Ask a Question forum: watering advice needed

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Name: Sylvia Wingate
Wauchula, Fla. (Zone 9b)
blondie202
Jun 4, 2015 3:28 PM CST
How often should I water my rick rack plat? Also my rope plant
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jun 4, 2015 4:06 PM CST
HI blondie202, Welcome!

Is this the same as your Rick Rack plant? Ric Rac Orchid Cactus (Selenicereus anthonyanus) If so, it's a cactus and is very drought tolerant. It requires a well draining potting medium and although I grow this plant I don't feel comfortable offering advice to someone else on when or how often to water. Mine hangs outside year round and only gets watered when it rains or if we are having severe drought conditions I will turn the hose on it once in awhile ... but I live in Florida so our humidity is quite high most of the time which helps.

I used to have a very large Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa 'Hindu Rope') and like most Hoya's it's a succulent and also likes a well draining potting medium.


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Name: Sylvia Wingate
Wauchula, Fla. (Zone 9b)
blondie202
Jun 4, 2015 4:27 PM CST
I haven't had my rick rack plant very long so I haven't seen the bloom and don't know what it looks like. Both the rick rack and the rope plant are in hanging pots on my front porch which has a wide overhang. They seem to be doing well. The rope plant has blooms on it now . Clusters of small pink waxy flowers. Some of the leaves are variegated with some pink in them. I also live in Florida where as you know we have a lot of humid weather. I read that the the rick rack plant is a night bloomer. Thank you for your answer.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 4, 2015 4:29 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP It really depends where you're growing them, blondie. Temperature, how much sun, night temps, wind etc. can all play a part in how much water they need. Or if indoors, still the temperature, humidity, air movement and amount of light will decide how much to water. Even a ceiling fan can cause enough "wind" to dry out a plant much more quickly than you'd think.

How about posting a picture of the plants?

My Ricrac plant gets its leaves sprayed about every second day if it doesn't rain. At least once a week it gets a spray of weak soluble fertilizer. (just because my orchids are getting that too) If we have a really hot, dry run of days, I will pour a little water through the pot. But they do gather a lot of their moisture and nutrients through the leaves/stems so misting or spraying is my preferred method.

(edited to add) Oops, sorry, cross posted with you Lin, and blondie.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jun 4, 2015 4:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 4, 2015 5:12 PM CST
If you click on the highlighted link I supplied in my above post you can see what the blooms will look like on your Ric Rac and yes, it is a night bloomer .... and the flowers are fragrant!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Sylvia Wingate
Wauchula, Fla. (Zone 9b)
blondie202
Jun 5, 2015 5:44 AM CST
I'm sorry but I don't know how to post pictures, but my rick rack plant has long green spiky leaves with hair like things on them. I'm assuming they are roots. I was able to find a picture of the blooms it has and they look really pretty. I guess I'll have to stay up at night to see them, although I think the info said they bloom in April and May. It may not bloom this year. Even with no flowers it is a very interesting looking plant. When I bought it I also bought the rope plant and the lady said to water one of them every two weeks and other one every two months, but I can't remember which one gets water every two months and which one every two weeks. Sorry to be so confusing.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 5, 2015 8:06 AM CST
Hi & welcome!

A schedule like that can do more harm than good since it's impossible to predict how long it will take your plants to dry out, which will probably fluctuate with the seasons/weather anyway. Water when dry is a good starting point. Both plants are types that don't wilt, but the leaves will lose their turgidity and become soft if too dry. The epiphytic cacti like Selenicereus are cacti, but from rainforest jungle, not dry desert. Letting the soil dry is a good way to prevent root rot if using potting soil made up of tiny particles. The soil type/texture will determine how moist the roots can be w/o rotting. If it's more chunky/porous/airy so that roots have plenty of oxygen while moist, not drying completely should result in the best/fastest growth. There are a ton of pics under the info part, in the database entry Lin pasted above.

(Lin, your plant is gorgeous!)
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 5, 2015 8:15 AM CST
It's really not that critical, as long as you're not pouring water on them every day. In winter my RicRac gets water very seldom, generally only when it rains. In hot weather like we've been having, it might get rained on twice a day, but lightly as it is partially under a roof overhang. I don't grow Hoya (which is your 'rope plant') but I believe they are similar.

As long as you have them in a very loose well-draining medium, NOT potting soil, and they can dry out between waterings they will do just fine.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Sylvia Wingate
Wauchula, Fla. (Zone 9b)
blondie202
Jun 5, 2015 8:17 AM CST
Thank you so much for all the info. I'm looking forward to seeing the blooms. Thank You!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jun 5, 2015 8:34 AM CST
Excellent description of the huge factor that weather can be, Elaine!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jun 5, 2015 8:43 AM CST
A good general rule of thumb I use for plants like that is keeping them on the dry side of moist.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 5, 2015 10:35 AM CST
I agree with the recommendations of everyone. You got the ideal area for tropical succulents, and definitely good for Hoyas. Just make sure your media is very well draining, so roots will have good air flow while being moist.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Jun 5, 2015 10:40 AM CST
Anne, brilliant phrase!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Jun 5, 2015 4:32 PM CST
Hi, Blondie202! Welcome to ATP.

I totally agree about coarse, "open" well-aerated potting mix making watering much safer for the roots.

One way to tell how much water you have left in the pot is to pick up the plant in its pot every few days. While it is still getting lighter each day, it hasn't run out of water yet.

If your potting mix has much peat or any fine-textured, water-holding ingredient, it will try to hold too much water, like it was trying its best to drown the roots. You could fix that part-way by setting the pot on top of a water-absorbent wicking cloth like toweling, a cotton Tee shirt, denim or cotton flannel.

Then when you water, the absorbent pad will try to "pull" any excess water out of the pot by capillary action plus gravity. Excess water going out lets air in, so the roots don't rot.

Bottom-Watering Seedling Trays with Cotton Flannel Prevents Water-Logging
http://garden.org/ideas/view/RickCorey/646/Bottom-Watering-S...
Name: Sylvia Wingate
Wauchula, Fla. (Zone 9b)
blondie202
Jun 16, 2015 5:52 AM CST
Some of the leaves on the rope plant are looking sort of dry and crinkled but others look fine. It is blooming and has several clumps of flowers on it. I watered it today because the soil felt dry to the finger test. Hope I didn't drown it.
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
Jun 16, 2015 11:23 AM CST
Be sure to spray or mist the leaves of both those plants fairly often. They both like high humidity, and absorb a lot of water and nutrients through the leaves - almost as much as through the roots.

You really can't treat them like regular terrestrial plants and assume that because the soil is moist they don't need water. Keep a spray bottle handy and spritz them whenever you walk by. They will love it.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill

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