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 Post subject: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:06 am
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA, USA
As a new member I have read all the comments about root pruning, but have a slightly different related question. How big is too big?

The indoor phal in the attached photo is about 40 years old and had been repotted in medium bark until the last two years when NZ spagnum was been used. The color of the leaves is lighter than appears in the photo and the plat gets plenty of light and morning sun. Since changing the medium it has grown very rapidly, while continuing to flower annually with one large spike of what I presume are non-hybrid, large white flowers (sorry I have no pictures), almost always 8 -10 blooms per spike and this year additional blooms as a late extension of the already fully blooming spike. I have two related questions for the experts on the board:

(1) Previously an old leaf died as a new one grew which kept the top growth manageable, now I seem to have an ever expanding fan of healthy leaves, why the change after so many years? and (2) with so much top growth to support I presume the plant will need all its healthy roots when I repot - just how do you handle such a massive root ball and probably a 10inch pot ?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:34 pm
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I have the same problem !
http://www.orchidboard.com/community/hy ... scope.html


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Wow, I wish I had these problems. Bet the new growth is due to new potting media, but the experts should chime in here.


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:27 pm 
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I don't understand---why is this a problem? This is what healthy Phals should do.


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:42 am 
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loujost wrote:
I don't understand---why is this a problem? This is what healthy Phals should do.


That's true, Lou... and some crosses get huger than others ;) When they grow bigger I take a bigger pot and put the freshly grown roots in and let them grow on ;)
If I don't have enough space for the growing plants I need to reduce my collection ;) I'm always happy with those who love to make many roots - means mostly I have a strong, healthy plant.
I know that some people cut healthy roots so that a plant can fit into a smaller pot. Hmm, it is just not my way...but that's not carved in stone, just the way I see it...

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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:01 am 
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in my example the major problem is that I will soon run out of indoor space to place the plant. I have just repotted into a 1.5g / 5.75l pot. Keeping the conditions just right for an orchid in a pot that size is a problem in itself.
Mine is in medium bark. I have always read that sphagnum should/can only be used in pots 6 in or less. The OP is in new territory with a 10in pot !


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:14 am 
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I would compare root pruning to growing bonsai tree. It's not exactly the same but to keep the plant manageable.
I can grow a large plant in a smaller pot tightly with moss only. Plant doesn't develop as large of a root system. However the leaf span will still be large if its a complex hybrid. I like it this way because smaller pot weigh less and easier to move around compare to large 10 inch pot using heavier open mix like bark charcoal etc

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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:49 am 
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Peter, that's a good point - difference between bark mix and moss... As I said everyone should decided what is best for him/her.

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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA, USA
I still have to decide how to repot my 40 year-old phal. As you can see, it is in almost full bloom (its usual 9-10 blossom burst) so I will have to wait awhile. My inclination is to just repot into 10 inch clay with the same fresh sphagnum mix and minimum root pruning. It is now producing its fifth fan of leaves all of which show no signs of deterioration. I would not even know where it could be pruned on top and I would not wish to harm it in any way. I suspect it could outlive me and there is something about the pristine simplicity of the flowers I find most attractive despite my appreciation for the multiplicity of shapes, colors and perfumes in more modern hybrids.

Thanks for all the input


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:16 pm 
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you know your plant better than anyone else and you should go with your gut feel on this.
BTW I will probably donate mine to a Botanic garden if I can't ( as in nobody wants the responsibility ) hand it down to anyone in the family.
I made the "mistake" of buying some >50 years old paphs from a widow who was downsizing, now I stress quite a bit about them being in "perfect" cultural conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA, USA
For anyone interested, I left the plant it its existing pot until 2015 when I had the courage to give it a "haircut", cutting the plant just below the surface and then trimming all the leaves from the first couple of inches of the top portion. I repotted that portion in a new pot the same size and with the same type of medium after allowing the cuts to dry in the air for 24 hours. To my surprise, the plant immediately put out a mass of air roots well above the surface which all dipped down and buried themselves in the medium. Now, those roots have dried up from the stem outwards and the plant has new roots growing healthily from the portion of the replanted stem below the surface of the medium. I need not have worried, the old gal knew what to do!


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:05 am 
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Good job! Pics please.


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:29 am 
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I have dozens of large plants in 8in. pots in sphagnum moss,leaf span 14 to 18 in. or so,this year I did something that might sound strange,I took about 6 or 8 plants out of their pots,sterilized a trimer each time and cut off half of the roots and put the plants in a clean pot and fresh moss on top,they are starting to bloom now,I have more to do next year,glenn


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 Post subject: Re: When is healthy too healthy?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:39 am 
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I should have said that I cut the whole bottom half of the plant and planted the top half,glenn


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