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Hello my name is overwaterer!

This is a discussion on Hello my name is overwaterer! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Help! I have read many posts that say the roots are the most important and ...

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  1. #1
    sddivey's Avatar
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    Default Hello my name is overwaterer!

    Help!
    I have read many posts that say the roots are the most important and happy roots make a happy orchid.

    Ok I get that, I have trouble identifying when I should water... I have many different orchids in different mediums.

    More specifically, my denbrobiums and cattleyas have some new root growth above the pot, the tips were pretty and green and then turned all white, plant looks unhappy now, all I was doing was misting them and watering once a week.

    I repotted and dried them out, seem ok now,

    WHAT do i look for in the orchid to know better how to water...other than the obvious, am I missing something?

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:02 AM ----------

    OH yes, I have a fan and a humidifier and the orchids are all in a big east window.

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    One thing many of us do is to put all the orchids in a similar media. That way they dry at a similar pace and it de-complicates watering.

    Dens and catts for the most part, do like to be fully dry before getting watered again. Both like very well draining media.

    Few orchids die from under-watering.

    Another general rule of thumb for orchids is:
    If you are unsure if the orchid is ready for water, wait another day before watering.
    Last edited by 78Terp; October 30th, 2014 at 08:08 AM. Reason: fix typo

  3. #3
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    Okay, first i have to stop laughing at your title (rotfl). Second, I ironically just posted the solution to this problem on a poll that I realized was 4 yrs old after (lol). Third, for you, I will repeat. In the case of over watering it is imperative that you allow the sustainable roots air. Air circulation and not watering more is important. I suggest potting in clear pots until you get far enough to tell by the weight of the pot (some ppl can do this!). It makes it easier to see the roots as they develop or suffer, whichever the case may be. When greying or silver.... water. Green...don't.

  4. #4
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    Welcome from Malaysia. Very sound advice from both Harvey and Kim. Sorry can't help you with advice as our growing conditions here are very different from yours.

  5. #5
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    Welcome to the forum.that name was me.i almost kill my Catts.from over watering .my lost all roots and I save them from advise gave from our member.so you're not alone.we all past through this situation.
    You got all advise above.good luck with your growing

  6. #6
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    The problem most people have with orchid-growing is understanding the importance of air circulation around the roots, and how that relates to the selection of potting medium. Orchids have evolved to doing much of their gas exchange processes through their roots, rather than leaves, as is the case for terrestrial plants.

    If you are using a medium that has very small spaces between the particles, surface tension can hold the water well enough to completely fill those spaces, cutting off all air flow, stifling the gas exchange, so the roots suffocate, die, and rot. You simply cannot overwater a plant that gets plenty of airflow around its roots.

    So the knowledgeable grower has options - select a potting medium that has larger open spaces, use a different container that allows faster drying, or water very lightly to "moisten", rather than "soak" the medium.

  7. #7
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    In fact, if you want to water and water and water, just put them in S/H! You can't over water in S/H, or so I have been told! Of course, you need to do any changing when they are ready to re-pot and are starting to grow new roots. I've had some problems moving plants that weren't ready to move - all my fault. Also, I found you can underwater in S/H - oops! I'm still learning!

  8. #8
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    That is true, Carol. Once a plant isa established in S/H culture, it simply cannot be overwatered.

    Several years ago, when I had a wholesale nursery not more than a couple of miles away, I bought several flats of young plants of Oncidium Sharry Baby and Phalaenopsis Lemforde White Beauty. I moved them all (about 325-350 each - what a job THAT was!) into S/H, and grew them on for 3 months.

    At that point, I split them into two "sets" of 150 plants of each, trying to match them up for sizes, number of growths, etc., in an attempt to make the sets as equivalent as possible. One set got my normal greenhouse watering schedule of an average of two waterings a week, and the other set was watered daily.

    After 6 months of that, I noted that none of the "dialies" died, and in fact, were larger than the plants that got watered normally.

  9. #9
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    OK- I am a newbie and will ask the dumb question.....What is S/H culture?

  10. #10
    78Terp's Avatar
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    semi hydroponic.

    This has a self contained water reservoir at the bottom of the pot. The only holes for drainage are about an inch up the side from the bottom. And most people use a leca clay pellet, that does not break down, as the media. It is designed to wick moisture up thru them.

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