2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2018, 11:23 AM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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Yup, that's what I was doing...a huge pot of simmering water, then a bowl of cold water and I would add some hot to that. This was when I had harvest about 50 gallons of melted snow water.

It's what I consider a big task because I have too many orchids. I know it, I'm guilty, there it is. So the pot of simmering water is taking up space where I might line up plants getting ready to be watered. The mixing bowl is taking up counter space. I have to monitor the boiling water and keep adding to it. I go through about 24 gallons on my big watering days.

And then there is brain fatigue. Last year, I accidentally poured a cup of simmering water on a plant. Quickly doused it in cold water and by some miracle it survived, but I don't trust myself to not lose focus. Wasn't going to divulge this, but there it is. I am now at maximum orchid capacity and no new plants are crossing the threshhold (...eh....unless there is a casualty that opens up a space...)

In terms of fertilizing, I use K Lite, and I add slightly more than 1/8th tsp to a gallon. I think it says 1/6th tsp on the container. So usually I measure a slightly heaping 1/4 tsp, and then split it between 2 gallon containers, or add it to a 2 1/2 gallon container.

Measured my cold tap water again last night and got a reading of 232. I'll be looking at the water softener and the piping. Didn't have a great experience with the company that installed the softener, which is why I don't have a lot of confidence that just the hot water is being softened. I have been using tap water for the catts and sometimes the neofinetias, everyone else gets store bought RO or distilled or "spring" water.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2018, 01:15 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot? Female
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We plumbed the hot water in the kitchen soft and the hard water cold. That might be a thought. I just put a big glass measuring cup in the microwave to heat. Yes. I get the space thing. I put my water in kitty litter jugs and store them away. BTW, I wouldn't stress over the TDS. Mine, filtered twice is 142 my pH 6.1.
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2018, 01:16 PM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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Yes, it was supposed to be installed to only soften hot water. I can see the water softener feeds into the water heater and into the water supply to our boiler, but it also feeds into the water pipes to the kitchen and that's where I get lost. The TDS of the hot water is lower than cold.

I'm concerned about the TDS of the RO water that I have been buying from a grocery store, because it came up with a higher reading than my tap water and if that is the case, questioning the value of the RO water. My competitors at the water hole buy it because it is supposed to be chlorine and fluoride free, maybe it retains a high mineral content. I'll get a fresh supply of the RO and test again. Looking for a better solution overall because really not enjoying hauling so many gallons into the house when it is cold.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2018, 05:19 PM
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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I have the same problem...hard water/water softener. It is certainly a pain. People with perfect water will never understand....

I use rain water/snow (warmed to room temperature) and buy distilled water. I found I need to add plenty of Calcium and use oyster shell, egg shell and Cali Magic. I only have a few houseplants that will tolerate the softened water (as long as they are flushed well by summer rains) and that does not include the orchids.
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2018, 10:13 AM
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayGardener View Post
The TDS of the hot water is lower than cold.
It could simply be that your TDS meter does not have any temperature compensation, so reads differently at different temperatures. The way to test that is to pour glasses of hot and cold water, and let them stand around to reach room temperature, then test them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayGardener View Post
I'm concerned about the TDS of the RO water that I have been buying from a grocery store, because it came up with a higher reading than my tap water and if that is the case, questioning the value of the RO water. My competitors at the water hole buy it because it is supposed to be chlorine and fluoride free, maybe it retains a high mineral content. I'll get a fresh supply of the RO and test again. Looking for a better solution overall because really not enjoying hauling so many gallons into the house when it is cold.
1) It could be RO being passed through a "flavor enhancing" filter which restores calcium and magnesium.

2) It could be from an RO system that has not been maintained properly, so isn't really RO.

3) Maybe your TDs meter is a piece of crap. Most are, and while they may be fine for determining changes in dissolved solids content, they are not good for learning the actual level.

The obvious solution (to me) is the purchase of a small RO system. Not only will you be certain of your water quality, it'll be a LOT cheaper per gallon in a not-so-long run, not to mention no hauling of water from the store.
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2018, 04:59 PM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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Oho yes, RO system has been on my list for quite some time...
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2019, 07:13 PM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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To come back to the orchid that had been doing wonderfully, then started to rot...I did not see decline in any other orchids in SH, including other encyclias, when the temps changed. Recently I threw out an oncidium in SH which wasn't going to make it. There I discovered that the plant's large root mass had mostly rotted, but was not decomposing and flushing away fast enough.

Based on that, I decide to repot the original offender (which has been hanging in there). What I found was that most of the original root mass was gone, but there remained about an inch of very densely packed roots. Literally a complete mat of roots, very wet, with no room for air whatsoever. The roots all seemed healthy enough, but some of the pseudo bulbs have been rotting. I removed those and tried to open up the root mass and repotted in new hydroton in SH with a wash of Cleary's.

Not sure what to make of this. I have a few non-orchids with very fine root systems in SH and they have done better than I expected.
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2019, 08:05 AM
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot? Male
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It sounds like it's necessary to try solve a couple of things here -- if possible. This includes the need for getting O2 to the roots on a continual basis, or maintaining enough O2 in the water around all the roots - to avoid any localised stagnation. So it's a air-circulation consideration for all the root region. This might also involve considerations of preventing algae and/or fungal/bacteria growth or build-up (if any) due to the maintained wet environment. Maybe it has been solved already. SH appears to be a careful balance situation. A system that needs to be kept under good control.

Can established SH orchids with roots that are mostly accustomed to SH be transferred to conventional potting media? I know that going from conventional to SH can take a bit of effort for some orchids to get established. Anybody know if the reverse is easier? SH to conventional media? I don't mean it should be done - but just wondering what happens.

Last edited by SouthPark; 03-07-2019 at 10:10 PM..
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2019, 10:18 AM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot?
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I have moved one orchid into SH, and then after several month, back out. It is doing well in a bark-based mixture. It is a paph.

For me, in my environment, it is the phals that really love SH. They root into the reservoir, they produce air roots like crazy and they've been blooming. The challenge is to keep them warm enough. The other orchids that I have moved to SH either rot or are maintaining but not rejoicing. Everything that I moved, I moved last summer so it has been at least 5 months, and for most longer, for all of them.

I also tried African Violets in SH, but I don't like watering them overhead and found it very difficult to flush the containers without getting water on the plants or breaking leaves. I also didn't want the leaves touching the hydroton. I moved them back into a wicking soil mix with a bottom reservoir (I use dandy pots) and they went wild. I have 2 small ferns and a Peace Lily in SH, and they're fine as is, but I think I could move them back to soil and they would also be fine. It helps to bag them during the transition.

I do feel like some of the orchids in SH get "too wet" and I know Ray will come in to correct me, but rot has been my main issue. With the exception of a phrag, it has been the orchids with thinner roots and larger root masses that develop rot. I don't know if I should be removing large root masses before transitioning them, but I didn't because that in itself creates an invitation to rot. Every orchid that I transitioned was producing new roots at the time of transition. The ones that transitioned the most gracefully did not have well developed root systems.

This was a "try and see" if it works for me, so I was prepared for losses and I'm learning. I do feel bad about this one particular orchid since it had put on a splendid display.
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  #20  
Old 03-08-2019, 06:30 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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2 new growths lost to rot, change pot? Male
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The whole system is definitely dynamic - although relatively slow. The system is changing. In this case, less roots at first. More roots --- or a lot more (even clumping etc) later. It looks like the system reaches a stage where the roots get so much that the conditions are significantly different as compared with the earlier stages. It looks like this is probably what needs to be solved....as in - how to deal with the condition when the root density has increased a lot - possibly inhibiting air-circulation among all the roots, or build up of stagnant regions of water.

Last edited by SouthPark; 03-08-2019 at 07:20 PM..
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