Orchids forum: Advice needed

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Name: Scott
Tampa FL
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bromeliad Plumerias Dog Lover
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ScotTi
Mar 5, 2017 7:47 AM CST
I have had my Cattleya's growing in the hanging wooden style orchid baskets for some years. The baskets have rotted away a little more than 50% of the basket remains and are close to totally falling apart . I need to repot and prefer them to have them hanging. I am thinking of using the coco lined wire baskets filled with orchid bark, dropping the whole wooden basket inside. Good idea? Any other ideas?
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Mar 5, 2017 8:24 AM CST
Hi Scott,
How about those black plastic pots with the 1/2" grid..they might be called 'mesh pots'? My sister uses them in Miami and they are virtually indestructible ..come in a bunch of sizes and are reasonably priced, certainly cheaper than wooden baskets..Unless, of course, your plants are HUGE then I would go with the wire basket concept.
lindsey
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 5, 2017 8:41 AM CST

Moderator

Scott, they are many ways to skin a cat?
What you are describing is exactly what I do mainly for large Cattleyas and those which are difficult to remove from their old baskets or pots. If you look at my Lc Rojo / Ctt Rojo, posted recently, that is exactly what I did. The roots were totally integrated with the wooden basket, I took the whole thing and popped it into an empty clay pot. But the plant managed to grow downwards into the pot from some of the new leads, so I had to break that pot and I simply popped the whole thing into a wirebasket with a Coconut fiber mat. It is perfectly happy in there now.
Btw, down the road, if you need to divide a plant in a wire basket, it is not that difficult. I bought a special strong wire clipper at HD just for that purpose. It works well.
Name: Scott
Tampa FL
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bromeliad Plumerias Dog Lover
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ScotTi
Mar 5, 2017 12:13 PM CST
Thanks Ursula! My thinking is they are to large except for the coco wire baskets. The roots hang out of the old wood Orchid baskets a couple of feet. Do I just ball the roots up into the larger basket when I repot them?

Thumb of 2017-03-05/ScotTi/6fd9bb

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 5, 2017 12:28 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, this is what I expected it to look like!!
Professional growers seem to cut these roots to fit the depth of the basket, but then they would probably hack the whole thing to fit a pot. I have never had luck succeeding with that. Silva Orchids around comes to mind, they are really good taking apart these overgrown plants. If I did that I can kiss the divisions goodbye! Smiling
I would soak the whole thing and gently place it into the basket with the roots carefully wound about. Works for me!
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
Mar 6, 2017 8:32 PM CST
I've also taken a rotting wooden basket like that and just placed it into another wood basket. I'd go a couple of sizes bigger, to give the roots room, and let those wild roots keep on coming out through the slats. Fill in any gap between the old and newer basket with orchid bark.

But then, I just really love the look of the slat baskets, and I like the amount of air they let in, as well. With our high humidity and heavy rain in summer, you can't have too much air circulation.
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
Mar 7, 2017 7:43 AM CST

Moderator

Sounds good, Elaine! Many Vanda growers do this also.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 7, 2017 2:08 PM CST
That's a really good question Scott. I have been thinking about it for a couple months now. I have some seedling Cattleyas that I want to put in baskets but am worried about how to transplant them when the wood rots. I was thinking about just letting them hang there sans baskets when the time comes.

This is Blc His Light x Blc Hawaiian Lightening "Pastel Orange". As you can see, the plant has literally eaten the basket and now the roots are headed straight down. I'm hoping that when the basket eventually rots, the the mass of the plant will keep it clinging to the wires. As you can see, there is no bottom to this basket.
Thumb of 2017-03-07/DaisyI/88cc28 Thumb of 2017-03-07/DaisyI/791c20

This is Cattleya Quinquecolor. I got it in a 3 inch pot and dropped it into this basket because the roots were coming out the bottom of its old pot and I didn't want to repot just then. This basket may have been a mistake as the roots are having a hard time coming out the tiny holes.
Thumb of 2017-03-07/DaisyI/a7490b
I'm not sure what to do about that but this is the plant that bloomed horribly. I did a virus test which was negative. Dennis Olivas has offered to trade it back for something I'm happier with. I would be REALLY happy with this plant if it bloomed the right color.

My thought is to buy 8 inch plastic vanda baskets from Calwest and put all my Cat seedlings in those. I was even thinking 12 inch and putting two to a basket. I have to figure out how big these little Cats plan to be when they grow up.

This last photo is a Laelia anceps var veitchiana 'Fort Caroline' HCC/AOS cutting that Curtis Gene gave me last November. It has taken well to wood basket living. Curtis gave it to me in a rusting wire basket (it had no happy roots and was extremely wilted) so I am a little leary of wire. Don't worry about the brown stuff on the stem. I spilled peat and apparently didn't get it all up.
Thumb of 2017-03-07/DaisyI/992583

Before I run off and order a bunch of plastic pots.... are the Cats just as happy in plastic as they seem to be in wood?







Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Mar 7, 2017 3:30 PM CST
My sister grows hers in the plastic mesh(?) pots

Thumb of 2017-03-07/sugarcane/cada69
They work great for her conditions and seem indestructible ..and are easy to hang wires to.
lindsey
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
Mar 7, 2017 4:36 PM CST
My complaint with the mesh baskets is that if/when you want to divide your plant, they are next to impossible to disentangle the roots from. The edges of the holes are sharp and cut/break the roots so unless you painstakingly cut the basket apart and remove the pieces you're really damaging the plant.

Looking again at both Scott's and Daisy's plants, I think I'd be inclined to fasten a raft of cork to the bottom of each plant. Catts happily fasten their roots into the crannies in the cork, and I have at least 5 plants growing happily on bare cork rafts. When the plant outgrows the raft, I just fasten a bigger piece of cork onto the bottom and "grow" the mount. If I wanted to divide the plant, the cork either breaks easily or you can cut it with a serrated bread knife. In 3 years of using cork, I have yet to see any of it breaking down at all. It's light, strong and beautiful.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Scott
Tampa FL
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bromeliad Plumerias Dog Lover
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ScotTi
Mar 7, 2017 5:11 PM CST
Got a chance to get one of 5 that needs a new growing home into a Coconut fiber mat basket.
Thumb of 2017-03-07/ScotTi/960f8f

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 7, 2017 6:37 PM CST

Moderator

Ohhh, looks good!! Lovey dubby
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 7, 2017 7:25 PM CST
Good thoughts Elaine. I am going to think about cork rafts for the larger disintegrating wood pots.

I'm still thinking about the Cattleya youngsters.

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