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watering my orchid

This is a discussion on watering my orchid within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I work nights in a nursing home & we have a horticulturist that works during ...

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  1. #1
    sugarcane is offline Junior Member
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    Default watering my orchid

    I work nights in a nursing home & we have a horticulturist that works during the day so I never get to see her to ask her questions. The thing is, she has several beautiful orchids spread around the facility & they are all obviously mature most with 2 stems & 6 or 7 blooms per stem. Thier leaves are enormous & some have a clear sap sticking to them !? I notice that lately the orchids have been sitting in bowls of water for over a week now, I think that she has been refilling the bowls as they empty. All orchid advice that I've read so far says not to do this & yet the orchids @ my work seem to be thriving with this care. So I tried the same thing @ home & within days there were pests crawling in the roots! I took my orchid out of it's pot & completly rinsed out the bark & the plant under running water in a pail. There was a strand of withered blackend roots which I pulled of (I assumed they were rotten). Then I put everything back together & my plant is now bug free & seems to be quite healthy. Now I dunk it once a week & let the excess water drip out before returning it to it's cache. What I'm wondering is how it's possible that the orchids @ my work can sit in water for so long with no problems & mine would develop deadly health issues so darn fast?
    And what is that sticky, clear sap like substance I saw on the orchids at work?

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Bruce Brown
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    Welcome, Andrea.

    The orchids at work may be potted in a different medium than the ones you grow at home. OR the medium may be fresher and not broken down as much as the medium your orchids are planted in.


  3. #3
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    We call the sticky stuff Orchid honey. It is a sweet sap the plants exude. Kinda neat!

  4. #4
    JoeW's Avatar
    JoeW is offline Senior Member
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    Andrea, are the pots at work placed so that the water cannot be wicked up into the potting medium? The horticulturist may be using evaporation, providing a higher humidity level around the pot than the HVAC mechanical system allows or provides. The orchids would benefit from this higher humidity level. Joe

  5. #5
    SheilaJ is offline Junior Member
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    Phals and phaius
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    Jan 2008
    Westminster, MD


    I used to work for a company that cared for indoor plants in commercial buildings. Trust me, not all of the horticulturists know what they are doing. Some are well-trained, some already know and love plants, but some are not. I was never given any training in orchids, but I happened to know a fair amount about phals from growing them on my own years ago.

    My guess is that the horticulturist comes in once a week, waters the plant in place because it takes too much time to let it drain somewhere (time is money and schedules are tight), and thus it sits in water. It will probably survive many weeks this way, and every month or two, it goes in the trash and is replaced with a new one from the grower.

    So while the nursing home sees lovely flowers all the time, this is NOT care that I would recommend by any means.

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