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  • 2 Post By zrhanson
  • 2 Post By Kmac
  • 2 Post By cakedaddy
  • 4 Post By zrhanson
  • 3 Post By smurphr

I'm back, and in need of some help!

This is a discussion on I'm back, and in need of some help! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello everybody! It's been a few months since I've had the time to post on ...

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  1. #1
    zrhanson's Avatar
    zrhanson is offline Senior Member
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    Default I'm back, and in need of some help!

    Hello everybody! It's been a few months since I've had the time to post on here, been quite busy with my school work and haven't really had the time. HOWEVER, I needed some advice, and I don't trust anywhere else on the web more than you when it comes to my orchids!

    So, I have one phal here, which I posted about quite a few times, which had some... health issues. I had recently tried my hardest to save it, but I was pretty sure it was a goner. WELL! Surprise surprise, two days ago I went and saw it's growing me a new leaf, and there are some new roots coming out! (As well as another mini-phal that I have!)

    Now, I wasn't going to bother with this before, if it was just going to die, seeing as how I have no money, BUT seeing as my orchid seems to be putting up a good fight, I figured it was time to help it any way that I could. So, the thing's planted in sphag now, and in a pot with no drainage. Terrible, I know. ESPECIALLY for a phal. But it was the pot my girlfriend's father gave it to me in, and so I tried my hardest to make it work.

    It's not working.

    So I went out and bought (at our local hardware store) a smaller, better drained, non-glazed clay pot. I also bought some Miracle-Gro "Orchid Potting Mix." Now, seeing as the bag says it is extra coarse and such specifically for phals, I thought it'd be great. Well, I opened it and it seems a little... soily. NOW. My question (I knew I'd get there eventually!): Has anybody here ever tried this stuff, and can you tell me your opinions on it? I've seen mixed reviews coming from other orchid forums, but the general consensus seems to be positive. I just wanted to check in here before I accidentally kill this wonderful heirloom chid that's fighting for its life.

    Thanks everybody! :-) I've already been on this site for about an hour before I got around to posting. I almost forgot how much I love this place!

  2. #2
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
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    Years ago, before I knew much about orchids, I bought this. Way too much "soil" versus bark. I just googled "Miracle gro orchid mix reviews", and it seems a lot of folks have found the same problem. Personally, I would not use it. Or, at least I'd sift out the soil from the bark.

  3. #3
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    cakedaddy is online now Senior Member
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    Soak the mix in a bucket of water and use whatever floats. The 'soily' bits should sink. Any sort of water holding container will work-just sanitize it first...and then rinse, rinse, rinse before you soak the bark in it. Just remember that the more open the media, the more you need to water...and vice versa.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  4. #4
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cakedaddy View Post
    Soak the mix in a bucket of water and use whatever floats. The 'soily' bits should sink. Any sort of water holding container will work-just sanitize it first...and then rinse, rinse, rinse before you soak the bark in it. Just remember that the more open the media, the more you need to water...and vice versa.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    I was about to post the exact same thing. IF it float - it is not rotten and will be good for your orchids.

    cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
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    Abrielle107 is offline Senior Member
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    The only other thought I have is that it seemed too much fertilizer for my plants....they were continually getting a release instead of weakly/weekly, and there is no way to "flush" the pots so the salts don't build up on the roots. It caused my plants' leaves to crisp a bit until I repotted them (only a few weeks). Of course, if you're rinsing and looking for floaties you may be just fine

  6. #6
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    Thank you guys for the advice! Well, after reading this, and all the posts that I saw on other sites, here's what I ended up doing: I first soaked about half the bag and picked out everything that floated. Next, because I CLEARLY wasn't going to have enough to fill the pot this way, I also got some styrofoam and cut it up into small-ish pieces and mixed them in there. Then, I mixed in a bit of the actual straight-up mix (without the soak-treatment). I mixed all this together, took the orchid out of the moss and pot, trimmed its roots with a sterilized blade, repotted it, and watered it. Now, here's to hoping it's happy in its new home! :-)

  7. #7
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    leafmite is offline Senior Member
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    I use the miracle grow orchid mix sometimes when mixing soil for a new houseplant but not for orchids. I think that as long as you have plenty of styrofoam, it should be okay. Just be careful that the pot isn't too large and that the media dries evenly. Good luck!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #8
    zrhanson's Avatar
    zrhanson is offline Senior Member
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    Yikes. NOW I'm worried that I over-potted the poor thing. Eish.... Okay. Tell you what. tomorrow, when I'm a bit more... clear headed (I'm in college and it's Friday night) I will post some pictures of her. (Also: Yeah, I love Orchidworks so much that I come here after getting home from a party. Ha ha ha. My "exciting" life.) Tell you what though, tomorrow, I will upload some pictures of my Phal in its new home. I just have a bad feeling she's over-potted now. Now, I cut her root system back quite a bit, and ONE of her roots is pretty big and was touching the walls of the pot, but rest are... quite new. To say the least. I'm just hoping she's not over-potted. I was really hoping to see a spike from her next winter. [I'll be moving into an actual house (as opposed to this apartment) where she'll be able to get adequate Sun!] And even if she is over-potted, hopefully you all can let me know whether I should just go ahead and repott her again into a smaller pot or no. Or would that be too stressful on the 'chid? Being a beginner on a budget and dealing with this "learning curve" is tough. Especially knowing that no matter what advice I get... sometimes it's just not gonna work. Hopefully, you guys can keep that kind of stuff from happening! :-)

    Also: I forgot to mention this, BUT! Over our Christmas break, I had something wonderful happen! Right before the break, on my way to campus, I happened to look in the window of the pharmacy that I pass just about every day, and noticed about fifty orchids crowding the windows! So, seeing as I was already worried about how I was getting my orchids cared for over the break, I wandered in, and asked about them. Needless to say, I now have a wonderful new Pharmacist, as well as an amazing new Orchidsitter for when I go away! God is Good, eh? I can only HOPE to get my orchids to the levels that hers were! :-) Now, every time I walk by, I have a strong urge to walk in and ask her about her 'chids, and tell her about mine. But I feel that would be a bit inappropriate for such a professional environment. Ha ha ha. :-)

  9. #9
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    glad to know im not the only one 'drunk dialing' orchid talk in the middle of the night! i have made some pretty jacked up posts while completely munted... but the loving folks here have always forgiven my... indiscretions ;-)

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