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Old 10-03-2006, 04:57 PM
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Question root probs-how do I get them to grow???

I don't know what to do but alsot of my orchids seem to have a lot of dead roots either from too much rain or if they are inside either too much or not enough watering. I do use superthrive with my orchid food and when I water. I live in south fla & it rains A LOT. My new plants that I get sometimes bare root have poor root growth and alot of squishy yucky roots with the string inside, I get them in good health so I know it's me or something I'm doing. I've heard people say that 'tomato set has auxins' which are supposed to help root grow but I'm not sure what that is or where to find it. I would really appreciate any suggestions I'm getting desperate. I just put in an order to dynagro for... KLN, root gel,and the silicon solution. please any reccomendations ....
I must say that I really take your info to heart and find it very very helpful. My orchids and I are very grateful.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:00 PM
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We will need to hear from the people like Jerry that live in Florida. Being on the dry side of the continent makes it difficult to give advice to Floridians. You may want to consider some of the hydroponic mixes. People repot being able to water every day in such a mix. No experience here tho. Cynthia
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:32 PM
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Cynthia -

Question on the roots and overwatering. Two weeks ago I watered my Phals since they were dry. It's been fairly humid recently so they haven't been drying as quickly as in the past. I still have a very damp stick when I stick in a bamboo skewer.

The medium is new since these were just repotted in a bark / charcoal mix. So is this fine or are the roots just rotting away ? I guess the mystery is how wet is too wet ?
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:17 AM
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I really don't know where the dividing line is. You might want to add air circulation in the area with a fan. Warmer temps might help if the area is a little on the cool side, but I have no suggestions how to do that. If this turns out to be a problem, and only time will tell (the hard way, I'm sorry to say), you can try to repot into smaller pots. Also, larger chunks in the mix will help drying. Can't you leave the skewers in the mix? Maybe break off the tall upper end? I would prefer that, or a new skewer each time, as you don't want to mix them up and put a used skewer into the wrong pot. I have been using a little Physan 20 in my water, may be at a 1/4 strength, each time I fertilize, but I am not sure that the regular use of Physan is really that good for the plants, and I may have to discontinue or reduce the amount to see, as this is still an experiment for me. Bill Bergstrom, of Bergstrom Orchids in Hawaii, claims that it can do damage at the recommended strength, and I certainly did do damage using it over strength by mistake, and he claims it is valuable at a few drops per gallon. At any rate, I think 2 weeks is about the longest I have gone between waterings. Maybe we will hear from someone else with other experiences. Cynthia
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:17 PM
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Hi Tom - I certainly don't claim to be an expert but when the weather gets damp and cool here I have the same issue - in some cases I might not need to water some of my phals for three weeks or longer. Whatever you do - I wouldn't water until they are dry - however long it takes. If they don't get a chance to dry out I have found root rot inevitable. I think the best solution is as Cynthia suggested at the beginning of her post - WARM up the environment you have them in if possible and provide lots of air circulation. I know I'm going to try and make those two modifications this winter season. Good luck - mike
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:02 PM
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Thanks.

I have a skewer in each pot and only take it out one at a time so not to get them mixed up. The air outside is warm but the humidity is the culpret. I realized today the AC isn't running as often so the room is probably much moister than it was during the summer.

I'm going to take your advice and just wait it out to see what happens. Phals are a hearty bunch and they are all putting out roots at the top but it's ones down below I worry about.

If someone could come up with an electronic gadget telling you when to add water to an orchid, I would but one in a heartbeat.
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