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Zeer Pot culture for Masdie's?

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Paul Mc, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    I just had a friend tell me that Zeer Pots are used throughout Europe for Cypridiums and that I might consider this method for Masdie's! Honestly, I love these, Draculas (yes Marni, I contacted you a while ago out of the blue before this forum about your Vampira 'cuz I'm in love with them, lol...) and Pleuro's!!!! Could this be the solution to keeping the root zone cool and moist and successfully growing these in Missouri?! Of course, any that bloom from below would be excluded.

    Please give me your thoughts and opinions on this. I've never considered an evaporative cooling system before!
     
  2. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    BTW, I'm currently using a modified vase culture for my Dracula lotax and the only surviving Masdie I have left. The Masdie is not happy and I recently realized that its because heat is building up in the water filled vase affecting the root zone. The Dracula though is completely happy but slow growing... I think the Dracula issue may be due to lack of fertilization which I have currently remedied with fish emulsion.
     
  3. lepetitmartien

    lepetitmartien Active Member

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    Never heard of this, but I'd be happy to know more about it, and if it's enough for at least a part of the Masda…
     
  4. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Me too! If its true, then this could be my ticket, perhaps with some modifications... But as usually the case, sound almost too good to be true, lol...
     
  5. keithrs

    keithrs Member

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    For you that don't know about zeer potting..... Zeer potting is taking two clay pots(one about 1" bigger than the other) and stacking one inside the other. Fill the space inbetween the two pots with sand, moss, or other moisture retentive mix. As the moisture evap. It cools the pots to keep the root zone cool.

    Paul.... I think it's time to be the guinea pig!

    The person who I believe makes swamp sticks has a mount that you fill with water to keep the mount moist and cool.
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think our member Alexey uses this method or some variation on at least some of his things.

    The Dracula lotax is a warm grower. It can be potted and the blooms will be upright or horizontal. I think fish emulsion is not the best choice. If you are looking for non chemical fertilizers, seaweed/algae fertilizer is worth checking out.
     
  7. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I think this idea is similar to the "cool pots" that one vendor sells. The pots are porous so they take up water which is quickly evaporated. The energy required to break the bonds of water molecules (heat) is transported out of the pot as evaporation occurs.

    This method is most effective where humidity is low or where there is high air movement across the pots.
     
  8. keithrs

    keithrs Member

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    If your going to use organic fertilizers then you'll have to mix what you use with others.... Like seaweed, fish emulsion, and Ca/Mg because just fish emulsion alone won't supply everything the plant needs. Also use about 1/4 of the recommend dose every 2 weeks and don't let the fertilizer sit in the pots as you will end up with bad things as there's very little microbe life going on to break down the rest of the fertilizer.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    FWIW, several folks pot up the cooler-growing plants in LECA in a clay pot. Standing in a tray of water, it's simply S/H culture with an external reservoir.

    The evaporation from the clay medium and through the pot walls does a nice job of cooling the root zone.
     
  10. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Thanks everyone! I will readjust the fertilizing then.

    Ray, I had bought enough Leca to do the pot inside a pot method, but was hesitating because I had encountered the Leer method. I was unsure which method to go with, but your idea about the basin if water does make sense. It would be practically the same as the leer, but I would assume your method would add a tad bit more humidity? Maybe I'm wrong though...
     
  11. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Marni, I was looking for other fertilizers because I don't know how the Grow More food works in distilled water. For my city water, almost everyone at the society here seems to agree that it gives the best nutrients.
     
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  12. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I have tried both Zeer Pot and S/H cultures for Pleurothallis. Never was successful with S/H, but perhaps it is something in my growing conditions. If your Pleurothallis are in the enclosed environment with constantly high relative humidity, Zeer Pot culture seems to be non advantageous. High ambient relative humidity significantly reduces evaporation rate on the terracotta surface and as a result cooling effect is minimal. Looks like Zeer Pot culture can be more beneficial in growing areas where relative humidity is rather low.
    My Pleurothallis are in walk-in “orchidariums” in double terracotta pots without wet filler. If I will have enough time this weekend, try to do temperature measurements of the potting media and pot surface.
     
  13. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Paul, I use RO water (for practical purposes were are both using water with no nutrients) and am very happy with the MSU fertilizer for RO. I also supplement some with algae fertilizer and sometimes just whatever is around. I am not familiar with Grow More, but you can really damage your collection by using fertilizers that are deficient in one or more nutrients when using pure water. You can help yourself is you use a couple of different fertilizers in rotation.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Paul, I have never tried the clay pot in a tray thing.... you're on your own, buddy.

    Marni is right - the use of a "standard" fertilizer in any pure water supply is extremely risky, and will likely result in a solution pH WAAAAAY too low. I have used the MSU RO formula since 2008, and really like it. About a year ago I switched to the K-Lite formula, which is a low-P/Low-K variant of it.
     
  15. keithrs

    keithrs Member

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    I used growmore urea free and had little problems. I did get much better growth with MSU. The price really isn't that much different.... I think you should give Klite a shot!
     
  16. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    OK, the measurements were done 24 hours after watering. Relative humidity in the growing area was 73% and ambient air temperature 19.3 Celsius. A pocket infrared thermometer was used to measure temperature on the surface of the pottery and potting media. An average temperature of the plastic pots was 18 Celsius, and 17.5 Celsius of the media in these pots. An average temperature of the external terracotta pots was 17.4 Celsius, 16.6 Celsius of the internal terracotta pots and 16.7 Celsius of the media in these pots. Note that I have double terracotta pots with no wet filling material between them. Using classical Zeer Pot culture in growing setups with relatively dry-air conditions one could expect higher evaporation rate and more efficient cooling effect than in my case
     
  17. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Well, I finally had the time to repot and I used Ray's s/h modification. As this is my first go, please feel free to add comments/thoughts/suggestions. Feedback if any sort would be greatly appreciated!


    These are both Masdevallias. I also potted up the Dracula in this, but after re-reading the thread I remembered it is warmth tolerant, so I will be repotting again, lol...

    I should add that I have a small fan blowing on the pots to increase air flow to the plants and to the surface area for evaporation.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1360529320.302822.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1360529344.058621.jpg
     
  18. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think the plants will be the best judge of how it works.
     
  19. keithrs

    keithrs Member

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    Paul... Looks good!

    I agree.. Plants will be the factor that determines how well it works.
     
  20. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc Member

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    Thank you both. I agree that time will tell. If this doesn't work, I've got another modification in mind. Please cross your fingers for me, lol...

    I was kind of hoping to hear Ray's perspective in this as well as others. As I said though, all thoughts and suggestions are welcome as this is an experiment for me personally. I believe that the more info/thoughts/suggestions, the broader my understanding of potential modifications will be.