Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums

The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!

  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"

Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.

YES! I want to register an account for free right now!

Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Results 1 to 5 of 5

Standardizing media / watering

This is a discussion on Standardizing media / watering within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Lately, for various reasons, I've been watering my orchids by using an automatic timer hooked ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    schnozzle is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Standardizing media / watering

    Lately, for various reasons, I've been watering my orchids by using an automatic timer hooked up to a sprinkler. This works well--I grow my plants outdoors in S. California, in a small 'hutch'-like structure covered in shade cloth--and it's allowed me to control the environment within the hutch to a greater degree than I'd been able to before.

    It seems obvious now, but previously, when I watered everything by hand, I never gave much thought to how different the watering needs of individual plants in my collection are--I'd just look at the plant and give it water if it needed it, or otherwise skip it. It's pretty haphazard: I've got some potted in bark in plastic pots, some in baskets, some in clay pots, some potted mostly in bits of rock. Some plants are in very large plastic pots and require less frequent watering than miniatures in very small clay thumb pots, etc. But now that the watering is automatic, everything gets drenched at the same time, and some things aren't drying out fast enough.

    It seems to me that I need to give more thought to my potting and media so that I don't have some plants staying too dry and others too wet, given a standardized watering time. For instance, I could switch plants needing more water to plastic and bark, and those getting waterlogged to baskets or pots filled with rock, etc.

    The other thing that occurred to me is that I could also increase the frequency of watering and move everything to very fast-draining media, such as mounting all of the smaller plants and putting the bigger ones in baskets. But I've never tried such a thing before and am not sure how well it would work.

    I'd like to hear input from anyone who's been in a similar situation. Assume that, for the time being, I need to stick with the automatic watering system, rather than go back to hand watering.

  2. #2
    Gin's Avatar
    Gin is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    All types
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Member's Country Flag


    Hi , I can relate When the plants were in the growing area in the house I could control what needs what , but since moving most of them to a green house I had the same problem . My climate is a lot diffrent than where you are , when I lived in So. Calif. it was a lot hotter and drier there .
    What I have done is pot my Catts. in the caly pellets (Hydroton ) in clay pots , or plastic , also a lot of the Phals. are in the Pellets . The others are for the most part in baskets or mounted . Ones that do not do very well in the pellets are in bark and out of the line of fire . I use a submersable pump in a trash can of rain water .
    It depends on the weather if they are watered daily . The mounted ones usually are .
    I would adjust the potting media to avoid root rot rather than mounting them . Just my 2 cents worth since the weather is so diffrent here . Higher humidity and not as hot ( I remember 109in the shade in So Ca. ) Gin

  3. #3
    schnozzle is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Yeah, I know. It doesn't usually get quite that hot in my neck of the woods, but for most of the year it's dry as a bone--no humidity. I thought I might be able to handle things on a mount, because the shade cloth does help keep the temperature down and the moisture in--a bit--but I couldn't say for sure. The thing is that if I tried it, I'd have to up the frequency of watering for sure, and everything else would get overwatered.

    There is one thing, though--a few blocks down the street in my neighborhood there's a house that has this half-dead tree in the front yard, and somebody mounted a Cattleya on it. You wouldn't think it'd possibly work, but the thing is huge, blooms every year. I need to talk to its owners to see how they handle water & humidity. So clearly keeping things mounted here is possible, I'm just not sure about the details.

  4. #4
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
    My Grow Area
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catts and Paphs
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Surprise, AZ
    Member's Country Flag


    Do you have a splitter on your watering system/timer. If you could do 2 zones, you could put one on daily with misters for mounted items, and the other on less frequent drip for potted items.

  5. #5
    schnozzle is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Yeah, I could do that...although currently the 'hutch' is so small that it would be difficult to seperate the two zones. I should build a new one, the current one is falling apart...

Similar Threads

  1. Growing Media
    By senthil in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 24th, 2009, 08:30 PM
  2. media
    By kingiefreak in forum Breeding & Hybridization
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: October 2nd, 2007, 05:00 PM
  3. Media question
    By sand_tiger86 in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: August 9th, 2007, 03:30 PM
  4. S/H media is here...
    By IdahoOrchid in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: May 12th, 2007, 07:23 AM
  5. What Media do you uses?
    By JB_Orchidguy in forum Flasking Equipment & Technique
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: June 26th, 2005, 06:39 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.