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  #1  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:32 PM
NewtoOrchids NewtoOrchids is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Female
Red face Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal

Hi! I recently became fascinated with orchids and have been studying a lot about them. There are still some things I am confused on. Before I go asking a bunch of questions, I guess I should tell about my orchid, etc...

I just brought a phal home last night. I wasn't expecting to get one then, so I don't have everything I need yet. I'm keeping it in one of the bedrooms (it's bright during the day) and we keep our house within the temperature range that they need. The phal has some buds and blooms, and as far as I can tell the roots look good. Some look kinda iffy...but not awful. It came in a clear pot inside of a clay one. I know it's best to re-pot after buying, but I'm not sure if I should re-pot in the same one, or if I should get a new pot. (I think it may need a bigger one, but I'm not sure how to tell and I don't know how much bigger.) The sales lady (who has orchids of her own) suggested a potting mix for me. I was kinda hesitant because it didn't seem very chunky.

My husband and I just moved to FL and I'm new to growing a plant in general, so I don't know where to find the best clear pots, etc. I have tried searching on the internet, but haven't found much close by. I don't know if I would have time to wait for something to be shipped to me...

I'm sorry if all this seems jumbled...I have a lot going through my head.

I was wondering if I could ask all my questions here or would it be best to go to the appropriate thread?

I have questions about potting media, watering (we have well water. It's hard and we have to use a salt softener. We have a Brita filter, but I don't know if that'll be good enough or not.), re-potting, and misting in addition to or in place of using a tray with stones.

Thanks so much for any info you can provide! I look forward to talking with all of you!
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:43 PM
zxyqu zxyqu is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Male
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First of all, Welcome!
I'll jump right in and offer some opinions. First, while sometimes this may not be the case (condition of the mix, etc), I wouldn't repot while in bloom. Repotting, especially if changing the growing mix type (sphag into bark or something like that), is best done when the plant is in active root growth. As you'll read everywhere, roots hate having the media changed, and often die when this is done.
Do you know if your grow window recieves N/S/E/or W sunlight. Some directions of light are too much for a phal, but it depends on when/if it ever receives direct sunlight.
As to pot size, a picture here would help. Often, Phals can seem too big for the pot, but they grow best in my hands when a bit underpotted.
I can't speak on the hard-water issue, not sure about that one. I wouldn't mist the plant while in bloom, as this may leave black spots on the blooms is the water hits them.
Hopefully that'll be a good start, and others will chime in. But welcome, ask away, and enjoy
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:00 PM
NewtoOrchids NewtoOrchids is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Female
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Thanks zxyqu!

I'm not sure...I would say either east or west..not 100% positive though.

Good to know about the misting! I was wondering if there was any proper way to mist? I read today to make sure not to mist the crown, which I assume is where the roots start or where the potting media begins?

I'll try to post a couple pictures next.
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:06 PM
zxyqu zxyqu is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Male
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The crown of the plant is the top where all the leaves come together. It is critical not to get water in this point, and if you do so to quickly remove it (paper towel, blow on it, etc). Youc an mist well above the plant in the mornings, and hopefully with warm weather and sunlight any water that gets near the crown or on the leaves will evaporate. But I wouldn't mist unless your humidity is really low.
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:10 PM
NewtoOrchids NewtoOrchids is offline
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Would having a tray/saucer with stones and water underneath the pot be a substitute?
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:13 PM
zxyqu zxyqu is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Male
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Well it will raise the humidity ever so slightly at the bast of the pot. I haven't noticed any dramatic improvement of my phals on or off a humidity tray here in Atlanta. It could have a marginal effect, but it's tough to say and your environmental conditions may affect the result as well. If you have room it's worth trying, as I can't see it hurting at all.
Post some pics so we can see what ya got!
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:22 PM
NewtoOrchids NewtoOrchids is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Female
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Here are some pictures:
Attached Thumbnails
Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7089-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7091-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7092-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7093-jpg  
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:26 PM
NewtoOrchids NewtoOrchids is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Female
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Some more pics

I tried to take pictures of everything or what might be the most important..
Attached Thumbnails
Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7094-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7095-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7096-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7098-jpg   Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal-img_7099-jpg  

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  #9  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:29 PM
zxyqu zxyqu is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Male
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Well, looky there. You've got a lot of what appear to be good healthy green tip roots coming out of the base. Might lose a couple of those blooms (the pinkish/yellow buds with similar colored stalks are probably blasting (sry...). It might be worth looking into a repot once the flowers are done, but I'd leave it as is right now. It's in a bark mix of some sort, so finding something similar to that should do once it's ready. Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:35 PM
NewtoOrchids NewtoOrchids is offline
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Hi! Have lots of questions and just got a phal Female
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What's blasting? I figure it's not good...I'm still learning some of the terms.

Should I repot it in a different pot or the same one?

The sales lady recommended Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix, but just by feeling it, it's not what I expected. I haven't opened it yet. She said putting that in the bottom with some bark at the top should be ok. I saw some Better Gro Phalaenopsis mix on the Lowes website and wondered if I could mix the two? Apparently they both have some fertilizer in them, and I know that too much fertilizer isn't good, so I wasn't sure if that would be a good idea or not.
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