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Watering Question

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Gcroz

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When I worked for a commercial orchid grower, he trained me to water Paphs. so that no water got on the leaves or in the crowns. Yet Koopowitz's book, as well as the Paph. Growers Manual, say that the whole plant, leaves and all, should be watered.

Is it ok to water like this? What about crown rot? Is it ok to water newly de-flasked seedlings in this manner?

I need the courage to break old habits and try something new.
 
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goldenrose

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I say NO. I also have a GH, I feel I have very good air movement but I feel it's risky to have wet leaves & crown rot is a definite!(or other fungal problems). This summer I went so far as to install plexiglass type shields on the underneath sides of the benches so no/or very little run off was going on to another plant. It was a worthwhile investment in time & money& plant health!
 

philoserenus

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i stick mines in the shower and then just run the showerhead through them. but i know my conditions and usually in about 2.5 hrs, all the water in the crowns and leaves evaporate off so i never worry. if it takes more than that, i help it out a little by blowing it off and dabbing it. but then it all comes down to ur collection's size rite?

cause think of nature, i dun think God up there will make the rain go around the leaves and just hit the ground below the leaves, rite?
 

Heather

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Tricky question!

Personally, I spray them all down during the summer when they are outside, then SURPRISE! later in the day, when we get a thunderstorm and I FREAK OUT (!!) I run to cover them which decreases airflow but ensures they don't get wet again.

I'd be a little discouraged to do it at this time of year in a fairly new greenhouse on seedlings.

Bottom line - depends on the conditions!
 

swamprad

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I'm not a very experienced grower, but it's hard to imagine that crown rot would be a problem with adequate air movement and foliage that is dry by evening.
 

Candace

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I'm like you Gcroz. I do get water in the crowns once in a while, but I do my best not to in the cooler months. And if I think it's going to get cold I'll tip the water out of some of the ones that don't seem to drain the water to their roots easily(usually hybrids). I don't worry so much about it during the Spring and Summer, but have lost plants in the Fall and Winter by having rot set in after water pools in the crowns and sits overnight. Of course keeping to the rule of watering in the morning is helpful, too. I agree plants in nature get it all over and whenever, but they usually have great air movement and aren't crammed together in a g.h. situation.


Edit:"I'm not a very experienced grower, but it's hard to imagine that crown rot would be a problem with adequate air movement and foliage that is dry by evening." You were posting, Mark when I was. That's the problem. During the winter and cooler months, they don't dry out faithfully. Especially some of my hybrids, I've noticed. Some paphs actually act as bowls and the water will just sit there! And others will drain the water easily straight through to the roots. It's those "bowlies" that you have to watch!
 

NYEric

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What!? It doesn't rain on the leaves in Nature?!? :rolleyes:
I used to not water the leaves but that's not realistic. Now I water the whole plants and try to maintain good airflow. I would not let water runoff flow onto other plants though, because if one plant has a bad fungal problem that will spread it for sure. P.S. Candace doesn't know what cold weather is anymore, look at where she lives! :poke:
 
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Ernie

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I'm not a very experienced grower, but it's hard to imagine that crown rot would be a problem with adequate air movement and foliage that is dry by evening.
Mark stole my answer. Air movement is key. We water early in the am so the leaves/crowns are dry by nightfall. If it's too cool for that to happen, it's probably best to wait a day on watering or jack up your heat for the day. Phals love to get crown rot, BUT in nature they grow with the crowns angled to drain and have great air circulation. All the pix I've seen of in situ slippers have the crowns pretty much aiming at the sky (comparatively).

-Ernie
 

Candace

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P.S. Candace doesn't know what cold weather is anymore, look at where she lives!
Hey, we got frost this winter! And it was in the 40's last night. Brrr! Don't tell my husband, but I accidently left the door screen open all night and I'm sure the heater was chugging away. :<

But seriously, I've got a ton of air movement in my g.h. and I still lose maybe one to two paphs a year in the winter do to crown rot. The air movement just won't be as good as old Mother Nature.
 

NYEric

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Candace, I don't think losing 2 plants is an indication of any problem. P.S. Nanook, it was 15 degrees in NYC a few days ago and most people on this forum have it a lot colder.
 

Candace

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No, I don't think it's a problem. Just that it happens. Why you people choose to live in these climates is beyond me. Been there, done that for 12 years and won't do it again!
 

Candace

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Pretty much. Although, I did feel the big one slightly in S.F. that knocked down a lane of the Bay Bridge. I was a college student at UCD eons ago. I'll take a little foot massage anytime over the brutal east coast weather.:D
 

NYEric

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I don't know I like having distinct seasons; and it's weird but we don't seem to have the weather extremes here in NYC that I remember from my childhood.
 

Heather

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What!? It doesn't rain on the leaves in Nature?!?
It does, but those plants aren't growing upright in pots, they're usually growing so that the water can run out of their crowns.

I agree w/ Candace etc.
It depends on the conditions. In a greenhouse in Northern New Hampshire I might not do it at this time of year. Summer, sure, as long as there is adequate air flow.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Indoors, I do all that I can to avoid getting water in the crowns, even when I water in the morning. When my plants are outdoors, I don't care....I'll water them with a hose in late afternoon if I have to, and not worry....hey, it does rain at night! Its not a problem, unless we get stuck in one of those dank, rainy summers that occur every few years....and even those are less damaging than a hot dry summer. There's no amount of indoor air movement that can compare to the natural movement of air outdoors. Fans just aren't the same....Take care, Eric
 

Rick

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I used to be allot more concerned about crown rot and watered only early in the day. I'd see a case or two a year anyway. I always wondered how orchids survived in the wild when monsoon rains go on for days non stop. Then I got into my humidity kick, and although I didn't increase actual watering I added foggers, misters, and ultimately swamp coolers. These all ran either continuously or came on/off based on humidity demand or temperature for cooling. The foggers/misters tended to run on winter nights more than in the summer. They would get water on plants and in crowns, but the rate of crown rot has probably actually declined for me (on a per capita basis) with the overall environment improved for humidity and airflow.

So I generally don't care too much about getting plants wet at night, but I do have enough airflow where the majority of plants are moving a bit in the breeze.
 

SlipperKing

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I have to agree with Eric M and Rick, I never worry when I water and I water everything in sight (including my shoes, yuck). I get up at 4 AM water plants and off to work or I'll get home at night and water then. Never worry about rot. The key elements I see is air movement, of course and water volume. I like to have the plants mov'in in the wind! That means exchanging the total air volume in my growing space 2.5 to 3X per minute in the summer. that's a lot of air. For water I was taught by an old timer to flood the plant so that the leaves/crowns got watered off (removing dirt harbering nasties) and fill the pot so that the mix "floats". The point being, a lot of water going through the pot pulls a large volume of air in behind it. This technique allows the mix to stay "loose" and postpones compacting of broken down mix. We all know that our plants need air at the roots as much as water. The only time I see rot is when I'm lazy about repotting a plant that has old broken down mix that has compacted. The roots are going or gone bad from rotted mix. Then the plant will "rot" from the base up to the crown very fast. Many times this rot is never visable on the outside of the plant but it goes right through the center to the crown. I water like this all year round regardless of the air temperature.
 
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Corbin

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I like to have the plants mov'in in the wind!
I have two shelves in a light stand. I have a small fan, about 7 inches dia., that runs 24/7 on each shelf. I have the fans angled down at the humidity trays and toward the back of the stand. I should add that the stands are totally enclosed. You can see the vinyl on the back rippling as the air flows across but I very rarely see the orchids "mov'in." I thought the air blowing straight at the orchids would be too much air but now I wonder ????
 

rdlsreno

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To me it is OK to water the whole plant but just do it early enough in the day to dry it up. Also, have a good air movement around the plant.

Ramon:)
 
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