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This is a discussion on Mounted plants - question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I mounted my first 2 plants. I am sort of experimenting and I have 1 ...
I mounted my first 2 plants. I am sort of experimenting and I have 1 sick plant and 1 healthy plant. Both are Phals. One was rotten when I bought it and all of the roots are gone except for 1 tiny root that is new and about 5mm long. I mounted them both on cork bark with sphagnum underneath for moisture retention. So here are my questions:
1) I have read much on "dunking" the plants for watering. Does this mean the entire plant, including the leaves? I have, so far, been watering them in the basal/root area only.
2) The phal without roots: is there a product I should use, a hormone or something, to stimulate root growth?
Thanks, in advance, for your help!
Ok Pedro, here's the thing about phals. If you dunk the whole plant it's going to get moisture in the crown and then will develop crown rot and eventually die. If you still want to dunk the whole thing after that dire warning, you'll need to either hang the mount upside down so the water runs out of the crown or blow it out with condensed air or use a paper towel to absorb all the moisture in the crown. As far as rooting hormone goes, yes it would be a good idea. I use K-L-N rooting concentrate. If you need a source pm me and I'll give you the name of the vendor I use. Good luck!
I have not and will not dunk the phals. Thanks for clarifying it for me. I appreciate your advice. Rooting hormone is in my near future.
I've been dunking my orchids for watering, fertilizing and to remove buggs. With your warning I don't think I'll be doing it again. Thanks for the advice.
"Dunking" isn't bad, as long as you don't dunk the leaves... I dunk my phals about every other watering to make sure the sphag gets moist all the way through. K-L-N does work well, as does Rootone, which is available in most Big Box stores.
I also use K-L-N, as it contains both IBA (Indole Butyric Acid) and NAA (Napthalene Acetic Acid), two of the auxins (hormones) shown to promote root growth...
Thanks again for all of your advice. I am hopeful for the future of my orchids!
As an outdoor grower, I water my phals with a garden hose and fertilize with a garden hose as well and let the water run over all the leaves and then soak the medium well. I have fans that run and generally dries them off. If you see a large puddle of water holding in a crown then you should blow it out, but generally it runs out itself, and if you water earlier in the day when it is sunny out, it's not a problem. I have never mounted my phals, but have seen them done to where the leaves hang downwards, so that the crown cannot hold water. When I bring my phals indoors when they're blooming, I water them in the kitchen sink with the spray hose. A phal with little roots needs to have the moisture to generate new roots.
I have been known to dunk an entire plant, pot and all when I suspect there are bugs hiding in the potting mix. The spider mites here make you want to cuss some days! I chase bugs during the summer, at times on a daily basis it seems. I walk around like a mental patient mumbling to myself about those ^&*( bugs. lol I like to dunk for a minute or two and then pick it up and watch for them to run up stalks or roots looking for air. Then I pick them off and feed them to the geckos (ahem, okay peanut, anodes). I also then use a paper towel to suck up any left over puddles later on. Usually it's windy and sunny enough to get rid of all left over water around here.
If the water you're dunking in has fertilizer in it, then the leaves benefit from foliar fertilization as well. There's an interesting article posted here about foliar fertilization, and that it is more effective than strictly root fertilization. Also, spider mites don't like being wet, so dunking, or spraying the leaves helps to keep them away.