Orchids forum: Repotting advice please?

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
May 10, 2013 6:28 PM CST
So I have this wonderful Brassavola 'Big Jim' that my kids gave me last year. It has bloomed twice and is very healthy, but it's devoured the little wood slat basket it's growing in.

The last time it bloomed, the flowers only lasted a few days, where usually they last weeks. It also had a second spike that the buds have blasted on (I think) Sad I watered, dunked and misted, but really can't seem to keep him wet enough. He dries out fast, and the basket is always pretty light for such a big plant except right after a good dunking.

Wondering if it's time to re-pot, and if so, how would you all advise me to proceed? I have some Brassies in vented pots, and some in wood baskets, and some mounted on cork. They all seem to do fine, grow, bloom etc. Obviously I can't remove this guy from his present situation, and I'm thinking of just wrapping him in a layer of coco fiber, and tucking him basket and all into a bigger basket.

What do you all think, my knowledgeable mentors??
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 10, 2013 7:37 PM CST

Moderator

Now where are the fellows from Silva Orchids when you need them? They are so good in hacking apart something like that just the right way!
Now if that were my plant I would look at all these wonderful healthy roots, and there is no way I could possibly cut them.
I agree with you, I would just pop it into a larger basket, lined with some loosened coconut fiber, meaning I would probably not pack it around the roots too tightly. It is a happy looking plant!
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
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Ted5310
May 10, 2013 8:23 PM CST
I agree
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 10, 2013 9:07 PM CST
I did briefly consider hacking it apart - DH helpfully offered to loan me his Sawzall - and like you could not bring myself to cut any of those nice roots.

Am I having "visions of sugarplums" or maybe delusions of grandeur here? The first Brassavola I ever saw was a huge specimen of B. nodosa at Selby Gardens. The root ball was the size of a watermelon, there were leaves and flowers coming out of it in all directions and I just thought it was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen. This one has flowers almost twice the size of B. nodosa.

So . . . the next question is, how big a basket? Once they get to football or watermelon size, surely they develop a life of their own, and the root mass itself holds enough water to sustain the plant. But for the next year or two or five?


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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 26, 2013 10:02 AM CST
New re-mounting puzzle here, with a B. nodosa I've had for 3 years, and it has grown but never bloomed since I bought it. It's on a small, narrow piece of cork and has roots all through the cork by now. Problem is, it also has a whole big handful of great looking roots just waving around in the air. It is growing in that direction, away from the mount, right now. I'm not worried about it, but I do think that I just can't keep it watered enough once the weather gets hot, so maybe that's why it hasn't bloomed.
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Should I just attach it to a new piece of cork mount and hope for the best, or perch it in a slat basket so I can get some medium around those floating roots? What would you all do here?

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
May 26, 2013 11:58 AM CST
A friend of mine has one like that. He just dunks it in the pond for water, and it blooms for him.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 26, 2013 2:27 PM CST
Hm, hadn't thought of that, just keep a 'dunk' handy, or park it near the pond - have to go for the dunk.

I think I'd forget about it if it was near the pond which is on the other side of the house from where the rest of the 'chids live. (in the front entry which nobody ever uses . . . except strangers) The water in the background of the first pic is the swimming pool. Probably too much chemical in there to use it for a regular dunk.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 26, 2013 4:39 PM CST

Moderator

I have lots of Orchids with free roots like that, I don't mind. I simply water them all daily with a hose.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 26, 2013 5:12 PM CST
Yep, that's what I've been doing. I have two 2gal. sprayers, one for fert mix, and the other for just rainwater. The fert mix is turned to a fine mist. But the water sprayer gives a pretty good hose imitation. I use up the rainwater incredibly fast these days as we've been having lower humidity and wind! Now that I have 'ventured into Vanda land', there's a lot more spraying of water going on.

Maybe I will just attach that baby to a new piece of bark, and see how it does.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 26, 2013 5:48 PM CST

Moderator

Sounds like a good plan! Thumbs up
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
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hawkarica
May 26, 2013 6:44 PM CST
I think Big Jim looks just fine. I would just hose it down every day and let it be. Your nodosa is like my David Sander. It came on a skinny stick with roots going in all directions. I wired the stick to a foot square piece of tree fern and hung it in the bottle palm. It seems to be just fine.

Jim
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 26, 2013 8:03 PM CST
I gave Big Jim a whole new basket with a liner of loose coco fiber around the old basket. He has two more spikes ready to open that I was worried about before. Pic in a few days! We'll see how the flowers last this time.

Yes, the poor little B. nodosa is overdue for a bit more of a mount, but as you say, just wiring it onto a new piece will do the trick.

Your humidity is a little more controlled in the OC, don't forget! It's been on the dry side outdoors for 3 days, and windy so things have been drying out fast, and I've been spraying the mounts and Vandas like crazy.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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