Growing Tips

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Pot Stand

A simple and cheap pot stand can be made using plastic pots. Select a pot which is at least several sizes larger than the one in which the orchid is growing, invert it and cut a cirular hole in the bottom big enough to hold the pot with the plant but not allowing it to fall through. Alternatively, if the pot to be used as the stand is only one size larger, (eg 250mm to hold a 200mm ) it may be necessary to cut about 10mm off the bottom of the pot. In this case ensure the cut edge fits into the lip of the plant pot in order to restrengthen the holding pot.

The following diagram illustrates.

This approach has various advantages over the usual double potting method:

A word of advice: When cold, a plastic pot is stiff and brittle, making cutting difficult and possibly dangerous. Therefore place the plastic pot in full sun on a warm/hot day for at least 15 minutes before attempting to cut it. The plastic will become fexible and easier to cut. A "stanley knife" is adequate to cut the pot, BUT BE CAREFUL as flesh is softer than plastic.

Watch those Roots

Ever wonder how well a recently potted keiki, seedling or division is rooting? This simple approach to potting allows you to see without pulling the plant and medium out of its pot.

Plant the orchid in a clear plastic drinking "glass" (270ml sparkling tumblers are quite suitable) after cutting some drainage holes in the bottom. Now slip the plastic tumbler into a suitable sized plastic pot (a snug fit is best). Then at any time you can observe the progress of the orchids roots by simply lifting the plastic tumbler out of the pot. This method will also help provide some insulation for the orchid's roots. Unaware of the origin of this suggestion, but it is used by Brian and Lynne Phelan.

The following images illustrate. The second image suggests that the Thelychiton kingianus keiki has made good root growth.

 

Hang 'em High

Various orchids grow best in a hanging basket. The following illustrates a simple and cheap method of constructing a hanging basket.

All you require is a wire coat hanger, the usual plastic pot, a pair of pliers or wire cutters and a drill or stanley knife. The best coat hangers are the galvanised (not painted or plastic coated). These are tightly wound at the neck and will not fall apart.

The following diagram illustrates.

Simply cut the bottom of the hanger, straighten the arms and then bend the bottom 1 or 2 cms of the ends at right angles. Make two suitable holes diagonally opposite in the top of the rim of the pot (be careful if using a knife), then insert the ends of the hanger into these holes.

This tip was provided by Bob (the Builder) Bush

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