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-   -   Seeking help with first Neo & Kokedama (https://www.orchidboard.com/community/vanda-alliance-neofinetia/107604-seeking-help-neo-kokedama.html)

WaterWitchin 08-26-2021 10:55 AM

Seeking help with first Neo & Kokedama
Totally new to growing a Neofinetia. Roberta gave me a start, and I've been growing it in semi-hydro. It's still alive, but tells me it wants to experiment with a traditional style kokedama mount. Or potting style, or whatever it should be called. :D

I looked at several videos, and want to try one I saw by a guy named Jason Fischer. He makes the mount with just sphagnum, no styrofoam, packing peanuts, wiffleball, etc, in the middle. I have the sphag now, and I'm ready to roll.

So once I make this mount and get the Neo stuck in it... how do I water it? Soak it? Mist it? Stick it in with my hanging Tolumnia that get auto-misted three times a day?

A little guidance from those who grow Neos so I don't totally screw this up would be greatly appreciated. I'm obviously a total newbie at this, so patience please while I learn. :bowing

Shadeflower 08-26-2021 12:25 PM

Congrats on getting into them, I just started with neo's last year myself.
Did you get a certain variety?

WaterWitchin 08-26-2021 12:53 PM

It was just a gift. Said Neofinetia Falcata (Furan) on the tag. Is that the name of one?

I really want one with the purple spur, but haven't found one affordable yet. I know pretty much nada about Neos. And they're very overwhelmingly too many of them for me to even attempt learning much at this point. I sees it, and I grows it. :rofl:

---------- Post added at 10:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:39 AM ----------

Speaking of SFlower... I couldn't find the Dendrobium bigibbum in a guaranteed purple bloom like yours, but am thinking seriously about a Den Enobi 'Purple Splash'. I have a Den Enobi 'Purple,' but it's too pinkish for my taste. I did find a really pretty Neo with the purplish spur, but out of my price range... Meanwhile, the search for yours continues. :biggrin:

camille1585 08-26-2021 02:02 PM

Made sure your mound has a hole in it. Before getting special net pot like inner cones, I would make the mounds on the neck of a beer or wine bottle (and enjoy a nice drink afterwards!).

Basics of care in my climate : in warmer months you can soak the entire mound or run it under the sink since it will dry out quickly. Water again once the sphag is approaching crispiness. In the winter, it must dry out quickly, as Neos tend to rot easily if their feet stay wet. I never soak them in the winter, and give them a heavy misting every 1-3 days and wait for the mound to be bone dry before spritzing it again. (they stay indoors with my other plants, around 65F ish).

I can't do it in my living conditions, but ideally they need cool and bright winter conditions in order to have a higher flower count. With warm and bright you do get flowers, but fewer per spike. I have to be satisfied with that...
Now I'll let the true experts pitch in!

Shoreguy 08-26-2021 02:20 PM

See my thread, Sphag vs. Bark Mix for Neofinetia, of 1/18/2018.

I have been growing Neofinetia for approximately 50 years successfully exclusively in a bark/ tree fern mix. Over 30 years specializing in neos. There is no law that says neos must be grown in sphag.

Therefore I am highly biased to which of the two methods is preferable. One strong advantage of bark mix is that you only need to repot every 5 years or so assuming proper watering and not over feeding which increases bark break down. Growing in sphag I have read requires repotting more frequently than every year. Another advantage of bark mix is that it is more forgiving of over watering but don't take advantage of this too often or suffer the consequences.

If you have been reading my posts within others threads as well as some of my threads, I have indicated my bark mix recipe several times.

You indicate interest in purple spurs. What got me into all this was my first Neo, seed propagated presumably from a jungle plant which to my joy exhibited a thread of purple in its spurs. I still have that plant.

I must state here that Neo growing is not primarily about the flowers but about the foliage and root tips.

Prices of neos vary widely and you indicate that is a factor. Can you be more specific? Also are you willing to risk total loss from shipping, an issue more frequent from overseas orders?

estación seca 08-26-2021 03:52 PM

Once you can get out of your mind everything you've worried about you'll find it's one of the easiest orchids to grow. The only thing that harms it is being cold and moist.

Shadeflower 08-26-2021 03:57 PM

So shoreguy I had a quick look but in the thread you mention the recipe was not there, all you mention is that you have not used spaghnum moss in the past 40 years.

WW has decided to copy Jason and Jason grows with moss.

He might not have been growing for 50 years but I think Jason is extremely good at growing neo's and I would trust his advice any day.

I am interested myself which might be better out of bark or spagh but as you all know me by now, mine grow in pumice so there's another good option if anyone wants to try.

jcec1 08-26-2021 04:12 PM

Just to add to the mix, I grow mine in glass vases and no media.

I guess the lesson is try one method, as I did (in bark) and if it doesn't work out then there are other ways of growing them.

Shoreguy 08-26-2021 04:14 PM

The thread I mentioned does not have the recipe but is a real value.

Here is the recipe again. Bark Orchiata Classic size at 70% mixed with 30% medium shred tree fern broken down to 1/2 to 5/8 inch length, with larger size bark at bottom for drainage. Note: the tree fern should be the brittle kind from South and Central America, not the softer kind from New Zealand.

As far as Seca's comment, I am not worried about anything about Neo growing, emphasis on growing, but feel I should mention risks of overseas shipments being more vulnerable to damage. If you have been waiting for a particular cultivar for many years, and finally it becomes available overseas that is an issue. That has nothing to do with growing.

Also my comment about watering has nothing to do with my worrying but feel that because there are individuals new to Neo growing, issues with overwatering should be mentioned.

WaterWitchin 08-26-2021 05:22 PM

I understand all the bark vs pumice vs sphag that folks choose as their favorite way to grow. Mine is doing just fine in semi-hydro, so I would otherwise just leave it there.

I have a really cool small Oriental soapstone carved vase. I specifically want the look of a kokedama (if that's what you call it) for it. I know it needs to be hollow in the middle. And yes, Camille, one of the ways Jason Fischer's shows how to do one is to put over a bottle.

It sounds like run water over it during warm months, heavily mist during winter months, only watering once outside moss gets crispy again, right? So don't leave water in bottom of a saucer, and don't put under my auto-mister which will get it wet three times a day like the bare root mounted tolumnia grow. They dry out in between, but sphag wouldn't. I'm sure I'll likely lose some of the roots that have adapted to SH, but not concerned. There are other roots now that aren't digging down into the pot yet, so plenty left.

So if I have the right gist of this, water when moss gets dried, don't soak moss in winter. Correct?

Regarding price... I cannot personally justify paying $50-$75 or more for a small Neo. First, I'm retired and on fixed income, and around here horses, dogs, etc, take up a pretty big chunk of that fixed income. Second, I'm not a connoisseur of Neofinetia, nor much of anything.

I just want to have fun, and want to expand my orchid growing to include a few Neos. Just like I'm doing my first go-round of growing Catasetum. I know folks really into Neos are all about shape/form and the blooms aren't as important. I want it all. :biggrin: And I'm not into buying something overseas that may or may not make it...regardless of what it is.

---------- Post added at 03:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:19 PM ----------


Originally Posted by estación seca (Post 965789)
Once you can get out of your mind everything you've worried about you'll find it's one of the easiest orchids to grow. The only thing that harms it is being cold and moist.

I'm not worried estación seca, I'm just seeking advice about watering something I'm not used to in a medium I don't normally use.

And you mean harm as in cold plus moist, right? Because I thought they could tolerate pretty cold temperatures.

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