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Pesky flies!

This is a discussion on Pesky flies! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have discovered some moss flies(?) making homes in my brassia. Are these going to ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Pesky flies!

    I have discovered some moss flies(?) making homes in my brassia. Are these going to harm my plant?

  2. #2
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    LJA
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    Not at all. We call them "bark gnats" (but "moss flies" certainly works too...). Little tiny things, right? Not the size of house flies? They usually appear when the potting medium has begun to decompose and are a good indicator that it'll soon be time to repot...

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    they are about the size of fruit flies, I couldn't recall the name (only moss fly rang a bell). The flowers are starting to dry up, so probably in a few weeks I'll be able to repot. I think most of the medium is rocks, what is a good medium to use for Brassia?

    Thank

  4. #4
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    Since they're epiphytes and use their roots to cling to just about anything in their environment, you can literally grow them in anything that allows their roots to get air. Rocks, marbles--I've even seen them grown on old, chopped up car tires (the vinyl lining holds moisture...)

    The key is to pot them in a medium that suits your growing conditions and watering schedule. For best growth, you want the medium to be damp, not quite to the point of dryness, before you water again. If you pot in plain orchid bark, you'll have to water more frequently because the bark, when it's new, isn't very absorbent. If you add some water retaining media like coconut husk, you'll water less frequently.

    Here, we use a mixture of bark, coconut, charcoal (to keep media that's starting to decompose from "clogging" the roots) and large chunks of perlite or "sponge rok" to ensure air space. We water, on average, twice a week.

    What size pot is it in? If you're not anywhere near a nursery or somewhere that sells these things, I could send you a pot and some of our mix to repot the plant for a couple of bucks or so plus the shipping (which wouldn't be much for dry media).

    Hope that helps; let me know by email (lja@rv-orchidworks.com) if you can't find a mix to repot in and we can work something out as far as sending you a bagful for the plant....

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    Right now it is in a 4" plastic pot and it is WAY to small. I had to set it in a terra cotta opt just to keep it from toppling over! Either it wasn't repotted when it should have, or it dod some serious growing since it last flowered.

    I think I can get just about everything you suggested locally, I just wasn't sure what was best. I'm terrified of repotting it, maybe I'll find a place to do it for me. I think there is an Orchid farm about 35 minutes from my house, I'll give them a call. I *love* this plant so much I'd hate to kill it from not repotting it properly.

    If that doesn't pan out, I'll take you up on your offer (thank you so much.

  6. #6
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    Repotting isn't hard, just scary at first (like anything else) if you haven't done it before. Orchids are very hardy and I'm sure you'll do fine. No reason to be terrified, just another learning experience. Unless you literally chop the plant into salad when (and if) you're dividing, it'll pull through no problem and you'll have done a good thing. If you choose to do the repotting yourself and want some live help (or just some reassurance), we can talk back and forth in Casmira while you're in the process. (That would be kind of cool, actually). Let me know!

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