Friday, 19 July 2019 09:40

20 July 2019

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20 July 2019


I have continued since the past entry with the fertilizing schedule that focuses on the two different zones of the Phals.,  growth above the potting medium (leaves and spike) and growth below the potting medium (roots).  The only difference now with a month into this project is that along with pouring an enhanced water into the pots and allowing for a soak of about 10 to 15 minutes, I am now misting the top and as much as possible underneath the leaves.  I believe everything is acclimated and settled into the pot.


Not sure what to think of this, and I am leaning towards "fluke" but "Sansa" (water only, no fertilizers at all) actually has a new leaf developing.  Go Sansa!  Keep in mind that Sansa also has a "cold water drop late in the afternoon" on a mature leaf (see photos above).  The new leaf is developing on the opposite side of the damaged leaf.Could this be a coincidence?


During the summer months, the Phal. will develop and grow one or two new leafs.  This is the typical growth stage as it prepares for winter and focusing energy on blooming for the spring.


I am watering just about every day.  (slip pot into another pot, slow fill with water till overflows, allow soak about 10 to 15 minutes, drain).


I know what you are thinking,  "That sure seems like more water than necessary...."   I you are growing Phals. in organic bark and in an environment where the temperature rarely gets above 90-degrees and the humidity never below 60%, I would agree.  Welcome to my world and the accommodations I need to account for success in growing the Phal.  External and uncontrollable environment conditions do no favor the Phal. where I live but planning a grow area that addresses and accommodates fora lack of these conditions, the Phal should thrive (see grow box above).


I will let the following photos do all the talking.







The top photos show the new leaf starting to poke up from the crease of the leaf below it.  It be interesting to document how long it take for the leaf to grow to the mature size.  I am considering weekly photos and measuring as best as possible.


The bottom photo is a peak at the roots of Sansa.The dry clay pellets tell me that the roots had a chance to dry since the last watering.  Not to be flagged as a crises, but the Phal is ready again to be watered.  The pellets drying is indicative of my dry humidity.  I keep these Phals. in their grow box away from any direct light from the sun.  the grow box is not completely closed, the top is askew enough to allow for ventilation.  On very dry days I just close the box completely during the heat of the day.


I don't have an actual humidity meter to determine the actual humidity in the grow box, but I have something better (I am looking for a humidity meter).  I have a Phal. that is producing a new leaf so conditions in the box must be desireable for the Phal.


Keep in mind for this fertilizer project - Sansa does not get any fertilizer at all,  Just water.






For these and the remaining candidates of this project I will be sharing a "dry" and "wet"  root picture.  The "dry" picture is before watering, and the "wet" is just after soaking and during its drain.


Bran was ready for watering.  Not eager, not desperate, but the medium has dried since the last watering.  Visible are 3 roots.  The darker root is older but still very healthy, the lighter green root is also healthy and the newest root is white.


Next time you are watering your Phal.  Cymbidium, Cattleya, Vanda, or other "thick rooted" orchid - compare your orchid's roots to the images above before and after watering for a reference to what a happy, healthy root should look like.










Phals. are monopodial, meaning they grow up the "stem" developing new leaves on opposite sides of the stem as they grow taller.  As for new roots, they can appear up the stem below older leaves closer to the bottom.  They can either grow into the medium or become "aerial", meaning they get moisture from the environment.  Some remove the aerial roots but even if unappealing to look at they do serve a function.  Debated, unproven, that aerial roots most likely develop if the Phal. is in a high-humid environment.  If it isn't broke, don't fix it.







I mentioned when discussing Rickon's roots above that Phals. are monopodial and Robb shows how roots can develop from under leaves, but on top of old growth.  The days of the lowest leaves of Robb are numbered, but unless they rot or show signs of death, I will not remove them.  They are still performing their function and purpose, converting light to energy that feeds the orchid.  When it is time to repot the Phal. be of mind that aerial roots at this time need to be given special attention.  If you bury them in the medium, they will die.  They are not "programmed" or accustomed for that environment.  They have a thicker velamen that absorbs moisture slowly (after being exposed to air) but do not dry efficiently.  When buried, they are exposed to direct contact with water for a longer period of time than in the open air.  It is this constant dampness that causes them to rot.  They can be situated above the medium, or removed as you situate the Phal. into the medium correctly.



Next update unless something dramatically occurs will be in the beginning of August.    


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