Monday, 24 June 2019 02:50

24 June 2019 - Let the feeding begin

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24 June 2019 - Let the Feeding Begin


I will identify these using the children of the Stark Family from 'Game of Thrones', Sansa, Arya, Bran, Robb and Rickon.



A. no fertilizer "Sansa" Yellow / Green
B. time release pellets only ( 14 - 14 - 14 )
"Bran" Red  
C. Pellets and fertilizing routine "Arya" Pink
D. fertilizing routine, no pellets "Rickon" Pink  
E. Pellets and fertilizing routine "Robb" Red




The original 2-inch clay pots with no drainage whole was set aside for another use or to be gifted.  As you can tell by looking at the above images (click picture for larger view), they all seem root-bound.  Phals like to be in the center of a pot (monopodal, so they grow up) and snug roots.


After exposing the roots and trimming off the dead and weakened roots, I potted up in a 4-inch across, almost 5-inch clear plastic pot known as an 18oz cup.  I made three rows of holes (4 each) opposite each other, the lower layer of holes staggered from the row above.  The bottom holes are about a half inch up from the bottom.  A small amout of water will collect at the bottom of these cups, but can easily be drained.  The water that collects can wick up the clay pellets providing moisture to the roots, yet allow exchange of air and the roots to dry.


I am using semi-hydroponic clay pellets that are small, less than an inch in diameter, but the diameter can vary.  I use a clay pellet medium over organic due to my need to water more than just once a day.  That extra wateing can increase the rate of decay of organic bark.  A benefit of organic medium is that it can absorb fertilizers, where as clay cannot.  This be beneficial to the orchid.  To compensate for this, I have established a small reservoir at the bottom of the clear, plastic cups to retain water that can be wicked up to the roots. 




I employ make use of the dunk and drown method.  I place the cup containing the orchid into another cup (without holes), slowly fill with water till the water flows over the edge.  After about 5 minutes, I add more water if necessary.  After waiting 10-15 minutes, slowly remove the orchid cup from the water cup allow to drain well and then return to it's growing area.


I try to water these every other day before noon.  However, in the condition of a heat wave (temperature above 95-degrees), I may do a second but faster watering around 4:00pm mostly to cool down the clay pellets so as to not cook the roots.




Mini-Phals. prefer bright shade (no direct sunlight).  They grow easily in a bright window, with little or no sun. An east window is ideal in the home; shaded south or west windows are acceptable. In overcast, northern winter climates, a full south exposure may be needed. In a greenhouse, shade must be given; 70 to 85 percent shade, or between 1,000 and 1,500 foot-candles, is recommended. No shadow should be seen if you hold your hand one foot above a plant's leaves.




For the phalaenopsis should usually be above 60 F at night, and range between 75 and 85 F or more during the day. Although higher temperatures force faster vegetative growth, higher humidity and air movement must accompany higher temperatures, the recommended maximum being 90 to 95 F. Night temperatures to 55 F are desirable for several weeks in the autumn to initiate flower spikes. Fluctuating temperatures can cause bud drop on plants with buds ready to open. 


Plant Charachteristics


Mini-Phals are much smaller than the standard Phalaenopsis. Leaf spread (tip to tip) may reach at most 5 inches in length.  It is possible for more than one spike at a time.  Bloom size is about the same as the standard Phalaenopsis.  A spike might manage between 8 and 12 blooms each but under ideal conditions can be more.  After blooming, trim the spike back as you would a standard Phal.  Count back to just above the next node and cut.  That node should soon start developing buds for blooming.The plant itself might never get very tall, it just depends on the leaves on a monopodial orchid.



Read 1398 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 June 2019 22:56
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