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  #1  
Old 02-14-2017, 06:23 AM
Wathepleela Wathepleela is offline
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Last year around this time I made a major purchase: three big beautiful rhys, each had a different name (in Thai) so I knew they came in different colors, and each got a cluster of 3 or 4 little baby spikes peeking out from under them thick long luscious leaves. Even without the prospect of a bloom, these plants were mounted and attractive enough to be hung as a work of art (we can always praise Mother Nature can we). But with this litter of spikes at hand, all I had to do was to nurture them to maturity and we’d would have a great and wonderful year comes Songkran (New Year festival in April when people get doused with water in the street, which Thailand is famous for). Then one fateful afternoon under a broiling sun, I delayed going home. I still remember that brief moment feeling a twinge about those rhys that I left hanging out on the balcony, which I assuaged with a quick prayer and an oh-well denial.

When I got home nothing seemed out of the ordinary, those little green toes didn’t look too distressed…Phew they survived, they didn’t get baked! I said to myself. I also gushed with guilt-ridden promises that cruel neglect on my part would never happen again. But time was passing - which happened very slowly when you’re in the frame of mind of an escape convict waiting to be caught - while those nubs stubbornly refused to get any bigger. Just as I began to lose faith in God, they decided that they had witnessed enough of my penitentiary, so one or two commenced their process of withering and the rest, along with my hope and dreams, agonizingly followed suit. For the rest of the year I did nothing for them. Why? They were not with me anymore. I gave them all to my friend who owns a mango tree (if you happen to have read some of my past threads, yeah, that mango tree). For my part I stayed away from the orchidboard and started a whole new life: the heartbreak free, care free kind of life one can have as a freed man. To feel normal again, I got myself a couple of desert roses, they are the St Tropez type worshippers and will bloom even in the middle of the Sahara desert.

Fast forward to present, it’s that time of the year again. The local flora is preparing its 2017 Springwear collection and my favorite seasonal flowers are all in a hurry to put out their new wardrobe. Last weekend I went to the “big” market (as opposed to small, around-the-corner ones which have neither the time nor the aspiration to cater to one’s whim or folly). It was a fine Saturday and I came home with one mokara in bloom and one big rhys with three sturdy spikes already sticking up in long stems. The vendor said the rhys has orange blossoms, and they should open up next month.

balcony.jpg

rhys1.jpg

mokara1.jpg

Okay folks, this is my second chance. If I could tend to them so that they can get to full bloom then all my past sins will be absolved - my vision of the future only goes that far for now… Attached are pics of the rhys and the mokara. Any advice for reform (on my conduct) and for their survival (in my care) will be very much appreciated. Thank you all in advance and wish you a nice day
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2017, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wathepleela View Post
...Any advice for reform (on my conduct) and for their survival (in my care) will be very much appreciated....
They're bare-root. You need to soak the roots every day they don't get rain. This means getting them wet, coming back in a minute or two, and getting them wet again, so the roots turn from white to completely green.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:13 AM
Wathepleela Wathepleela is offline
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They're bare-root. You need to soak the roots every day they don't get rain. This means getting them wet, coming back in a minute or two, and getting them wet again, so the roots turn from white to completely green.

Thank you Estacion, for your advice. Right now it’s spring time, temperature is in the high 80’s, the air is right in the middle between dry and humid, meaning the heat is not laying down on you like a blanket; the sun is out but not beating down. So it’s cool (as when you cringe before jumping into an un-heated pool) and (relatively) dry and sunny, best weather of the year. Soon it will be broiling hot and then it will be raining, raining hard. (there you go, our altogether 3 seasons in 2 sentences.)

I leave the orchids out on the balcony from early evening to noon the next day. Twice a day I dunk them in bucket water that is mixed with Epsom salt (to neutralize the chlorine which is real hard) and half a cap of orchid food. When the sun is high (early afternoon) I put them in the safety of the bathroom. I use a spray water bottle to freshen them up whenever I spend time with them.

So far the rhys seems to adapt well to the new environment, the spikes with their clusters of buds are growing and shiny with some sort of sap(?) – which tells me that they are getting nourishment from somewhere and most importantly, not drying up. The mokara is a tougher specimen and I don’t worry about it too much. (this one is a fantastic natural bathroom freshener, definitely a keeper!)
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:04 AM
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If you leave the water in a bucket overnight the chlorine will evaporate. I'm not aware of Epsom salts neutralizing chlorine. And you probably don't need to fertilize every watering, unless a good local grower told you that's a good idea.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:43 AM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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I think there are many things that you can do. You can hang up netting so they do not get the full brunt of the sun. You might think of getting a solar powered fan of some kind (if you can find one at a reasonable cost). I have a bird-bath sized solar powered pond fountain that keeps things cool, and keeps humidity higher. The water goes right back into the bucket it came from, so there are no drips.

I have had to use tap water, but I am now going to go with RO water, and rain water. Another way to neutralize the chlorine in tap water is aquarium de-chlorinator.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:54 AM
Wathepleela Wathepleela is offline
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
If you leave the water in a bucket overnight the chlorine will evaporate. I'm not aware of Epsom salts neutralizing chlorine. And you probably don't need to fertilize every watering, unless a good local grower told you that's a good idea.
I use Epsom salt due to personal bias: I use it for myself to combat eczema which had come about due to too much chlorine in the pool and the harsh (read polluted) Bangkok air – also because it’s been said to help root growth…Another ace I have are “ampoules” of vitamin C which according to Google also neutralize chlorine. So the jury is still out on that, I myself am rather beat after switching back and forth between the two (for myself) so the plants are kinda benefitting from whatever hands-me down I have for them. And no, I don’t put plant food in the bucket every day. Only at the end of the week as in “weekly, weakly.”

For the moment the two spikes are growing and the buds are separating ie getting bigger and each getting its own space. The third spike is not growing as well, looking, I would say, rather stunted or neglected, sad.

---------- Post added at 08:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:51 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
I think there are many things that you can do. You can hang up netting so they do not get the full brunt of the sun. You might think of getting a solar powered fan of some kind (if you can find one at a reasonable cost). I have a bird-bath sized solar powered pond fountain that keeps things cool, and keeps humidity higher. The water goes right back into the bucket it came from, so there are no drips.

I have had to use tap water, but I am now going to go with RO water, and rain water. Another way to neutralize the chlorine in tap water is aquarium de-chlorinator.
The birdbath idea sounds terrific….I’ll save it for later when I’ve got myself a bigger place or at least a larger balcony. It’s been doing double duty as a place to hang laundry and an open-closet. At one time I did use the netting and that did very well, but on laundry day it became rather bothersome (and especially irksome when it comes to the accidental snagging of roots) so I put away the nettings. Beside the balcony gets very hot with the later day sun, so the bird bath and the nettings would be a terrific combo.
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