|The fabulous but frustrating Bucket Orchid (Coryanthes)|
Why? Coryanthes must be the orchid world's biggest mollusk magnets. While the adjacent pots of Phalaenopsis remain mollusk-free, it's rare to find a Coryanthes pot in any of our greenhouses that doesn't harbor at least a couple of slugs, and even worse, their minute evil cousins, the bush snails. Forget the metaldehyde, iron phosphate, beer, copper strips. It seems nothing kills these guys except the bottom of my shoe. And I have actually learned to enjoy crushing bush snails between my thumb and forefinger.
If the slabs look familiar to you it's because they are in fact simply the bottom of the classic cedar hanging basket sold by the major orchid supply houses. I think most people hang these slabs vertically, but I have decided to use them as rafts in order to retain a bit more moisture around the Coryanthes roots.