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my dumb q of the day

This is a discussion on my dumb q of the day within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Lily, I don't want to sound dogmatic, but it's just not a good idea to ...

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  1. #21
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Lily, I don't want to sound dogmatic, but it's just not a good idea to reuse and transfer anything porous from plant to plant. Wooden and bamboo stakes, even after being soaked in bleach or alcohol, will still retain air pockets that the sanitizer hasn't reached and where virus and bacteria may still be present. That caution also applies to folks using the dipstick method of checking for dryness in the root zones of their plants: only use one wooden stake or q-tip per plant, and don't switch them around plant to plant. If you look on the labels of products like Physan and RD-20--the typical sanitizers used for orchid growing--you'll notice that their kill claims only apply when used on non-porous surfaces. (That means it's also not a good idea to reuse porous clay pots for orchids either, even if you've soaked them in sanitizer and they look "clean.") Wooden and bamboo stakes have gotten so cheap nowadays to buy new, it's just not worth the risk of transfering disease to reuse the old ones.

    As far as when to stake a plant, I try to get things staked as soon as the spikes are long enough and stick out far enough that they won't break when I go to manipulate them. New spikes, like you said, are pretty tender, so if you use wire tie to hold them to the stake, don't twist the tie to secure it--you might cut into the spike. Just wrap the tie around both spike and stake a few times, letting the tie lay flat. It'll hold just fine and won't cut in.

  2. #22
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Louis so that means not to reuse clay pots either? It seems a shame to just throw them out (plus DH would kill me if he saw - LOL) so what do you do with them?

  3. #23
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    That's right. Don't reuse porous clay pots with your orchids, for the same reason: you might transfer disease. Of course, if you're repotting an orchid plant back into its own original pot, by all means reuse the pot. You just don't want to do any transfers: clay pot from one orchid used to repot another orchid.

    What to do with them? Well, here, when I've repotted from clay, I couldn't ever get the plant out without breaking the pot, so there was nothing to reuse. If you do manage to extract one without breaking, well, there's probably a nice climbing ivy at Lowe's or somewhere you could use it for!

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