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Mini orchid owners, media question

This is a discussion on Mini orchid owners, media question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I recently purchased a few mini orchids (tiny fit in your palm mini's). I could ...

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    nicki is offline Senior Member
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    Default Mini orchid owners, media question

    I recently purchased a few mini orchids (tiny fit in your palm mini's). I could see myself getting more. But this is a new area for me. These don't need to be repotted but I may need to do that to fit my conditions. I am curious if there is generally a preference to a potting media for tiny plants. I know each requires different culture just like regular size orchids. The mixes I have I think would have pieces to large to be suitable. I hate to experiment since these are not clearance box store orchids. Any input would be great.

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    Could you tell us the types you have?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    I knew that question was coming. Had to look them up. This is what I have so far.

    Holcoglossum flavescens (clay pot, some sort of bark pieces)
    Encyclia mariae (plastic pot, moss growing on top of mix but not exactly sure what)
    Mediocalcar decorata (plastic pot, moss)
    Aerangis (citrata x fastuosa) (net basket, moss)

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    Hi nicky, not sure of your grow area conditions, but If me I would get rid of the moss ( holds water at long intervals and young roots may suffocate and rot. Aim for under rather than overwatering. Some loose light moss on top of media will provide the plant with a humidity increase. Presuming these are seedling/ young plants and not actually miniatures, keep them in small pot as poss ( unless mounted) as a big pot obviously contains more media and therefore more moisture than the plant can handle. I cannot preach about pots as I use the mounted approach. I kill orchids in pots. However just keep roots aerated so they dont sit in constant water. Med/large grade bark leaning more to medium would be better. Finer media holds to much water, while large grade a atd to open and plant is deprived.

    On a final note, Jason above, grows his Stanhopeas in pure moss adhering to thier high water demand. Mine have to be mounted or put in customized media as moss would rot roots and bulbs. Just an example of how different each of us grow and many of us learned the hard way increasing orchid mortality rates until our care approach was assessed, modified and applicable.

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    This maybe of interest to you!!!! A common gardening term here, not sure how widespread that term is used across the world though.

    An article for you.



    'Damping off' is caused by several soil-borne fungi including Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium, which infect seedlings and cause them to ‘damp off’ or collapse and decay.

    Damping off can affect most seedlings, particularly under levels of high humidity, poor air circulation and if seed is sown to thick. It is mainly a problem when sowing early indoors or under glass, but can affect seedlings sown outdoors in situ.

    Damping off is especially damaging in late winter/ spring when light levels and temperatures are low and seedlings grow slowly, but may occur at any time of year.

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    nicki is offline Senior Member
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    Matt these are miniatures unless I'm mistaken. I grow indoors under lights. Run a fan randomly throughout the day. Humidity varies but if it's too low I do have a humidifier to help some.

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    I hate to throw any confusion into the mix but personally I would stick with the moss. Miniatures can dry out in a heart beat - you just need to get used to the moss, it is a great medium to grow in. All of my miniatures are in moss and I get wonderful results, have never experienced dampening off using it. Again, you just have to get used to it. I have miniatures in moss that are watered every day. Others every other and others once a week. It depends on your plant and your grow area.
    Don

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    The potting recs are going to vary by species. Holcoglossums like to dry before they are watered again (hence the bark), while I think aerangis citrata likes it a bit more moist, and the sphag and net pot is probably just right. I have several minis that like that sort of thing, but not all do.

    Sorry not to be able to give you a clearer rule!

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    Beg your pardon Nicki. That ll teach me! skiving off work!. Cats away mice play. I have the Encyclia mariae and yes miniatures not seedling/young plants.my apologies, too busy looking over my shoulder so i dont get caught.

    I remember needing a fair few questions answered or advice and became torn between all the possible answers. I guess its about striking that happy balance for yourself and your approach to care. One thing about sharing our opinions and experience is that you know what to look out for and be aware of! I think once I reached that conclusion the death rate of orchids decreased. Moss ofcourse can be too tightly packed, a big no no for anyone worldwide really. Used in a sensible manner the positive options versus negative can be wieghed up, its just a matter of relating it to your conditions. It soon became apparent that some orchids wouldnt even tolerate moss as an applied pad when mounting and lost many incl miniatures such as encyclia, catt aclandae. Mounted bare root to bark and sprayed once/ sometimes twice a day was sufficent to encourage roots to cling. My airflow relies mostly on a fan but our circumstances and situ vary significantly, dictating our choices near enough. Would dread to think how much money has gone onto the compost heap as a result of mistakes and learning curves.

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    Thanks for the responses. For those who use the moss for their mini's, do you also use moss with 'normal' size orchids? I worry about the moss cause with my conditions they have always caused rot with the bigger orchids. I noticed that even the moss in the net pot seems to stay wet for so long.

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