Potting up community Potted Orchids
- Blc. Godenzelle 'Lemon Chiffon' AM/AOS
- By Bruce Brown
* *OrchidTalk Orchid Forum*
Today, I decided it was past time to pot up this community pot of cattleyas. Here is what I am starting with:
Next, I needed to get the little guys out of the compot, so I began by soaking the community pot in water for about 15 minutes. After soaking, I put the pot in some water that has some fungicide mixed in and began squeezing the plastic container until the orchids slipped out in a large clump. Working gently with my hands, I separated as many of the tiny seedlings as possible. Here is a shot after I rinsed the potting media out of the soak water:
While letting the seedlings soak, I mixed my bark mix and prepared my pots. My little cattleyas will be potted up in a mixture of red seedling bark, charcoal chunks, and spong rock. I will also be using lots of styro-foam peanuts to make sure these seedlings do not stay wet too long. Take a look at my supplies as they are washed and prepared:
Next, it was time to get the seedlings out of the soak and make sure they were viable to plant into pots. I was lucky. I only threw out a couple that lost their roots during the removal from the compot.
I decided to put a couple of the really tiny seedlings into some one inch clay pots. Take a look:*
I broke up a styro peanut and put in the bottom of each pot. Then I wrapped a bit of sphagmun around the tiny roots. I put a few pieces of the seedling bark on top of the styro peanut and then set the root ball into the pot. I finished by stuffing more of the bark mixture down around the roots. These guys will appreciate being potted very tightly. Since most of my potting medium is the bark/charcoal/sponge rock mix, the roots will still get air. I used just a tiny amout of the sphagmum so that the roots would have a bit of moisture and cushion from the pressure of the tight bark.
Next, I stepped up a pot size and potted up several more of the smaller seedlings. Take a look.*
and here is an image of the sphag on the roots
and finally, here are the seedlings potted up in their own pots. Here is a shot before I added the rest of the bark misture over the tiny bit of sphagnum over the root ball.
And here is a final shot of the potted up orchids.*
Some of these guys ended up in pots that were a bit too large for their size, but it was all I had. I made sure to keep the bark level very shallow in the larger pots. Luckily, those in the larger pots have lots of healthy roots, so they should do well. The last step is to label each pot. I ended up with 24 containers and about 30 plants. (I put a couple together in one pot when they were tiny. ) Anyway, here is a shot of the final product. *
I hope this helps someone going through the same process.
READ MORE ABOUT POTTING ORCHIDS at the ORCHIDTALK ORCHID FORUM