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  • 1 Post By oc-jim

What to do if one goes out of town?

This is a discussion on What to do if one goes out of town? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    oc-jim's Avatar
    oc-jim is offline Member
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    Question What to do if one goes out of town?

    Hi All,
    Just wondering what one should do about watering the orchids if they are going out of town. This is under the assumption that you couldn't get anyone to come over to your place to water the orchids. Are the following somewhat on the right track?

    Let's say fan is on 24/7 for air circulation and temp isn't overly hot (< 80°F)

    A. Soak the orchids in water for ~15 mins. (make sure the potting medium is fairly soaked).
    B. Place on humidity tray.
    C. Move to a lower light area/room.
    D. Place sphag moss on top of the to maintain moisture.

    Up to 10 days: A, B
    11 to 20 days: A, B, C
    21 to 30 days: A, B, C, D
    31+ days: What the heck are you thinking? Don't you love your orchids? Bribe someone with a nice meal to watch over the orchids or move all your orchids to your friend's house.

    I'm sure there are other things I missed =)

    Also, is putting sphag moss on top of the potting medium (bark mix with charcoal and perlite) not a good thing to do long term?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    hcubed's Avatar
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    I have this problem all the time but for me it also depends on what time of year. If it is the summer I will water everything and get it out of the high light area for even just 7-10 days.

    But now that it is September I don't have to worry about that. In fact, I was just away for two consecutive 10-day periods (could water once in the middle) and things weren't really all that dry when I came back. Anything that is recovering that needs special attention for root growth pose difficulties though. Certainly use sphag on some of those, but be sure to let things air out once you are back.

    I guess I assume one 10-day trip won't kill anything, it might just be a little unhappy when I come back, so I then need to be sure everything gets what it needs. Haven't got much experience with the longer times though. For over two weeks I think you would need someone.

  3. #3
    Lizgeo is offline Senior Member
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    I water and then move them inside during my normal vacations (7-10days). I had to move them to a friend's house last summer because we were gone for almost 3 weeks. I only had 20 or so orchids then. I am thinking about training a neighbor's kid to water them for my next longer trip.

    Anyone has hooked a mist system for the orchid rack? That might be another solution.

  4. #4
    oc-jim's Avatar
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    Yeah I know it also depends on time of year. During summer it's definitely all 4 choices for up to 10 days. Originally I'm just thinking asking about 11-20 days but just thought I throw few more time frames in the question

    Quote Originally Posted by oc-jim View Post
    Also, is putting sphag moss on top of the potting medium (bark mix with charcoal and perlite) not a good thing to do long term?
    Any thoughts on the above question?
    Last edited by oc-jim; October 5th, 2008 at 04:08 PM.

  5. #5
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    I would turn off the fan so it is not on 24/7 first.

    Sitting the pot in water such that the water will probably disappear in a few days would help too. Usually it does not cause too many problems. That just gives you more time before the pot dries out completely

    Quote Originally Posted by oc-jim View Post
    Also, is putting sphag moss on top of the potting medium (bark mix with charcoal and perlite) not a good thing to do long term?
    I have put moss on top of my pots in the past and it has not caused problems for me

  6. #6
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
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    I've had several long (3 week) trips where I could not get an orchid sitter. I water thoroughly, lower light in summer, and put moss on some of the thirstier guys. I usually lose one or two plants - most likely the least healthy, and may blast some buds.

    I recently was unable to care for my plants (about 250) for almost 45 days. I have definitely lost about 50 plants, mostly paphs. The catts suffered some losses, but amazingly the phals have no losses. The odds and ends speicies also did quite well. I expect there are maybe 10 to 15 more that I will end up losing....

  7. #7
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    There are some growers in my neighborhood that have drip or mist systems set up and they never have to bother with watering. Personnally, it would be nice for going away, but not for regular watering. I like to do that myself. From what I hear, the big box stores have rather inexpensive systems and timers that are easily installed. Those small screw-in hooks work great to hang the tubing along/under/over shelves.
    Connie

  8. #8
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    Would love to have a nice vacation setup but for now we have an orchid sitter. When we're on vacatin she comes over every day to water the vanda and waters everything else twice a week. Most of the year everythihg is outdoors but in winter they stay in the garage. She does a great job and enjoys it too. I usually bring her an orchid back from our trips to thank her so she's growing a nice collection too!

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