Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catching Up...Starting With the Orchids

I've been having trouble catching up after vacation. Work is pretty busy, I have been decorating for Christmas (post yet to come), and, despite feeling well rested, there is still a suitcase balanced on the chair in my bedroom, a pile of coats and scarves that suddenly appeared on the sofa, "stuff" all over the damn place, and plants that need some attention. So first things first - re pot the orchids.
I'm a bit of an armchair orchid grower, they just appeared one day (or over several months) as I rescued them from the clearance rack. I've never spent more than $3 on the little plants, so they aren't too big an investment if they all die. I knew, however, that they were not properly potted. So after, um, 5-7 months later, I tackled the project (and actually took pictures).

First I needed to soak them well to get the sphagnum moss wet and pliable enough to pull the plant from the pot. The orchids I have are all epiphytic, or "air" plants. In the wild they would be growing clung to a tree, or in the crook of a trunk. They need good air circulation, and this decorative pot was not supplying that!

See? Orchid pots have extra holes in them to help the medium dry out easily and aid in air circulation. These guys were suffocating! The white stuff on the roots are cells called velamen, and they act as a sponge to absorb moisture.

After all of the moss was removed, I trimmed off any brown or mushy roots. You can pretty much tell in the pic which roots were healthy, and which were not.

I just used a store bought orchid mix of mostly bark, some lava rock, and perlite. I think.

This guy was absolutely root bound in his tiny pot. I couldn't believe how long the roots were as I untangled them from the moss.
Now the "Orchid Collection" is all potted. Seriously, I'm happy with just three. This isn't going to turn into my citrus obsession. I swear.

No comments:

Post a Comment