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  • 3 Post By JJJessee
  • 1 Post By catttan

Re-potted my first 2 orchids

This is a discussion on Re-potted my first 2 orchids within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Ten days ago I purchased the first orchids I've had in decades. They were essentially ...

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  1. #1
    JJJessee is online now Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re-potted my first 2 orchids

    Ten days ago I purchased the first orchids I've had in decades. They were essentially rescues from the local big box store. I negotiated a $4 each for 12 phals marked at $8 on the 50% off rack. They were in 4" clear orchid pots in a nice little clay pot, but only one clay pot had a whole in it. Some had a few blooms left, some had obvious problems. One had a bud spike and only two leafs that were flaccid. In the mean time, I was called out of town to go see my new and first grandbaby (yay!). I've been reading and researching to figure out what to do and today, dove into re-potting and would appreciate your comments on my process so far.

    #1 Phal
    Had 3 white blooms that lasted a few days. No surprise.
    I set up my kitchen table thusly.

    ---- vendor information removed -see faqs on posting----

    I can usually follow directions, but I'm prone to experiment. And evidently I'm a true American as Churchhill (supposedly) once said something of us to the affect, "America will always do the right thing after it has exhausted all other possiblities."

    Here's what I did.
    Took a well cured gourd and sliced some vent slits up the side. 4 holes in the bottom. I've grown baby pepper and tomato plants in them last winter and they work better than I thought they would.
    The gourd seemed on the large size so to consume a bit of volume, it put some good-sized stones in the bottom. They should be large enough that they won't interfere with the drainage/perch table the way that gravel would tend to do. They also stablized the pot quite a bit.

    I pulled the plant out of the pot and the medium was barely damp at all. I haven't watered since I bought it, because I could feel some dampness below the moss everyday I checked it. Their medium was almost pure fir bark with maybe some coconut husk with a layer of sphagnum on top. The roots look mostly OK to me. I trimmed the older roots that have started to brown, hardly any of these had collapsed.

    I dobbed the wounds with cinnamon powder. I put a hand full of a medium I bought from Al's Orchid Greenhouse that he said he used for phals. It is medium chunk -fir bark, charcoal, Growstone, and I think orchid bark(?). I soaked it a few days last week in local spring water which is what I use for my garden seedlings in the spring if I'm out of rainwater. The spent flower spike had a dead tip but otherwise looked healthy so I cut it just a 1/4" above the 2nd node from the bottom.

    Question. If I completely that spike or pieces of it in damp coir, in a miniature grow tent, would it form keikeis?

    I put a little medium on the rock inside first and then held the orchid in place while stuffing more medium in -sometimes piece by piece- until is seemed stable.

    Then I put it in a sink and poured a pint of water on the potting medium. And made sure the crown had not trapped any water.

    I'll probably take the plants to the sink to water for the time being, but I thought it should have a saucer.

    In the saucer I set a flat rock to perch the gourd pot on. I then took some damp, well wrung-out coir and fill the saucer up just to the bottom of the gourd and put some local mosses on it for decoration and even a little humidity maybe. And if the orchids don't pan out, I could take up moss growing.

    I set it on a window sill. It's a big window facing south looking out into a mature oak forest that is my backyard. The light is filtered mostly, but I got an f32 reading on 1/125 ISO 200 at about 1pm today, so I'll watch that. I'd actually like to think I could grow some bright light species here. After the leaves fall, I can make a better guess. I'll set these out in the spring if we make it through the winter. Or maybe a little next week or two as the low temps should hold above 50.

    I did the same thing with a second phal that had some parchment colored blooms with a dark rose veiningto them. It had 7 nice dark leaves and a tiny, tiny bud on the end if the flower spike. A few more roots need pruning away but over all it looked better then the first whose leaves seemed a little light-hungry. It had bloomed once before as there was a spike stub at the base. Question. Should I leave this spike it, or just snip it and get on with the next cycle?

    I welcome your comments.
    Thanks for reading,

  2. #2
    catttan's Avatar
    catttan is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    cattleyas, vandaceous,paphios
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia
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    Firstly I love your gourd pot - a very novel and attractive container! Sounds like you've done everything right. Re: trying to get keikis from a cut spike; I have had very limited success by sticking the cut spike into wet sand. If you can get 'Keiki Grow' and dip the cut end into it and rub some over the 'eyes' you might get better success rate. A few of our members have posted regarding the use of Keiki Grow. I normally leave the old spikes on the plant until they dry up, but since you're repotting, it would be prudent to cut it off so that all the energy would go into establishing new growth.

  3. #3
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
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    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Hi Jessee, welcome to OrchidTalk. Your repots look healthy. Please re-visit the FAQs on posting.


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