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Old 03-11-2007, 10:35 AM
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advice on deflasking

Hi,

I bought a few flasks yesterday. Although I have done one deflasking recently I want to be sure these ones are done properly. These were a bit more expensive.

For the last attempt I used a 'flat' with small pre-fab trays, hoping I can cut the individual units when I do xfer them to pots at a later date.

My question is if I should buy small claypots and use them for compot'ing right at the outset?

Also whether the plants are grown enough ,if one can see clearly inside the flasks, to do the deflasking?

A photo is attached.

Thankyou.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:04 AM
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Hi pikevi,

I have only deflasked Paphs. I prepared a tray of room temperature water with a bit of Physan in it to soak off the agar. I give the plants a little rinse in the Physan water and put them into small (about 5 plants max) compots with the same Paph mix I usually use only finer. I use plastic pots. From that point on I dont' treat them significantly different that adult Paphs.

i usually wait until the jar is quite full with plants. From your pic, it looks like the Zygo flask is near-ready or ready (any zygo experts out there care to add an opinion?). the others still look a little on the small side. I'd be inclined to wait a while yet on those.

Any others out there care to add anything?

-Kevin
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:08 AM
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Thankyou Kevin,

I will wait a bit longer before I deflask 3 of them. I will de-flask the Zygo next weekend.

The last 3 flasks I deflasked contained orchids that were far too small but Sharyn observed that they were in bad shape and I did 'jump the gun'. I might add that I was also very curious to try it too

Thanks again.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:13 PM
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Hi Kevin,

Whether I'm successful or not I am in for the long haul.

I bought some plastic pots and a couple of 'green house' trays too.

I also bought an indoor 'green house' since I may have a few trays of baby orchids (I hope I will see them),soon.

I will post the picture of the 'green house' when I assemble it.

One other question I have is about the babies. I think Sharyn mentioned that the medium must be allowed to dry a bit after potting the 'deflasked' orchids. It has been a weeek since I deflasked the first one. Can I water them now? The medium seems dry.( There is planty of moisture inside the environment)

Thanks.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:33 AM
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I'd like to hear from ohers on how big the plants in your flasks should be before it is safe to deflask them. Any expert opinions out there?

-Kevin
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:32 AM
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Hi Kevin,

Thanks for helping out and also for trying to muster more help .

I am attaching a photo of the indoor GH I bought a few days ago.

Since it is against a window it willl receive about 3 hours of direct sun in the mornings. The front can be rolled up.

My questions are:

1). Would the babies be cooked in the sunlight( the tray has a plastic dome as well.)

2). How would one maintain air circulation inside?

3). Since the room has a very good air circulation and humidity, should the front be open at all times?

Thanks
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:00 PM
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It looks like the Zygopetalum are definitely large enough to deflask, and I think the others probably are, too. However, it doesn't hurt to let them grow as much as possible in flask, provided they continue to thrive and don't hit the top of the flask. However, if you wait too long, some plants will dominate the others, and the roots will intertwine so much that it's hard to separate the plants without breaking roots. Different types of plants need different deflasking strategies. I still put catt types, most dens, oncidium types, etc. into fairly densely planted sphag compots. Paphs I plant out directly into small individual pots with my paph mix. Phal species, some vanadaceous types, some dens, bulbos, and any plants that grow best mounted, I now mount directly out of flask. Those mounted plants never miss a beat! Preparing mounts is a drag, though. I think that as you get experience deflasking you'll gradually find the methods that work best for you in your conditions. I'm still experimenting, because sometimes a method that isn't recommended will, for some unexplained reason, work great for you. You might want to try mounting half of your bulbos and leaving the other half in a compot to see which batch does best for you. My experience is that oncicium alliance types are some of the easier orchids to deflask, so you made a good choice.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:40 PM
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Thanks , Ellen.

I was planning on deflasking the Zygos this weekend. As per Kevin's suggestion I bought some plastic pots and 'canopied' trays too.

I assume when you said mounting it is on some wood or something that is not a pot. And I also assume that Onc. alliance refers to the Brassia family.

I am sorry to lean heavily on you all. Some terminology still confuses me so please bear with me.

I know what you mean regarding recommended methods. I did what came to my mind ( after getting some info, of course) and the plants seem to be doing well, at least externally. That was before I joined this forum.

I will update after the weekend.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:20 AM
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Don't worry about asking questions! Orchid growing has a whole specialized vocabulary that it takes quite a while to learn. Mounting just means that the plant is attached to a piece of material like a piece of cork bark, a slab of tree fern, a tree branch, a wood shingle, or a piece of synthetic material. Anything that its roots can grab. The mounts can then be hung by a hook from the wall. I have an uncountable number of orchids growing like this, and it sure saves bench space! Oncidium alliance includes Oncidium, Brassia, Zygopetalum, Odontoglossum, Ada, Miltonia, etc. All are characterized by relatively large roundish pseudobulbs with thin leaves and spikes that come up from the side of the pseudobulb. The deflasked plants probably don't need to be in the dome for more than a week or two, and not full-time after the first few days. I wouldn't put them in direct sun in the middle of the day, but they can take a little in the morning and late afternoon. Just keep a careful watch on the babies and cover them up for a while if they look like they're drying out.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for the detailed explanation, Ellen.

I love mounted orchids. I have some neat looking red wood but have no idea how to make the plants 'stick' to them. I will do some serious work this spring/summer

I am not new to jargons,abbrevs., acronyms and to some extent taxonomy (Linnaeus), but ,Oh Boy, this is 'waterloo' !!!

Thanks to everyone here to make things a bit easier for us.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:00 AM
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I hold my plants down with thin fishing line on wood mounts.
also I use wire on the soft mounts ( fern or cork )
When the plant takes hold of the mount the fishing line is removed.
I use wire with the fren and cork mounted orchids.
u shaped to hold the plant in place till it takes hold.
I hope this helps.
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:50 PM
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Thanks, fred

I will attempt a few mounts next month when I can work outside.

Your idea of using fish-line (nylon thread) is great , especially when it is transparent.

I 'd appreciate a few names of small orchids that are best suited for mounting on small hanging logs. Cynthia suggested Rodriguezia and I did mount one on a standing log-mount. I have a second one in a pot.

If needed I will buy more.( that 'd be a good excuse )
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Old 03-17-2007, 03:18 AM
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I use nylon fishing line to mount all my orchids, including those on tree fern or cork. Ones that I like are just about any Aerangis species, phal species, Tolumnia, Dockrillia, Bulbophyllum, small Dendrobiums, Maxillaria, Haraella retrocalla, Sedirea japonica, Schoenorchis fragrans, ...and the list goes on.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:47 AM
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Wow , that is a long list.

Thanks, Ellen. As I see it there are many species that will respond well to mounting. Of the list you provided I only have three and , Bulbophyllums are still in a flask .

I will try with Dendrobiums , Maxillaria and Rodriguezia.

Anything wrong with using live moss on the logs along with the orchids?
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:29 AM
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do you mean spaghnum moss ?
or ?
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:49 AM
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No , I think this is spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides).

I got the advice to not use spanish moss for potting from the members here. I bought some live moss last week and I thought I will grow some on hanging logs. I did mount them (drape them) over the logs.

I prepared 4 of them this morning and I wondered if i could keep them on the logs and mount the orchids as well. If it is not advisable I will make more mountable logs for the orchids.

A photo of the moss is attached
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:46 PM
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The log looks nice, but it's going to be difficult to do the mounting with the spanish moss already in place. It would be easier to mount the orchid first, let it get established, and then do the decorating. I would not use live moss to mount orchids - you don't know what contaminants or critters might be in it. I use dried New Zealand sphagnum moss. Wet it a little bit so that it's pliable but not soaked. Wrap a few strands of sphag around the roots of your plant to help keep the roots moist, place the ball of moss on the mount, and wrap the fishline around a few times to hold the moss and roots to the wood and tie it securely. I don't even water after tying the plant to the mount. Just hang it up and start watering it normally once it becomes completely dry. After a month or so you will see that the sphag becomes green, either because it revives and starts to grow, because algae grow on it (no harm to the plant) and/or because moss starts on it spontaneously.
By the way, spanish moss keeps for a long time, so what you have should still be viable after your orchids get established.
You're right that the list of mountable orchids is long! Just about anything except terrestrial orchids can be mounted. You can probably mount some of your little bulbos right out of the flask.
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:15 PM
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Thanks Ellen,

I can always remove the moss and use the log for orchids.

But some pictures of spanish moss in the wild are so attractive ( form the pictures) and I can almost feel them wafting in the breeze. I hope I can se that on a miniature scale here at home .

I am not sure if the lower roots are touching the log since I placed some sphagnum moss and charcoal in there. But certainly some are.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:12 PM
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Hi,
For what it is worth, where I live the humidity often gets down to 10% with temperatures at and above 35 degrees C [ 95 degrees F ] and I have seen some sarcochilus falcatus that really need light protection and additional humidity growing near the roof of an outdoor shade house which really defied all odds that I knew about. The factor that allowed these plants to thrive under otherwise hostile conditions was that the mounts they grew on were located on a whole wall of mesh covered with tillandsia uncinata [ Spanish Moss ] which must have provided significant humidity throughout the day. Mounting is spectacularly easy, I use either nylon fishing line or green nylon knitting wool. Be carefull using sphagnum moss. Sometimes it help sometimes it keeps things too wet or too dry - If you tend to water frequently or have humid conditions and low air movement it may keep some plants too wet. If you water irregularly them sphagnum moss will actually try and remove water from your orchids. The trick is always to try things out and check on the result under your own set of conditions. I have orchids that absolutely thrive in one area of benching but which will do very badly just 6-8 feet away from that location on the very same bench.
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