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Ugh, I give up.

This is a discussion on Ugh, I give up. within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I think the best way to use sphagnum is in conjunction with those transparent plastic ...

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  1. #11
    PAGrower is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004


    I think the best way to use sphagnum is in conjunction with those transparent plastic pots that some growers seem to like to use inside clay pots. I find that I can often tell at a glance whether the moss is still damp deep inside the pot with them. As an added bonus, I can sometimes get a peek at the root system without unpotting the entire plant.

    Even though a lot of people avoid sphagnum, I find myself using a lot of it. A little bit on top of the plants keeps the aerial rots fairly moist and I don't have to mist, which means I avoid getting water spots on my leaves.

  2. #12
    OrchidTraci's Avatar
    OrchidTraci is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Western New York


    Originally posted by lja
    Traci, several people have reported that plants newly potted in sphag have experienced "revitalizing effects" if they have suffered some root loss, and, for a limited length of time, fresh sphag does provide some fungicidal benefits. But this is all short term-- a period of a couple months. And, if you're not careful watering, there won't be any revitalizing effects at all.

    Your Phal's inner roots were wrapped in sphag because that's what the growers put the seedling in when they transfered it out from flask. When they repotted after it grew some, they just stuck the seedling "plug" inside a pot with mix. Happens all the time; it's pretty common practice actually.

    If you want to keep it in the sphag you've just potted in, absolutely positively MAKE SURE that you only water when the sphag around the root zone is just barely barely damp.

    Ok? Promise?

    I decided to put it in bark. This is why I don't grow phals, they are so sensitive lol! I better stick to my difficult to grow orchids that I do just fine with.

  3. #13
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    paphs, phrags, catts, vandas
    Join Date
    May 2004
    West Hartford, CT
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    I love the long-fibered New Zealand sphag for sick plants...and I almost always use clay pots. The trick to using sphag is to pot loosely. And remember to keep saying "loose" every 10 seconds, since it goes against the grain (kind of like putting orchids in saucers of water, but I digress). Wrap the root zone loosely with a wad of sphagnum, set in the pot, and fill in the rest.

    I think it works wonders on shaky plants, since I'm told it contains a natural fungicide. But the protective effect is transient (months at best), and I figure to repot plants in moss after about 4-5 months. (I grow masdies in moss since the evaporation from the clay pots helps keep the root zone cool). If you use small clay pots, they will dry out very quickly, in a couple days. I like to water when the top is dry, and use much less fertilizer (seems to hasten the breakdown).

  4. #14
    Heather is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004


    That's what I did w/ my phal in danger (the one w/ the new leaf.) I potted it in bark, but wrapped a bit of loosely packed NZ sphag around the recenlty decimated roots. I still don't think it was terribly well potted, it isn't terribly stuck in the pot. It wiggles a bit. At any rate, it seems happier, and I repacked some nicely soaked bark around it today, after I did my phal and phrag. I'll keep y'all up to date on its' progress. I'd love to take a look at the roots, but will just assume they are doing ok.

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