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Old 08-08-2009, 03:30 PM
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Lightbulb Tricks To Watering When Using Odd S/H Containers.

most of us know that if you use deli containers or something similar, that one of the great ways to water is to stack/nest your planted container that has holes into another of cup of the same type that does not and that lets you fill it up without it flowing out. You can then pull the inner container up and out of the water in a few minutes after it has had a good soak.

This works great for me and I have even learned to pull the inner pot up slowly so that all the water just drains into the outer pot, not on the floor. This has two benefits, i can make less of a mess, potentially letting me water indoors and also it lets me save the water and fertilizer that i then use on my other houseplants that i don't worry about so much (since i would not want to share water between orchids)
I keep enough extra deli containers of the two sizes i use, to nest all my orchids, fill them all up and then drain them all after a short soak, it sure has turned into a smooth operation!

But what about when i have a strange container that i cant nest into another one, like a glass vase?, Yeah i can just plug the holes with my fingers and stand there, but i have a lot of orchids and i like them to soak a bit. Part of my reasoning for moving everything into S/H was to streamline my watering and care.


So here is the trick i decided upon:
i stuck two cheep earplugs, flare side inward, into the holes! once they expanded the seal was great and yet they were easy to pull out after i let things soak for 10 minutes or so.
i had originally thought about cork or rubber plugs, but had none around, and in fact i think this is better since they were gentler on the glass (it has a small crack from my bad first attempt at drilling) and conformed to the LECA right inside the hole rather than fighting it for room. Since i could put them in large side inward, the water pressure had little chance of popping them out and instead probably secured the seal even more!

anyway i thought i would share. I will be getting a bulk bag of earplugs when i move more of my 'chids into glass vases, i love the look and stability of them.

If you have any cool tricks for watering your pots, post it for all us , we are a pretty fun bunch for the strange solutions we come up with, i would love to see more.
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plugs-close.jpg   watering-plugs.jpg   _miltonopsis-noid-sh.jpg  
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The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Rivka For This Useful Post:
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:58 PM
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Great ideas, Rivka. I love that elegant glass container, very sharp. I must say it made me laugh with the plugs in-- like a dog begging

My only watering trick is that for fertilizing, I dunk everything in a big dishpan. Yes, it uses the same water for lots of orchids, but saves a lot of time and fertilizer/additives (200+ phals right now)
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:01 PM
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i kept giggling cause it was making me think of cow utters!

Moooooo
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Last edited by Rivka; 08-08-2009 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:03 PM
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LOL, Rivka. That's even better
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:10 PM
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I would love to see the look on the store clerks face when you buy a BIG BAG of Ear PLugs. Really noisy neighbors?
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:22 PM
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What a great idea and I can get earplugs from the MRI Dept we give pts so they don't hear the knocking of the MRI. I always just stood around with fingers over the holes whistling a happy tune. lol!
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:32 PM
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How do you put holes into the glass container without breaking it? Also, what happens when the algae begins to grow in there? Is there any way to stop that? I think it looks pretty now (in your pics) but wouldn't look as pretty if algae grew in there. (this is just my own personal opinion)
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:53 AM
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The earplugs are a great idea! How did you get the holes in the glass???
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:42 PM
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the holes were drilled with a diamond hole saw, they look like this from Diamond drill bits, glass drill bits, glass drills, how to drill glass

they seem to work really well and even better if the whole thing is drilled completely under water and go sloooooooow.

as for algae, you can cover the glass with a sun blocking item. like a sheet of thick paper or plastic and that will stop it or kill what has already grown. i think i may just attach something to the back window side of this particular one.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:00 PM
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cow udders! that's funny. i'm VERY new to the orchid world and was SO excited just to see my little one put on new flowers.

the pot it's in is opaque plastic so I just pick it up out of the nested pot every couple of days. i've figured out that if i can't see any moisture through the pot then it's time to water. i soak it for a few minutes - sometimes I forget about it and 30 minutes go by but i make sure it drains good and my orchid has been very forgiving.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:21 PM
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I have another question. It looks like the WHOLE THING is sitting in water in the picture....is it? Did you just not drain it yet? When you do drain, how much water will you leave in there? Just up to the holes I'm suspecting.
I'm really interested in s/h but I'm just scared to take the plunge. I am ordering my aliflor from Jerry at orchidsamore.com and am planning to try it out on one of my oncidiums and maybe one of my encyclias (please forgive the spelling!)
No one has said what to soak it in si I was thinking about Worm Tea. Do you think that would retard any potential algae growth?
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:38 PM
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yeah i took that picture when it was soaking, it normally drains and then just sits right below the holes.

as for what to water it with, that is a huge thread by itself, i personally do the same as i would with other media, weakly weekly with a full flush once a month.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:58 PM
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jkc, before putting an encyclia into s/h check out what type of encyclia it is. Some of them need dryish conditions, especially in winter. Every dry-winter encyclia I ever tried in s/h lost all it's roots and eventually died. The ones I put into small wooden baskets with a couple of threads of sphag or bark chunks did wonderfully. The bskets provide rapid drying and lots of air at the roots. The roots clamped themselves onto the wood to suck all the water out of it. Dry-winter encyclia also do well in pots with clay pellets as a medium, *but without the water reservoir.*

You need to try to find out all you can about how much moisture your orchids like before deciding on the medium. Be especially careful with any that need drier conditions in winter.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:02 PM
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Thank you...such good advice. My encyclia is called Nursery Rhyme and is still a baby in a 2 inch pot. It will be a year or so before I repot it. I guess during this time (while it's growing) I can observe what kind of mositure conditions it likes. I live in Texas where there is humidity year round. I doubt I would give it any rest. I will probably just treat it the same all year and see how it does.
Thank you all for your posts. I am learning soooo much!
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