orchid dilemma

mommy115(9)June 8, 2012

I just bought a Phaleanopsis in a tiny clear plastic cup (it says 3 inch but they must have been using a very short ruler...closer to 2 inch) that does have a drainage hole. It seems to be in sphagnum moss. There are some very healthy looking green roots and some that look totally dried out above the 'soil' line. The roots in the moss look very nice and I don't see rotting in the pot but I have not wanted to disturb it by taking it out of the cup until I got some input from you good people. (I'm new at this....I take that back, I did kill a couple orchids 2 years ago). It is blooming so beautifully that I hesitate to repot now but it is super root bound. Do you think I should wait to repot until after it is done blooming? I plan on using sphagnum moss. What is in my 2 recently purchased orchids is the moss but it sure seems packed tight. How tightly should it be packed? Also, I want to keep them on a kitchen windowsill as the light there seems very suitable. I don't use nonstick pans and actually don't cook very often. There is not much fat or oil in the air as I am on a super low fat diet. Is it safe under these conditions to grow orchids in the kitchen? Thank you for helping!

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jane__ny(9-10)

Its really up to you. Phals grow quite well in Sphag as long as you don't keep them too wet. You can pot it now or wait. I'd wait and enjoy the blooms but you could repot as Phals take repotting quite well as long as you don't do a lot of root damage.

Don't worry about cooking oils, nonstick pans,etc. Won't bother them at all as long as they aren't being cooked!

Enjoy, and you can come back when you are ready to pot them.

Jane

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:29AM
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mommy115(9)

Thanks Jane...If I gently repot now will it be likely that I will lose the flowers prematurely? Also, how do I know if I am packing the moss too tightly?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 2:38AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

You could do a simple potting up without disturbing the roots very much. Gently loosen the packed sphag or pick it out with a tweezer or fingernails. Or you could leave well enough alone, and just remove the plastic and put the plant in the same size pot and let it finish blooming.

If the roots look good, just remove the plastic or cut a few holes in it and it should be fine.

I don't grow Phals in packed sphag as I haven't had luck with it. I mix some small bark, tree fern, and sphag.

Other growers like growing in tight sphag and have success. I don't and can't really judge moisture with that method.

Jane

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:50PM
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mommy115(9)

ty for getting back to me Jane. Your recommendation sounds good to me. I actually realized, upon closer inspection, that the top of the sphagnum moss looked like it was getting some dark green regular type moss on it. So yesterday I did gently remove the sphag. Some of the center root were turning black and the sphag was looking somewhat degraded. I gently packed new moist sphag loosely into the roots and put it in a slightly larger orchid pot. I hope I don't loose the blossoms...so far so good. I did not cut off any roots and plan to do that when the blossoms are done. I'm hoping that putting the sphag in loosely will prevent any further rot until then. Or do you think I should do a root trim right away? I sure appreciate having you and this forum for help from more experienced growers!!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:36PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I'm sure your plant will be fine. Just stop fussing with it and don't overwater. What type of growing conditions do you have - light and temps? That is important.

Jane

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:35AM
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mommy115(9)

The one window in my house that is not deeply shaded is a north window. It is a very large kitchen window but does have a light colored awning with slats over it. There is another good sized window on a perpendicular wall so the kitchen is pretty bright in the daytime. I'm hoping to get by without supplemental lighting but will use it if necessary. During the winter I keep my heat set at 66 degrees (F) night and day. During the summer my daytime indoor temp runs from 78 to about 92 (if it gets hotter than that I use a swamp cooler which is located quite far from the kitchen so there is no direct breeze from it in the kitchen but it does cool the kitchen a bit). The night temp in the summer usually drops down into the low 70s.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:51AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Sounds good. Orchids like air movement, so don't be afraid of running fans.

Jane

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:28PM
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