orchids encased in large glass vase?

pyrfectpupJanuary 20, 2008

Even though several orchids that I've had have died, I've recently been gifted with 3 orchids - 2 oncidium and 1 dendrobium. We have 2 cats that have been predominately responsible for orchid failure in the past - predominately because of chewing on them and or just upsetting them. So, after being gifted these orchids, I just kept them in the original pots with the original plastic around them - and they are doing great! I'm just not sure that this is the best long term solution.

While at a Trader Joes the other day I saw a display of orchids where they suggested putting the potted orchid in very large, very tall glass vases. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find any further information. Would this be a good idea? If so, what are the particulars?

- thank you, Cecilia

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snasxs(7-8 VA)

For most orchid, it is not an good idea. For some and for fungi, mushrooms, etc ...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 3:52PM
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What are the orchids that it is and isn't good for? Does it make a difference if the orchid is still in it's own pot, but simply put in the vase as a bit of protection?
- thanks, Cecilia

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 6:26PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

A vase like that could be considered a very small terrarium. We could come up with a list of orchids that might do ok in a large glass vase. None of them are for sale at Trader Joe.

Orchids generally like air movement and to not get their feet wet, that is, sit in water.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 9:58PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Have you tried citrus fruit peels? Paul James, the Gardener Guy on HGTV says that cats don't like citrus. He sprinkles citrus rind around both his outside and inside plants. He refreshes them periodically.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 4:04PM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Hi, Cecilia,

We have 3 cats, and one goes straight for spikes. Another sends pots flying when he's after a bug. Ack.

Do you have a door that can be shut between the orchids and the plants? Or, do you have shelves high up enough that the cats can't get to the plants? Or, do you have an out-of-the-way place where you could "fence in" the orchids without it being aesthetically awful - not the living room?

Or, you could do a terrarium, set up for orchids. Maybe 2, if cultural requirements are different enough. Several folks here grow in terrariums.

There are also grid things you can get that keep cats out of gardens and potted plants. Sorry not to be more specific, but they're shown in garden catalogs.

Also electric scat-mats, which keep cats away from counters, Christmas trees, antique furniture, etc. Also modified mouse traps that snap shut w/ a loud noise but don't trap anything.

Hang in there - there IS a way, and maybe citrus rind is it. Thanks Orchid 126.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 8:19PM
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tee530(z6a MA)

Interesting idea. there was a guy on another forum who was growing vandas indoors just propped up in the narrow neck of tall glass vases. I think he put a couple inches of water in the bottom, not touching the roots, so the roots benefited from the humid atmosphere. I think he poured water over the whole thing every so often, then inverted the plant and vases to dump excess water.

Those are all the details i remember, but I'm sure you can find the links again by googling "vandas in glass vases" or somesuch.

I'm always on the lookout for innovative growing methods, this seemed like a cool one.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:53PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I think you should try it. Put some interesting little stones in the bottom of the vase, make some holes in the sides of your plastic pot and add a little water just to the top of the stones. The only problem is that the plastic pot is not pretty -- maybe you could find something to wrap around it? I often put orchids deep into a cache pot and they look great and grow well. At least you could see through the glass to find out if you had a problem.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 12:15PM
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Ah yes, cats. My one cat is lower on the mischievious scale, yet I have about 35 - 40 houseplants, (phals, clivia, ivies, fatsia, philos etc), and each plant has received a nibble, but just the once. So maybe my cat has a sensitive taste bud, and thinks they taste yucky.

He did snap off my phal's orchid spike last year, but it was my fault, I set the plant on the table and the cat beside the phal for a photo shoot, then as I walked around the table to get a different angle he turned is head and just took a chomp! The plant had been in bloom for near 3 months, so I wasn't too mad (cat just gave me a look like "wha???").

My plants are on tables that leave NO room for him to get on, that seems to help. I've read on the internet that a product called something like apple bitters can be purchased to use on items bothered by cats. It's sprayed or painted on items (don't know if it stains or not), and it tastes so bad to the cat that (he has to take a taste first) he'll associate the bad taste with that item, and hopefully leave it alone.

I too have used the orange peels around the base of my ficus tree, since he loved to lay on the soil and dig, but I got tired of changing it periodically, and it looked ugly. Now my ficus has chicken wire (still ugly, but now molding!) laying on top of the soil, only the shapes of the wire are really small, about 1/2 inch. Although ugly also, maybe this could be laid out on your plant table with plants above, and that would deter them from using that table as a bounding/launching area, since they don't like the feel of it?

Just keep trying different things, something should work, I hope!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 4:15PM
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Wow!! Thanks for all of the suggestions. re: the cats - We've tried citrus peels and essential citrus oils and our cats don't seem bothered by it. In the past I've put the plants in a spot where the cats can't get to them, but it doesn't seem to be the best place for the orchids. It is high up in the kitchen - I think it may get too warm there and not enough ventilation. I also tend to forget about them and they don't get watered there.

I have the spikey grid things you put around plants and it works successfully outside. My cats don't try to dig the potted plants, they just play with the vegetation, so I don't see how the spikey grid things would help here. We have several of the electric scat mats which I could try if the glass vase thing doesn't work.

I've never seen the mouse trap that doesn't actually trap anything. Where do you get them?

The only room that the orchids could be in w/o cats is a room that I'm in only occasionally - also the one window in this room is a north-north-west window.

- thanks, Cecilia

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 5:31PM
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My current orchids are: 2 oncidium and 1 dendrobium. Would both of these or either of these be suitable for the glass vase, terrarium set up? Are there other orchids that would be suitable?

On a less positive note - While at Trader Joe's today I asked the cashier about their orchids. Her method is - 1st water the plant really well, put it in the glass vase with aquarium sand and river pebbles around to hide the plastic pot. When I asked her if she watered the plants while they stayed in the glass vase, or if she took that plants out and watered them - her response was that the plants stayed in the vase until the blooms died. At that point that plant was thrown out and would be replaced with a fresh plant.

Since that is a 'method' I'm not comfortable with (after all, my purpose here is to help my orchids to live!) I think I'll try the glass vase method, but take the plants out every week or so to water. Does that sound about right?
- thanks, Cecilia

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 5:52PM
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Maybe the oncidiums, but definitely not the dendrobium. It will rot in there. They like their roots dry with lots of air. I would think the oncids would rot in that also.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Cats don't like aluminum foil. what if you were to crinkled up aluminum foil and set it under the pots. My friend did that and it worked. Not too attractive though

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 2:24AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)


In the picture, the lower shelf w/ orchids on it is 29" from the floor. There's nothing nearby that the cats can launch or swipe from. The shelves are fairly crowded, which helps, plus they're not solid and have iron work on 3 sides. Would something like this work for you? These came from Pier 1 about 3 years ago.

If you start another thread for "Oncs and Dens in terrariums?" you might get more info about whether these would like being in a terrarium. My gut says Jane is right, but I know zilch about terrariums.

Good luck, Whitecat8

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 12:46PM
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The glass case you are talking about is called a wardian case (Edwardian) and is used for certain orchids that need constant high humidity rainforest conditions. I have seen these used at shows and the orchids in these cases are usually very tiny specimens. Most orchids don't need those conditions. You can up the humidity by placing the pots in a plastic tray and lining it with smooth rocks or glass pebbles form the $ store. put some water in the tray but don't completely cover the rocks. I also run a humidifier and a small oscillating fan to improve air cirlculation unless you want to grow mold!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 2:30PM
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Wow WC, I thought I was looking at my own room. I have the same Pier 1 shelf unit, the same lights and the same sliding door to the deck. This is where I grow my cold growers.

Even the trees look the same...too weird,


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:59PM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Oh, my gosh, Jane. Weird. My cooler growers are in this space, too. The sliding doors open onto a 2nd-story deck. How about yours? WC8

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 4:37AM
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whitecat8 - thanks for the picture. I've considered something like this, but in my home it would have to be hung from the ceiling if it were by a window. We have 2 very large dogs. One, in particular likes to look out windows and anything within his reach of his nose or paws can easily be knocked down. Then the cats would finish it off - LOL - sometimes I feel like I'm living in a zoo, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

I'm also starting another thread as you suggested.
- Cecilia

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 11:51AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Cecilia - we've got 2 large dogs, too - about 80 & 95 pounds. Over time, the younger, smaller one picked 2 carnivorous plants off the shelf below the orchids and unpotted them.

With our 3 dogs and 3 cats, the place usually looks like we live with wild animals. :) I'm with you - love it.

Because you've got the zoo theme going anyway, you could "cage" the orchids for their protection. Maybe put up a barrier so the one dog couldn't reach the window, making it high enough to keep the cats from jumping over.

Or, build a stand for your lights (I made one out of plastic tubing), secure it to a shelf w/ a lip on all 4 sides, and suspend everything from the ceiling on pulleys.

Or, wait and see what the terrarium folks say. A glass box would be a bit less complex. :)

Let me see what I can find on the mouse traps.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 4:15PM
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WC, second story. Actually about 50 ft because that side of the house is on the edge of a hill. That whole side of the house is glass and gets a lot of light, mostly West.

My plants lived with 3+ Rottweilers for almost 20 yrs. They learned to leave the plants alone. But if someone came to the door, or a tree rat ran across the deck, they forgot their lessons. Everything would go flying. Plants survive, buds and flowers don't. So when anything was in bud or flower, it went up on tables or shelves.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Put them in Giant tall clear glass vases?

You get enough sunlights and it protects it from cats.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wholesale Glass Vases For Wedding and FLoral Cylinder, Cube, Block, Tall Clear Vases

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:34AM
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I'm not sure that you can put a potted plant in a larger glass vase. Even if you could, wouldn't it look pretty bad?

Wholesale Glass Vases

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 12:35PM
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hello, check out this: http://bluefoxgarden.blogspot.com/2008/03/bird-cage.html

interesting way to protect your orchids. (hope i am not violating any rule by posting this link. my apologies if I am. )


    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 4:31PM
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Try putting a little bit of this stuff called earthquake putty (or earthquake gel) on the bottom of the vase. It will make it less likely to tip over if a cat or small dog brushes by it. Won't help for clumsy humans though!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wholesale Glass Vases in Bulk

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:18PM
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