Watering mounted orchids

gardenbear1(6 Ma.)June 29, 2011

I have 4 catt and 1 Den mounted and I've been watering 2x a week, I put them in the sink with water and let them soak for about 20 min or so, I all so feed them ever other week, there growing well but I just want to make sure there being watered right, I mist them every other day

Thanks for any and all help


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Depends on your climate. They need to be watered exactly like potted orchids. Water them, when the roots get dry water them again. For me that means every day. When it gets super hot, I'll water them twice a day. I add very dilute fertilizer each watering.

Urea works for potted orchids, sort of. The resident bacteria in the pot convert the non-usable urea to nitrate which the orchids can absorb. With mounted orchids that does not work as the excess water runs off and no conversion to a useful N type can take place. Use a non-urea fertilizer.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 4:30PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Yes, watering depends entirely on how fast the mount dries. Water whenever the mount dries out, not on a prescribed schedule.

Also, while I do use a urea free fertilizer, I don't see any problem with using urea based fertilizers on mounts. Here's a good link I've posted before.

Nitrogen in fertilizers and the truth about Urea

And a quote from it: "Urea hydrolyses into ammonium (NH4+) and C02. This breakdown of urea can take place in the surrounding soil, bark or coir and in the roots and leaves of orchids. The urease enzyme breaks down the urea in leaves and roots. Urea is readily absorbed by roots and leaves and can be used in foliar feeding. While urea is broken down in a growing medium and the resulting ammonium nitrogen is absorbed by the orchid, it is not necessary as orchid can directly absorb urea and break it down within the orchid. Contrary to older orchid book statements urea does not take a year to break down, and can be used by orchids directly."

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 6:11PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

I water mounts like I vote. Early and often.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:25AM
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Except when it's really hot in SOCAL, then I water late and often. If on a 80F plus day I water early, they are dry in a heartbeat. If I water after sunset, they remain moist until the next morning.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:54AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Good point. I'm also finding that in some cases it's better to water at night. Allows plants to become fully hydrated before having to bear the heat of the day.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:57AM
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gardenbear1(6 Ma.)

I forgot to say these plants are in side in a south facing window, with day time temps about 85F and 70F at night, I will start to check them more often to make sure there not dried out, I've been using Urea free fert, because it was giving to me when I first got in to Orchids

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:10PM
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Another way to deal with hot days is to water very early, like Richard says. today I watered at 5:30AM, I'm sure they will stay moist for a while before the heat of the days dries them out.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:27AM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

Not all orchids, obviously, but many will do fine if the roots dry after they are well watered once a day.

Once in the range above 90F, they need to be watered again. Our forecast for Sunday is 99F and my orchids will get watered until the temp is back below 90F, no matter how late that might be.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 11:03AM
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When it's that hot, I water twice a day, as early as possible and as late as possible, they get bone-dry in mid day.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 4:01PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

How do you water a mounted orchid? Do you use a watering can and gently pour water over the roots? Can an old spray bottle be used and spray the roots until you see water running off? What is the best method for getting water onto the roots of a mounted orchid?


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:22AM
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westoh Z6

Pump sprayer or dunk it in a bucket of water for @ 5 minutes.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:29AM
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I spray them with a garden hose ---- TWICE. Twice is the key as the roots need to get wet and green before they are really ready to absorb, So I walk down the walkway watering everything thoroughly then make a u-turn and repeat the process form the opposite side. Plants get watered from 2 directions and also get watered twice. Seems to work.

Once you have a good number of mounts, taking them down and immersing in a bucket or whatever becomes too much of a chore. I use siphonex to mix in fertilizer which happens in very low concentrations at every watering. I use different fertilizers Gro-More 20-20-20 is the standby but occasionally depending on which way the wind blows, I give them Miracle -Grow, Tomato fertilizer or what ever else I happen across.

The plants in the greenhouse get watered with RO water but once a month I drench them with tap water as there are numerous wonderful things in tap water that cannot be duplicated even in the best MSU fertilizer like uranium, cyanide, cobalt 6, arsenic and God knows what else. Ask your local water co to give you a read out of all the great things contained in extremely low and perfectly safe amounts in your tap water. Do the plants benefit from any of this? I have no idea but it won't do them any harm to get exposed to it once a month and it may do some good.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:09AM
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cwcervantes(9A / New Orleans)

I water with a hose, sometimes using a fertilizer spray attachment filled with fish/seaweed emulsion.

I'll really soak the mounted plants, sometimes twice daily in the summer, evening or morning seems to work best for mounts as they don't dry out too fast.

Also, I'm a big fan of the time release fertilizer in mesh packets that can be attached to mounts so that when you water with plain tap water or the plants get rained on they get a dose of fertilizer. I use these for vandas and other "heavy feeders" in the summer when they are really growing.

You should research your plants to see if they have distinct growing seasons -- you may not need to water or fertilizer much during the fall or winter.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:18PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Thanks, everyone, for all of this great info! My rescue orchid is mounted and watered, but it looks so pathetic due to it's condition that I'm afraid to post pictures just yet. Give it a few weeks to perk up... it's gonna be ok... and I'll show ya what I did. :)


    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 10:05AM
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