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Thread: Best way to get started?

  1. #33
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    The results I posted earlier in this thread are just as much a surprise to me as anyone. It just goes to show that despite our best intentions and flawless logic, that nature's creatures have a mind of their own and don't read any books on how they should grow.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

  2. #34
    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    Well I still got a few days before I repot. I just ordered some Coco Chips and some NZ LFS.

    I'm still reading up on various cultures on this forum and on google. I'm trying to find the best method for keeping it humid/moist without being too wet and also giving me some freedom from the mister.

    Got a quick question on water wicking. This may be blatantly obvious and I apologize for that. But am I correct in assuming that if I lined the bottom portion of the pot in pea gravel that there would be relatively no wicking action unless there was a lot of water supplied in the tray?
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

  3. #35
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    A lot of orchid growers use styrofoam packing peanuts. That's what I generally do too, covered with a little coco fiber to keep the mix from settling around the peanuts and ruining the effect. It not only prevents wicking but also improves aeration. Sometimes I use angular rocks or pieces of broken pots for extra weight. But I always use the coco fiber to keep the orchid mix out.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. #36
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Outsiders71 @ Aug. 20 2006,7:18)]But am I correct in assuming that if I lined the bottom portion of the pot in pea gravel that there would be relatively no wicking action unless there was a lot of water supplied in the tray?
    Yes, I've experienced this phenomenon, lost a few plants from drying out while there was still some water in their tray, afterwards realizing that I had a layer of gravel in the bottom of their pots.

    I never did that again.



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

  5. #37
    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (herenorthere @ Aug. 20 2006,3:28)]A lot of orchid growers use styrofoam packing peanuts. That's what I generally do too, covered with a little coco fiber to keep the mix from settling around the peanuts and ruining the effect. It not only prevents wicking but also improves aeration. Sometimes I use angular rocks or pieces of broken pots for extra weight. But I always use the coco fiber to keep the orchid mix out.
    What do you mean by to keep the orchid mix out? I also have the cocofiber on hand.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

  6. #38
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    it sounds like he places the cocofiber over the peanuts to keep the orchid mix from setteling in around the peanuts and the peanuts mixxing in with the mix.

    Outsider I think your really over thinking growing orchids bro. Chill out grab a cheap orchid and just grow it man. Take what you already know and apply it. You have been told everything you need to know in this thread. Your doing what I do on a routine basis. You try to over think things and have to know everything before you get started. Its not a bad thing, but it does lead to getting way ahead of yourself. Chill out take a breath and just grow it man. You have to learn to crawl before you can walk. Take the orchids you have and put them in a plastic pot with peanuts on the bottom and a standard orchid mix from lowes. and let it go. Watch the plants. Thats what I think masive merryclone plants are good for. Learning curves for people because they can be easily replaced.

    Well, I just reread your post again and you said you ordered cocchips. OK those are good, but make sure you rinse the Heck out of them. They are loaded with salt from what I hear. Use them just like a standard mix from lowes. Don;t go trying to do anythign fancy at first. Remember you need to learn to crawl before you walk or run. With orchids in the house and low humidity your going to need to water about every 2 days anyway. Just water the entire plant and soak the pots in water for about ten min when you do water. Just water in the AM so that water in the folds of the leaves will evaporate before night fall. The biggest thing I find with orchids is that they ned air movement. Have a fan on in the room to circulate air. Orchids are rather addaptive plants. Why do you think they are so successful in the wild? The only reason they are getting endangered is from developement and over collecting, but they are the largest group of flowering plants in the world, and the only continent they are not found is antartica. Your more than likely growing hybreds. That is good because thye are already addapted to cultivation. So Chill out bro. Plant the orchids in the coco peat and then watch the plant. If you find its getting disincanted after a few weeks try to water it more. Provided the mix is drying out. Sometimes you can over water and rot the roots then the plant looks like it is being under watered. So there was just an important leason. If you find a plant going down hill unpot and check the roots.

    I will end this with a personal story. You will be here too and be able to help someone else later. I bought the most expencive orchid so far. A paph Rothchildianum. I paid 30 bucks for a 3 inch pot 4 leaf plant. Rather small seedling, but like you I never wanted to start with expencive plants only to kill them. So I took a chance. I figured I had enough experience to risk the price. I consider that expencive for a seedling. Normal seedling cost at that nursery was 10 to 12 for a 3 inch pot. Ok So I do as I normaly do and unpot it when I get home and went ahead and potted it in a 4 inch pot so I wouldn;t ahve to disturbe it later and it could grow. I added some seedling mix I bought at a local nursery to the mix the plant came in and potted it up. Well It was in that for about a week and I was watering as normal. About every 2 days in my hot green house. I don't have a wet wall to cool it so its routinely gets up to about 90+ in there even with all the fans and exhost fan running. Well the lower most leaves started to die, and I was down to 2 leaves. I started to think I just waisted my money. So I asked questions on another board and while I was waiting for a responce I decided to unpot the plant. Bam I found my answer. Even though I was watering about every 2 days. The mix was not holding any water. It was running thgouh and that was it. The top 1/2 inch was wet, but everything else was bone dry!. I took that mix and added some milled LFS and repotted. I am proud to report the Roth is growing a new leaf and looks like a second fan will be getting started soon.

    So the leason there bro is don;t worry about killing an orchid that you only paid a few buck for. It happens to the best of us. Save your big purchases till you have experience and know how to read your plants. I can;t stress that enough. Learn the plants language. Learn what to look for and what the different things your plant are doing mean. Don't stress yourself out trying to grow orchids. This is suposed to be something to enjoy not something to cause you greef.
    JB
    Friend me on facebook with JB_orchidguy@yahoo.com.
    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

  7. #39
    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    if you can grow D.Capensis you can usually grow a phal or even better a Oncidium .
    Alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

  8. #40
    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    Thanks all.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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