Who Really Loves Moss?
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:03 PM
Blondie Blondie is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Default Who Really Loves Moss?

Hello, friends! It's been a while since I've been here. Today I went to the Greater Omaha Orchid Show and bought 3 new phals. They are really the only ones I have success with.

OK, so here's the deal: They're in moss-only. I pulled out the moss and the roots look really healthy. The last time I had a flowering, beautiful orchid that I swapped out of moss right away, all of the buds blasted. I do NOT want to do that because I bought ones with buds specifically so I could watch them open.

Everything I have is in bark. I want to take the risk, BE CRAZY, and keep the moss to see what happens. I know a lot of you don't like moss, but there has to be someone who does.

Anyone? Can you tell me that it's OK to leave in the moss for a while to see what happens?

Many thanks!
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:10 PM
brush brush is offline

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ontario
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Your flowers are very beautiful . I have purchased plants in moss in the past myself. I don't really like to keep it in the moss for too long because it stays too wet for too long . However , when a plant is in flower I think it is best not to repot it . I would wait until the flowers are finished so as not to disturb the flowers . I don't think it will hurt it being in the moss for awhile just as long as you do not water too much to make the moss too wet for too long.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:23 PM
boytjie boytjie is offline
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Nice Phals! I think you'll get as many answers here from folks who like moss and use it successfully, as you will from those who hate it. I fall somewhere between the two opinions. I have all my species Phals, Bulbophyllums, and Dendrochilums in Sphagnum, but I also mix in something to keep the moss from compacting. For the Phals I use pine bark; for the Bulbos and Dendrochilums, I use chopped tree fern fiber.

Everyone's growing conditions are different; if you grow under lights and with good ventilation, like I do, you might find moss works just fine as long as you let it dry out really well between watering and resist the temptation to keep wetting it. If, on the other hand, you grow in natural light, like it appears you might from your pic, then you might find the moss just holds too much water. In either case, I personally wouldn't touch them till they finish blooming. You might get away with repotting them if you keep the root disturbance to a minimum, but why take the chance? I'd just be careful with the water.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:24 PM
Sandy4453 Sandy4453 is offline
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Here in South Florida, I've never seen a nursery (except 1) that grow their Phals in anything except sphagnum moss so, by the time the retail outlets receive them, they're in the same medium it was growing in all along. If potted and watered correctly, sphagnum is a great medium. A lot of hobbyists use the moss in their mix for the added moisture the orchids derive from it...a good thing. Also, typically a spiked Phal with buds should not blast from changing the medium. What will cause this to happen is usually a change in temps and light environment, not the medium. Taking them from indoors to the car on a cold day is enough to cause bud blast.

There's no harm in keeping the plant in the moss until after the blooms are spent. It won't hurt your plant. If you're doubtful and the temps haven't been too drastic when you brought them home, just leave them for a week or 2, let them adjust in their new environment and then, do a repot. The temps should be more of a concern than the moss.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:30 PM
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nenella nenella is offline
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I too would leave them in the spagh moss until they've finished flowering...but, I would definitely use the 'skewer method' to make sure I wouldn't overwater!
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:31 PM
Ethan Ethan is offline
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Blondie, What a gorgeous display in your picture!!!

I personally hate moss, but that's because of my growing environment. As others have mentioned, different mediums work better or worse for some depending on their environment. It's important to remember that you shouldn't do what the 'books' tell you to do, you should do what WORKS FOR YOU.

However, with that being said, I don't think you should change your newly purchased orchids until they are finished flowering and have new root growth. I used to always repot my new purchases to match my growing preference as soon as I got them home. Most of them have taken a long time to grow vigorously again. I recently started waiting to repot until flowers were finished and/or new root growth has initiated and I have seen tremendous success. I will never repot again until flowering has finished and new root growth has initiated.

Last edited by Ethan; 03-21-2009 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:33 PM
Blondie Blondie is offline
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Loving the advice and thoughts so far. Yes, these are in the "natural light" from the nearby window. I have yet to see if this is a good location for them, but I'd like to keep them there if I can.

Thank you for telling me it's OK to keep them in the moss for a bit. Sometimes, I just need confirmation from others that what I'm doing with my orchids is OK. Hee hee.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:47 PM
Zozzl Zozzl is offline
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I have only used it for deflashed seedlings/young seedlings and they grow beautifully in it. You do have to be careful it does not stay too wet.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:10 PM
AboutOrchids AboutOrchids is offline
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I don't like moss, but I know a lot of pros use it. Since it holds water so well, it can really save on water bills.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:37 PM
Paul Paul is offline
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Who Really Loves Moss? Male

I've grown several phals in moss with no problem at all. A lot simply depends on your growing conditions. For myself, I don't like having the moss packed tight in the pot. I like it a little looser.
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