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  #21  
Old 08-02-2021, 08:37 AM
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  #22  
Old 08-02-2021, 03:35 PM
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So Now I really want to keep this thing alive but in my experience it's practically impossible.
Have you tried relatively firmly packed sphagnum? eg. a 8 to 10 cm diameter small plastic pot with lot of drainage holes down the bottom. Pack firmly the lower half of the pot with moist sphagnum. Then put the base of the plant in, and pack - carefully - sphagnum fairly firmly all around the root(s). But too tightly as to crush or break the root.

And when watering, just test how damp it is with a finger. Damp is nice. And whenever we need to ---- just get a water sprayer (with spray nozzle) to spray water toward the outskirts (rim regions of pot) ------ and the water will wick all around. The aim is probably to not add to much water so that the media gets saturated or too watery - root drowning conditions that is. Maybe you've tried that already. Just adding this - in case you haven't tried this.

We don't necessarily need to just spray the outskirt regions. Sometimes, some light application of sprayed water further in is ok. It's by touch/feel, sight etc.
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  #23  
Old 08-05-2021, 01:41 PM
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You need to practise your aiming skills.
Indeed I haven't had much practice with my aiming.

---------- Post added at 12:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
Have you tried relatively firmly packed sphagnum? eg. a 8 to 10 cm diameter small plastic pot with lot of drainage holes down the bottom. Pack firmly the lower half of the pot with moist sphagnum. Then put the base of the plant in, and pack - carefully - sphagnum fairly firmly all around the root(s). But too tightly as to crush or break the root.

And when watering, just test how damp it is with a finger. Damp is nice. And whenever we need to ---- just get a water sprayer (with spray nozzle) to spray water toward the outskirts (rim regions of pot) ------ and the water will wick all around. The aim is probably to not add to much water so that the media gets saturated or too watery - root drowning conditions that is. Maybe you've tried that already. Just adding this - in case you haven't tried this.

We don't necessarily need to just spray the outskirt regions. Sometimes, some light application of sprayed water further in is ok. It's by touch/feel, sight etc.
Thanks for your great input. Now that I think about it, I may not have the moss compact enough in their pots. I'm also having an issue with the new leaves not opening up enough but maybe they just grow slowly and I'm impatient. I have read in other threads that I may not be watering enough.
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  #24  
Old 08-05-2021, 02:30 PM
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I have read in other threads that I may not be watering enough.
It's a possibility. For this situation, it can be beneficial to get a fair understanding of the media ----- the state of the media at nearly all times. Not just on the surface of it ..... but down in the depths. So some experience and/or testing etc will lead to the understanding.

The aim will be to see if the particular media type being used (including the size of the media pieces etc if it's bark, or scoria etc) is able to maintain a particular amounts of water ----- with a particular range (over any amount of time). If the situation is really not enough water ------ then using a second pot ----- that has media only ----- and no orchid in it --- will allow some testing to be done -- where you water in particular ways, and then you can later (after a while - such as a day or two) dig down into the media ------ to check out how dry or wet it is down in the depths of it. That's one on of getting a feel of how the system behaves.
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Old 08-05-2021, 03:13 PM
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I was using a sprayer before but I'm not sure how to do that without getting water on the leaves which is something I've never seen the benefit of.
Water on the leaves doesn't help (leaves don't absorb water) but it doesn't hurt them either. It runs off or evaporates. After all, in nature it rains... I water my whole collection with overhead sprinklers and haven't seen any sign of harm, being doing that for years. ('Way too many plants to give each one individual "surgical" watering, or fertilizing for that matter. Everything in a particular area just gets a bath, frequency depending on the weather, more in summer and less in winter)
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  #26  
Old 08-05-2021, 03:40 PM
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It's a possibility. For this situation, it can be beneficial to get a fair understanding of the media ----- the state of the media at nearly all times. Not just on the surface of it ..... but down in the depths. So some experience and/or testing etc will lead to the understanding.

The aim will be to see if the particular media type being used (including the size of the media pieces etc if it's bark, or scoria etc) is able to maintain a particular amounts of water ----- with a particular range (over any amount of time). If the situation is really not enough water ------ then using a second pot ----- that has media only ----- and no orchid in it --- will allow some testing to be done -- where you water in particular ways, and then you can later (after a while - such as a day or two) dig down into the media ------ to check out how dry or wet it is down in the depths of it. That's one on of getting a feel of how the system behaves.
That would be a pretty good idea. I can definitely try to see if that'll work especially when it's time to repot them, which I'll wait until at least next year. I have one of the more mature cattleyas that do fine in medium bark pieces and a bit of sphagnum moss. I think this might work pretty well in bigger pots later on.

Also for the leaves that won't open, I just gently opened them myself. I can't imagine this being viable in nature but I thought I would see what happens and it worked fine. The leaves were trying to open but they were sticky.
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Old 08-05-2021, 03:46 PM
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Water on the leaves doesn't help (leaves don't absorb water) but it doesn't hurt them either. It runs off or evaporates. After all, in nature it rains... I water my whole collection with overhead sprinklers and haven't seen any sign of harm, being doing that for years. ('Way too many plants to give each one individual "surgical" watering, or fertilizing for that matter. Everything in a particular area just gets a bath, frequency depending on the weather, more in summer and less in winter)
I've attached a picture of my first cattleya I got 3 months ago. It died of rot starting from the psuedobulbs and spread until there was nothing left. It didn't come in great shape. The roots were already like that when I got it. So I always wondered what I did wrong and my googling told me that I may have been watering from above into the top of the sheaths. I concluded that it was that reason. The experience has made me confused and extra careful with the cattleyas this time around.

I only have 3 cattleya so I guess surgical watering is possible but yeah not possible in the future for when I will definitely acquire more.
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  #28  
Old 08-05-2021, 03:51 PM
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Also for the leaves that won't open, I just gently opened them myself. I can't imagine this being viable in nature but I thought I would see what happens and it worked fine. The leaves were trying to open but they were sticky.
In nature they get rained on, so the sticky sap tends to get washed away or at least softened. I have also found on some plants (like L. anceps and relatives) that overhead water on buds has the benefit of doing the same thing, facilitating opening, they tend to have sticky sap that can even cause buds to blast. (That being said, water on flowers after they are opened can shorten the blooming. So it's mixed blessing)

---------- Post added at 12:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:46 PM ----------

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I've attached a picture of my first cattleya I got 3 months ago. It died of rot starting from the psuedobulbs and spread until there was nothing left. It didn't come in great shape. The roots were already like that when I got it. So I always wondered what I did wrong and my googling told me that I may have been watering from above into the top of the sheaths. I concluded that it was that reason. The experience has made me confused and extra careful with the cattleyas this time around.

I only have 3 cattleya so I guess surgical watering is possible but yeah not possible in the future for when I will definitely acquire more.
If the plant was in poor condition, it may have had internal rot or other issue that caused its demise... likely not your fault at all. Rescuing an unhealthy plant is usually a gamble. You may get a triumph, but don't feel badly if you fail... luck helps, don't count on miracles.
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  #29  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:15 PM
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That would be a pretty good idea. I can definitely try to see if that'll work especially when it's time to repot them, which I'll wait until at least next year. I have one of the more mature cattleyas that do fine in medium bark pieces and a bit of sphagnum moss. I think this might work pretty well in bigger pots later on.
Absolutely. I also for got to mention that for some parts of the year, or some days or weeks ----- if the environment is windy and dry etc, then the media can evaporate more quickly. While on rainy days etc, slow dry-out. So that just comes under the experience side of things.

Quote:
Also for the leaves that won't open, I just gently opened them myself. I can't imagine this being viable in nature but I thought I would see what happens and it worked fine. The leaves were trying to open but they were sticky.
True. When growing orchids at home, there is always the freedom of manual intervention when we feel the need to. So doing the 'letter opener' trick to pop apart stuck LEAVES can be helpful ----- and when it pops open, also gives a nice sense of satisfaction and enjoyment heheh.

Same goes for sepals that might appear stuck to a petal due for some reason. Very gentle coaxing apart with fingers can help get them apart. Emphasing 'gentle' --- because being too quick or too forceful can certainly end up tearing a sepal ------ which isn't going to really hurt the orchid heheh ----- but could spoil the nice photos that were going to be planned for it.


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  #30  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:45 PM
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In nature they get rained on, so the sticky sap tends to get washed away or at least softened. I have also found on some plants (like L. anceps and relatives) that overhead water on buds has the benefit of doing the same thing, facilitating opening, they tend to have sticky sap that can even cause buds to blast. (That being said, water on flowers after they are opened can shorten the blooming. So it's mixed blessing)

---------- Post added at 12:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:46 PM ----------


If the plant was in poor condition, it may have had internal rot or other issue that caused its demise... likely not your fault at all. Rescuing an unhealthy plant is usually a gamble. You may get a triumph, but don't feel badly if you fail... luck helps, don't count on miracles.
Forgive my poor quoting since I'm doing this all on the phone and new to the board. Yes the fact that my new cattleya aren't dead and are growing well, I suspect that the rotting may not have been my fault. Well it must be a mixed blessing because now I have a whole new appreciation for the cattleya type orchids. Before this I've been growing mainly phalaenopsis orchids.

I'm keeping my orchids inside with a grow light set up that is in the works. So the weather is less of a factor for now until I do decide to change their environment.

---------- Post added at 03:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:42 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
True. When growing orchids at home, there is always the freedom of manual intervention when we feel the need to. So doing the 'letter opener' trick to pop apart stuck petals can be helpful ----- and when it pops open, also gives a nice sense of satisfaction and enjoyment heheh.

Same goes for sepals that might appear stuck to a petal due for some reason. Very gentle coaxing apart with fingers can help get them apart. Emphasing 'gentle' --- because being too quick or too forceful can certainly end up tearing a sepal ------ which isn't going to really hurt the orchid heheh ----- but could spoil the nice photos that were going to be planned for it.
It's definitely more fun to pop the thing open haha. And I'll keep that in mind with the flower opening. I cannot wait for the day when I can do my own photoshoot for my flowers that I've raised from very small.
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