Clippings by lizkuntne

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RE: Potting Mix for Phals (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mehitabel on 05.25.2007 at 10:38 am in Orchids Forum

Liz, try sphagnum moss for phals. I started to use it after I found it was great for re-rooting rootless phals. If you use it with clay pots, the pots themselves absorb water and release a tiny bit of humidity in the air around the plant.

Your desiccating plants will revive a lot if you give them a 20 minute "float" in a dilute solution of 1/4 teasp Dyna-Grow Grow, 1/2 teasp liquid Hormex rooting hormone, and 2 teaspoons of Physan 20 per gallon of water. The float will hydrate the plant to a considerable extent. The physan inhibits rot.

Then repot into moist sphagnum moss in a small pot that just fits the roots.

In addition to the float, use this dyna-grow/hormex/physan mix as spray to spray the plant every few days, being sure to get under the leaves. It gives the plant a tiny boost, a little fertilizer to keep it going while it makes new roots.

By "float" I mean, soaking the plant, leaves and all. The physan inhibits crown rot, so it's safe to do.

Use a loose fill of sphag-- ie don't pack it real tight. Put some white peanuts on the bottom of the pot, then a little damp moss, then the plant, and fill loosly around the roots. I try to keep at least a little bit of sphag between the roots and the pot.

For a plant whose leaves are withering, I would then put the pot under a humidity dome, with a small gap to let in some air, or into a plastic bag loosely closed, with a gap for air.

Give them as good light as you have. Light does seem to assure them that growing new roots will be worth their time. But if strong light is directly on them, keep the bag a little open or the plant might cook.

I don't just re-root in sphag, I grow in it. Phal roots in sphag are glorious, just big fat white roots. Loose sphag also makes it easy to repot, they slide right out of the pot.

Watering is easy: when the top gets crunchy, I just stick my finger in to test the moisture.

At a minimum, try this with a couple of your worst plants, I am sure it will help. Especially this time of year.

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clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 10:49 am    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 10:50 am