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Old 01-11-2023, 06:11 PM
Toadwally Toadwally is offline
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Someone refuses to grow in the pot Male

A tall set-up could be beautiful. Soothing.
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Old 01-11-2023, 06:42 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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Originally Posted by realoldbeachbum View Post
Mateo - How did you get those awesome pics to appear correctly positioned (vertically, not horizontally)? Thanks!
The top photos were automatically turned sideways when including them as attachments. For the second post I uploaded the pictures to my album instead and then added them using the link. When you upload a picture to your album, it will say below "linked image" if you copy that code into a comment you should be able to embed your photo correctly.

---------- Post added at 02:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:12 PM ----------

Originally Posted by Clawhammer View Post
Could drop it into a deeper pot
It might have to come down to that but I also think I will consider repotting this orchid a little bit down the road, when the roots show about an inch of white velamen.

I wish I could remember the full story of this orchid, but this is the general idea: back in August I bought a bunch of sale orchids from Hausermann. These orchids arrived in 4 inch pots, gigantic size, tight as hell roots, they could've been repotted in 6 inch pots two years ago, easily. The media they arrived in was severely decomposed moss so I thus repotted off-season. Hausermann indicated that they get these orchids shipped from Taiwan and that they may up-pot them if necessary. They also indicated that these were grown for their flowers and they had bloomed 3 or 4 times under their care. So my assumption is they probably got them as young plants in a 2.5 inch pot (less weight, less freight, etc.) up-pot them to 4 inch, made floral arrangements with them (they sell those too), and after milking the heck out of the plants for a few years they sell them in their annual sale to make space for the newer plants that will likely be healthier and less of a headache.

For repotting I ran the following experiment: repotted them all in either S/H, mix of bark and sphagnum in plastic slitted pot, and tight sphagnum in terracotta pots. I watered them based on the media: S/H heavily two to three times a week, bark+sphag lightly from top once every 7-10 days, tight sphagnum from below once every 7-10 days.

The S/H orchids didn't face any issues whatsoever, didn't grow much, didn't die on me either, they did just fine. The (fresh) tight sphagnum did just fine as well but the plants in S/H took off much faster than the ones in Sphagnum, the plants in the mixed sphag and bark lost almost all of their roots within a month. The loose sphag in the mix would become soppy and stay soppy for days.

I think the subject of this thread was one of the victims of the bark + sphag fiasco, based on the repotting date of 11/22 on the tag, before giving up on these plants I repotted them all in S/H, except for the tight sphag ones.

I didn't cut any roots, even if they were mushy, because the plants didn't look dehydrated, so I assumed the roots might've been absorbing "something," I also placed the aerial roots into the medium. I wasn't careful, I just shoved them in and if they snapped, they snapped.

Most of the plants started to take off by the end of December. This one in particular has lost two leaves already, the third one is on the way out, and is growing its roots both in the pot and far higher, it's really growing a lot. However, I know I left a lot of mushy roots there and I also know that I didn't plant it lower because the leaves were there in November.

Rather than giving it a deeper pot and forcing the water to wick up a longer distance, I think I might just leave it alone for now and inspect the root system in February or March, when these roots are slightly longer. If I need more space, I could lower the reservoir a little, it is now placed at a very generous 1.75 inches from the bottom. I can reduce the height of the reservoir to one inch and add more grodan cubes mixed in to even out the moisture.

I could also leave it alone for another season but the surface of the LECA dries up extremely quickly in my environment and I have experienced issues with green tips getting desiccated by being in contact with the dry LECA. I know that grodan cubes can help with this, but in my experience, they "raise" the moisture gradient up, but they aren't able to saturate the very top of the LECA layer. Adding a plastic top helps but not too much. Even if the roots make their way into the pot, if I don't watch them like a hawk or I don't manage to water for a week because of work, I will risk these roots getting desiccated. I have other big Phals and the roots that stay above the medium get really dry and almost "crunchy," I don't like that.

If needed I may chop the bottom of the stem which should be pretty dry by now, so I can push the phal lower into the pot. If this had a completely healthy root system I would pot it in a bigger pot, but it doesn't so I want to keep it tight for now.

Last edited by MateoinLosAngeles; 01-11-2023 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 01-12-2023, 12:39 AM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
I'm seriously thinking of just throwing them all back onto some mounts and letting them have at it. Throw one or two of the auto-misters over them and occasionally wave at them as I walk by.
This is another experiment that I've been daydreaming about. Using a desktop fountain like this one

I could place a mini-phal on each squared basin and put the fountain on a timer. This could also be an interesting setup for miniature Dens.

I've seen a similar experiment on youtube, and the person used sphagnum moss glued to the fountain. I think this setup could work bare-rooted, but if I move forward with the science project, I would probably try a mix of inorganic materials like LECA and Rockwool cubes, so I don't run into the media degrading. To keep them in place, I could put them into a mesh net bag and place them inside each of the basins to retain moisture for longer and perhaps offer more mechanical stability to the plant.
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:20 AM
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Dusty Ol' Man Dusty Ol' Man is offline
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Originally Posted by realoldbeachbum View Post
Mateo - How did you get those awesome pics to appear correctly positioned (vertically, not horizontally)? Thanks!
Read my post here. Tips for posting Photos
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Old 01-12-2023, 12:22 PM
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tmoney tmoney is offline
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Someone refuses to grow in the pot Male

hey there!

interestingly our experiences have been a bit different than yours, mateo. the bark mix and weekly good, long soak method of culture has proven most successful for our phals. and we have relatively high humidity. a couple caveats tho, in that we incorporate leca into the bark mix, and we have admittedly reduced the sphag content due to some plants staying wet too long, and premature media decay in a couple cases. and we pulverize the moss the ensure no big pieces that stay wet long. but also, contrary to what we usually read online, we pot that media very loosely and have decent air pockets/empty space in the pot. like, in my head the perfect pot job is a plant that is essentially mounted, but is stabilized by the media and can go a week without direct water.

a couple young plants (and one notable old specimen plant) did die after transitioning to this media after their roots died. so yeah, it isnít 100% perfect yet, but the success rate is over 80% for phals and we are happy with that.

it has taken us a bit to figure out s/h for phals, and our success rate (although much lower sample size) is around 40%. we have found better success with leaving the reservoir basically empty for a week, a light watering to wet everything just once a week. by contrast our paph in s/h we water as you describe above.

we are just now coming back to trying full moss, tightly packed. signs are so far ok, but we have just dabbled water on average about every 2 weeks. HUGE water savings if we can get moss dialed in....

Last edited by tmoney; 01-12-2023 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 01-12-2023, 12:46 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline

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I've had many a table top or larger fountain in the house with orchids mounted on them. Phrags and paphs are a great choice depending on the shape of the fountain. I designed a large tiered fountain once with a level that had all kinds of orchids and other plants on the tiers for store display. Very do-able.

Also think about just mesh basket, LECA, and water level in fountain as a reservoir. The only caution I'd suggest is those orchids are all going to be sharing water so I wouldn't put a pricey or rare or hard-to-come-by orchid in that setting.

Edit: The phals you're getting on the cheap would be good candidates for a fountain project.

Also... there are many ways to get auto-misters set up and working in a house without putting in a terrarium. Think bakers racks and trays. Somewhere on the forum there's an article, a sticky thread I think, about ways to move water. I'll post the link if I have time to find it.
Caveat: Everything suggested is based on my environment and culture. Please adjust accordingly.

Last edited by WaterWitchin; 01-12-2023 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 01-13-2023, 10:14 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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Originally Posted by tmoney View Post
interestingly our experiences have been a bit different than yours, mateo.
That's so interesting! I do have to say that my phals were repotted when they shouldn't have. I'm sure their transition into bark would've been more successful had I repotted in the spring when the Phals were growing green-tipped roots.

But I did repot a couple of Phals in bark and sphag during Spring last year and they both did pretty mediocrely.

I am surprised that semi-hydro hasn't worked well for you on Phals. For me, it's the only potting technique that pretty much allows me to repot at any time of the year without setting the plant back. I've never once experienced repotting issues when moving a Phal into S/H (mmv with other genera). Also, my Phals in S/H are growing waaay faster and more vigorously than those in other media. I attribute this to the more frequent waterings, which involve more frequent feedings. But I also think the Phals enjoy the airiness of the LECA and being constantly moist.

Tight sphagnum does work well in my environment when watering from below.

My cattleyas, however, have been doing so well in baskets in my mix of chunky bark, rockwool, perlite, leca, and charcoal and I haven't tried S/H with them. I still water them frequently and the airiness of the media allows me to do so. I can pretty much water every day without overwatering.
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dreams, sale, sold, stem, white

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