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  #1  
Old 04-16-2021, 04:28 PM
Plants2295 Plants2295 is offline
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Over potted? And other rookie questions
Default Over potted? And other rookie questions

Hi Orchid Lovers!

I am so excited to have found this board. I have some questions, as I am very new to orchids and plants in general. I am pretty sure I over potted my orchid. I think it is a mini orchid, and I have it in a 4 inch pot. I put it in a new pot 2 months ago. It doesn't have a lot of roots, and it frequently slumps over and then I shake some of the bark out, reposition it, then pour the bark back in. This is probably not ideal. Should I leave it in this pot or try to re pot it into a smaller pot? Will completely taking it out and repotting it be more stressful to the plant?

Also, and this might be a dumb question, but how exactly do I fertilize it? I have been bottom watering it, then after every other watering I take about 2 cups of water with fertilizer and basically bottom fertilize it too, if that makes sense. I leave it in the fertilizer water for 5-10 min, and pour some of it on top. Then I take it out to drain and dry out a bit before putting the plastic pot back in the decorative pot. I have no idea if this is what I should be doing.

Even with all of my bumbling around it's still not dead and is somehow is growing new roots and a new leaf. Any advice is welcome.
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2021, 04:44 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Can you post a photo or two? What type of orchid? If the plant is not firmly held in place, you need to stake it - if there is any movement, new roots don't get a chance to grab onto the medium and may be damaged. Press the bark firmly into place with your thumbs - try not to press on new roots, but any existing ones will benefit by the "cozy" hold.

Fertilizing is the least important factor in orchid growing. Unless your fertilizer solutions VERY dilute (like maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of what it says on the bottle, you're probably over-fertilizing it.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2021, 05:27 PM
Plants2295 Plants2295 is offline
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I am not sure what kind of orchid this is. I got it from the grocery store, I think it is a mini phalanopsis? I'm guessing that because it is small. When it was in bloom it had two flower spikes that were purple and white. I stuck a stake in the back to try to hold the roots down but it's not really working. maybe i'll try to put something else in there for support. Here are some pictures, hopefully this will clarify the situation further.
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Over potted? And other rookie questions-img_4790-jpg   Over potted? And other rookie questions-img_4791-jpg  
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2021, 07:06 PM
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IT definitely is a Phalaenopsis.

The pot doesn't really look too big for the plant. what you might to do to stabilize it is to use two wood barbecue skewers, one on each side of the plant (so that it is supported in two directions. Just be careful not to hit any roots that are in the pot. It's growing some nice new roots, so if you can stabilize the plant they'll have a chance to establish to the point of anchoring the plant better. Also, you don't want to keep it too wet... water it well so water flows out the bottom, let it drain. Then weigh it on a kitchen scale or postal scale. Weigh again the next few days. When the rate of decrease of weight levels off (so most of the water is evaporated) it's time to water again. So it never goes totally dry, but it does get drier - as water evaporates, it pulls air into the root zone, which is what it needs -"humid air" rather than "wet". Fertilizing once a week is plenty, use about half of the strength of what it says on the bottle. Orchids need very little fertilizer. Get the rest of the culture right, fertilizer is just the "finishing touch".
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:29 PM
Plants2295 Plants2295 is offline
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Wow thank you so much! I never thought of weighing it to see when to water it next. I just basically guess which ends up being every 8-14 days depending on how it's looking. I can't see any of the roots under the bark, so that will be really helpful to give me a better idea of when to water it. I will try the BBQ skewers to keep it upright.

Based on your experience, and given that it is in a 4 inch pot, does this look like a mini Phalaenopsis?
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:44 PM
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Roberta provided excellent advice already.

Some links below could be useful to you later.

Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here

Also - just focusing on the word 'over potted' ----- we have heard that term being used. But just got to consider it as being relative to something. What thing? That's what we need to consider - such as media type used, surrounding environment conditions (temperature, light, humidity, air-flow etc), pot type (size, shape, holes, drainage etc), watering schedule and watering method etc.

A huge pot much larger than the size of the plant can actually work wonders - depending on media used etc. While a small pot can even work wonders too. This is if the set-up of the system (as a a whole) provide conditions that allows the orchid to just stay healthy ----- for very long times (ideally indefinitely).

A large huge pot filled with porous material that is watered in areas some distance AWAY from the plant - with the occasional little bit of water closer-in to the plant (so that the roots can occasionally get nutrients into them through water/moisture) can do well. This is also if humidity in the growing area is satisfactory. Having water in the media that surrounds the roots (but not always touching the roots) can provide nice moisture around the roots. And some air-flow in the growing area, that very gently passes through the media and over the roots etc can be beneficial.

On the other hand -- too large a pot can mean a possible waste of potting media, and/or a waste of water and/or fertiliser. And really big pots may take up too much space for some growing areas - or for any growing area in general. So some limit on the size can be considered too.

For small pots ----- no problem too - as long as the orchid's roots can grow healthily in whatever we provide it. This also includes being aware of the state of the roots. Too cold and too wet? And are the roots 'regular' roots? Or are they 'wet/water-adapted' roots? Keeping various important things in mind will go a long way to keeping an orchid alive and healthy.

Keeping an eye out for (and/or avoiding) attacking organisms like mites, scale, mealybugs etc is another important part of keeping orchids healthy.


Last edited by SouthPark; 04-16-2021 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plants2295 View Post
Wow thank you so much! I never thought of weighing it to see when to water it next. I just basically guess which ends up being every 8-14 days depending on how it's looking. I can't see any of the roots under the bark, so that will be really helpful to give me a better idea of when to water it. I will try the BBQ skewers to keep it upright.

Based on your experience, and given that it is in a 4 inch pot, does this look like a mini Phalaenopsis?
Can't tell from the plant size if it is a mini or not, the term applies to the flowers more than the plant. Mini-phals tend to have more flowers (often on branched spikes), the standard ones have larger flowers but fewer. Both are lovely.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:09 PM
Plants2295 Plants2295 is offline
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Thank you both so much! I have a lot to learn about orchids
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:34 PM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plants2295 View Post
Also, and this might be a dumb question, but how exactly do I fertilize it? I have been bottom watering it, then after every other watering I take about 2 cups of water with fertilizer and basically bottom fertilize it too, if that makes sense. I leave it in the fertilizer water for 5-10 min, and pour some of it on top. Then I take it out to drain and dry out a bit before putting the plastic pot back in the decorative pot. I have no idea if this is what I should be doing.
Can you explain what you mean by "bottom watering"? I'm guessing you may be referring to what is commonly called soaking, but I think we need to be sure. If that's the case, how far up the plant does the water come when you soak? Maybe it's just me, but in the two pics you posted, in the first one, it looks to me like some of the plant's lower leaves may be a bit limp and wrinkled, suggesting dehydration.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:42 PM
Plants2295 Plants2295 is offline
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Soaking sounds like what I've been doing. I fill up a plastic Tupperware container with distilled water then I take the plastic pot with the orchid in it out of the decorative pot and place it in the Tupperware with the water in it, and it usually goes up almost to the top, with about 1cm of bark above the water. I leave it there for about 10-15 min, then let it drain. I appreciate the feedback, It is very possible I am not watering it frequently enough or in the right way.
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