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Old 27-11-2003, 04:22 PM
J Fortuna
 
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Default Cochleanthes watering questions

Hi,

I have just acquired my first non-Phal non-Dtps orchid: a Cochleanthes
amazonica. My understanding from reading about it is that it should do well
in Phal-like culture, except it should be watered much more frequently,
correct?

I read somewhere that someone was successful in cochleanthes growing by
watering every other day or even every day during the summer, and once a
week or so during the winter. This large summer-winter dichotomy baffled me,
and so I wonder whether it is likely to not apply in our environment: 1) It
is a bit drier in our apartment in the winter than during the summer (due to
the heating in the winter, and the natural humidity in the DC area in the
summer). I try to raise humidity through a humidity try and keeping the
plants together, but I still think that it is bound to be more humid during
the summer months here. 2) The orchids grow near a north-facing window
(unfortuanately all windows here face north) with added light through
grow-lamps, but even with the lamps I don't believe the light level ever
gets higher than low to medium, so I don't think the summer sun is likely to
cause them to dry out more. 3) Since Cochleanthes flower in the fall-spring,
I would have expected them to need more energy and more water then, rather
than in the summer. Is my logic flawed? Please advise, which if any seasonal
changes in watering schedule would you expect in these conditions?

Of course, I will try to observe it and try to water based on my
understanding of when she seems to need to be watered, but (having started
my collection with moss-grown orchids) I am still learning to understand the
watering needs of plants grown in bark, and thus I rely on a combination of
does it seem to need water, and if I can't tell, how long has it been since
the last watering (I keep a record of that for the ones in bark).

Finally, has anyone out there ever heard of a cochleanthes suffering from
over-watering? All the information that I have read has been about
cochleanthes needing to be watered more and more. Ok, I could water her
every day, no problem for me, would it be a problem for her?

Thanks,
Joanna



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Old 02-12-2003, 01:14 AM
V_coerulea
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cochleanthes watering questions

I've found that when you get a Cochleanthes up to 8" pot size, moisture
retention does become a problem in plastic pots if watering is not changed.
I've recently started growing them in small bark/ coir/ sponge rock mix
which holds lots of moisture, allows great drainage, and doesn't compact or
deteriorate as fast as spaghnum moss. I've also found that they do better in
clay than plastic at this size. And if humidity is high, watering every 3-4
days is plenty. True, amazonica bloom most from fall- spring, but there are
many hybrids and closely reltaed species that can keep going all year or
extend blooming through the summer. Look for Pescatoria, Bollea,
Chondrorhyncha, or Kefersteinii and intergeneric hybrids among them and
Cochleanthes for lots of variety. In my experience, Pescatoria tends to be
the most water sensitive of the bunch but its hybrids vary.
Gary

"J Fortuna" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I have just acquired my first non-Phal non-Dtps orchid: a Cochleanthes
amazonica. My understanding from reading about it is that it should do

well
in Phal-like culture, except it should be watered much more frequently,
correct?

I read somewhere that someone was successful in cochleanthes growing by
watering every other day or even every day during the summer, and once a
week or so during the winter. This large summer-winter dichotomy baffled

me,
and so I wonder whether it is likely to not apply in our environment: 1)

It
is a bit drier in our apartment in the winter than during the summer (due

to
the heating in the winter, and the natural humidity in the DC area in the
summer). I try to raise humidity through a humidity try and keeping the
plants together, but I still think that it is bound to be more humid

during
the summer months here. 2) The orchids grow near a north-facing window
(unfortuanately all windows here face north) with added light through
grow-lamps, but even with the lamps I don't believe the light level ever
gets higher than low to medium, so I don't think the summer sun is likely

to
cause them to dry out more. 3) Since Cochleanthes flower in the

fall-spring,
I would have expected them to need more energy and more water then, rather
than in the summer. Is my logic flawed? Please advise, which if any

seasonal
changes in watering schedule would you expect in these conditions?

Of course, I will try to observe it and try to water based on my
understanding of when she seems to need to be watered, but (having started
my collection with moss-grown orchids) I am still learning to understand

the
watering needs of plants grown in bark, and thus I rely on a combination

of
does it seem to need water, and if I can't tell, how long has it been

since
the last watering (I keep a record of that for the ones in bark).

Finally, has anyone out there ever heard of a cochleanthes suffering from
over-watering? All the information that I have read has been about
cochleanthes needing to be watered more and more. Ok, I could water her
every day, no problem for me, would it be a problem for her?

Thanks,
Joanna




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Old 02-12-2003, 03:02 AM
J Fortuna
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cochleanthes watering questions

Thank you Gary!

Humidity was not high until now, but I jsut bought a humidimier, so it
should improve.
I am thinking about moving the cochleanthes to a clay pot next time I repot
it. But for now I will observe it, and see how it does after its initial bud
blast episode.

Joanna

"V_coerulea" wrote in message
...
I've found that when you get a Cochleanthes up to 8" pot size, moisture
retention does become a problem in plastic pots if watering is not

changed.
I've recently started growing them in small bark/ coir/ sponge rock mix
which holds lots of moisture, allows great drainage, and doesn't compact

or
deteriorate as fast as spaghnum moss. I've also found that they do better

in
clay than plastic at this size. And if humidity is high, watering every

3-4
days is plenty. True, amazonica bloom most from fall- spring, but there

are
many hybrids and closely reltaed species that can keep going all year or
extend blooming through the summer. Look for Pescatoria, Bollea,
Chondrorhyncha, or Kefersteinii and intergeneric hybrids among them and
Cochleanthes for lots of variety. In my experience, Pescatoria tends to be
the most water sensitive of the bunch but its hybrids vary.
Gary

"J Fortuna" wrote in message
...
Hi,

I have just acquired my first non-Phal non-Dtps orchid: a Cochleanthes
amazonica. My understanding from reading about it is that it should do

well
in Phal-like culture, except it should be watered much more frequently,
correct?

I read somewhere that someone was successful in cochleanthes growing by
watering every other day or even every day during the summer, and once a
week or so during the winter. This large summer-winter dichotomy baffled

me,
and so I wonder whether it is likely to not apply in our environment: 1)

It
is a bit drier in our apartment in the winter than during the summer

(due
to
the heating in the winter, and the natural humidity in the DC area in

the
summer). I try to raise humidity through a humidity try and keeping the
plants together, but I still think that it is bound to be more humid

during
the summer months here. 2) The orchids grow near a north-facing window
(unfortuanately all windows here face north) with added light through
grow-lamps, but even with the lamps I don't believe the light level ever
gets higher than low to medium, so I don't think the summer sun is

likely
to
cause them to dry out more. 3) Since Cochleanthes flower in the

fall-spring,
I would have expected them to need more energy and more water then,

rather
than in the summer. Is my logic flawed? Please advise, which if any

seasonal
changes in watering schedule would you expect in these conditions?

Of course, I will try to observe it and try to water based on my
understanding of when she seems to need to be watered, but (having

started
my collection with moss-grown orchids) I am still learning to understand

the
watering needs of plants grown in bark, and thus I rely on a combination

of
does it seem to need water, and if I can't tell, how long has it been

since
the last watering (I keep a record of that for the ones in bark).

Finally, has anyone out there ever heard of a cochleanthes suffering

from
over-watering? All the information that I have read has been about
cochleanthes needing to be watered more and more. Ok, I could water her
every day, no problem for me, would it be a problem for her?

Thanks,
Joanna








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