if the brown stump should go into the leca, or if I should try to keep the stump itself dry and out of the leca? I'm afraid, if I get it damp, that it will just start to rot again.

My orchids are in the house - 69F during the day and evening, and down to 63F to 65F during the night. And of course, slight extra bottom heat now.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:24 AM
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After removing the rotted roots, let the plant air dry for a day or two, then pot it up to the normal depth.

If you remove the "stump", you'll be removing viable tissue and will be exposing more, healthy tissue to rot.

Be aware that you are starting the process with a deficit - a plant that has been improperly grown and has been damaged. Moving it into S/H culture is not a way to save a plant; it is just a different way of growing them. As it is starting in a weakened state, you may have to baby it for a while to get it to survive.
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Last edited by Ray; 01-15-2018 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Be aware that you are starting the process with a deficit - a plant that has been improperly grown and has been damaged. Moving it into S/H culture is not a way to save a plant; it is just a different way of growing them. As it is starting in a weakened state, you may have to baby it for a while to get it to survive.
Unless I missed it, the OP made no mention of S/H, but just of using leca as a medium, presumably with standard culture. There's only mention of soaking keiki roots in water to rehydrate them.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:58 PM
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Good point, Camille. Although this is in the Semi-Hydro Culture section of the forum.

If, indeed, PMP is going to use LECA as an inorganic, traditional medium, then I'd recommend the 8-16 mm grade for sure.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:47 PM
PityMyPhals PityMyPhals is offline
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Hi Ray and Camille,

I absolutely intend to follow the Ray Method of SH - to the letter.

Does anyone sort through their LECA, and put bigger balls at the bottom of the pot, then grade up to smaller balls at the top of the pot?

Is it possible that grading it like that, would allow more water to 'wick' higher, up to the top small pebbles?

I only ask because someone on youtube had done that to get more more moisture to the top, and she thought it helped. She had not, however, done Rays idea of a partial waterproof barrier (circle smaller than pot, and middle cutout for plant), to help evaporation to condense on its underside, and drip back down to help re-moisten the top layer of LECA.

I'm wondering if I should do both, or just stick with Rays circle idea.

Ray - thanks for the tip on stumps - I wasn't sure what to do, but I'm glad to hear I don't have to cut them off.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
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Good point, Camille. Although this is in the Semi-Hydro Culture section of the forum.

If, indeed, PMP is going to use LECA as an inorganic, traditional medium, then I'd recommend the 8-16 mm grade for sure.
Of course I missed the obvious! That's the problem with using OB on a small phone screen, and also the problem with me browsing threads in the 'recent posts' page and not directly in the forums. And also what happens when I go to bed late and then wake up at 5am for work...
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