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Thread: Clear cachpots for phals

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  1. #1
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    Default Clear cachpots for phals

    From what I read, phal orchids like light to get to their roots. I am currently putting them in clear plastic slotted orchid pots, which I then place in slightly larger "cachepots." All of the cachpots I have are opaque ceramic, so I am thinking about purchasing clear glass vases to use as cachpots. Does anyone do that? Is it a good idea? It seems like it would be if phals like their roots getting light. :-)

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    As long as the roots are not setting in water, you should be fine. Cache pots are great to display an orchid for a short time, but it is sometimes difficult to grow orchids set inside them since they do not drain and block air movement. Your best bet would be to put your orchids in a pot that allows them to drain freely and lets air get in to the roots since they need to be able to exchange gases - breathe.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Thanks, BD. Also, I have repotted all my store bought phals, so I can’t see the roots well. That makes it a little more difficult to know when to water them. Can you give me any idea how long it takes roots to grow where you can see them after repotting?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisker View Post
    Thanks, BD. Also, I have repotted all my store bought phals, so I can’t see the roots well. That makes it a little more difficult to know when to water them. Can you give me any idea how long it takes roots to grow where you can see them after repotting?
    Posted via Mobile Device
    It is never an exact science as it requires a specific culture and observation. Something that might help you though is an article I wrote about growing phal orchids: Growing the Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moth Orchid)

    Actually, there are 20 or so different articles here that might be of interest to you too: Phal Orchid Articles at RVO

    cheers,
    BD

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    Default Water Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer View Post
    It is never an exact science as it requires a specific culture and observation. Something that might help you though is an article I wrote about growing phal orchids: Growing the Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moth Orchid)

    Actually, there are 20 or so different articles here that might be of interest to you too: Phal Orchid Articles at RVO

    cheers,
    BD
    Nice article - Thanks.

    One thing it does not mention is water quality. The water where we live (cental Utah) is very hard, so we use a water softener. From what I read using artificially softened water is very bad for orchids, so I have been using distilled water, with a good orchid fertilizer (MSU from ---- Vendor information removed - see FAQs on Posting ----
    ) added. Having said that, distilled water can get expensive, especially if you do a lot of flushing, as you suggest. Any thoughts on this?

    Steve

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    Default Top Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer View Post
    It is never an exact science as it requires a specific culture and observation. Something that might help you though is an article I wrote about growing phal orchids: Growing the Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moth Orchid)

    cheers,
    BD
    Per your suggestion I have removed all of our phals from their origial cachepots and have also place them on gravel. The problem I am having now is that when I take the phals out of their cachepots they are so light and top-heavy that they tend to tip over, which creates a mess. Any suggestions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisker View Post
    Thanks, BD. Also, I have repotted all my store bought phals, so I can’t see the roots well. That makes it a little more difficult to know when to water them. Can you give me any idea how long it takes roots to grow where you can see them after repotting?
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Name:  Orchid Close.jpg
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    This is an example of a top-heavy plant removed from its cachepot (previous message).

    Name:  Orchids - East.jpg
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    Here is my current setup - all East-facing windows.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisker View Post
    Nice article - Thanks.

    One thing it does not mention is water quality. The water where we live (cental Utah) is very hard, so we use a water softener. From what I read using artificially softened water is very bad for orchids, so I have been using distilled water, with a good orchid fertilizer added. Having said that, distilled water can get expensive, especially if you do a lot of flushing, as you suggest. Any thoughts on this?

    Steve
    Thank you. Yes, softened water is not good for plants as it contains lots of sodium. I think the best thing you can do is use the distilled water or possibly collect rainwater. Adding back the minerals removed during the softening process is also an option, but I'm not sure how to do that beyond using a good fertilizer like the MSU that you are using now and there is still the issue of sodium in the water. The sodium in softened water actually interferes with the water balance in the plants and can kill plants by “fooling” them into thinking they have taken up more water than they have. Softened water essentially causes the plants in your garden to die of thirst.

    Name:  distilledfilteredsoft.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisker View Post
    Per your suggestion I have removed all of our phals from their origial cachepots and have also place them on gravel. The problem I am having now is that when I take the phals out of their cachepots they are so light and top-heavy that they tend to tip over, which creates a mess. Any suggestions?
    I don't know if you are able, but you could drill a drainage hole in the bottom of the cachepot or if that is not possible, you could repot in a clay pot or decorative orchid pot. The roots do not need light as long as they can drain (dry off) freely and have good quality air movement. When potting your phals, you could also try using lava rock in the mix to help weigh down the pot. We grow our orchids in green, plastic nursery pots or clay pots. Here is a video we did on repotting phal orchids.



    Quote Originally Posted by Fisker View Post
    Here is my current setup - all East-facing windows. - Thanks, BD. Also, I have repotted all my store-bought phals, so I can’t see the roots well. That makes it a little more difficult to know when to water them. Can you give me any idea how long it takes roots to grow where you can see them after repotting?

    Steve
    The phals look beautiful. Since you grow indoors and likely have an air conditioner/heating system that dries out (remove humidity) from the air, you will likely need to water once a week. The best way to tell is by weight. When your orchids are 'dry' and ready for water, pick the plant up and check how heavy it feels. Then water the orchid by placing it in the sink and pouring water through the pot freely. Let it sit there a bit and lift the pot to see how heavy it is now. The difference will be in how much water the orchid potting medium retains. When the plant is heavier, you know it still has moisture in the root area.

    Another trick is to stick a finger down into the medium to feel if it is still damp or dry. This is a little messy as you can dislodge the orchid from the potting mixture over time.

    As you grow your orchids longer you will get the feel for when and what they need. Since culture depends on not only the type of orchid, the medium it is potted in or how it is mounted, the air movement, the water quality, the temperature, and the fertilizer - it will be a bit different for every growing location. Your phals look beautiful and healthy. I'm not sure how long you have been growing them, but those with the huge leaves are not young plants so they have been cared for very well. Keep up the good work.

    cheers,
    BD

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