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Showing posts with label tech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tech. Show all posts

Friday, November 2, 2012

Energy-saving lamp to grow orchids, self-made.

Energy-saving lamp DIY, on the new mini orchidarium
Energy-saving lamp DIY, on the new mini orchidarium

Before I make decisions on how and how much light give to the mini orchidarium I studied a lot. Unfortunately, there are no universal answers, each plant has different light needs and every terrarium is in a location in the house that has, or not, the day light. For sure we have to know at least  the right "color" that light must have to be useful to our orchids, in fact using a wrong light even 2000 W would not have an significant effect! The light that activates photosynthesis, and is therefore useful to our plants to grow and flourish, is in the spectrum of blue and red, in short, it is recommended that you choose lamps with a color temperature of around 6400 K, combined with others around 2400 K, but the first would seem to be more effective. I finally decided! I bought 2 Philips Tornado cool daylight 6500 K, enlightening power 1450 Lumen.

Mini orchidarium, a glass case to set up

Phalaenopsis orchid species, seedlings just bought.
Phalaenopsis species and primary hybrids, seedlings:
Violacea coerulea , Bellina Ponkan, Equetris Apari,
Mariae, Pulchra, Hieroglyphica x Mariae,
Equestris aurea x Cornu-cervi flava,
Lueddemanniana x Fasciata
When I started growing orchids I didn't have a clear idea of the variety of species in this family of plants, only after reading everything I could find on the net, I started realizing it. The earliest species that I dared approach were phalaenopsis, I found on Ebay very interesting auctions and I attended. I won! I managed to have some young specimens of phal I studied for a while: violacea var. coerulea (Krulls Smith x Dark red Norton), bellina Ponkan, equetris Apari, mariae, pulchra, I also got interesting primary hybrids  : hieroglyphica x mariae, equestris aurea x cornu-cervi flava and lueddemanniana x fasciata.

First plants in my mini orchidarium

Phalaenopsis Violacea, orchid species, roots with fungal disease
Phalaenopsis Violacea,
orchid species,
roots with fungal disease.
Buy on EBAY can be beneficial but it all depends on the seriousness of the seller, even if the percentage of positive feedback is the maximum does not mean that everything will go as you hope ...
I participated in a series of open auctions from a seller who seemed very trusted, I won almost everything that I had fixed and so I paid a single shipment for up to 5 young phalaenopsis species. The ads said "vigorous young plant," there were also photos and plants seemed healthy.
When the courier rang I was not in my skin, I was elated and could not wait to see my new awaited plants to populate the mini orchidarium just set up. It seemed to me on Christmas morning! The first impression I got was that the leaves seemed grown in the dark, were thin and very pale, I was afraid it would break. Then I started looking into the vessels to check the roots. A disaster!

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to repot a Phalaenopsis orchid in sphagnum-moss

The basic steps of my repotting in sphagnum:

    1. rinse sphagnum dry under hot running water
    2. rinse with water by osmosis (or distilled or rain water)
    3. wring strong
    4. break to pieces by about 1-2 cm giving volume and air
    5. put a first layer of sphagnum in the vessel
    6. place the plant
    7. fill the jar without crushing too much
    8. free the holes on the bottom
    9. water in small doses only when it is well dry
    10. fertilize in small doses

    Phalaenopsis schilleriana, orchid species, seedlings repotted in sphagnum moss
    Phalaenopsis schilleriana, orchid species,
    sphagnum moss repotting
    (picture of 4 October 2012)

    Some orchids grow much better and faster if potted in sphagnum-moss, this is because in the wild they live immersing their roots in soft moss pillows. Sphagnum has the qualities, not indifferent, to produce some antifungal substances, stabilize the pH and maintain good moisture. Dry sphagnum (dehydrated) can be found at nurseries specializing in orchids or, though rarely, you can find the live sphagnum. To repot our Phalaenopsis seedlings, freshly deflasked, keiki or the more common mini-phalaenopsis, you normally use dry sphagnum . In nature there are many different species of moss but to grow orchids what is important is not the species but the quality of fibers: the best fiber of sphagnum  is the bigger one because it will stay more elastic and compact so less compressed in the vessels, lets more air circulating and promotes drying of the roots of fundamental importance for all orchids, especially for epiphytic species such as Phalaenopsis.