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Moss to bark difficult on phals?

This is a discussion on Moss to bark difficult on phals? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I don't know if it's just me but with one exception my phals that I ...

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  1. #1
    Traci's Avatar
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    Default Moss to bark difficult on phals?

    I don't know if it's just me but with one exception my phals that I buy in moss and move to bark all seem to take a giant step back and lose many roots before they start to sprout again. I prefer bark but sometimes I think the phals resent it at first. I read on another blog that some people recommend repotting a phal that was in spaghnum in half bark half spaghnum to ease the transition. I would think that it may create pockets of dry and wet which might lead to root loss. Anyone else have this problem ? Anyone else do 50/50? And for information my media is bark, perlite, lava rock, hydroton and very little spaghnum.

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    I know what you are talking about Traci!!!
    I noticed if the roots in good condition in moss and you transfer it in bark they will do fine, might set back a little but in general do fine, but if its not in great shape than its more challenged... and its up to the plant to decide which way to go. Also they say its better transplant when new roots emerge.
    I tried to add some moss, not even 50:50, maybe 90:10. did not work for me. the area close to moss stayed too wet too long and if roots were there they got rotten.

    I bought few plants and they are in moss but people said do not repot until new growth starts to grow so I mange to water it safely and they are doing ok for few weeks now of course with orchids few weeks its not long but I keep my fingers crossed they will be ok .

  3. #3
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    What I've learned here is that the orchids grow roots that are physically designed for the media they are in. Also I've learned that they might not have even been grown in that moss to start with, but mainly, because you change the media (and you do need to generally), the old roots will suffer and usually slowly die off. That's why you want to re-pot plants that are starting new roots, they will adjust to the new media. Even the change between worn out bark and fresh bark will likely set them back some. Mostly the plants I've gotten in moss are suffering damage from the lack of air in the moss so their roots are already stressed. I would use a kelp based root stimulant when I re-pot to encourage fast growth of the new roots and move the plant to a low stress situation for a couple of weeks to see how it is doing.

    I am not so great at keeping them alive in the moss myself, so I pretty much move them promptly, or they take damage on me. Phals aren't so worried about the new growth as some other species, so I don't worry too much about that.

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    Concur with Carol and Svetlana. is quite normal. keep them hydrated while they attempt to grow new roots

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    Here I will remove the moss about 2/3 then mix with the barks or coconut chips so far doing quite well for me.

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    My experience has been different from yours, my Phals moved from sphagnum to bark don't miss a beat. FWIW, I always repot them into a terracotta pot, bark placed around the roots dry.
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    This is interesting. I have been buying supermarket Phals. Some are packed tight in moss some are in bark. In a few that were in bark they had about half of the bottom of the pot full of roots and nothing else. Because it is so dry here in the high desert mountains I had water them nearly every day if they are only in bark.

    I just repotted all 13 of them 10 days ago deciding on a mixture that is about 2/3 bark, sponge rock, those little round clay balls and some other pieces of what looks like granite (it is a commercial mixture). The rest is moss.

    I did notice that a few that I repotted last year in moss only had lost quite a few roots. One only had one root left. They were growing new leaves and several had blossomed and held the blossoms for months but their roots were pretty dismal looking.

    I just started using the kelp extract about 3 months ago and am seeing new roots coming out in those that had little roots left. I am hoping they like this new mixture. After 10 days they look happy with the ones still in bloom not losing any more blossoms when those in bark only were losing some before potting.

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    Yes, here it is very dry too. I use large bark with about 1/4 moss (which I pull apart and spread out in the mix) to retain a little moisture. I am not the most regular of plant waterers though and its probably not the best mix for less severe conditions. I'm experimenting with two of my phals in S/H, its only been a week, but so far they like it better than what I had them in (some orchid bark that seems to be killing the roots of everything I put in it! I think it must be a bad batch or something). I would have re-potted in bark, but I live in the middle, dead center, of nowhere and don't get out to shop often, so the LECA was all I had on hand!

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    I repotted a large phal into S/H 6 weeks ago. It never lost a bloom and its now growing a new leaf. It was also an experiment for me. I think its working! I'm happy with the results!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ckanaskie View Post
    I repotted a large phal into S/H 6 weeks ago. It never lost a bloom and its now growing a new leaf. It was also an experiment for me. I think its working! I'm happy with the results!
    From what media you repoted it to SH? Can you see how roots are doing in SH?

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