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Glass vs Plastic

This is a discussion on Glass vs Plastic within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; It might be interesting to dust some vanilla orchids with cinnamon and cross them with ...

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  1. #31
    dsm's Avatar
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    It might be interesting to dust some vanilla orchids with cinnamon and cross them with the chocolate-Sharry Baby.... (ooops: getting my priorities mixed up on my Orchid Diet.....)

  2. #32
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    Update: The glass pot that has a sock over it has now became so full of algi that the soil medium cannot be seen through the glass. However all are looking healthy and two, one in direct and one in indirect light, both have new top growth now and "orchid dew" all over. The sun light seems to help dry the medium and slow the algi growth. I'll give it another 3 weeks prior to drilling air holes.

  3. #33
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    Well this ex. is totaly bouched. All the plants have new growth. I have some die off but from all pots. The new shutes are filling in nicely. I think the die off might be due to the falling temps at night. Im back in Thompson and didnt want to disturbe then yet. If nothing changes by the 3rd im cutting holes in one pot.

  4. #34
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    I suspect one needs more than a simple hole, just drainage may not be enough.... there will be no air circulation appart from on a very micro scale with a single hole (unless its a big one... reminds me of a joke about what you get when you cross an elephant with a rabbit, but not for public consumption)

    I have been running an experiment with some unidentified orchid this week it has lots of rhisomes with many frehs shoots and many roots from each of these... so I have been treating them all diffirently except for the same watering schedule.. a few splashes of water from the pond next to it... after 4 days the roots that are the healthiest (bout twice the girth of the roots only hanging in air. (it is a root type that is medium thin, about as thick as a match on the dryer bits.

    Anyway the ones that did the best were simply running over some cement slabs (well its a fake tree bark pice of cement but still pretty flat), with the tips held down by a light ceramic duck (probably imporant if you want to replicate the test :P). It seemed what gave it the edge was the ability to hold water and even draw some water from nearby, through capilary action while still freely breathing through the thin layer of moisture.

    There is almost no comparison between the realy good and the realy average roots.... not to mention how much faster the sprouts around the good roots are growing...

    It was performing better than the pieces that received very random droplets from the foutain in the pool and sits on driftwood... a very moist yet still airy combo, healty results but still no comparison to the good stuff. So for me Airation would be a higher priority than water retention...

    It was amazing this morning how I could feel the moisture in the shadehouse being much higher than before the bark repoting of this week... I guess the big surface area of the bark makes it very good at realasing a good bit of water vapor over and abve the water provided by the capilary action.... I think the pure bark pots will do vey well in these conditions especialy with a maybe slightly over zealous beginner.

    My house is next to a river and I spend my childhood on the banks catching little fish and shooting birds (I don't have the heart to do that anymore, in fact there is a nest full of baby birds infront of the back door, that only shuts up form sununder to sundown)
    This I guess put me in close contact with the way plants grow in nature and I took alot of it in unconciously. What would make some creeping plants stay in more or less the same spot year after year without ever going all over the show... I could see even as a child how it received less sun there... also the rocks there are just the right size... nice round river rocks... pick one up and its always moist underneath.... small ones they may be dry, but the big ones almost always wet, with something living under it... (where I sourced alot of bait) I also netted some indigenous fishes to osberve and care for in our ponds and fish tanks about 50m from the river.

    So to get back to your question, I think the magic answer is glass and plastic will be equal... almost! the plastic will be rougher and provide a better grip for your roots... what goes in the pot is not important as long as it is mostly innert... is of humogenous size so that air can always flow through it and watter drain away fast. with the ability to absorb some water and a large surface area to fog the water out when it receives heat in the orchid daytime region...
    One thing that the glass have the plastic doesn't, is a better temperature constant... I.e. the glass will stay at the original temperature longer in the face of a sudden temperature change... it is also more likly to be cooler and for condesation better, which I so not know if it is better or not than just haveing moist air. Depending on how risky temperature swings in your area gets, will I geuss start makeing glass a better option at some point... provided we can provide good ventilaiton in each.

    My guess from observing plants in the wild.. it is not so much that a plant should only be kept under specific conditions, but rather in the wild it will at random try many spots but only those fulfilling the best compromise between all its needs, will see it live long and thrive... in our gardens and homes we need to look very closely and quietly at how nature goes about things and then try to reproduce the conditions

    I actualy want to try to but some baskets over a tropical fish tank... it is in the perfect temperature range, mid 20s, and they give off quite a bit of water vapour, going by the amounts of topping up they need.

  5. #35
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    We have a dry climate, no large water bodies near. The pots have a single 3/4" drain hole. The potting medium is a boughten orchid mix that is mostly bark. I was told to incrase the moisture content for this plant so I mixed some potting soil into it. I think the mix is OK. The roots that are on the glass edge look nice and green. The leaves are strong and stay ridgid. Most of the original plant didn't survive the repotting but the new shutes have filled the glass pots. There is "orchid dew" on all the new growth. I wanted to drill holes in one pot, I think the one with the sock, but I had to leave it for awhile to make sure covering the pot didn't make much of a differance. Once I drill a pot I will try to summit more pics. for conversation. I'm scared since I repotted last time I lost the oridginal plant and if I drill I'll have to repot again. Hopefully I wont loose the plant. I've still haven't seen this crazy thing bloom yet.

  6. #36
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    In my experience, the only orchid that did well for me in a glass pot was a bellina. I only have one cymbidium in s/h and you can see that the roots go crazy in a very free draining potting mix, even though I don't keep it as cool or as wet as it needs to be. You can still see the older root ball, totally root bound. This root growth occured within 2-3 months (summer months) in s/h.
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  7. #37
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    Just an update for all thats interested. These are still in their glass pots. They are growing like weeds. The tops of the pots are pretty much full, however I still have no blooms. I swear if this thing wasn't in bloom when I bought it I would say that it's a DUD! I never drilled holes in the sides, I was waiting to see if they would start to get root rot. Winter is comming again and I leave them near the window for the cooler temp. change in hopes to send it into blosom. I have them in a southern exposure bay window in direct light. I thought that the leaves would have burnt off by now but they just keep growing. I know I've done everything wrong and its the best looking orchid that I have, with the exception of no blooms.

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    I thought in our cold temperatures that it was best to keep away from the window? (northern Wisconsin)

    Btw...How did they end up?

  9. #39
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    I was told the nightly drop in temp. would send them into bloom, it didn't. I now have then more into the room sitting on top of a 100 gal. aquarium with a sreen lid. Boy do they like all the humidity. But, still no blooms.

  10. #40
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    My Concern would be any sun hitting the glass could easily burn the roots. I agree they look great in glass but the potential of burning, lack of breathing and the chance of root rot will keep me from trying it. Please keep us updated. Good Luck!

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