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

Roberta 08-27-2021 10:57 AM

WW, the "details" that I failed to observe when I tried to use the moss mound approach were things like not having that air pocket in the middle and not changing the moss often enough (and probably keeping it too wet) The moss-mound approach permits the elegant display of these charming little plants - in shows the pots are magnificent works of art. Beautiful whether in bloom nor not. My plants, Neos included, are not so refined. "Refined" just doesn't fit my growing pattern.

Hakumin 08-27-2021 07:07 PM

Reasons for choosing any specific medium aside, if you want to pot in sphagnum using the traditional Japanese method (which is not a kokedama, btw), you need to make sure that you don't over water no matter what method you choose to water (then again, that also goes for any medium). Many outdoor Neo growers will thoroughly soak the plant with a good spray with a hose. Some soak them in a bucket or a tub (though sharing soaking water is risky at best). Some carefully water only the moss, and others bottom water. I water mine in the shower until the moss is thoroughly soaked.

Regardless of how you water, the most important thing is to allow the moss to dry out both inside and outside of the moss before watering again.

The moss mound should dry out to a crunchy state on the inside, within 5 days of a heavy drench or soaking. If it takes longer than that, you need to change one or more of the following things:

Density of the moss - If the moss takes too long to dry, it could mean that the moss is packed too densely in the pot. The open core method of potting, especially using an internal netted structure makes it difficult to pot too densely, so is highly recommended. The moss should be no denser than what's needed to keep a well rooted plant stable. If the plant has few roots, support it with floral wire or stakes rather than increasing the density.

Pot porosity - unglazed clay pots wick away moisture from the moss, which help it dry faster and more evenly. Plastic pots, even with huge slits or holes don't dry anywhere near as evenly, so clay pots are highly recommended.

Air circulation - Insufficient air circulation will make the moss dry out slowly. A light breeze is recommended 24/7. Incidentally, sufficient air circulation is recommended with any growing medium. All the complaints of crown rot or disease caused by water trapped between the leaves are 100% solved by sufficient air circulation, even when the temperatures are low.

Humidity - while higher humidity is generally good for neos, the higher the humidity, the stronger the air circulation needs to be. Especially at levels above 80% humidity, ensure the air circulation is sufficient to dry out the moss completely within 5 days of a heavy drench. Ideal humidity is approximately 60%-80% at nighttime, but supplemented humidity during the daytime is generally unnecessary and may cause the plants to be prone to rot.

Once you have your potting method and environmental conditions to a point where the moss dries out in an appropriate amount of time, then you can adjust the watering frequency a bit to ensure best growth. During the growing season, you can water a smidge more frequently, once the inside of the moss is dry but not yet crunchy, and in the winter when they aren't growing, you should water a bit less frequently once the inside of the moss is fully crunchy.

If the growing area temperatures are above 60F in the winter, let the moss stay crunchy dry for just 1 to 3 days before watering. If it generally stays below 60F, don't drench, just give them a light shower, once every 7-10 days.

WaterWitchin 08-28-2021 10:47 AM

Perfect Hakumin! Thank you SO much. :bowing

I knew kokedama wasn't probably the right word, but it was as close as I could come. Was hoping you might chime in sooner or later. Viewing the link you posted, now it makes sense why I couldn't find the right word. You'd think as iconic and revered as Neofinetia is, there would be a specific word for it. Moss mound, indeed.

The explanation of watering gives me an idea of how I want this mounting experiment to work. And as suspected, I tried making one yesterday. I was correct...Fischer makes it look so simple and easy. What a toddler-sized mess I made. :roll: :rofl: Even worse was then trying to figure out how to marry it up with the vase.

I'll attempt a modified idea today.

---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:58 AM ----------

Aaaaand, I've been bitten by a Neo bug. Just ordered a Neofinetia falcata ’Shutennou,' with supposedly three fans. Been looking at it for a week now. :blushing:

New to me vendor on Etsy. We'll see how it delivers, etc, and whether I can get it to bloom and see if it's the real deal.

Now to go muddle around with moss again... :rofl:

estación seca 08-28-2021 11:06 PM

I have a gutter Neo from Hausermann's with three fans. It arrived in extra-large bark. I stuck it in my sunroom, where it gets an automatic spray with tap water once a day. I don't have to take care of it at all. I was surprised by the aroma of the flowers one day; I didn't even realize it was in spike.

Because it was so easy, earlier this year I ordered a little Hisu (jade) one from them [sic; correction: this should be Hisui according to Hakumin] and a little pink one from Carter & Holmes, 'Newberry Blush' x 'Bubbleyum', siblings from a selfing of their pink 'Mendenhall'.

When they came each was smaller than an individual parsley leaf. Eeek! But they have been easy to grow.

The Hisui came in a 1" / 2.5cm net pot with a few chunks of bark, nestled into a rectangular outer plastic pot. The pink one came in a thumbnail clay pot half full of tree fern fiber. Most of its roots seem to be on top of the fiber, with only a few growing into it. It has ruby root tips! The pink one has grown much better, I think because the roots stay moist longer.

WaterWitchin 08-29-2021 10:01 AM

If I ordered any orchid and it arrived looking like a single parsley leaf, I'd faint dead away.

Hakumin 08-29-2021 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by estación seca (Post 965978)

Because it was so easy, earlier this year I ordered a little Hisu (jade) one from them and a little pink one from Carter & Holmes, 'Newberry Blush' x 'Bubbleyum', siblings from a selfing of their pink 'Mendenhall'.

When they came each was smaller than an individual parsley leaf. Eeek! But they have been easy to grow.

The Hisu came in a 1" / 2.5cm net pot with a few chunks of bark, nestled into a rectangular outer plastic pot.

It sounds like what you got were seedlings that were only just deflasked, and too early at that. Keep in mind that while Hisui is seed propagable, that not all of its seedlings will bloom with green flowers. Only the seedlings that are eventually confirmed to have green flowers are appropriately called Hisui. The same goes for any Neo variety grown for their flower colors.

estación seca 08-29-2021 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hakumin (Post 966014)
It sounds like what you got were seedlings that were only just deflasked, and too early at that. Keep in mind that while Hisui is seed propagable, that not all of its seedlings will bloom with green flowers. Only the seedlings that are eventually confirmed to have green flowers are appropriately called Hisui.

Thank you. I'm still surprised how well they are growing, and how steadily.

Hakumin 08-29-2021 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by estación seca (Post 966038)
Thank you. I'm still surprised how well they are growing, and how steadily.

I've gotten several Neos over the years that had just been deflasked immediately before a 3-5 day trip to the US from Korea. None of them had any issue establishing or growing. Neos are super sturdy little things as long as you don't overwater them.

estación seca 08-30-2021 01:30 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here are the two infants. Hisui on the left, pink on the right.

Attachment 154111

I was sure these were going to die when they arrived, because they were so tiny. They've been growing steadily every since. If you've wanted to grow this plant, get one. The moss ball method works well in a summer humid monsoonal climate like Japan, for people with the discipline not to overwater, and the discipline to decrease watering in the fall. If you don't fall into these categories, plant them in large chunks of something and water a lot in summer. In winter don't water much, only a light spritz on warm days. They're fine going far over a month with no water during cool weather.

The people here on OB who've reported problems with them have frequently kept them too wet, especially in late summer and fall, when temperatures drop. Adult plants really, truly do just fine with no water for weeks. And I strongly recommend you learn on an inexpensive common plant rather than an expensive variety.

RubyRootsRule 09-05-2021 01:07 AM

Hi WaterWitchin,

I got bit by the neo bug pretty bad, just wondering, have you decided how you're going to wrap your neos?

Of all the demos I've watched, this one has been the most helpful. It's in 6 parts, 【切り抜き】富貴蘭の植え替えTOKYO酒田編1 - YouTube

Neofinetia pots have a large hole at the bottom for air flow. This large hole also enables you to know when it's time to water again, the outside moss might be crispy but the inside will still be damp. So you wait until it's just dry to water again.


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