Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Watering Phals, when?

This is a discussion on Watering Phals, when? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi, I've read tons of info on watering Phals, but I never seem to get ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    pflaume is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    On a Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
    Posts
    13

    Question Watering Phals, when?

    Hi,

    I've read tons of info on watering Phals, but I never seem to get it right according to a good number of my Phals.

    They grow very well for some time, suddenly, the buds/flowers/spikes start to wilt.

    I ussually stick my finger in the pots as far down as I can go. When the upper and middle of the Sphagnum Moss is bone dry and the bottom is humid, I water again. I use tap water 1/2 dose of Dyna Grow 7-9-5 & 1/2 dose of Superthrive (which I found to be useful) in all watering except for 4th/5th watering of the month which is just "plain" water. I tried to get rain water whenever possible, but living in an apt in NYC it is very hard to do (e.g. containers left at fire escape misteriously dissapearing during T-storms).

    Should I wait until there is absolutely no humidity left in the pot before I water? Should I water more frequently?

    My Phals sitting on a humdity tray on top of a table in front of a SW window (they like that light I know that), no direct sun, I have blinds for afternoon sun.

    I just added fluorescent lights (yesterday Aug. 14th) about 12 inches above the plants to supplement daylight changes. I want them to grow large root systems.

  2. #2
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catts and Paphs
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    6,250
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Do you check the roots when the bud/spikes start to die? Also, do you increase the water a little when buds start developing. They do need a little more water to support buds and blooms. They also like more humidty at that time. Try spritzing with a spray bottle a couple times a day.

  3. #3
    pflaume is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    On a Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Hi:
    I checked the roots when at least three buds/flowers wilt. But I never increase watering when the Phal is in bloom. I'm afraid I will overwater. I continue the same regimen I use (sticking my finger in the pot/medium). I thought it makes sense to increase watering, but...
    I am afraid I kill the flowers anyway....
    Last edited by pflaume; August 15th, 2006 at 12:09 PM. Reason: mispelling

  4. #4
    L I Jane's Avatar
    L I Jane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Long Island NY
    Posts
    288

    Default

    When the sphagnum starts to dry out on the top is when I would water.Once sphagnum really gets dry & toasty it's almost impossible to really get it real damp again.

  5. #5
    pflaume is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    On a Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I have repotted virtually all my Phals I bought in overpacked Sphag. Either they are in Sphag loosely mixed up with packing peanuts, or a mix of Sphag, bark and peanuts. Yesterday, I bought one that I just repotted in a mix of equal amounts of Sphag, bark, clay pebbles & packing peanuts. Which of these mixes are better? How often should I water them?

  6. #6
    jtlqh's Avatar
    jtlqh is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights.
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    569

    Default

    I am also from NYC. The water here is good for the orchids. I used to water my plants with RO water, now I just use 100% tap water. I bought a phal in June, it lost some buds 2 weeks later due to environment change. It is packed tightly in sphag, in a clear plastic pot. I water it every 10 days, when it is really light, but feels still moist but warm when I stick my finger to the bottom of the pot. It now dropped half of the flowers, but I see a lot of root tips are in active growing state, so I know my watering is fine for them.

    Qing

  7. #7
    pflaume is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    On a Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
    Posts
    13

    Thumbs down

    Qing,

    Isn't it very hard to know when to water when the Sphag is very tight in the pot? Dry on top and wet at bottom.
    _________________
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; August 15th, 2006 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Removal of Vendor. See terms and conditions.

  8. #8
    jtlqh's Avatar
    jtlqh is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights.
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    569

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pflaume View Post
    Qing,

    Isn't it very hard to know when to water when the Sphag is very tight in the pot? Dry on top and wet at bottom.
    _________________
    Yes, don't trust the sphag on the top, sometimes the top is crispy dry, the center is still wet. But the weight will tell you, when the water is almost dry, the pot feels feather light. Some people also use the wood stick method, which is equally good.

    Qing

  9. #9
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    Don't pack the sphag too tightly! The properties that make it excellent for growing orchids are its high capacity to hold water, and the air spaces it allows to the roots.

    If you jam it in tight, it loses those air spaces and the roots will rot more easily. It will also remain wetter in the middle of the pot as the top dries out.

    If you let it go completely crispy, as Jane said, it won't hold much water when you rewater.

    My Phals are all in sphag, and I rewater as the top dries out. If the moss isn't too tight, or if you mix in Perlite or styrofoam (which I do in larger pots where the weight of the wet moss can pack it down on itself), it tends to dry more uniformly. I also give it a good soaking when I water.

    Julie

  10. #10
    jtlqh's Avatar
    jtlqh is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights.
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    569

    Default

    There seems to be debating about how tight you can pack the sphag for phals, some people say it is good while others say it is bad. I have them in both ways, for the ones they arrived with tightly packed sphag and I did not repot them, it still thrive in my growing area (it may contribute to the good light and air movement). For the one I repotted, I usually don't pack it so tight. But I need to water the lightly packed ones more often, every 3 or 4 days, 7 to 10 days for the tightly packed ones. I soaked my plants, so even they are crispy dry, they will get wet after a few minutes of soaking.

    Qing

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. watering B little stars
    By brit6v in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: October 30th, 2009, 10:23 PM
  2. ice cubes for watering?
    By nicki in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: May 7th, 2009, 12:14 PM
  3. Watering/fertilizer
    By mtequine in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: January 16th, 2007, 03:09 PM
  4. Now watering with 100% Superthrive
    By Piper in forum Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Cypripedium IN BLOOM
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: November 21st, 2006, 03:37 PM
  5. Watering the Oncids....
    By mtequine in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: August 1st, 2006, 02:02 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.