Orchids forum: What media do you use? What pots do you prefer?

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 8, 2010 1:51 PM CST
We are always searching for a medium that doesn't break down too quickly, that keeps roots the way they like it, wet or dry. What pots work best for you? Please include lots of pics to explain.

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 9, 2010 5:38 PM CST
That's a Chinese pot I use for my Chinese cymbidiums.
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 9, 2010 6:50 PM CST
It really depends upon the orchid. Some do better in baskets, others in glazed pots or terra cotta. Still others are mounted! I like to mix and match what I do and if the plant doesn't seem to be thriving in the container of choice, it will be changed. Will get around to pics.....!
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 9, 2010 7:39 PM CST
I also have everything possible!! I do like to put the Asian plants in their pretty native pots though. Sometimes I'm just trying to find weightless pots! I have had a bad back forever but that doesn't stop me from a giant plant every now and then. I've recently switched from wood baskets to plastic baskets although aesthetically I like wood best. When my plants are not doing well, I use aliflor and sponge rock, mount with roots exposed or in a plastic basket or shove it into a pot with coconut husk. Then I sing many songs, dance around and hope for the best. I'm all ears!
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 9, 2010 8:22 PM CST
I've also begun collecting plastic containers and will experiment with drilling holes in some of the new lightweight pots to make my own orchid containers. HD had some nice deep ones for a song and I bought several. For the price, it's worth the attempt. The other thing I've purchased recently are the baskets used for water plants (available cheaply enough at Lowe's). These aren't terribly attractive, but placed inside something else might be OK. I'm more about function than form, though....
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 9, 2010 9:14 PM CST
Like to see what you mean about those water plant baskets.
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 9, 2010 9:21 PM CST
Kathy, I will post a pic tomorrow. It's too late tonight and will give me something to do tomorrow with the storm upon us! They are a pretty good size and might be good for a variety of our beloved orchids!
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 22, 2010 9:36 AM CST
Better late than never! *Blush*

These baskets are square with these dimensions:

Base - & 1/2 " flaring to the top which is 10"

Height (depth) - 6"

I may actually have found these at Lowe's, but any place that carries aquatic plants ought to have them. The only drawback is the are no holes to hang them.

Let me know if you need a better pic.



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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 22, 2010 9:53 AM CST
They look handier and lighter weight than the wire baskets I line with coco fiber. Lots of places the 4 wires could attach too. Would you clarify the bottom square's size?
Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 22, 2010 10:16 AM CST
The bottom of the basket is 7 1/2 " square and the top of the basket is 10" square.

Let's see if these new photos better represent the basket:



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Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 22, 2010 10:17 AM CST
And this is a side view:



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Name: Louise
East Texas, zones 7b/8a
Garden Ideas: Level 1
louise
Feb 28, 2010 3:44 PM CST
I just bought a beautiful orchid plant from Walmart for $14.95. It's planted in an 8 inch tall plastic container with a smaller clear liner of some kind inside. Does it need repotting now? What kind of potting medium would you use in the basket above. I like that look. How do you know when an orchid needs a bigger pot?

I've only had one orchid as a gift about 10 years ago and I didn't know how to care for it and it died.
I want this one to live and grow. It has five blooms that are have dark fuschia colored petals with white speckles on them. Sooooooo pretty !!!!

Thanks for this cubit and these forums. I need a lot of information.

Louise
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 28, 2010 4:31 PM CST
Louise, can you post a picture of the flowers, the whole plant and the stuff in the pot?
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
Feb 28, 2010 4:58 PM CST

Moderator

Is it in a bark mix or in some kind of Moss?
Name: Louise
East Texas, zones 7b/8a
Garden Ideas: Level 1
louise
Mar 2, 2010 6:34 PM CST
The pot is 6 inches tall and only 4 inches across the top. There are roots showing on the top of what appears to be spaghnum moss. The instructions said to keep it on the dry side, and if there are no holes in the pot (there are none), just place about 5 ice cubes on top of the moss. No direct sun, just enough light to read a book by with temps between 60 and 85 degrees.

I'll try to post a picture tomorrow. I don't have any cubits yet and haven't posted any pictures on the site yet. I will be studying all the growing info here. I don't know whether to transplant to a larger pot yet or not. Maybe someone can help me after I post a picture.

thanks for this forum,
Louise
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Mar 2, 2010 7:10 PM CST
Hmmmm. Sounds like a phalaenopsis. I would get it out of the sphagnum moss which will kill the plant in 6 months in my experience. Way too easy for the roots to rot and tricky to get the watering right in my case. The roots want to be moist but not soaked. Don't ever let the pot sit in water. I have a big problem with the ice cube thing. Way too controversial. Some people swear by it but others say it's crazy. I won't go there.

Louise, I would replant in the same clear pot and I'd use a bark mix if I watered once a week or clay pellets and perlite (or sponge rock, bigger perlite) mixed if I watered more. Another possibility would be to line an open mesh pot like the one you like with coconut husk fiber then fill with your medium. If it's a phal they don't like to get their leaves wet. You need to water the roots below the crown. I don't repot orchids unless the medium is breaking down or the plant is crawling out of the pot. I let roots grow in all directions out of the pot and hanging down. Some of the roots of my phals grow straight up. I mist them daily till the velamen turns green. I hope I haven't totally confused you!

If I were starting out, I would watch all the video links on the right side box of this cubit pronto!
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
Mar 2, 2010 7:32 PM CST

Moderator

Good advice!


Phals like that are usually packed in Sphagnum to prevent them from drying out during their sometimes long journey to our local markets. There was a vendor (I forget the name) at the recent Deep Cut Orchid Society Show, she had the cutest mini Phals, really sweet looking. They were all in Sphagnum. Glare She told me that she can't wait to travel to Taiwan again to pick up more of those nice Phals. Knowing my poor track record with any orchid in Sphagnum moss I had to walk past her table. She had some gorgeous other stuff too - all in Sphagnum. Big sigh on my part, but I really didn't feel like buying them and then having to repot everything.
Something to look out for....
Name: Louise
East Texas, zones 7b/8a
Garden Ideas: Level 1
louise
Mar 2, 2010 7:35 PM CST
The plant is the name you typed. I have perlite (and vermiculite) but no bark or pellets. The plant has four leaves - two pair of them and the two bloom stems are 1' and 1 1/2' tall and have the tiny clips to hold them to the metal heavy wire supports. I thought those clips were so neat - never saw them before.

Thanks for all the info. I'll go back and re-read it several times.

Louise
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Mar 2, 2010 7:49 PM CST
Louise, if you are just looking for a temperory display, go ahead and follow the instructions that came with it. If you want to grow, and rebloom this orchid, you will have to do some investigating. I bought one like that and immediatly repotted it! You need to take the moss out and see what is in that plastic sleeve. If it is in a bark mix you can just put the sleeve in a pot with a drain hole and return the moss UNTIL it is thru blooming. Then you will need to repot in a slightly larger pot. If it has spagnum moss in the sleeve, repot now, and say a little prayer over it. I have got several of those Phals that are doing fine, but the pot has a drainage hole and I can carefully pour water through them, but they are in a bark mix. I will still repot as soon as they finish blooming. The one that was in spagnum, and repotted immediatly, was getting a new bloom spike, until I broke it off while watering a couple of days ago. Aghhh!
As Kathy says, look at those videos. They are helpful.

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Mar 2, 2010 10:47 PM CST
Here's a source for the coconut husk fiber. I buy lots of their products.
http://www.repotme.com/orchid-potting-media/Coconut-Husk-Fib...

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