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  #11  
Old 08-31-2020, 01:09 PM
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Dorchid Dorchid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldrhawke View Post
During this period of the WuFlu scare you would never know bacteria is beneficial to plants and animals.
WuFlu? What does coronavirus have to do with bacteria being beneficial to plants and animals? At worst, this seems like a dumb political statement on forum about orchids and at best, a total misunderstanding of inftectious diseases and their vectors.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2020, 02:25 PM
Ldrhawke Ldrhawke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
I'm not clear on what the term "bacteria" means to you. You might be including fungi in this, blue-green algae, and perhaps other organisms.

In biology bacteria (which is the plural of bacterium) are one-celled organisms lacking a nucleus. Some bacteria have chlorophyll in their cells and can carry out photosynthesis. They have been in the past been assigned to a separate life kingdom, Bacteria.

Archaea are one-celled organisms lacking a nucleus that have very different chemistry, DNA and RNA from bacteria. They have been in the past been assigned to a separate life kingdom, Archaea.

All other organisms have nuclei to hold their genetic material. Fungi are one or multicellular organisms with nuclei that have very different chemistry from plants and animals. They have been in the past been assigned to a separate life kingdom, Fungi. Plants have nuclei and also chloroplasts to carry out photosynthesis. Chloroplasts are thought to be the descendants of photosynthetic bacteria engulfed by single plant cells in the past, which became symbionts inside the plant cells. Plants may be unicellular or multicellular. They have been in the past been assigned to a separate life kingdom, Plantae.

If you're referring to microscopic organisms as a group, the common terms are "the microbiome", or "microorganisms." Many are beneficial for plants. Orchids have been considered to be obligate symbiotes with fungi because almost no orchid seeds contain endosperm, food, and unless developing orchid embryos are infected with fungi, they cannot survive to adulthood. Nowadays this can be replaced by lab tissue culture techniques, and that is how almost all orchids are started from seed.

Thanks for the formal definition of bacterial species.

With the advances in analyzing DNA and RNA over the last few decades we have learned the bacteria world is much more complex that we ever realized. It is now estimate there are a million species of bacteria in 30 grams of rich forest topsoil and propose that there will be at least a billion species worldwide. The agricultural industry of chemical and fertilizers are now investing hundreds of millions into better understanding and producing the most beneficial kinds of bacteria to increase food production.

I am culturing aerobic bacteria that normally grows in and around an orchids root system to microfeed. As I mentioned earlier I have added a patented bacteria, Actinovate SP, to the mix to stop the spread of the black mold contained in the rain water I collect off the roof.

Archaea bacteria are normally anaerobic cells, single and multiple, that grow without oxygen and need to be cultured in a totally different manner producing methane or ethanol type products.

Orchids do have a symbiotic relationship with select funguses for the most part because they help break
down cellulose into the simplest form of carbon in the carbon cycle and making carbon available to the orchid in a form it can use, as well as helping its seeds to germinate.

Last edited by Ldrhawke; 08-31-2020 at 02:30 PM..
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2020, 07:08 PM
Steve83 Steve83 is offline
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Are you periodically sampling the culture reservior to see how "plentiful" it is with microbiota?
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2020, 07:41 PM
Ldrhawke Ldrhawke is offline
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Yes...thanks for the question. I actually bought a 2500 power microscope to watch the MICROBIOME activity. In culturing the MICROBIOME there are other visual indicators I have discovered that are other good naked eye visual indicators for telling you it’s activity and density. It is a learn as you go since I have not found anyone using my methods in growing plants, let alone orchids.

An article you may find of interest.

Search for...”Harnessing microbes to boost plant production”

My orchids are still doing great, so I will continue with the methods until something changes.
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2020, 08:09 PM
Ldrhawke Ldrhawke is offline
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Another good read....

Harnessing the genetic potential of the plant microbiome | The Biochemist | Portland Press
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2020, 04:37 PM
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Definitely interesting work Ldr.

Is the tub at the bottom of the nice stack of orchids for growing the bacteria? So that gets aerated right? And then how do those orchids at the top of the stack get their bacteria?

Nice arrangement of the catt type plants there. But is it relatively easy (and safe) to bring a particular orchid down from the top of the stack when it is flowering?

But back to the bacterial work ------- it is interesting. And it looks like that some sorts of bacteria can be beneficial to orchids/plants in some ways ------ within the growing media and/or roots. I think they noticed benefits with some sorts of fungus too.


Last edited by SouthPark; 09-06-2020 at 04:40 PM..
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2020, 06:14 PM
Ldrhawke Ldrhawke is offline
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You are correct, the 20g tub at the bottom is for culturing the bacteria and it is heated and aerated 24/7 and treated periodically to maintain a high bacteria population. The mixture is pumped to the top of the tree and uniformly disturbed to the four orchid containers on the top and cascades down through all the orchids on the orchid tree flowing out the containers bottom feeding all the orchids. It feeds for 30 minutes automatically every day with a heavy drip of a couple of gallons a minute.

Keep in mind this experiment is an effort to show the beneficial Interactions between the plant and its microbiome. I am trying to maintain strong alive bacterial microfilm on the whole plant all the time and keep the plant from becoming stressed and using the billions of additional microbes as an efficient and effective source of nutrients.

See chart.......


It goes against the often heard recommendation to allow the orchid plant to completely dry out between watering. Bacteria have a short productive life and the dead bacteria are like little bags of fertilizer to the plant. One of the reason plants attract micromebio.

The media is approx. 1” cork chunks allowing for good air water flow.All orchids roots are fully saturated and it splashes wetting the whole plant with a microfilm of live bacteria after 30 minutes. The tree is located where there is nearly always a good breeze and ventilation.

I am sure there is fungi present in the micromebio but the high aeration and high bacteria count doesn’t encourage fungi growth. In fact many fungi are a good source of food for bacteria.

I was initially concerned about the water remaining on the leaves causing fungi issues and root rot, but I have seen no indication; other than the black mold off my roof/gutter rainwater collection/flush system. It appears the the man made bacteria I had I added to the culture has brought the black mold under control. It is no longer on their root system.

All of the orchids on the tree started out as little 2.25” pot starters. Nearly all have more that doubled in size and are budding after 6 months.

The plastic pots are sturdy and are designed to easily snap on or off the post holding them in a few seconds. The orchids can easily be repositioned on the post or removed and brought inside during a cold snap. The post is hung and supported from the roof overhang eave and the post can swivel 360 degrees.
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2020, 06:22 PM
Ldrhawke Ldrhawke is offline
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https://cf666144-dd12-4a68-ace4-541d...489ec13a4c.pdf
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2020, 07:17 PM
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Thanks for explaining the sytem LDR. Keep us posted on the results. The vertical stack is nice for using vertical space when there are space constraints.

The 'completely dry out between watering' rule of thumb is probably for helping growers in general avoid drowning of roots when assuming new growers (in general) haven't been briefed about oxygen requirements of roots. Some roots adapt to watery conditions and/or lower oxygen level conditions, and can handle lower oxygen levels than regular classical pot roots. But even adapted roots can drown if they run out of oxygen.

The dry-out for regular roots just ensures that any lack of water movement activity (which could also be seen as not enough oxygen movement activity) doesn't cause roots or portions of orchid roots to die, and then leading to other spin-off undesirable effects.

Dry-out can also help to cut down or suppress unwanted activity too ----- eg. slime, algae, snails, certain kinds of unwanted bacteria etc.

This doesn't mean dry-out is necessary. It can just help some orchids under certain conditions or circumstances.

But ......... it needs to be noted that "dry-out" generally doesn't mean taking 2 weeks to dry right out, or even 1 week to dry right out. Sometimes, not even a few days for dry out. It can be a problem to assume that it's ok to really saturate a particular kind of media (even airy media), and then think the orchid will be just fine when we come back a week later or 2 weeks later to water again. The roots can possibly drown that way.

Naturally, there are combinations of methods that growers use to allow their orchids to grow well for very long periods of time (eg. decades or many decades).

We know about some sorts of bacterial gel or jelly that can build up in air-con pipes when water is hanging around in the pipes. So a dry-out or some sort of flushing may be needed sometimes. If that same sort of jelly builds up on orchid roots inside a pot ..... a film of it ..... then maybe that could hurt orchid roots. Hence a dry-out sometimes may help ----- suppresses bacteria gel/slime building activity.

Air-movement can definitely help cut down on (or even eliminate) unwanted sorts of fungus growing on leaves, stems etc. Your outdoor condition definitely helps in that area.

Your tests are interesting and could certainly help with understanding what extra nice benefits could be provided for orchids -------- regardless of who the orchid grower is (eg. general hobby grower, or pro/business grower).


Last edited by SouthPark; 09-07-2020 at 03:18 PM..
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2020, 08:12 AM
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My only concern about the setup is the use of cork as a medium.

Many years ago, ground cork was touted as the “next great potting medium” for orchids, and it did seem that way - it was very well graded, so was open and airy while retaining lots of moisture. The sponginess was enough to allow decent packing for mechanical stability, but little enough to prevent packing so tight you suffocated the roots. There was one “minor” shortcoming - after a few months of “ideal” growth, the microbe population within the cork turned it into a semi-liquid “mush” seemingly overnight, that suffocated the roots within.

I’m not saying that will happen with all cork - I’ve not seen that with virgin cork bark slabs or intact wine corks, but forewarned is forearmed.

You might consider LECA - I know from first-hand experience that the inorganic substrate supports microbe growth quite well.
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