Stench from s/h

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dave b

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I recently acquired some new Paphs and Phrags. Quick history...a 30+ year member of our society passed away. He was an excellent grower with over 40 AOS awards. Greenhouse was packed full of Phrags and Paphs (among other things) most all of which were in s/h. I was fortunate enough to acquire a few, and have a question about one. The Paph Transvaal is pictured below. Yesterday while flushing the pot, quite a stench came from the reservoir water. Its in a large container (w/hydroton), drain holes an inch or so from the bottom. I can see lots of roots along the pot, and it has a moderate amount of algae growth. It may also be sending out a sheath, so im leary of disturbing it. I cant smell anything from the top, but can from the drain holes. Near the holes is the area with the heaviest algae growth.

What should i do regarding the smell, and its cause? Yesterday and today, ive been watering till the container fills, and letting it flush completely out. I then tilt the container, to allow the water to drain even more. Thought perhaps airing it out a bit could help.

 

Sirius

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Ummm. Stop smelling the drainholes? :)

I grow 99% of my plants in S/H and sometimes I get a funky fungus or something in one that causes a stink. I just unpot the plant, rinse the media, and repot. Sometimes I might water with a little undiluted Hydrogen Peroxide after. But nothing compared to the wet earth smell I get from my non-S/H plants. That wet earth smell from bark and potting soil is stronger than any S/H smell.
 

Candace

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What should i do regarding the smell, and its cause?
Learn to love it. Dab a bit of it behind your ears and soon you'll be the talk of the neighborhood.

'Tis the nature of any contained water to have some odor as it's not a fresh, running spring on a dew drop filled morning:> I don't notice it, but once in a while. But, good air circulation will help with any smells-good or bad. I think John is right about all media having some sort of funk to them. Growing mainly in a g.h. environment with good air flow, I have to say I don't really notice a problem.

edit: What else did you get? Sorry to hear about the grower, but I bet he'd be happy his plants are in good hands.
 

rdlsreno

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Learn to love it. Dab a bit of it behind your ears and soon you'll be the talk of the neighborhood.

'Tis the nature of any contained water to have some odor as it's not a fresh, running spring on a dew drop filled morning:> I don't notice it, but once in a while. But, good air circulation will help with any smells-good or bad. I think John is right about all media having some sort of funk to them. Growing mainly in a g.h. environment with good air flow, I have to say I don't really notice a problem.

edit: What else did you get? Sorry to hear about the grower, but I bet he'd be happy his plants are in good hands.

I agree!

I should try S/H since I can buy distilled water for my Phrags.

Ramon:)
 

Yoyo_Jo

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You'll go bankrupt that way. get an R.O. system.
:poke: I buy R.O. and distilled water for my Phrags. Don't have enough of them (yet) to justify putting in a system (yet).

All other orchids get Brita filtered water; I figure that's better than our tap water....

Please help a newbie - what is S/H?
 
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dave b

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Ummm. Stop smelling the drainholes? :)

That wet earth smell from bark and potting soil is stronger than any S/H smell.
I agree, and its why im concerned. This is a putrid, rotten smell. Not earthy at all. I also had thought about the hydrogen peroxide. May give it a shot. Thanks for you input.
 

gonewild

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The rotted smell could be from a massive sudden root die off. You might want to unpot it to check the root health inside the pot center.

Or

The smell could be because you are not flushing the pots with enough fresh water. If this is the case the smell (or it's cause) probably won't cause a problem for the plant but if you are not flushing the media correctly you may get a salt build up.

The smell may also be an indication of poor aeration within the media root zone.

I don't think a properly flushed s/h pot should build up contaminated water.
 

philoserenus

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i agree... no matter how much algae and crap's in there... it shouldnt smell like rotten eggs... i would say dig it up and have a look and while at it, u might wanna poke a few more holes in the container to help with aeration if there's too little

good luck
 

e-spice

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You definitely don't want a foul odor coming from the pot. I have had that happen a few times and it is definitely not a good sign. I would flush the pot and empty the reservoir and let it dry a few days. Increase the air flow and make sure your drain holes are not clogged.

e-spice
 
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Park Bear

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I was thinking like Lance.....I would check the roots and you need a bigger pot.
 

e-spice

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I was thinking like Lance.....I would check the roots and you need a bigger pot.
I generally think smaller pot when I am having problems with roots. I have had much more success being slightly underpotted vs. being overpotted. The goal is to get healthy roots to fill the pot.

e-spice
 
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Park Bear

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in s/h when I've had root rot I transfer to a taller and bigger pot....now this isn't a significantly bigger pot just big enough to let to roots grow w/o being in the reservoir.
 

karategirl73

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I had this same thing with one of my phals, there was a small brown leaf towards the bottom of the plant that I believe was causing the stink. It smelled like when you win a goldfish at a carnival and the water in the bowl gets dirty. I pulled the plant out and there were a few bad roots, I clipped all the roots, clipped the leaf, rinsed out the rocks, and it seems to have cured the problem.
 

SlipperFan

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Welcome, karategirl173!

I think what you had on your Paph was a type of bacterial rot. You did the right thing to get rid of it.
 
H

Hera

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The rotted smell could be from a massive sudden root die off. You might want to unpot it to check the root health inside the pot center.

Or

The smell could be because you are not flushing the pots with enough fresh water. If this is the case the smell (or it's cause) probably won't cause a problem for the plant but if you are not flushing the media correctly you may get a salt build up.

The smell may also be an indication of poor aeration within the media root zone.

I don't think a properly flushed s/h pot should build up contaminated water.
Regular flushing is a must! Not just topping off. Check the roots for die-off. That's the most likely culprit. Also if there was some old potting material left on the roots when you put it in S/H it might have broken down enough to smell.
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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In general, phrags have such vigorous roots that I usually pot upward into larger pots, unless roots were rotted. Overall, paphs go downward in pot size, since even with good roots my paphs don't form massive root systems. Phrags, on the other hand, have hardy roots that seem to survive the rottenest muck. However, I grow them in bark, sphagnum, and loads of spongerock. Only one (of several) phrags survived my experiment with SH...and it was moved into a gallon pot last fall.
 

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