Thursday, 01 August 2019 17:44

August 2019 - Week7

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1 August 2019 - Week 7


Things are progressing forward slowly on this project.  At least it is better than reporting an increase in unintended compost.  It has been said that orchids teach patience.  It is also known that only the orchid is in control.  


Everybody has a new leaf.  Tyron is ahead of the pack because it's newest leaf was developing prior to me acquiring this group.  The others are catching up.  SO far so good.


The goal at this point is new roots.  Staying alive is also a priority.


One of my tasks he first week of August will be a through cleaning of each candidate to remove any remaining rooting powder and a spritzing with Physan.


To the immediate left is "Davos". At the very top is the latest new leaf.  The white powdery substance is rooting powder and during the next week I will thoroughly clean the stem of this Phal. of remaining powder and follow that with a spritzing of Physan as an antiseptic treatment.


This picture was snapped just after it's daily watering and I will try and snap a "dry" picture for comparison.


The roots appear a healthy green in color and I do not see any breaks in the velamen (the protective spongy covering of the actual root).


At the bottom of the picture, what appears as new root growth is white in color.  New root growth for this project is my goal, but not from existing roots that eventually will be removed as they will not adjust to a water culture or hydroponic environment.  I am looking for completely new roots to develop and grow from the Phal's stem.  These new roots will take to water culture with ease.


Davos is making me proud.  To see the original full-sized image, click on image and choose "open in a new tab" if you prefer.


This image happens to be a great example of how monopodial orchids grow up a stem.  As it grows, a new leaf will form opposite the previous leaf.  Roots and spike will develop underneath older leaves.





"Littlefinger" is the example I hope all the others soon follow (see image right).


It might be hard to spot, but at the base of the stem, on the left side of the stem is a new root.  As the new root continues to grow in length, I will sacrifice an old root.  Should be esy to spot which root will be snipped.  On the lower right side is a root with a crack or break in the velamen.  Although this is not critical to the orchid's survival, it is something you wish to avoid when working with an orchid (like re-potting).  My rule to follow be for each new root, two old roots get snipped.


Here is the strategy for acclimating new roots to water culture on purpose:


As longer older roots get replaced by new roots, the water level in the cup the Phal is suspended in also gets raised.  I want the water level about an inch below the base of the stem.  New roots, as they are not "environmentally programmed", will have a choice; 1) skim the surface of the water or 2)  dive into the water, for which they will consider "normal".  Older roots are "programmed" to be wet when watered and then allowed to dry before being watered again.  Water culture or hydroponic growing means the roots are constantly wet even submerged beow the surface of the water.  This happens in nature.  An orchid finds itself growing next to a stagnant or flowing source of water, will send roots into that water source and be just as happy and thriving as it would in your greenhouse or growing area.


The month of August, the Phal. might start to loose it's blooms, spikes be pruned or entirely cutback, the plant enters a rest period before starting the next phase of it's growth cycle - leaves and roots.  I am hoping all the candidates for my conversion to water culture project are on the same page at their own individual speed. 


I will take some time in the next week to clean them followed by hanging them upside down so they fully dry and avoid any crown rot.


Everybody has new leaf growth. These leaves will grow quickly and perhaps a second leaf on the opposite side also do the same.  I suspect new root developing will take lace throughout the month.   During the cool winter months, new spikes form and start growing.  I am not concerned with new spikes just yet.  I am more focused on new roots and removing old roots for water culture.


I can always be reached at    if you have any questions related to this or orchids in general.

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