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  • 1 Post By 78Terp
  • 2 Post By Catt Mandu

Rain - When is it too much?

This is a discussion on Rain - When is it too much? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I moved most of my Phals, dendrobiums and assorted seedlings outside to my patio on ...

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  1. #1
    silverstoli's Avatar
    silverstoli is offline Senior Member
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    Default Rain - When is it too much?

    I moved most of my Phals, dendrobiums and assorted seedlings outside to my patio on a shelf under a double layer of shade cloth. They seem to like the heat and in just short of a week, I can already see new root growth.

    WE have been having small storms at night and late afternoon. My phals in moss are very wet and I worry about root and crown rot. Should I repot to bark if I am going to keep them outside or just wait and see?

    This morning, I put the Phals on their sides for a while to let the water drain out of the crowns before I left. I didn't have time to dab them all dry.

    As I haven't grown Phals outside before, I do worry about rot. Of course, the sun is out and it will be very hot, but also very humid.

    I don't want to move them back inside as I have already seen positive growth from the warmth. My house is pretty cool at all times. But, I don't want them to rot either. Any advice?

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    Close monitoring of the roots in sphag and repot if you see root issues starting. I have made lots of extra cuts in my clear pots (along the height of the pot and also increased the size of the bottom hole) that have the sphag. It seems to help the sphag to dry faster.

    A repot to bark mix, IMO, is always preferable to being is sphag. Of my 140 orchids, I have 3 in sphag. Once their blooming cycle's are complete, I will move to bark mix unless I see bad roots sooner. The I'll act immediately and repot.

  3. #3
    Catt Mandu's Avatar
    Catt Mandu is offline Senior Member
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    I grow outdoors part of the year, indoors when its cold, and when outdoors my plants get rain each time it rains. I grow in coarse medium (Phals and most orchids) for the concerns you mention; in moss, if the roots stay frequently wet, there is no good way to dry them out. I grow all my Phals in coarse orchid bark, sometimes mixed with coarse charcoal, and the lower half of the pot filled with a mix of 50% coarse bark and 50% styrofoam packing peanuts (for extra drainage). I also grow in terracotta pots, which seem to dry out better.

    I recently posted on another thread that you want to be sure that you are providing some calcium to your orchids. It is a good preventative for various bacterial infections (plants given Ca are much more disease-resistant). Last year, it rained like crazy all summer, I never lost a plant & I think the calcium I provided kept my plants healthy. You can use a supplement like Cal-Mag, or a less expensive supplement like gypsum. I use the pelleted gypsum for lawns, a teaspoon per gallon, dissolved overnight, then discard the solids, keep the water as "stock"; a few ounces/gallon added to my routine water supply, or when I give fertilizer. I usually also add a teaspoon of Epsom salts to the stock. It is probably a good idea to check the hardness, or the calcium concentration, before you start adding a lot more Ca. Every situation is different, but I think you are OK if your water is moderately hard, or has somewhere in the 25 to 50 ppm concentration range for Ca.

  4. #4
    silverstoli's Avatar
    silverstoli is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you. I currently use Peters Excell Cal-Mag Special 15-5-15-5-2. I do have all of my phals in plastic pots so I can keep an eye on the roots. I may move to clay once I am a little more comfortable with my abilities - lol. I do think I will add a few more holes/ventilation to the current pots.

    I may repot the few in sphag into bark this weekend.

    Thank you for all of your help.

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