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Vacation Care of Orchids

This is a discussion on Vacation Care of Orchids within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi Everyone, I'm heading out to Montana for 10 days of hiking in July. What's ...

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  1. #1
    Centerharbear is offline Member
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    Default Vacation Care of Orchids

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm heading out to Montana for 10 days of hiking in July. What's the best way to care for my orchids before I leave? I've read that I should water them thouroughly and put them in a shaded area. Any other thoughts? I'd appreciate your feedback. thanks in advance for your help.

    Chuck

  2. #2
    Diane's Avatar
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    A lot depends on your potting medium, your current watering regimen and the weather. If it were catts I wouldn't worry for 10 days, but paphs and phals... do you have someone who could come over about day 5 and water them?

  3. #3
    Centerharbear is offline Member
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    Hi Diane....I suppose I could arrange someone to water. Mine are all potted in bark...I'd appreciate advise on watering as well.....

  4. #4
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    how often are you watering them now? Mine are watered once a week unless they are in bud/spike. My paphs and phals are in a mix of bark, perlite, charcol and a small amount of chopped up sphag. 10 days wouldn't kill them unless it gets really hot, but it could set them back quite a bit. If you don't want/can't get someone to come and water them, water well before leaving and dress the top of the medium with a thin layer of moist sphag. That will slow down the evaporation without making them too soggy. How is the humidity where they are?

  5. #5
    Centerharbear is offline Member
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    Smile Thanks Diane

    Hi Diane,
    the humidity shouldn't be a problem....I'll put them atop some pebble trays. You mentioned mixes of your mediums. Can I use just bark (medium size) for all of my orchids? I'm not even sure if I have access to perlite or other growing mediums around here.
    I like the idea of the bit of damp sphagnum on the top to keep the moisture in. A great tip...thanks!

    Chuck

  6. #6
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    Out of curiosity, are you hiking in the Bear Tooth Mountains in MT? Have fun, Montana is a great state for hiking! July 2005, it rained, hailed, then snowed up where we were hiking... wasn't too pleasant

    -Pat

  7. #7
    Diane's Avatar
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    I used to grow all my orchids in "straight bark". Although I did use different sizes, large bark for cats, medium mixed with fine for paphs. They did fine. But they did require more frequent watering. You can usually find perlite, sponge rock and sphag at most nurseries, or order online. But just plain bark will work fine. Just gotta stay on your toes with the various watering needs.

  8. #8
    Centerharbear is offline Member
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    Hi Pat,
    No, I'm actually going back to Glacier National Park again this year. It will be my 3rd time there. It's my absolute favorite place on earth!
    Chuck

  9. #9
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    Default Diane...

    Thanks for the tip about chopping up the sphag and mixing it in - I have repotted my paphs and miltonias mixing in the sphag, I hope this enables me to keep them happier, as my paphs were drying out considerably and I got the feeling that they just were not happy.

  10. #10
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    I get someone to water for me when I am away for 10 days. Another bonus of belonging to my local OS society.

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