Warm mat culture

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LO69

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Hello all,
I decided to give a try to this cultural method to give my warm growing paph a better environment as my night low in the GH Is not exceeding 14/15*C.
To keep things on a budget I did use what was already in my hands:

- 1 large plastic saucer ( 40' x 20' =1mt.x0,50 mt)

-10mt.(=11 yards) heating cable (100 watt)

- pumice (medium and fine grade)

-1 polistirene panel

- hot glue

I fixed the cable to the saucer with common hot glue then I filled up the whole bottom with a medium/ fine grade mix pumice and the top with only fine grade pumice to level the surface.
I' m now waiting a thermostat with probe to make sure the right temperature Is kept constant.

So I was wondering if anyone has already experienced such a thing and what the results have been.
 

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Ray

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I have done something similar with ordinary seedling heat mats.

Bottom-up warming is a great way to get plants to grow faster in cool conditions, and is particularly good for root rot recovery.
 

LO69

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Thank you Ray.
What temperature did you mantained the surface of the heating mat at?
Where did you put the probe?

My only concern Is that the bottom part of the pots might dry off too fast.
 
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Household grower here. I started using seedling heat mats a couple of years ago after the polar vortex caused some headaches. Whenever I repot slippers, that’s where they go. I’ve added a shallow refrigerator drawer sitting above the mats with 2” of sand and scoria / red lava rock drenched with water. Finally my Mexipedium is happy, as are a few Cattleyas. The sand/scoria idea if from one of JN Rentoul’s books.
 

LO69

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Household grower here. I started using seedling heat mats a couple of years ago after the polar vortex caused some headaches. Whenever I repot slippers, that’s where they go. I’ve added a shallow refrigerator drawer sitting above the mats with 2” of sand and scoria / red lava rock drenched with water. Finally my Mexipedium is happy, as are a few Cattleyas. The sand/scoria idea if from one of JN Rentoul’s books.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

Ray

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Thank you Ray.
What temperature did you mantained the surface of the heating mat at?
Where did you put the probe?

My only concern Is that the bottom part of the pots might dry off too fast.
The mats I used were low (13) wattage ones that need no controller. They are designed to increase the temperature 10-15F over ambient, so you may take that as being 70-75F.

Also, being that the elements are molded in plastic, they are waterproof, so I stood the pots directly on them and maintained a layer of water. Not only did that prevent drying, but by warming the water, the evaporation raised the humidity around the plants. I have also used the technique with great success with plants moved to semi-hydroponic culture, where the water is in the pot reservoir, instead.

In your situation, I’d consider putting the pots in trays to contain water, and maybe increasing the heat by a few degrees to compensate for the extra layer of insulation created by the tray and pumice under it.
 

LO69

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The mats I used were low (13) wattage ones that need no controller. They are designed to increase the temperature 10-15F over ambient, so you may take that as being 70-75F.

Also, being that the elements are molded in plastic, they are waterproof, so I stood the pots directly on them and maintained a layer of water. Not only did that prevent drying, but by warming the water, the evaporation raised the humidity around the plants. I have also used the technique with great success with plants moved to semi-hydroponic culture, where the water is in the pot reservoir, instead.

In your situation, I’d consider putting the pots in trays to contain water, and maybe increasing the heat by a few degrees to compensate for the extra layer of insulation created by the tray and pumice under it.
Thanks a lot Ray!
 

corradoerina

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Hello all,
I decided to give a try to this cultural method to give my warm growing paph a better environment as my night low in the GH Is not exceeding 14/15*C.
To keep things on a budget I did use what was already in my hands:

- 1 large plastic saucer ( 40' x 20' =1mt.x0,50 mt)

-10mt.(=11 yards) heating cable (100 watt)

- pumice (medium and fine grade)

-1 polistirene panel

- hot glue

I fixed the cable to the saucer with common hot glue then I filled up the whole bottom with a medium/ fine grade mix pumice and the top with only fine grade pumice to level the surface.
I' m now waiting a thermostat with probe to make sure the right temperature Is kept constant.

So I was wondering if anyone has already experienced such a thing and what the results have been.
What temperature are you aiming to achieve (on the roots and in the air surrounding the plants)?

Best,
 

eds

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I've got a similar set up to Ray but use plastic heated windowsill propagators during the winter. They are not thermostatically controlled.

Originally I had them filled with leca to raise the humidity but I found watering the mesh pots enough more difficult with this so I'm trying them without this winter with the plants straight on the plastic trays.

I'll try and remember to take some pictures over the weekend.
 

LO69

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I've got a similar set up to Ray but use plastic heated windowsill propagators during the winter. They are not thermostatically controlled.

Originally I had them filled with leca to raise the humidity but I found watering the mesh pots enough more difficult with this so I'm trying them without this winter with the plants straight on the plastic trays.

I'll try and remember to take some pictures over the weekend.
Thanks, it's nice to see your pictures.
 

eds

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Thanks, it's nice to see your pictures.
Sorry for the delay.
PXL_20211228_095445268.jpg
PXL_20211228_095411874.jpg

These are the winter quarters of most of my non-phalaenopsis orchids. They spend the summer in a shady conservatory.

These trays have a heating element in the base which provides the heat to the roots. They are waterproof so I can soak the pots and not flood the house!

I used these for two winters with LECA in the base to raise the humidity but it was more difficult to keep the pots well watered and I lost some seedling and small paphs in net pots as they dried out too much between waterings and lost their roots. In their summer quarters they are flat on a tray and it's a lot easier to water them so hoping this change will help this winter. If not I will put a thinner layer back for next year.
 

LO69

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Sorry for the delay.
View attachment 31404
View attachment 31405

These are the winter quarters of most of my non-phalaenopsis orchids. They spend the summer in a shady conservatory.

These trays have a heating element in the base which provides the heat to the roots. They are waterproof so I can soak the pots and not flood the house!

I used these for two winters with LECA in the base to raise the humidity but it was more difficult to keep the pots well watered and I lost some seedling and small paphs in net pots as they dried out too much between waterings and lost their roots. In their summer quarters they are flat on a tray and it's a lot easier to water them so hoping this change will help this winter. If not I will put a thinner layer back for next year.
Thanks Eds!
Do you have any sort of temperature control?
I set mine at 21* C and notice the warm growing paph are much happier.
 

eds

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Thanks Eds!
Do you have any sort of temperature control?
I set mine at 21* C and notice the warm growing paph are much happier.
No temperature control on these. In my house they seem to lift the temperature by about 8-10oC when covered for seedlings but in the open like this they just keep the rootballs warmer. I've never measured how much (might do later!) but you can feel the difference when you lift the pots up.
 

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