Thursday, November 13, 2008

I don't sphag and bag my orchids

Many people swear by the sphag and bag method for orchid rescues, but I have never got the hang of it. I end up with either rot or no sprouting at all.

My understanding of sphag and bag is that a small amount of barely moist sphagnum is placed in a sealed bag with the backbulb so that 100% humidity can be maintained.

I have been working based on the theory that re-creating natural conditions is the key to orchid culture. I have tried to use it for tropical orchids that live in low altitudes. Possibly I am not using it on the right orchids.

I do use moist sphagnum for many of my backbulbs but not sealed up in a bag. I use it as a top dressing or loose around a backbulb. Often a pad of sphagnum in the bottom of a clay pot works well.

The best method I have found is simply proping the backbulb up in limestone, lava pieces or pea gravel and applying patience. Orchids are survivors and will regrow roots given half a chance.

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