A question and a warning

ashes_of_the_fire(6B)March 9, 2014

So my parents had the Katie brown workshop on tv, and there was a woman with orchids and she and Katie decided that they were going to put a phalaenopsis in a beach themed planting.

This planter was a tall glass vase, no drainage holes, filled most of the way with sand, then a nearly bare rootball was placed on top of the sand and surrounded by beach glass. It looked pretty but is something that I would never do, not like that anyway.

When I voiced this opinion to my parents, they said that maybe I could learn something from this woman since she clearly knew more than I did n the subject since she was on tv. I will openly admit that I do not know everything about orchids, phals in particular as mine I feel are slowly fading. I also want to note that they said that orchids don't need much soil, which is an understatement. Soil (with a few exceptions) equals death for orchids.

My question is: would any of you plant in sand? I feel that air circulation would be the biggest problem.

My warning is this : after having recently work in home decor using live plants, I'll tell you that my boss knows nothing about them. My opinion and that of garden centre employees was what she relies upon to make decisions. With home decor, plant health is not always a consideration.

Please try to not rely on the advice of the people you you see on tv. Look at context. If you're watching a home decor show, maybe don't take their advice on plants to the letter, though in fairness, I've seen some not great orchid advice on gardening shows as well. They seem to consult people at local botanical societies instead of talking to growers and societies specializing in orchids.

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I am unclear, is the plant actually planted in the sand or is it placed on top of the sand and actually planted in glass beads?

Keep in mind as well this sounds like more of a floral arrangement than an actual permanent growing situation. Not everybody wants to grow their plants like we do. That's the whole point of the phal mass market, you can do anything you want with them when you treat them as temporary splashes of color like any flower bouquet.

This post was edited by terpguy on Sun, Mar 9, 14 at 12:48

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 12:44PM
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They plant is on top of the sand with the glass taking the place of bark.

The part that bothers me is that they never said it was meant to be temporary or anything other than 'this is pretty and easy to do'

Kind of frustrating that people (my parents are included) would think that this is a viable way to grow any orchid.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 3:10PM
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I saw a gardening show yesterday showing Desert Rose plants and saying they make beautiful 'coffee table' plants. They will bloom year round.

Anyone growing these plants know they need full, full sun and would never grow on a coffee table.

I grow some of these and just shook my head.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:35PM
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I suggest Katie find a more appropriate species of plant, as Phals aren't and never will be dune plants. Dried arrangements made from Pampas Grass et al may be a little more "beachy".
If she wanted to transition into a tropical island theme as well, she could include several Phals, grown in the proper media and culture.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:33PM
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