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Looking After Orchids
Orchid Moisture Meter
Moisture Meters For Orchids
For just a specific moisture meter rather than a combined meter, Jermic have this MOMET 2. It is a moisture meter which employs LED technology.
The 2 probes are pushed in to the medium in which the plant sits. This moisture meter can read the moisture content from soil, bark and moss, which means it is also suitable for use with orchids.
Once the probes are inserted, the LED lights come to life. They will flash green when the medium is wet, yellow when dryness is approaching and finally red if the medium is dry. You will then know whether you need to water or not.
The meter can be used indoors and outdoors with all plants and plant mediums.
Runs on batteries
MOMET 2 Moisture Meter
The orchid belongs to a widespread and very diverse family of flowering plants which have fragrant and colourful blooms. Orchids can be found in pretty much every habitat, just excluding the glaciers. The largest concentration of orchids are found in the tropics, particularly in Asia, South America and Central America. Species have also been discovered close to Antarctica.
Orchids are cultivated by many for the enjoyment of their flowers all around the world. The most popular cultivated orchids tend to be those species which are tropical or subtropical. The bee orchid (Ophrys apifera), fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) and pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidal is) are just a couple of species that are commonly found in garden centres for sale.
As well as cultivating orchids there are also devout collectors of the orchid plant. Such is the popularity of the species, specialist clubs and societies have been established throughout the world to encourage the growth and collection of the species, as well as concentrating on research and conservation of the orchid.
There are several uses for orchids as well. Their scents are often taken by perfume manufacturers and analysed in the search for new potential fragrance chemicals. Vanilla is part of the huge orchid family and the dried seed pods are used as flavourings in such things as baking, scents in perfumes and aromatherapy. In traditional medicinal use orchids have been used for the treatment of many diseases and ailments. The Chinese have been using them since 2800 BC.
When it comes to failure with growing orchids, over watering an orchid is the main culprit. When an orchid is soggy it will rot. Their leaves will turn yellow and go mushy as a result of initial over watering.
When it comes to watering an orchid you want to try and replicate a tropical rain storm. Not literally of course, but just giving an orchid a quick splash of water does not give it time to absorb enough water. A rain storm will soak and drench an orchid for a few minutes or few hours at a time.
So soak the orchid in a bucket or container to give the roots time to sponge up the water. Something like 15 minutes of soaking is ideal. But remember not to leave the orchid soaking too long as the roots also need oxygen. After soaking it is essential that all the water drains thoroughly out of the pot. You do not want the orchid to be sitting in constant water as over watering will result and the orchid will become mushy. Stagnant water is also a magnet for germs and micro organisms.
To see if your orchid needs watering do the finger test. Stick your finger in to the pot. The top may well be dry, but below the surface it may be still damp. Alternatively use a moisture meter to test. A good quality orchid moisture meter will give you precise readings and let you know whether to water your orchid or not.
Know your species of orchid. Some orchids require watering every day. Other species only require watering every fortnight.
Use room temperature water. If the tap water you have contains many chemicals and impurities, then use filtered water or natural rainwater.
When watering an orchid the water will tend to flow straight through the pot. This is because the potting media used for orchids is something like bark or moss and it does not hold water in the same way as soil does.
Small pots will dry out quicker than large pots.
Once a month flush out the orchid pot with running water. This will clean away and accumulated fertilizer residue.
Moisture Meter Guide 2010 Contact details:firstname.lastname@example.org
The complete moisture meter website
Moisture Meter Guide
To Care Is To Share
To successfully care properly for orchids it is necessary to understand how the orchid lives and grows in the wild. The rainforests of the world are a metropolis of plants and animals. The trees are reaching up for the sun and crowd together. The plants absorb light, water and nutrient striving for energy. The atmosphere is constantly of high humidity meaning that the place is always damp. Daytime breezes are warm, night time breezes are cool. Any debris left by plants, animals or insects will decompose quickly resulting in ample supplies of nutrients. This is the type of environment that orchids thrive in. Orchids grow as epiphytes and live on the trees above the rainforest floor. They have sponge like roots which absorb any water or nutrients and because they are out of reach from grazing animals, they survive and flourish very successfully.
Orchid plants do not grow in soil. They grow in moss of bark and that makes it a challenge when coming to watering orchids and ensuring that they have enough water. One device that has been designed and manufactured to help with this issue is the Jermic MOMET Plus moisture meter.
It is fair to say that the MOMET Plus is pretty much the most advanced type of orchid and plant meter on the market at this present time. The meter actually combines 4 different measurements in to one single unit. It will give you an accurate reading of moisture, light, humidity and temperature. As well as being ideal for using with orchids, it is more than suitable to be used with any other plant or soil testing. So if you are in the market for a moisture meter to test your soil and plants, the MOMET Plus is a more advanced device that should be given your consideration.
MOMET Plus Digital 4 in 1 Indoor Meter
Celcius and Fahrenheit
For a more comprehensive read up on the MOMET Plus and MOMET 2 moisture meter the official Jermic website is well worth a visit.
Orchids most definitely prefer high humidity conditions. Humidity is the amount of
water vapour in the air and ideal humidity conditions for orchids are 50 -
You can always mist the leaves of an orchid plant. Do this with a spray bottle and try to avoid tap water as it can contain chemicals which may damage the leaves.
Situate the orchid pot in a tray that has pebbles and water in it. Place the pot on the pebbles just above the water line. This will raise humidity levels. Never sit the pot in the water or the roots will rot and change the water twice a week to keep it clean and keep mosquitoes away.
Situate the orchid near moving water. You can place an orchid near to a fountain for instance and the moving water will evaporate and increase humidity levels.
Place orchids together. During the day orchid leaves will transpire, giving out water vapour and hence humidifying the air. If you have orchids in a group then a small humid zone will be created around the orchid group.
Buy a humidifier. Perfect for indoors just as long as it is a cool mist version and not a steam version.
Air movement is also important for an orchid to thrive. In the rainforest the orchid will be exposed to both strong winds and mild breezes. So place the orchid near to a fan or open window now and again to give it air movement of a gentle nature. Though allowing a small breeze, be careful that the breeze does not dry out the air and take away the humidity.
As well as air movement the orchid also requires good air quality. Ripening fruit and cigarette smoke give off an invisible and odourless gas called ethylene for example. So orchids need to be kept away from these. If the area you live in is a polluted area then you need to experiment with different species of orchid to see which ones can survive there.
Light is essential for the orchid and insufficient levels of light are one of the main reasons for an orchid failing to bloom. However different species of orchid require different levels of light. But if your orchid has light green leaves then usually it will be receiving enough light to bloom. Dark green leaves are an indicator that your orchid requires more light.
Artificial light and fluorescent light can provide light sources for orchids and do prove to be successful with certain orchids such as Paphiopedilum.
Some orchids require bright light but no direct sunlight. The direct sunlight can cause the leaves to sunburn which will leave large dead spots on them. These orchids require bright shade.
The majority of orchids can handle bright and direct sun. The best sun is the morning sun. For midday sun and afternoon sun though it is best to protect your orchids.
When moving an orchid in to brighter light you need to give the flower a couple of weeks to adjust. So introduce the plant gradually to brighter light and ensure that it still receives adequate water and humidity.
When it comes to temperatures that orchids thrive in, there are actually three temperature zones for orchids and each species of orchid has it’s ideal temperature zone.
These species require daytime temperatures ranging from 70 -
The temperature range here is from 60 -
These orchids require a temperature range of between 50 -
All orchids require a nightly drop in temperature to allow the natural chemical reaction cycle of the plant to take place.
In order for the orchid to bloom it will require fertilizer. Be careful here though not to over fertilize or under fertilize. Of the two, it is better to under fertilize. Generally it is a good idea to fertilize your orchid every 2 weeks in Spring and the summer period. For the Autumn and winter periods, once a month is adequate enough.
By far the easiest way to fertilize an orchid is to use a balanced plant fertilizer in spring, summer and winter.
Some orchids will cherish a high nitrogen fertilizer in spring and summer and a low nitrogen fertilizer in the Autumn.
There is specialist orchid food available for your orchid. But if you do not use this then regular plant food will suffice as long as you dilute it.
As well as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, the orchid requires sulphur, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, boron, chlorine and cobalt. These will all be found in good quality fertilizers.
Orchids do not grow in soil because the soil will not allow enough air flow around the orchid roots. Tree bark and moss are the two most common potting medias used with orchids. These allow the orchid roots to grip on and allow sufficient air movement. In a pot these are usually combined with charcoal or perlite to keep the mix open.
The majority of orchids are air plants. This means that they grow with their roots exposed to the elements in the wild. In a pot this can be difficult to replicate as the potting media can decompose and air movement is restricted.
Once an orchid has bloomed it is an ideal time to re pot it.
The pots to use with orchids are either plastic, clay or ceramic ones. They must be clean and have drainage holes in them. Plastic pots are the best choice as they retain moisture better.
Pot size is all important with your orchid. An orchid prefers to be cramped in a small pot.
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