Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mounting Phalaenopsis

Let me start out by saying it was very silly of me to do this to an orchid in bloom; the only reasons I chose to do this at this point were 1) The orchid was almost done blooming, and 2) The orchid was unhealthy when I bought it, and I was willing to experiment with it. Also, this is another technique I learned from my orchid book, Orchid Growing for Wimps.
Though I'd snagged the last two orchid pots at Lowe's, I still needed one more after my purchase of 'aphrodite.' They had no more, and there was no place for me to find another unless I felt like driving an hour and a half away from hillbilly nowhere. I decided to attempt to mount one of my orchids! I bought a slim board and some sphagnum moss and headed on home. Since it was a two-hand project, I didn't thoroughly photo-document this journey. My orchid how-to book gave specific instructions, but I added a bit of my own flair. I was a little bored with just a plain plank of wood and wanted to add a bit of a decorative touch, so I painted a simple design of black vines on it. I then drilled two holes near the top of the board for the twine to go through as a hanging mechanism. I drilled on each side, going down the long side, three sets of two side-by-side holes for tying the flower stems in place. Then came the difficult part. I took one of my phals (the least healthy one from my Walmart rescue; I still wasn't sure I wouldn't kill it and wanted my loss to be fairly minimal) and removed most of the bark chips from its roots. I laid it down on the board and covered the roots with sphagnum moss, then wrapped the moss securely into place with twine, giving it the more country feel that my living room has. I used monofilament to tie the flower stalks into place, and the result was very pleasing to me. I gave the orchid a bit of a drink to wet the new potting medium only slightly. Here's hoping it doesn't croak!
This orchid will need daily spraying with a spray bottle, as it isn't in potting medium and can't be watered normally.

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