Go Back   Orchid Forum Orchid Care > Orchid Care > Orchid Care Cultivation

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 11:42 AM
whalloper's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Delaware
Posts: 425
Thanks: 423
Thanked 404 Times in 99 Posts
whalloper is on a distinguished road
Potting problem, need advice

Hi everyone, hope youre enjoying the weekend. I noticed some small signs of stress in my blooming Dtps. Sinica Cherry like bottom leaves drooping, and flowers didnt look as full as usual. This is one of my favorites so I decided to pull it out of its pot. I have most in clear pots, but this wasnt in a clear pot. Not surprisingly, I had to cut away alot of roots due to rot. It was in a bark/coco husk mix and the pot had tons of holes (its the tan one in the center of the pics). This is whats left, not too bad, but Im not sure what pot to put it in. Also, I think I want to bend that good aerial root into the pot.



I hope you all can understand what I think is a problem... from bottom of roots to the bottom of the leaves is very "tall". I would hate to put it in a tall pot. Also, the root mass isnt very wide, so it would be hard to put in a shallow pot. This is the root mass placed in a 5 inch pot next to its old pot.



This is placed in a 6.5 inch pot...I think this is too big, but filled to the top, would go just about to the base of the leaves.



I dont want to lose this plant, please give me your advice, thanks a billion!!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 12:23 PM
syndywindy's Avatar
Super Moderator Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 7,428
Images: 2
Thanks: 5,968
Thanked 5,877 Times in 2,961 Posts
syndywindy is on a distinguished road
I think I would try the 5 inch pot with a good draining mix. I have two different mixes that I like to use. I think for yours I would try a medium bark with perlite and charcoal mix. Use something that is going to give the roots the air they need and good drainage. Are there any rotted roots? If so you need to cut those away. As far as the aerial root, I've never repotted where I'd put that root into the medium. I know some have done it, I'm sure those that have will be along to offer their advice and experience. My opinion on it is, they are above the medium for a reason, so I leave them be. I have had some that start out as aerial roots, but then take a nose dive and bury themselves. To me as long as the plant is healthy, let the roots be.
__________________


Life is Good Today! Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die tomorrow.

Synda
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to syndywindy For This Useful Post:
whalloper (10-24-2009)
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 12:42 PM
whalloper's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Delaware
Posts: 425
Thanks: 423
Thanked 404 Times in 99 Posts
whalloper is on a distinguished road
Thanks syndywindy, this is after the rotted roots were cut away. A lot are brown but very firm.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 12:46 PM
V.I.P Member
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 2,013
Thanks: 1,866
Thanked 1,583 Times in 929 Posts
mehitabel is on a distinguished road
IMO, the extra holes you've made in the side of the pot (or peanuts in the middle) is not going to compensate for a too-big pot. Esecially since your phal is already showing signs of stress. For one thing, you have a large root mass, but I don't see any growing tips on those roots. If they are not actively growing this second, there is no chance they will ever fill up that big pot this winter.

To get a good fix on how much the volume of medium changes as a pot size increases an inch, try this: *Measure* the volume of the medium in your 4", 5" and 6.5" Also, fill up the big pot with wet medium (no orchid) and see how many weeks it takes to dry out when it's not full of roots. You'll be astonished.

A too big pot is the same as using a finer medium or as watering more often. I religiously make extra holes in the bottom of my pots, and I think they are beneficial-- phals in pots with the extra holes have done better than those in pots without. But that's in a right-size pot. The extra holes don't compensate for a pot that's even a little too big.

Bob Gordon discusses the problem of too-deep root mass in his book on phal culture. In his view, deep pots are a disaster, peanuts or not. He advises cutting the roots shorter to make them fit a smaller pot is far, far better. I'm not going to advise that because I don't want the responsibility for any further decline in your phal.

I'm not trying to discredit the advice you get here, it's often very good. But there's no way it can be as thorough or as completely presented as the advice in Gordon's book. Reading the book will deepen your understanding so you know the *why* of what you are doing, how different factors interact, and can increase your own good judgment.

Last edited by mehitabel; 10-24-2009 at 06:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to mehitabel For This Useful Post:
Dendian (10-24-2009), grandmapenguin (10-24-2009), Ms...Mary (10-24-2009), plantloverlisa (10-24-2009), RMW (10-24-2009), whalloper (10-24-2009)
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 01:04 PM
whalloper's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Delaware
Posts: 425
Thanks: 423
Thanked 404 Times in 99 Posts
whalloper is on a distinguished road
Mehitabel, I always value your advice, and sometimes wait for it when I put up a post. Im trying to learn all I can and I will take your advice and buy the book.

I think you misunderstood my post. I was very much considering putting the Phal in the smaller 5 inch pot (it was in a 6" pot), I just dont know how I will support the plant...it will be very top heavy. I suppose I could order some plant clips, but it will be not until the middle of next week before they get here.

So, I guess your suggestion is to pot it in the 5" pot with coco husk only? Thank you for all of your help, and I will not bother you with questions in the future that can be answered by the book.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 01:47 PM
SamIAm's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: US
Posts: 229
Thanks: 134
Thanked 160 Times in 100 Posts
SamIAm is on a distinguished road
hi whalloper,
just curious, is the 6.5 inch pot big enough to set the smaller 5 inch pot into for support? i agree that you should use the 5 inch pot for the orchids root mass.
i'm sorry, but i have to say, i have 12+ orchid books but not any one book is an end all be all. they are a nice addition as a guide but i have learned far more by reading orchid forums that address other peoples orchid issues. from the information you gather by reading others experiences, you apply what you believe could be beneficial to the culture of your orchids. i have learned so much from this forum, much more than any one book could have ever of done. the only way to learn is to ask questions and i hope you continue to ask questions and share your experiences whalloper. we all have something to offer from time to time
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to SamIAm For This Useful Post:
grandmapenguin (10-24-2009), sunshine (10-24-2009), whalloper (10-24-2009)
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 02:11 PM
whalloper's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Delaware
Posts: 425
Thanks: 423
Thanked 404 Times in 99 Posts
whalloper is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIAm View Post
hi whalloper,
just curious, is the 6.5 inch pot big enough to set the smaller 5 inch pot into for support? i agree that you should use the 5 inch pot for the orchids root mass.
i'm sorry, but i have to say, i have 12+ orchid books but not any one book is an end all be all. they are a nice addition as a guide but i have learned far more by reading orchid forums that address other peoples orchid issues. from the information you gather by reading others experiences, you apply what you believe could be beneficial to the culture of your orchids. i have learned so much from this forum, much more than any one book could have ever of done. the only way to learn is to ask questions and i hope you continue to ask questions and share your experiences whalloper. we all have something to offer from time to time
Yes, the smaller pot would fit into the larger one, I didnt think of that. What would you suggest filling the space with, stones?
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 02:43 PM
Dendian's Avatar
Executive Senior Member
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Jackson, CA
Posts: 1,308
Thanks: 132
Thanked 922 Times in 566 Posts
Dendian is on a distinguished road
I have used stones, marbles, leca, those fish tank decorative glass "pebbles", anything that can be steralized and/or cleaned as needed. I have also set a heavy glass small "trinket" on top of the pot to balance the weight when the plant leans to one side (dens mostly). Since this is in big bark, it doesn't compress the media, but provides a counter balance. I have also used larger squat clay pots as a holder for smaller plastic pots, provided I put a layer of something in the bottom so the drainage holes do not get blocked by the clay pot. The clay pot has a good weight and is harder to tip than the plastic ones, as well as soaking up some of the water for humidity (not much, its true, but any little bit helps me here).

You can also get two bamboo stakes to put up next to your spikes, and put them between the two pots to help it from tipping over. Instead of needing the stakes to hold up the flowers, you use the stakes to keep it from tipping over.

There, now you have lots of ideas to play with... Fun, isn't it?
__________________
Dian

Last edited by Dendian; 10-24-2009 at 02:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dendian For This Useful Post:
plantloverlisa (10-24-2009), whalloper (10-24-2009)
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 02:58 PM
SamIAm's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: US
Posts: 229
Thanks: 134
Thanked 160 Times in 100 Posts
SamIAm is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by whalloper View Post
Yes, the smaller pot would fit into the larger one, I didnt think of that. What would you suggest filling the space with, stones?
well, since Dendian answered this question, i'll ask, do you plan on leaving it in the 2nd pot when watering? even though the stones may allow drainage, you don't want to block the air of the 5 inch pot inside. i'd either put a few stones in the bottom just to the point that it prevents the pot from being top heavy or i'd invest 3 dollars for a clay orchid pot which will hold the 5 inch pot with no additions. lowes and home depot both carry clay orchid pots, 6.5 inch for 2 $'s and change, but it may require you to dip into your phal fund
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:16 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 173
Thanks: 14
Thanked 107 Times in 70 Posts
Undergrounder is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehitabel View Post
A too big pot, extra holes and peanuts and all, is the same as using a finer medium or as watering more often. This repeated discussion of it is misleading to people who don't know better.

Bob Gordon discusses the problem of too-deep root mass in his book on phal culture. In his view, deep pots are a disaster, peanuts or not. He advises cutting the roots shorter to make them fit a smaller pot is far, far better.
For those of us without his book do you mind explaining the point? Is it to do with the increased time it takes for the medium to dry or the fact that tall pots with a small surface area dry quickly at the top and slowly at the bottom?
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:19 PM
V.I.P Member
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 2,013
Thanks: 1,866
Thanked 1,583 Times in 929 Posts
mehitabel is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by whalloper View Post
Mehitabel, I think you misunderstood my post. I was very much considering putting the Phal in the smaller 5 inch pot (it was in a 6" pot), I just dont know how I will support the plant...it will be very top heavy. I suppose I could order some plant clips, but it will be not until the middle of next week before they get here.
Whalloper, I'm very sorry for the tone of my post, which had the quality of being written by a bear with a sore paw. I have edited it in an attempt to give the impression that a human wrote it.

I did misunderstand your post. I thought you were talking about moving *up* to a 5" pot from 4". Given the size of the root mass relative to your hand, I think a 5" may still be too big. A 4" pot = approximately my fist. I saw a root mass about the size of your fist. I would use the smallest pot I could fit it into, 4" if possible, then repot up in a month or two when you can see green root tips actively growing.

I'm sorry for the lecture. I regret it very much, and will do my best not to repeat the error.

Plant clips don't work too well for phals. They work with orchids with rhyzomes that you can fit the clips over, like catts. Phals don't have anything like that. Lots of good suggestions here for how to keep a big plant from tipping a small pot, tho.

Last edited by mehitabel; 10-24-2009 at 06:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mehitabel For This Useful Post:
plantloverlisa (10-24-2009), whalloper (10-25-2009)
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:20 PM
Dendian's Avatar
Executive Senior Member
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Jackson, CA
Posts: 1,308
Thanks: 132
Thanked 922 Times in 566 Posts
Dendian is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIAm View Post
well, since Dendian answered this question,


Well, you did say "WE" :

I wish the Lowes we have here had some real clay "orchid" pots for $2 and change. We have lots of plastic ones though. Or short clay ones.

If you put large rocks around the smaller pot, will that block the air? Is it as bad as having it in a too large pot? I have thought of doing this for a couple of dens that are very top heavy, but I don't want to hurt them.
__________________
Dian
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:28 PM
V.I.P Member
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 2,013
Thanks: 1,866
Thanked 1,583 Times in 929 Posts
mehitabel is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undergrounder View Post
For those of us without his book do you mind explaining the point? Is it to do with the increased time it takes for the medium to dry or the fact that tall pots with a small surface area dry quickly at the top and slowly at the bottom?
It's both-- the medium takes too long to dry because there's too much of it that is uninhabited by roots. If you just take a pot full of wet medium with no orchid in it, and measure how long it takes to dry out, you will be astonished at how long it will take the medium to dry when no roots are taking up the water. That is what is happening in the parts of a pot that don't have good roots in them.

It's not just the bottom that doesn't dry-- any part of the pot that doesn't have roots in it will stay wet. Unless the roots actually reach the sides of the pot, the sides will stay wet, and the middle.

IMO, the default position should always be to use the smaller pot, especially if a plant is already showing signs of stress. Please believe that I say that having learned it the very, very, very hard way. I only refer to Gordon's book because I have experience growing and killing my share of phals, but not what most would call *expertise*.

Last edited by mehitabel; 10-24-2009 at 06:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to mehitabel For This Useful Post:
Dendian (10-24-2009), plantloverlisa (10-24-2009), whalloper (10-25-2009)
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:32 PM
Ron's Avatar
Ron Ron is offline
V.I.P Member Photobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Coast of NSW Australia
Posts: 4,621
Thanks: 3,817
Thanked 3,967 Times in 1,720 Posts
Ron is on a distinguished road
Quote:
For the record, I'm going to be the bearer of the bad news here: I personally don't think the extra holes you've made in the side of the pot (or peanuts in the middle) is going to compensate for a too-big pot. Esecially since your phal is already showing signs of stress. Put it back in a pot no bigger than the one it was in when it started having problems.
Hi Walloper.
Lots of good advice in all the above messages.
Personally as you are holding it in the bottom photo I would lower the plant another 1 to 1 & 1/2 inches.
This would help the new roots growing out from the bottom leaves grow into the mix.
Also help the plant become more stable by having a lower center of gravity.
Quote:
IMO, the default position should always be to use the smaller pot, especially if a plant is already showing signs of stress. Please believe that I say that having learned it the very, very, very hard way. I only refer to Gordon's book because I have experience growing and killing my share of phals, but not what most would call *expertise*.
Quiet correct, personally one of the greatist lessons one could learn in how to grow orchids like an expert is to make mistakes and not repeat them.
Also a good teacher is one who kills plants, I learn by doing the opposite way.
We all learn by experience
Ron

Last edited by Ron; 10-24-2009 at 06:36 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ron For This Useful Post:
plantloverlisa (10-24-2009), sunshine (10-24-2009)
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:37 PM
PhalNewbie89's Avatar
Executive Senior Member
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Murray, Kentucky
Posts: 1,991
Thanks: 687
Thanked 761 Times in 486 Posts
PhalNewbie89 is on a distinguished road
I would like to know where Lowe's is hiding their cheap orchid pots :P I found a really nice one that was a glazed clay and had hles all int he sides shaped like butterflies..and it was a beautiful orchid pot but it was like 10 dollars :P
__________________
Nancy

I am way past the denial stage and just plain
ADDICTED!
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 08:48 PM
oncidiumlover's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 410
Thanks: 249
Thanked 157 Times in 123 Posts
oncidiumlover is on a distinguished road
Hi Whalloper, lots of good advice here.
I have all 38 of my chids in clear plastic pots, sitting inside of regular ceramic or terra cotta pots, with about an inch of space between the pots all the way around, this keeps them stable and allows for plenty of airflow. If you pot your phal into a 4 inch plastic pot, sit it inside a five inch cheapy terra cotta pot to balance it. If it still feel like the whole thing might tip, put some rocks in the bottom of the terra cotta or ceramic pot.
You could also put some rocks in the bottom of the plastic pot, under the medium, instead of peanuts.
Just a few ideas that work well for me.
Beautiful color on those blooms by the way!
__________________
Billie Jo

Coffee, Chids and Good food, what more could a girl ask for?
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to oncidiumlover For This Useful Post:
whalloper (10-25-2009)
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2009, 11:31 PM
Schlyne's Avatar
Member Photobucket
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 956
Thanks: 1,870
Thanked 406 Times in 276 Posts
Schlyne is on a distinguished road
Have you considered tying it down gently (or across or whatever) in place with string to something nearby as supports until the clips arrive?
__________________
Busy with college, so I pop in from time to time.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Schlyne For This Useful Post:
whalloper (10-25-2009)
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2009, 12:10 AM
whalloper's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Delaware
Posts: 425
Thanks: 423
Thanked 404 Times in 99 Posts
whalloper is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
Hi Walloper.
Lots of good advice in all the above messages.
Personally as you are holding it in the bottom photo I would lower the plant another 1 to 1 & 1/2 inches.
This would help the new roots growing out from the bottom leaves grow into the mix.
Also help the plant become more stable by having a lower center of gravity.
Ron
I could try putting the plant a little lower, but I would really have to smush it down, possibly breaking roots. Are you talking about the bigger pot though, I thought that was clearly too big? Can you explain please?
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2009, 12:54 AM
mayres's Avatar
V.I.P Member Photobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Keizer, Oregon
Posts: 5,244
Images: 2
Thanks: 763
Thanked 3,205 Times in 1,285 Posts
mayres is a glorious beacon of lightmayres is a glorious beacon of lightmayres is a glorious beacon of lightmayres is a glorious beacon of lightmayres is a glorious beacon of lightmayres is a glorious beacon of light
A couple of things come to mind when looking at your plant and reading the listed posts - first of all as already noted - lots of great information from people who definately know their stuff. Of course with any plant that hangs in the balance between health and decline there are bound to be a number of ways that different people would deal with this.......
A couple of things come to mind - as noted by others....quite a long sub leaf level section of the plant with few roots (where your hand is holding it especially).....I would endeavor to over time shorten this section if/when possible by removing the bottom portion (as soon as you have enough root developement above it to do so without harming the plant).
I have found that phals that require a large pot due to root configuration LOVE LOVE LOVE styrofoam peanuts! If you have sections within the volume of your pot with few/no roots - rather than filling it with media that is likely to stay wet too long I'd add peanuts. I'd even be inclined to pack them around the near rootless core of the root base to some extent. I have a very large phal at my office in an 8 inch pot that I just repotted last week. The section that is skimpy on your plant was also skimpy on mine. BUT, the bottom portion was probably a full three inches deep and six inches across of tangled healthy phal roots and styrofoam peanuts.
The flower stems are such "jewels" on this plant that it would be a terrible shame to cut them off, but if this plant starts to decline at all any more prior to seeing root growth/vigor I'd probably consider sacrificing them anyway (sad as it may be). Sometimes you can get another 1-2 weeks in a flower vase.
Please update this thread in a few months as tell us what you did and show us how the roots have developed - we can all learn from show and tell experiences like this. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to mayres For This Useful Post:
whalloper (10-25-2009)
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2009, 01:40 AM
Ron's Avatar
Ron Ron is offline
V.I.P Member Photobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Coast of NSW Australia
Posts: 4,621
Thanks: 3,817
Thanked 3,967 Times in 1,720 Posts
Ron is on a distinguished road
Quote:
I could try putting the plant a little lower, but I would really have to smush it down, possibly breaking roots. Are you talking about the bigger pot though, I thought that was clearly too big? Can you explain please?
I was hopefully referring to the small pot. I find that I usually can loosen up the roots by gently moving them apart.
My first preference would be re-establishing the plants so the new growth would be able to make instant contact with the potting mix.
Stabilizing the plant better.
In most the older roots will soon be surpassed by the new roots growing, I often trim them off or shorten them.
The top growth looks good so it should re grow new roots quickly if the growing conditions are warm enough
All a good learning experience, you could also sacrifice the flowers now to a cut flower vase as they will often last several months in quality clean water.
This alone would take a lot of stress of the plant.
Hope all goes well
Cheerio
Ron
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Ron For This Useful Post:
whalloper (10-25-2009)
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I have a problem maxxone Newbie Questions 5 05-04-2008 07:16 AM
Re potting mbasden Orchid Care Cultivation 6 03-20-2008 08:54 AM
Re Potting Advice-clay pots and roots zonepusher Newbie Questions 2 07-16-2007 01:49 AM






Free Vote Caster from Bravenet.com Free Vote Caster from Bravenet.com


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
Orchid Forum

vBskin developed by: CreationLab