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Help on keeping mounted orchids moist when away.

This is a discussion on Help on keeping mounted orchids moist when away. within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I could use a little advise on keeping my mounted orchids hydrated while away for ...

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  1. #1
    hank3443 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Help on keeping mounted orchids moist when away.

    I could use a little advise on keeping my mounted orchids hydrated while
    away for about (7) days. I also have a few mini Phals. in 4" clay pots that I
    water about every other day. I was thinking about rigging something up
    in the bath tub, spayer, mister etc. I don't have the option of a neighber
    so I am hoping for some suggestions. Thanks Hank.....

  2. #2
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
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    For clay pots and short periods of time, you could think of using capillary matting - one end goes into a trough of water, and you stand the pots on the matting. Water is sucked up by the capillary matting and the clay acts in the same way to keep the pots damp. You ill need to experiment a bit , to see what sort of supply you need in the container etc, and sit the matting on a sheet of plastic larger than the mat, otherwise water will keep feeding into the mat and dripping out of the free edges.
    Mounted plants are a bit more difficult ; in the past I have made elaborate setups using timers , a pump, and spray jets, but home-made installations like this - at least the ones I lashed up - don't work very long before something goes wrong. Maybe the best answer for a short period like a week is to move the plants so that they are well shaded, give a specially good soak before you go, and the same when you get back.
    I gave up mounted plants when I first retired from work and was away for 25% of the time seeing the world, and as we say in UK "ski-ing" (spending the kids inheritance) - it was just a waste of money trying to grow them, although potted plants were OK. Now, much older, and quickly bored if I am away from home for very long I grow them again - and get in hired help to spray them only if I will be away for more than say 5 or 6 days.

  3. #3
    hank3443 is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks Geoff, Great advice I will use the matt and try to work something out with a mist timed spray in the bath tub. I only have (3) plants mounted but they are Phals. so they should stay moist, I do have a African tree root that has (9) miniature different type plants that might be a problem, but again thank you very much for your input. Hank......

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Good advice from Geoff.

    cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    Phillip C's Avatar
    Phillip C is offline Senior Member
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    Great advice. Another thing you might consider is asking the nursery where you bought some of your collection to rent you some space in there green house and keep them watered for you. We are leaving in just over a week and I have arranged to have my agreacums and mounted min's moved out to a local nursery where we have thousands of dollars. The usual fee he charged is $100.00 per month for a fairly large space, Mine will take up significantly less room and it would be good business on his part not to charge me, but who knows. At any rate they will be taken care of while I am gone for two weeks.

    When we went up to Boston and Maine in october, I didn't have as many orchids as I do now, but I do have a Bonsai collection that I value very much. There is a retired gent in the Bonsai Society who offers to come and water your trees or what ever for a fee. I live quite a ways from this man, so we decided the best thing to do was load them up and take then to his back yard. It took only a couple of trips across Atlanta (where you take your life in your hands crossing this city) and I was set up.

    We were gone for about 6 weeks as it turned out and my bill was for $85.00. Hard to beat.

    All that is to say that there are alternatives out there if you use your noggin'.

    Phillip C

  6. #6
    hank3443 is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks Phillip, I think I have the clay pots figured out, I'm working on building a small drip system for my mounted plants/

  7. #7
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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    I only have two mounted orchids mainly due to the travel issues. I just returned from a two week vacation and was pleased to see how well they did. I have a catt and a brassavola 'Little Stars 'that are mounted and both did well. The 'Little Stars' was in full-bloom and put out lots of new roots while I was away. I have over 250 orchids and they are did fine being neglected. I was suprised at how many came into bloom or spike while I was gone. I did water them well before leaving and I grow mine in the basement where the temps have held at 60 to 72 degrees all winter. This has been a very mild winter---so far. The phals amd other warmer growers or special needs orchids that I grow on windowsills upstairs also did quite well including masdies, a medusa, and several psychopsis. I have left my orchids before for a week or two and have never had a problem. I admit that I only do this during the winter months. When I am away during the summer months for a week or more and most of the orchids are outdoors I have orchid friends check on them and water them if needed..

  8. #8
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
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    Another option would be the use of ultrasonic humidifiers attached to a timer to go on everyday in the morning for a couple of minutes. They are real cheap and you can get them at pet stores for herps.

  9. #9
    Phillip C's Avatar
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    Amey,

    That is a good idea. We run two ultrasonics and one plain humidifier. The ultrasonics really do put the water in the air. This winter in Atlanta (southern US) we have been able to keep the humidity between 70% and 75%. That's not too bad considering that we have a central heating unit.

    We picked up our best one at a thrift store. My minis wouldn't know what to do if we didn't run those things.

    Phillip C

  10. #10
    hank3443 is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks Amey, I think the ultrasonic humidifier is my best option, I do have some mounted phalaenopsis that need not to dry out.
    Thanks again everyone your the best!

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