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NYEric

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I have not been able to upload pictures on this forum. Any advice or tricks.
I had trouble too. Save your photos to a file on a PC, then use the attach files tab, just follow to the path the photos are filed in.
BTW, most roots die from drowning, media breakdown, or salt burn.
 

justagirlart

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Doing well for months is good. Maybe need to then take a look at temperatures, weather, media type, watering schedule etc during particular seasons. See if you can spot patterns ----- such as whether the issue always develops around the same seasonal time each year. Also - take a look into growing conditions - humidity, air-movement (none, light, moderate etc).

And whether the weekly fertilising is getting fertiliser build-up in the media to a point where ------ after several months, becomes enough to take out the roots and the plant.
If the 300 ppm is a measurement from the TDS meter, it is likely not very accurate, but does suggest that the overall fertilizer concentration is low enough to not be the source of the problem.
What do you isn't accurate? How far off can it be? I use Peters 15-5-15 with calmag. I have a water test. Would you like to see it. I could send it Gmail. They told me people would love to have my water.
 

justagirlart

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I had trouble too. Save your photos to a file on a PC, then use the attach files tab, just follow to the path the photos are filed in.
BTW, most roots die from drowning, media breakdown, or salt burn.
The only way to drown them is in organic media that is broken down, correct? I use all inorganic. Clay balls, hydroponic rock, lava rock. Large perlite and a little charcoal. I flush out the pots weekly and never let them sit in fertilizer.
 

SouthPark

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What do you isn't accurate? How far off can it be? I use Peters 15-5-15 with calmag. I have a water test. Would you like to see it. I could send it Gmail. They told me people would love to have my water.
Ok....... maybe we can word it another way. When you mix your Peters 15-5-15, how much Peters 15-5-15 do you add to the amount of water you use?

So two quantities will be required here ------ 1) the amount of fresh-water you use ..... and 2) the amount of Peters 15-5-15 that you add to that water.

At the moment, we're having an issue of not knowing the final concentration of Peters you use for the watering mix. So everybody has been trying to find out. But you don't provide answers for some reason. Normally, that would lead to my second question ----- as in 'why?' (but I won't ask that - as we just want to help you and your orchid out :)).
 
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SouthPark

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The only way to drown them is in organic media that is broken down, correct? I use all inorganic. Clay balls, hydroponic rock, lava rock. Large perlite and a little charcoal. I flush out the pots weekly and never let them sit in fertilizer.
Even in airy inorganic media, it's certainly possible to drown roots, or portion of roots. If the pot is wide enough and is deep enough - even if the pot has good drainage holes - water can do some root drowning. There is the described 'water-bridging' effect that growers have mentioned online ------- and if there are enough water bridges spread among enough media pieces ----- especially in a big and deep enough pot, then the medium within (the depths of the pot) becomes like a puddle of water ....... a bundle of water that doesn't move much. If water which contains oxygen doesn't move much, and if the roots use up the oxygen local to it, then that can be a problem. I think that's how it works.

It has been mentioned by growers that orchid roots require enough oxygen to stay alive. And if the oxygen level gets too low ----- then the roots (or portions of them) can die, which is an issue that can lead to other issues.

One way I get around root drowning with big pots is by watering regions of the media toward the rim/extremities of the pot. The water goes down toward the sides of the pot in general. The inner parts of the pot (toward the centre/middle) is drier ----- does not necessarily need to be 'dry', but is not allowed to become super wet. So there is a dry-wet gradient (that can possibly be beneficial). At least the air within the pot stays humid. When combined with gentle air movement in the growing environment, and having a very good drainage pot plus nice airy media (like lava rock) ----- the roots will definitely not be able to drown. Works extremely well in the tropics. I haven't tried in other parts of the world yet - but I'm confident that it would work nicely elsewhere too.

Adapted roots are a slightly different story. The ones that adapted to watery environments - maybe with lower oxygen content. But apparently they can drown too if the oxygen level gets too low. Another condition is very cold and very wet roots. Apparently that can be a nasty combination too.
 
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justagirlart

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Ok....... maybe we can word it another way. When you mix your Peters 15-5-15, how much Peters 15-5-15 do you add to the amount of water you use?

So two quantities will be required here ------ 1) the amount of fresh-water you use ..... and 2) the amount of Peters 15-5-15 that you add to that water.

At the moment, we're having an issue of not knowing the final concentration of Peters you use for the watering mix. So everybody has been trying to find out. But you don't provide answers for some reason. Normally, that would lead to my second question ----- as in 'why?' (but I won't ask that - as we just want to help you and your orchid out :)).
In one gallon I use approximately 1/2 teaspoon.
 

justagirlart

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Even in airy inorganic media, it's certainly possible to drown roots, or portion of roots. If the pot is wide enough and is deep enough - even if the pot has good drainage holes - water can do some root drowning. There is the described 'water-bridging' effect that growers have mentioned online ------- and if there are enough water bridges spread among enough media pieces ----- especially in a big and deep enough pot, then the medium within (the depths of the pot) becomes like a puddle of water ....... a bundle of water that doesn't move much. If water which contains oxygen doesn't move much, and if the roots use up the oxygen local to it, then that can be a problem. I think that's how it works.

It has been mentioned by growers that orchid roots require enough oxygen to stay alive. And if the oxygen level gets too low ----- then the roots (or portions of them) can die, which is an issue that can lead to other issues.

One way I get around root drowning with big pots is by watering regions of the media toward the rim/extremities of the pot. The water goes down toward the sides of the pot in general. The inner parts of the pot (toward the centre/middle) is drier ----- does not necessarily need to be 'dry', but is not allowed to become super wet. So there is a dry-wet gradient (that can possibly be beneficial). At least the air within the pot stays humid. When combined with gentle air movement in the growing environment, and having a very good drainage pot plus nice airy media (like lava rock) ----- the roots will definitely not be able to drown. Works extremely well in the tropics. I haven't tried in other parts of the world yet - but I'm confident that it would work nicely elsewhere too.

Adapted roots are a slightly different story. The ones that adapted to watery environments - maybe with lower oxygen content. But apparently they can drown too if the oxygen level gets too low. Another condition is very cold and very wet roots. Apparently that can be a nasty combination too.
Great. I understand a little more. Thank you
 

SouthPark

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In one gallon I use approximately 1/2 teaspoon.
Thanks JAGA for providing those details. In my tropical conditions here, I'm using a readily-available product - Yates Thrive Orchid Liquid Plant Food - that's what they call it anyway (as I guess fertiliser is still part of 'food' I guess) ------ and I use around 4 ml of it for about 5 litre of fresh water. And I apply the fertiliser once a month ----- first day of each month, for convenience. I also apply weak mag-cal right at the middle of each month. I just do this - as it's easy to remember. For your weekly fertilising ------ maybe need to consider whether or not those fertiliser salts are really accumulating somehow - in the media. For a test, maybe you could try on 1 or 2 plants ----- lower concentration. Or just less fertilising ------ as a test. If you notice improvement, then at least that could help.

I grow my small number of paphs and phrags in scoria here in the tropics. 100% scoria. I have a reasonably big Paph. Saint Swithin 'Jill', and a couple of juvenile (but not baby!) Paph. Wossner Black Wings, a Paph. callosum, a couple of Paph. vietnamese, Phrag. Elizabeth Castle, and Phrag. Grouville. All doing very well. I water them every day - no root issues. I did once have a bacterial rot developing on a vietnamese - leaves rotting only - the spread was relatively fast actually ----- and a copper spray sent those bacteria packing! Excellent recovery. I only listed that lot of orchids - only to say that if the conditions are generally good, then there's going to be no problem with roots. The reason why my vietnamense got leaf rot ----- I think was an after-effect from spidermite attack. But watching the orchids like a hawk at least gives us a chance to respond in time.
 
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justagirlart

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Thank you for trying to help. I guess the problem is I do things wrong and kill them. I guess I am going to quit. My phrags used to grow great and i had three big ones.
 

SouthPark

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Thank you for trying to help. I guess the problem is I do things wrong and kill them. I guess I am going to quit. My phrags used to grow great and i had three big ones.
For us students of orchid growing, and if we love to grow orchids ------ this includes you --- then I don't think that growing well for months and then abruptly taking a downhill turn in health is a queue for quitting. You could just try reducing the concentration of fertiliser applied, or just fertilising less number of times per month. Sometimes, it could be just one factor ----- and once that's sorted, you'll be on your way to great times ----- green light.

I probably don't do much differently than what you do, except for applying not so much fertiliser. I do watering just the same way as I apply fertiliser ---- using a spray wand from a garden sprayer. I have to use the spray wand to reach my orchid ...... and then I just spray the water roughly into the regions painted with 'blue' (from photoshop hehe). The orchid is up on the steps surrounded by other orchids, so I can't get near to it. So I have to use my hand-sprayer watering wand anyway. The nozzle setting is set so that I have pretty good coverage - but not too wide ..... (and certainly not water pistol narrow).

The orchid just grows normally, long healthy leaves etc. I don't flush the media (scoria/lava rock). For the rest of the month (each day), I just spray water there ----- and that's all there is to it over here. Once a month (1st day of month) fertiliser spray into the media. Then, middle of the month .... 2 weeks into the month ..... weak mag-cal .... applied in the same way.

Google drive pic links below (it is a Paph. Saint Swithin 'Jill') :
pic 1
pic 2
 
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Ray

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Based upon the info you've provided, I don't think your feeding or potting medium choice is the issue. Not sure what else it might be , but more info about your overall culture can't hurt.
 

SouthPark

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----> Update: ok .... just saw your message about 'flushing pot weekly' ------ so ok.

See if you can upload some pics ..... eg. use google drive like I did ----- one option.
 
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SuperPaph

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Still have have not seen a picture!!!! And I think it could be important for diagnosis!!
 

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