Watering Orchids: Orchid Planters - suggestions please!

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Watering Orchids

By Robynznest
March 2, 2013

When watering my orchids, I count to 3 while slowly pouring. This tip keeps me from over-watering.

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Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
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imapigeon
Mar 3, 2013 8:04 PM CST
Soooo, I'm a potter, and I had read that orchids like pots with holes in them so they get extra air to the roots. I made these last year, and I've sold them all, but never heard anything back from the buyers, so I don't know if I'm doing them right or not. Can you orchid experts take a look at these photos and tell me if they're a good idea or not? And if so, how I could improve the design to help the plants do well? I'd appreciate any hints you can provide!

Oh, and the ones with the attached reservoirs have a drainage hole at the side; the ones without reservoirs have drainage holes in the bottom.

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[Last edited by imapigeon - Mar 3, 2013 8:06 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #366949 (1)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 4, 2013 9:01 AM CST
You are definitely on the right track. Here are some suggestions from someone who has hundreds of orchids, in every conceivable pot/basket.

Rather than having your holes sort of in a line across the pot, stagger them from top to bottom. The idea is for air to reach as much of the orchid medium as possible. I would also (at least) double the size of the holes and rather than just having round holes, since you are creating these pots yourself, vary their shape. This makes for a more interesting pot. So lots of large, irregularly shaped holes.

I love my orchid pots that have built-in saucers. Here's an idea. Build your saucer with a raised platform, a platform that the orchid pot sits on. But when you glaze the pot/saucer, have the pot sitting on this platform so that it becomes a single glazed object. In other words, you don't want the saucer separate from the pot. This would raise the pot above the level of any standing water. Thus the water-filled saucer would increase the humidity around the plant. You never want the orchid pot to actually sit in a saucer of water. Im my humble opinion, over-watering kills more orchids than all other reasons conbined.

If you like I can send you some pics of what I believe are ideal orchid pots. Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
Image
imapigeon
Mar 4, 2013 1:27 PM CST
Ken, I'd love to see some of the pots that work well for you. The saucers on the above pots are, in fact, attached to the pot itself, but I think they may be too small. They are more "drip-catchers" than saucers to hold water.

Since most of my pots are stoneware, they don't absorb water into the walls, Is this good or bad? I had thought of making some from earthenware clay, but they would be more fragile and would tend to build up salts in the walls that would form that nasty white crust on the outside that has to be dealt with. Your thoughts?

Thanks for the feedback!
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Mar 4, 2013 2:34 PM CST
Those are very lovely planters. Is it possible to have a wider lip? Right now, I use similar orchid pots, but my problem is they do not have a lip so I end up double potting. I put my orchids on a pole so I need a pot with a lip so it can latch on to the holder.

I agree too with the suggestion of Ken, if you can raise the main pot but still have the foot connected to the saucer, that would be just fabulous! And also on the holes, more holes the better Smiling

This type of pot works for me:
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And this is how I double pot right now, just so I can latch it on to the pole: that's just how I grow mine indoors, to maximize use of space.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Mar 4, 2013 3:03 PM CST
This is my mini-cymbidium outdoors. I love this container, because it accommodates quite well the roots of this particular orchid, with good holes, has wide lip that can latch on well to the holder. This one has a separate saucer which I just do not use anymore..the plant is outside, so does not need it.
If you can do something similar..it would be happy days for me!
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 4, 2013 4:38 PM CST
Here are just a few of what I have and they are on a window sill over my large jacuzzi tub (which I never use). These are all smaller orchid pots, 4-6" in diameter and I have clay pots or plastic basket-pots sitting in these decorative pots. I would recommend glazed surfaces inside and out.

P.S. If you make a couple of small holes near the lip, perhaps 3-6" apart depending on the diameter of the pot, that would give a means to attach your pot to a pole or wall. Someone could simply use cord or wire to make a hanger. Ken

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
Image
imapigeon
Mar 5, 2013 2:55 PM CST
OUTSTANDING! Thank you so much for the suggestions and details.
Yes, I can make the rims thicker, and I can definitely add more holes to the body of the pot and also some to the rims.
What about size? The ones I made are about 8" tall. Too big? Too small? Or does it depend on the orchid variety?

Oh, yeah--and I like the narrow holes in the one pot, because then the bark wouldn't fall out so easily, right? Or is that not important?

Thanks for your patience!!!
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
[Last edited by imapigeon - Mar 5, 2013 2:58 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #367916 (7)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 5, 2013 3:21 PM CST
Holes are actually not important - the larger, within reason, the better. Don't forget, I put my potted orchid plants in these glazed ceramic pots. If you look real close, you will see what kind of pot I am using - you can see black (plastic) or clay colors through the holes/slots of the ceramic pots. Since I am using these ceramic pots to double-pot my plants, there is no orchid mix to worry about.

Size matters whether you glaze them or not. Unglazed, they could better be used as "growing" pots. They would be able to "breath". Glazed pots are simply something I use for aesthetic purposes and to stabilize the plastic and clay pots. The problem with using the nice, expensive glazed pots for growing is that the orchid plants will send roots out through all the holes/slots. It can be difficult to remove the plant when re-potting. Your large glazed pots could hold a 5-6 inch "growing" plastic or clay pot. The smaller the glazed pot, the smaller the "growing" pot would be to fit within it. So, if I were a potter (I can do it but it kills my back), I would have sizes ranging from 4" up to 12", round, square, and even rectangular. The rectangular could be used to grow a nice, large Phal. (which doesn't need repotting too often) or two small orchid plant sitting side-by-side. I hope this helps some. I can't wait for you to experiment some and post the pics of what you have done. Only your imagination limits your pot creations.

I will send you some more pics of much larger and very different orchid pots I have and tell you the size of each.

P. S. You don't live close to Mississippi by any chance? Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Mar 5, 2013 4:09 PM CST
A range of sizes would indeed be good. For my own use, I do not use a secondary pot..just my style..or call it my laziness Big Grin I just try to be careful when I pull my orchids out of the glazed multi-holed pot. Typically orchids are potted as snugly possible without being too big, otherwise it takes too much time for the media to dry and most orchids will not like being too soggy. Having the holes then helps a lot.

Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
Image
imapigeon
Mar 6, 2013 5:00 PM CST
Ken, unless it's Mississippi, CA no I don't,,,,LOL!

I'm in Gilroy, Garlic Capital of the World (or so we say) but there are a lot of people around here who grow orchids, too.

Maybe I could do a porous earthenware or bisqued growing-pot insert that sits inside of a stoneware pot with holes....my rusty old wheels are turning. You can probably hear them squeaking all the way to Mississippi!
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 6, 2013 5:38 PM CST
I went through Gilroy a few months ago. Was traveling to my mother-in-laws funeral in Fresno. I actually sell gourmet garlic in late May through June. I sell it by the 1/4 lb and sold out last year, my first year trying my hand at that. I only had twenty or so lbs but hope to at least double that amount this spring. Just another way to grow what I like to eat and make a buck or two doing so. Ken

P. S. I do hear some squeaks but I think the sound is coming from my old joints!

P. S. S. Just make the great looking and functional glazed pots, and you should be on your way. If shipping such heavy-weight objects was not so doggone expensive, I could be your retailer!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
Image
imapigeon
Mar 7, 2013 2:33 PM CST
If you're a garlic-lover, would you like my recipe for "Vampire Salad"? It's sort of Caesar with soft, sourdough garlic croutons. It should really be called "Anti-Vampire Salad"...LOL!
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 7, 2013 3:09 PM CST
Absolutely, and I am sure many other's would like it as well. Send it on. Hurray! Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
Image
imapigeon
Mar 7, 2013 5:00 PM CST
Here you go---converted to JPG format. Hopefully it shows up OK

Thumb of 2013-03-07/imapigeon/7c448a
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 7, 2013 5:39 PM CST
That looks great, Janet. Thanks for sharing. Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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