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Orchids in the ICU over Thanksgiving

This is a discussion on Orchids in the ICU over Thanksgiving within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; ...

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  1. #11
    cdayinflorida's Avatar
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  2. #12
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    Wish mine looked that good!

  3. #13
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    I would have to agree with the others, Maura --- those plants don't look nearly as bad as I was expecting. The fact that the catts and oncs have plump pbs makes it extremely unlikely that the plants would die before they send out roots and new growth. And my post is too late to do you any good before you leave for T-day, but your plants should all be fine as they are until you return.

    As far as "sphag n bag" goes, the reading you've done is really rather straight forward. You can either cover the bases of the plants in fluffed -- not packed -- sphag, or have the base of the plants resting on the sphag, or -- as Gabriel did -- suspend the plants 1/2-1 inch over the bed of sphag. http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...ots-yet-3.html

    You can bag each plant individually or do large "community" bags. Personally, I would do the latter if I were you. Using the large tubs like the black one the oncs are in. Get a large clear trashbag or a drycleaners garment bag and set the tub in the bottom of the bag. (If using a garment bag, tape the hanger opening closed & turn it upside down so the tub is sitting in the "shoulders".) Use stakes/skewers to stake each plant up in its own little spot of the tub. Bring the edges of the bag up to close it with a twist tie. Before 'sealing' it, blow into the bag just as you would if you were going to inflate a small plastic bag that you were going to pop. After sealing, the bag should be like an inflated tent around the plants. Place the bagged plants in a warm location with bright indirect light. Once or twice a week, open the bags to check that the moss is damp but not wet and to freshen the air in the bag. As plants develop roots an inch or two (two is better) long, they can be removed and potted up.

    If instead you elect to pot the plants up directly, I would still follow the bagging guidelines until they are rooted.


  4. #14
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    A hospital ICU this may be, but at least it looks like your orchids you won't be needing a defibulator anytime soon. Your renewing my faith in sphag n bag. I have only tried it twice though, and actually come to think of it, it may of helped a Phalaenopsis I have. Very good positive posts here and sound advice. AL

  5. #15
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    Thanks, everyone, especially Pavel, since you answered my next question - now that I'm home, what to do next. I think I'll probably do a mixture of different kinds of "sphagging-n-bagging" - based most on the size of the plants. I know they look pretty good now, but I've had them back for 3 weeks; honestly, there wasn't a live root between them when I got them back, and they were overrun with bugs, fungus, rot, etc. Now that I have it somewhat under control, the most frustrating thing is that she took the id tags out of them, so I'm trying to go back through my catalog to match plants with names.
    I have to say that I had some not-so-good experiences with sphagnum moss whenI first started growing. The first "designer" orchid mix I tried was full of it and the plants never dried out sufficiently, so, of course, rot and all those good things set in. I'm a lot better at watering techniques now, but I'm still leery of sph.m. Do you think soaking it in a very diluted mixture of fungicide, insecticide and/or fertilizer would help keep the nasties away and encourage growth? I haven't run across that suggestion in my research travels, but it makes sense to me, unless there's a hidden danger I'm not aware of. One last question - I'm a little concerned about lack of air movement around the plants if I seal them up (I realize that blowing into the bag releases CO2). Should I leave them to dry out a bit when I open it once a week, or just spray down if they're drying out and tie them up again? And are we talking about completely sealed, or will almost completely sealed be enough?

  6. #16
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    By the way, everyone, the orchids weathered the Thanksgiving break just fine. Phillip didn't do as well. I took him to the ER yesterday morning coughing like crazy, short of breath, and running a temp of 103 (Fahrenheit - that's 39+ in Celsius, I think). Yes, of course - pneumonia, and he was admitted and will be hospitalized for a little while, I think. He's had congestive heart failure (nearly died in 2007) and COPD, so they don't take chances with him. We've done the ER drill 4 times in the last 6 weeks and we're both exhausted. But he's finally under good care, and that's what matters. I'll update his status from time to time.

    It's weird being home alone, but the orchids and our two Siamese Fighting Fish, Gordon and Barrett, are keeping me company, as are y'all.

  7. #17
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    Welcome home, Maura. Sounds like you got your positive attitude back! Glad your plants are doing ok yet. Will say some prayers for Phillip. It is awful when a person is sick near the holidays. My dad has COPD and has a lot of breathing problems. Try to relax a bit before the whole Christmas rush hits us all.

  8. #18
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    I'm Phillip is soon feeling better, and I'm glad your plants are doing well. As for fungicide, while it should help keep the nasties away, my understanding is that it can actually inhibit growth, and that's why some people don't like to use it when deflasking.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Phillip ... pneumonia and COPD
    Some people will do anything for attention, won't they Maura. heh j/k Tell Bigfoot we'll be praying for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Now that I have it somewhat under control, the most frustrating thing is that she took the id tags out of them
    Well so much for trying to give that woman the benefit of the doubt. There was absolutely no good or intelligent reason for her to remove the tags.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Do you think soaking it in a very diluted mixture of fungicide, insecticide and/or fertilizer would help keep the nasties away and encourage growth?
    You can dip the plants if you wish but I would not soak the sphag. Sphag itself does have some antifungal properties. Just remember that the sphag should be damp, not wet.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    One last question - I'm a little concerned about lack of air movement around the plants if I seal them up (I realize that blowing into the bag releases CO2). Should I leave them to dry out a bit when I open it once a week, or just spray down if they're drying out and tie them up again? And are we talking about completely sealed, or will almost completely sealed be enough?
    Nope, after you open the bag to check the plants and moss, seal it back up again. If the moss is dry, dampen the moss. No need to spray the plants. I always completely seal when I do it. The main reason for completely sealing is to maintain high humidity around the plant. An additional benefit to completely sealing is that it keeps fungus gnats and other undesirables from dropping in for a visit.

  10. #20
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    Thanks again, everyone - I'll give Phillip (aka Bigfoot) your good wishes when I see him later today. I'm hoping he was able to sleep last night as he hadn't slept for days because of the coughing.

    Pavel -

    Man, you can really pull apart a post! I'm impressed by your endless skills. I will do exactly as you say with the plants - I only wish I could send you pictures of them and have you id them for me - right now, they're tagged as Oncid-type 1, 2, 3; Catt. 1,2,3, Paph 1,2,3.....etc. I suppose it's mostly academic until (IF) they bloom again. I have duplicates of the tags - just no idea which goes to which.

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