Orchids forum: Planting in too large of pot?

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Maryland
Alexp08
Apr 22, 2017 6:16 PM CST
Is planting a orchid in too large a pot bad for it? Mostly looking at the issue with phals but I may buy Dracula orchid so im curious about that to. Thanks
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
Apr 22, 2017 7:31 PM CST
Hi Alex...yes..you want to use the smallest possible pot for your plant. I am not familiar with Dracula plants..but generally, you want to repot about every 2 years.
If you overpot a plant, you are inviting root rot..and thats not something you want.
lindsey
[Last edited by sugarcane - Apr 23, 2017 12:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Apr 22, 2017 7:58 PM CST

Moderator

Draculas need to be potted into mesh pots, since the inflorescences emerge pendant, somewhat similar to Stanhopeas. If you plant them into regular pots, clay or plastic, the spikes will get stuck at the bottom of the pot.
[Last edited by Ursula - Apr 22, 2017 7:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Apr 23, 2017 9:50 AM CST
Is it better to use Spaghnum moss or bark chips & charcoal mix, etc. in Florida? Anyone know?
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Maryland
Alexp08
Apr 23, 2017 10:58 AM CST
Okay, thanks for the replys! Next question, say I have a big orchid pot, could I put 2 or 3 orchids in it?
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
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Ursula
Apr 23, 2017 11:55 AM CST

Moderator

What kind of orchids are we talking about?
I have seen people potting up two Phals together to make a nice display. Or, sometimes one takes apart one overgrown plant and plants together two or three small pieces of the same Orchid.
But, I would say in general we keep our Orchids in their own individual pots.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
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Ursula
Apr 23, 2017 12:00 PM CST

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Becky, I don't know about using Sphagnum in Florida, I myself really don't like the stuff beyond half a year. Eventually it kills the roots. So I rather don't use it in the first place. Actually at Orchid sales, I walk past those tables with Orchids planted in Sphagnum. Except, if I really, really want to buy a certain plant, I ask to have the vendor to slip the plant out of the pot to look at the roots.
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
Apr 23, 2017 12:25 PM CST
Hi Becky,
Sphagnum breaks down REALLY quickly in the heat and humidity of our Florida weather. The only time we use it at the university greenhouse is for the bulbophyllum (sp?) plants.. every thing else goes into a bark, charcoal, perlite and clay pellet mix.
lindsey
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Apr 23, 2017 1:23 PM CST
Thanks for the advice. Thank You!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 23, 2017 1:41 PM CST
Hello Alexp08, I plant my orchids one type per pot. Some orchids just have such wide, big leaves, and it makes it easier for my watering and repotting later. I don't have a lot anyways. Oh I really would love to grow Dracula orchids, sadly, I have to accept it that I will not be able to provide the cool humid conditions it likes. Sad Sad Also too big a pot is not good, as already mentioned.

Becky, personally I really hate sphagnum moss for my orchids. Even if our conditions here are drier, I always find it hard to gauge if it is still wet inside the container especially come cold season indoors, so it just hastens root rot. So either I grow my orchids in bark mix or in hygrolon baggies. Maybe the Oncidium orchids won't mind to be grown in sphagnum moss, they love being kept moist.
[Last edited by tarev - Apr 23, 2017 1:51 PM (+)]
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Maryland
Alexp08
Apr 23, 2017 7:29 PM CST
Thanks everyone for responding to both our questions. I have phals currently. Basically I have a rather large orchid pot for the orchids that are for sale locally. The pot is a 7in pot and it is amazing looking (which Is why I want to use it). But my orchids are in 5in pots
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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SarasotaPatty
May 2, 2017 10:14 AM CST
Alex, I guess I'm a little different from the rest...I LIKE to put orchids together, as long as they have the same needs. When I do that I usually mount them, but I've tried putting a few phals together in one pot, and currently I just mounted some noid dendrobiums on a log with some small catt's. I'm never going to 'show' my plants, so don't get all uptight about doing things the 'right' way. I like mixing things up with variety sometimes! I think it's up to individual tastes...there are no fast and hard rules. I say do what you like!

Becky, I'm not big on sphagnum either, and never pot anything with just sphagnum....but sometimes I do break it apart into small pieces and add a small amount to my mix for the more thirsty plants (like phals & bulbos)....I figure that way it holds just a little bit of water in among the bark and other stuff without keeping anything soggy.
Name: Bill
Cape Coral FL (Zone 10a)
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BigBill
May 21, 2017 9:58 AM CST
Always use the proper size pot. Go according to size of root system. Never ever over pot, this leads to watering problems. D'Oh!
I do not recommend putting orchids together, especially if they are of different genera! In my opinion that is asking for trouble. I have always treated each plant as an individual.
I tell people in my Orchids beginner classes, if you need a size 6 shoe, buy a size 6 shoe. What if you put your feet into a size 8, or 10?? No, you would never do that so do not do it with orchids.
"Our children are messages we send to a time we won't see."
Name: Bill
Cape Coral FL (Zone 10a)
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BigBill
May 22, 2017 8:03 AM CST
As a follow up comment, the key to good orchid growing is not the container, it is not about light, fertilizer, humidity or media. It is always about roots. That is the key.
With the proper media, the proper pot, the proper light for any orchid, you get the best root growth.
A poor root system leads to poor health and poor flower production.
An orchid with the BEST of everything will not do much without a good root system.
Would you and your siblings have grown as well with you, your brother and sister sharing the same pair of jeans? Of course not! Don't make your plants grow in the same pot.
"Our children are messages we send to a time we won't see."
Name: Bill
Cape Coral FL (Zone 10a)
Birds Cat Lover Orchids Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Butterflies Adeniums
Region: Florida Region: Gulf Coast
BigBill
May 25, 2017 1:58 PM CST
Why so down on sphagnum people. It can be a wonderful tool if used properly.
For example: Phalaenopsis who have lost their roots can often be revived quickly by putting them in sphagnum moss for 2-4 months or until new roots are 2-3" long. Then repot in your normal mix.
But is has its dangerous sides too. If you pack it too firm water won't penetrate or if you pack it too loose it will dry out way to quickly!! It is an art to grow in sphagnum and therefore NOT for a beginner.
I used to grow all of my Catasetums in sphagnum but I have hit upon a better way. I now am experimenting with a layered media. I use a clay pot with an Aliflor or Hydroton mix in the lower third. The middle third is lightly compacted sphagnum moss. Then the top third is my Aliflor/charcoal/ and sponge rock mix. SO FAR they love it!!!
I am using this same recipe for other moisture loving orchids such as Oncidiums and Phalaenopsis! I have my phalaenopsis growing like mad for three years like this and they love it and I was a PHALAENOPSIS MURDERER!!!
"Our children are messages we send to a time we won't see."
Name: Bill
Cape Coral FL (Zone 10a)
Birds Cat Lover Orchids Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Butterflies Adeniums
Region: Florida Region: Gulf Coast
BigBill
May 25, 2017 2:02 PM CST
It was embarrassing for an AOS judge to kill so many Phalaenopsis! Now I feel much better.
My Phalaenopsis were like the Cherokee along the "Trail of Tears".
Deader than door nails!! Rolling on the floor laughing
"Our children are messages we send to a time we won't see."
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
May 25, 2017 3:01 PM CST
Bill, I laughed reading your above post...our orchid club takes care of the plants at the University of South Florida's Botanical Garden. I usually stick to what I know at repotting time (Catts) a few weeks back I had a Phal. that needed to be repotted and I asked..."you don't want this is sphagnum ...do you?????" Well the answer was yes..they DID want it in sphagnum...I couldn't bring myself to use just the sphagnum /perlight combo...but put in a layer of styrofoam peanuts, a layer of the medium mix we use for the Catts...and then the plant , tucked in the sphagnum mix around the roots..I swore everyone at the repotting bench to secrecy.
lindsey
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
May 25, 2017 4:30 PM CST
I was Skyping with my son this morning and I could see his big white Phal behind him. It was in full bloom again and still potted in MG potting soil. It has been that way for years and it blooms reliably several times a year. Go figure.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Bill
Cape Coral FL (Zone 10a)
Birds Cat Lover Orchids Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Butterflies Adeniums
Region: Florida Region: Gulf Coast
BigBill
May 25, 2017 10:31 PM CST
By all my experience with orchids, that plant should be dead.
I am not sure what MG potting soil is but regardless, orchids are epiphytes and as such their roots need oxygen to survive.
If this plant survives growing in potting soil, he has a miracle plant. Do you know if the roots are in the soil or has the plant grown up and away from the soil leaving the roots in the air?
"Our children are messages we send to a time we won't see."
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
May 26, 2017 5:14 AM CST
LOL, MG soil is Miracle Grow Potting Mix, that ugly stuff that has moisture holding crystals in it. Yes, the plant should be dead but it soldiers on happily and has for a number of years now. The roots are growing in the soil. It does not make sense but nothing succeeds like success. I'll try and get a close up picture of the plant next month when I will be visiting there. My son lives in the mountains in NC where there is little humidity compared to the southeast.
At one time he had the plant adjacent to an aquarium and two aerial roots stretched straight out sideways, about 14", toward the water source. Now he has the plant on a shelf above the aquarium and it has not had to go looking for humidity.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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