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Need opinions on watering paphs and phals

This is a discussion on Need opinions on watering paphs and phals within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; First a little info. I currently have about 80 orchids, 60 of which are paphs, ...

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  1. #1
    Jx3's Avatar
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    Default Need opinions on watering paphs and phals

    First a little info. I currently have about 80 orchids, 60 of which are paphs, 10 or so phals and a small mixture of other genera. All growing under lights in a 10x6ft basement grow room. I water exclusively with rainwater and have been using a 2 gallon pump sprayer to water for about 5 years.

    My problem is that i need a new way to water , it takes me a good 3 hours or so to water my plants they are all sitting in clear 6" trays that are dumped out after watering, watering all my plants with the little pump sprayer is beyond taxing not only on time but having to carry it around as well.

    I am afraid to just freely water my paphs and phals because i dont want the slightest chance of crown rot. I was thinking of putting large trays under my shelves to collect runoff and not needing the small trays under each individual plant. And then watering from above like a rain storm??? How does this sound???

    How do you growers with many paphs and phals water without getting rot?

    Any ideas and opinions please throw them out, i appreciate all comments.

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    78Terp's Avatar
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    I have a number of paphs that are lucky to live in the spot where they get to go to the shower and get a shower every time watered. They are all doing very well. I don't worry about crown rot. But I am not in a basement and I live in a low humidity region.

    I have at least 120 that I walk to the sink every watering day. It takes me only about 1.5 hours. But I don't soak. I might be a water type known as a 'moistener'. Since I water now 2 times a week for most of the collection, they get exposed to liquid for about 20 seconds. I make sure all air roots get wet and that all the media gets wet. Orchids in clear pots, I check the roots to see that they got soaked and turn green if expected to do so. Then back to their growing location.

    In my 4 foot x 4 foot 'flood tray', I have gravel that the orchids sit on. I water in place and have a drain that I use to remove the water from the tray and gravel.

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    Hi Terp, I suppose it takes me awhile because i do soak a bit. Basically i water all plants and then when im done i pour off the excess starting from the first one i watered. I do have 75-80% humidity at most times but i also have 3 oscillating fans running 24/7.

    I guess what im asking is do some water from overhead like its raining on there plants? Im just so worried everything you hear is dont get water in the crown or in the leaves.
    I guess the big commercial growers must water from overhead with a soaker, as it would be insane for them to water each plant individually.

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    My local orchid nursery does a water from above for the entire GH. So it must not be a bad thing to do.

    I have had a growth or 2 of oncidium alliance orchids get water in its crown and cause issues. But never a paph. I have never had a paph rot in the crown. And I have several that get a shower every watering.

    The no water in the leaves, from my interpretation, is about not letting it get water in the crevasses late in the day, getting close to night and cooler temps. Having the fans moving the air should allow them to dry out in a reasonable amount of time. Is this provable in your grow area? It may take a little investigation on your part to see how much evaporation happens in your grow area.
    Last edited by 78Terp; October 27th, 2015 at 02:56 PM.

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    Jx3's Avatar
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    Evaporation happens quickly, i damp the floor down a few times a day and it dries quite fast. And the fans help dry it aswell. I guess aslong as i water early in the day, i should be ok.

    I mostly worry about my parvis, and my one of a kind stuff ie. hangianum and its hybrids and a few odd species.
    The parvis are definitely more susceptible to rot.

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    Find a cheap Parv you can order in and use as a test specimen. One that has no strings attached emotionally (I know that is hard to do. I get attached to them quite easily). Then you can try things and see how it reacts.

  7. #7
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    Or just set up the worrisome ones so that you can hand water them easily and not spray them from above.

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    Not get attached, lol. I think i will try setting my most prized plants to another shelf and only watering about half my plants from above, if all goes well i will adjust all my plants to a twice a week "rain storm" lol

    Thanks Harvey and Carol

  9. #9
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    I wish I were as dedicated as you two. I'm just not, so I try not to buy plants that won't do well under my neglect. I get attached too! Because I don't want to suffer the loss, I keep my collection to what I feel I will be able to care for. Also, I am sometimes gone for a couple of weeks at a time and don't want to burden my very sweet husband (who lets me buy them without complaint!) with a lot of extra work. Still with around 40 of them, I have a couple blooming most of the time. I have two phals and an oncidium in bloom right now. I need to take some pictures!

  10. #10
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    Its an addiction Carol, lol. Ive actually been worse off, when i first started with orchids and up until last year i literally had dounle what i had now, it was just a mish mash of all kinds of orchids, most i shouldnt have even bought because i didnt have the right growing conditions.
    Throughout it all the slippers really pulled at me, so with the help of friends, a well known auction site and my local society. I was able to get rid of everything i didnt and shouldnt have. Im very happy now with my collection of mostly paphs, they are what i should have been focused on since the beginning.
    But like most i get caught ip in all the pretty blooms too, lol

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