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Best medium for phals inside A/C environment in Florida

This is a discussion on Best medium for phals inside A/C environment in Florida within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hello! I'm new to forums and still consider myself a neophyte orchid enthusiast! I have ...

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  1. #1
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    Default Best medium for phals inside A/C environment in Florida

    Hello!

    I'm new to forums and still consider myself a neophyte orchid enthusiast! I have several phals that I've been growing inside. They are at East and South close to window locations but since I live in So. Florida, A/C is on pretty much all the time.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on best medium for this type of environment? I started out with medium bark chips which seemed to work but I made a boo boo the other day and didn't drain well enough outside before bringing back in and have had to "save" 4 of them tonight as the leaves were falling off and roots have "melted" away...!

    I know a lot of people saw that moss is best for phals but I find that gray fuzzy mold seems to grow lightly from drain holes when I do the cedar bark so don't know how it will go with moss. Recently bought clay balls at the recent orchid show to try.

    Please let me know your suggestions, my outside orchids (catts, dens, milts and epi's) are fine in bark, South facing porch, shaded.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    eaglssong's Avatar
    eaglssong is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Chandra,


    from a neighbor here in Broward County!!

    I'm keeping most of my orchids out in the Florida room. So far, I haven't turned on the a/c out there, but I do have the windows open. I have kept a few in the bedroom/den though, and that room is air conditioned, and I keep a fan going (doesn't get really cool in here, even though the thermostat is anywhere between 70 and 75). The bedroom orchids are on a table in front of an east facing window, with sheers between the window and the plants. So far, they haven't complained, and seem quite happy and healthy.

    I'm using bark right now, although my Vandas are bare root and just hanging. I did have an incident with mealy bugs on my Phal, so that too is bare rooted now, until I get a chance to repot her.

    Don't know that any of this is going to be helpful to you, but I did want to welcome a neighbor!!


  3. #3
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    Hello Anne!

    Thank you for the welcome!

    I too have some in our bedroom, East facing window with sheer blinds. My others are in the dining room, South light with light also from small North window in kitchen as well.

    Our A/C is about 74 so air is flowing often enough to be cool but not too cold.

    I'm "nursing" the ones that have gotten sick in sphagnum (slightly moist) to kind of dry out a little and put them in enclosed Florida room by East window. It too has A/C but I'm hoping being closer to light will bring them back!

    Most of them were a bit ill to begin with as I bought them from someone on Craigslist who was selling out her orchid farm. They're small and I didn't pay much but don't want to lose them!

    Thanks for the reply, I might try bark again, after they get well. I tried one of them with moss and the clay balls but I have it in slatted plastic basket hanging in kitchen.

    Maybe see you around sometime neighbour!

  4. #4
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    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    I like Spag but then again I'm in Texas where the humidity is not as high as yours...I also under water.

    I would say it would depend on how you water. I'd put them in something with a lot of large perlite if you tend to overwater.

    Welcome to the board

  5. #5
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    ...one more thing..

    with your weather your Phals would probably appreciate a nice shady place outside that gets some dappled morning sun..

  6. #6
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    Thanks, I am actually usually quite careful in watering but I think I didn't pay attention....been really distracted with work lately! So the bark medium got a little slimy, which is unusual for me so I realized right away as the leaves were NOT looking well at all!

    We're currently renting so I son't want to get them used to the outside just yet until we get our own place (hopefully Sept.) but I do have one baby phal in coconut husk mounted to a small piece of branch that I perched in the mango tree. wanted to try my luck....! Doing well so far so once we move, I will ask nicely to hubby for a pergola!

    Thanks again, I'm going to see if I can bring these ones back around to health outside for a while and then re-adjust to inside after healthier....

    Ciao!

  7. #7
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    I had my first couple phals in the house with south facing window. They were so not happy there. I have all my orchids outside now and they like it! All in bark.

  8. #8
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    You can raise orchids indoors here, the trick is air movement. Repot the orchid into a clay pot with lots of drainage holes, use a pot that is only slightly larger than the roots as too large a pot with too much potting will hold water and rot roots. I find if I open the window closest to my phals indoors, they do much better. It gives them a little drop in temps at night. And it helps keep humidity up a little more in that small area. Air movement often can be a major factor, as can potting mixtures that haven't been changed often enough.
    Good Luck...

  9. #9
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    I wish I could have them all outside but since we are in rented house, I don't have enough area that is shaded enough for them....I have a wicker shelf in the corner of the porch for the ones that need heavy light. They're all doing well there but one of these days, I want a large orchid bench or pergola but I guess I'll have to wait until we get a place....!

  10. #10
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    I think you're right Connie, I'm thinking of getting a little fan for the area where I have the "mini-nursery" in the Florida room. Do you think it has to be on all the time or maybe for a couple hours a day?

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