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How often to water?

This is a discussion on How often to water? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have recently repotted my phal due to tiny bugs. I used to water it ...

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  1. #1
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    Default How often to water?

    I have recently repotted my phal due to tiny bugs. I used to water it every other day which makes me think that's why i got the bugs in the first place. I've repotted again in new bark, charcoal, moss, stone, etc. mixture. I've so far left it for 4 days without watering. When I did, I watered from the top and also let the slitted pot sit in a pan of water for 15 min.

    Can anyone tell me what is the best frequency for watering? I live in a warm apt.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    They say the best way to determine if you need to water is by the weight of the pot and plant (just the plants pot, not any decorative pot it may reside in). Pick it up and get a sense of the weight before you decide to water. When you do water, judge the weight of the pot and plant after it is watered.

    You can also try to poke your finger into the media and see if it is dry.

    Since you still have moss in your mixture, it may retain more water than you expect. Is it a lot of moss? I found here in Colorado, I need some moss in my mix as we are very low humidity.

    Others with far more knowledge than I will also chime in with advice.

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    Thank you for your reply. Actually, I described the medium incorrectly. There is no moss in the medium....but a spongy type of bark. Takes quite a while to get wet and soak up water. The pot is very light even when wet so it's quite difficult to tell. I'll give it a try today. Thanks much!

  4. #4
    Carolla's Avatar
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    What I do (and its pretty dry here too), is to soak my Phals in the kitchen sink for half an hour or so every 10 days. That gets the medium thoroughly wet. They will adjust to an extent to the way you water, as long as you aren't rotting them or keeping them too wet. You are more likely to harm your Phal from overwatering than under, so let it dry out pretty well, then soak it. Keep the water off the crown - it can rot easily. This is my own experience, everyone's circumstances are so different that you will have to experiment and decide what works for you. Good luck!

  5. #5
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with carol, you are safe to follow a reasonable under watering as opposed to over watering. you could start with soaking in kitchen sink once in 10 days and allow it to dry and could decrease or increase the frequency on how the roots look like.

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    Thank you both. Unfortunately, it was hard for me to find slitted pots so I ordered them on line and mistakenly got a set of opaque plastic......so I really can't see the roots anymore. So I'm really winging it. But I will spread out the watering days as I was watering it every other day in the past. I think 10 days might be a bit long so I'm shooting for 4 or 5 because the bark dries very quickly. I have to admit though, I've not been soaking the plant for 1/2 hour for fear of rotting the roots and maybe that's why the bark dries so quickly. When I don't have the time, I just empty a bottle or two of water on the top of the plant (avoiding the center) and let it run through and put a paper towel in the bottom to soak up excess water. It would be great if I can get it on schedule with the other plants to be watered once a week.

  7. #7
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Hi,

    just a thought, you could make holes in the opaque pots using a hot nail or screwdriver and you could have your own slitted pots.

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    My pots already have holes in them but that's a very good idea for the next time I buy pots. I can buy the clear plastic ones locally and just make holes in them. Wish I had thought of this before. Anyway, I think I will leave the phal in this pot for a year and see how it goes. Then I'll switch pots.

  9. #9
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    What do the Aerials look like? Sometimes when you cant see the under soil roots you can still tell the health of the plant by looking at the aerials. Wrinkled is usually a sign of dehydration, smoothe and gray is good, darkened green almost over watered, and brown or black DANGER (hope they dont reach brownish and wrinkled for these are hard to recover).

  10. #10
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    Hi Kspalding. The aerial is gray not completely smooth....it has some lines as if it were striped long ways......but not wrinkled either. The plant only has one aerial. Checking on the aerial is a good idea....thanks.

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