Phalaenopsis - repotted by using scoria July 13-2017

A friend recently gave me a phalaenopsis orchid to look after. After finished flowering she had no idea what to do with it. Actually, phalaenopsis is one of orchid species that I will not grow too many of them. One reason is that they have to be kept indoor here in Melbourne, and we do not have enough suitable space for them. Other reason is that they are very prone to root problems. Recently I tried to grow few phalaenopsis kokedamas, and it seem that they do quite well though the moss balls are easy to get dry.

 

Like all phalaenopsis orchids that are sold in shops, this one was also grown in compacted sphagnum moss. The plastic pot was wrapped in fancy florist gift wrappers, and when I got rid of the wrap and took the plant out of the pot, the moss was soaking wet. I had no other choice but to re-pot the plant immediately. I had no orchid potting media left and there was not enough fresh sphagnum moss to do kokedama, so I decided to use scoria pebbles (lava rocks). I saw people online use them and I think that the porous pebbles are suitable for phalaenopsis. It will have good drainage and air circulation. The porous and uneven surface will retain good amount of moisture for the roots to grow.

Red Scoria

It seemed that the plant just recently watered without getting rid of the wrapping, the result was that the water could not escape. The drenched sphagnum moss had started to blacken, but fortunately most of the roots are fine. Well, hopefully it will be happy to grow in the new potting media. It was the first time for me to try to use scoria for growing an orchid.

Phalaenopsis - After repotting July 13-2017

Note July 18-2017:

I replanted this phalaenopsis orchid by using ‘semi water culture’ method which I think is more suitable. The roots are left bare and in glass container the growing progress of the roots can be easily monitored. The naked roots can absorb sunlight and oxygen which are important for their health. The roots are completely soaked in water for 2 days in a week, while the remaining 5 days are left dry. How it looks like now:

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