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By tmann51
Posts:  78
Joined:  Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:18 pm
#312815
Most of my orchids are planted in Orchiada bark, in fact I've repotted them that way and some I've received that way. Recently, I got a Phal that was in sphagnum moss. I'd purchased it in bud and it still is, but I'm uncertain about the frequency of watering, I don't want to rot the roots in wet moss. Presently, I water the bark media Phals every other day. I'm considering getting a moisture sensor of some type. Most will say to water just before the media has dried out. I'm not a noob to orchids having been in and out of them over the years.
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By evenwind
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Posts:  826
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#312821
A lot depends on the age and density of the sphagnum and the type of pot it's in. If your Phal is a typical box store type, then the sphag is probably old and compacted (=water less often) but in a tiny pot (=water more often). Anyhow, to keep it going until you can safely repot it, I'd check that the top layer of sphagnum is dry to the touch and maybe wait another day (or two) to water. (If the leaves start to show veins AND you can see living roots, then it needs to be watered more often.) Also, Phal roots are apple green when they are full of water and silvery-green when they're dry - if that helps your decision.
By tmann51
Posts:  78
Joined:  Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:18 pm
#312824
This is a Dtps. Pixie Star 'Star Light" x Phal. bracrana 'Olive Green A' I got from Orchids Limited a couple weeks back. The buds are just starting to open now. The moss is not impacted on this one. The other Phals I have presently were, in fact, 'impacted sphagnum moss' which I repotted into clear plastic pots with Orchiada bark even though they were in bloom/bud and still are. Thanks for your advise.
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By evenwind
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Posts:  826
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#312826
Okay, then. Use the fingertip test to check for a dry top layer and wait the day or two to water. Depending on your particular conditions, I would guess that watering would be somewhere in the 5 to 7 days range...

I haven't done this myself, but I've read that you can test the moisture level deep in the pot by pushing a newly sharpened (and then blunted) pencil into the medium. Existing moisture should change the color of the newly raw wood. Anyhow, after a while you'll be able to tell it needs watering simply by weight.
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By xr280xr
Posts:  2806
Joined:  Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:29 pm
#312829
Initially after transferring from moss to bark, they tend to do better if watered more frequently, like you're doing. But you can ween them back over the course of a year. I water mine once every week (sometimes every week and a half, but that's hard on them) in the winter, and twice a week in the summer. I usually try to let them soak for at least an hour when I water them so the media can absorb the moisture. For a queue, you should wait until all the roots turn from green/white back to silver/gray before watering again.

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