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My cattleya Clubs Tra Vinh Town VietNam

This is a discussion on My cattleya Clubs Tra Vinh Town VietNam within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; im very interested in the media that these orchids are grown in. Someone said that ...

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  1. #231
    Lonestar Cattleya is offline Junior Member
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    im very interested in the media that these orchids are grown in. Someone said that they are planted in fern roots? why have I never seen this before? and it looks like it works VERY well on these Catts.

  2. #232
    catttan's Avatar
    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonestar Cattleya View Post
    im very interested in the media that these orchids are grown in. Someone said that they are planted in fern roots? why have I never seen this before? and it looks like it works VERY well on these Catts.
    I grow my cattelyas in different types of media - the majority in charcoal, some in coconut husks, some in broken bricks and charcoal and a few in fern root only or charcoal with a layer of fern root top dressing. In the 1950s and 60s it was quite common for catts to be grown in Hawaiian hapu'u fern root or fir bark. But with the dwindling supply of fern root and conservation awareness it is no longer the medium of choice. A tree fern that takes decades to grow can supply only a few kg of usable root. In Malaysia here we have our tree ferns as well but they grow mostly on the highlands. It is an offence to cut down these ferns and the fern root we manage to get are sourced from the orang asli or the aborigines, who are the only people allowed to collect them.

    So the growing media depend very much upon supply, availability, suitability of the media to our growing culture and climate/micro climate and even the advice and example (right or wrong) from other orchid growers. Charcoal seems to suit my growing conditions here the best (outdoors 24/7, 50% shade, high rainfall 100-120 inches annually, high temp and humidity). Coconut husk retains too much moisture for me and is used mostly for young plants; bark is too expensive(imported); fern is very good as it doesn't break down as fast as bark but difficult to obtain. Finally, what works best for you is the right media though you may have to experiment a bit.

  3. #233
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
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    For at least 70 years, fern roots ( Osmunda regalis - the Royal fern) was the preferred media for growing orchids. Often mixed with sphagnum moss. No fertiliser used, the natural breakdown of the materials provided all that was needed. Also, if the water was good, the moss carried on growing ( slowly) and its colour gave a wonderful guide to the need for water. When it turuns white, it is dry ; green it is wet . Sphagnum moss - the right kind ( there are a dozen different species ) can hold 19 times its own weight of water when saturated. No fert' by the way because that can kill it - the moss - and hasten decay of the mix. But potting with this mix is a skill, which it takes time to learn ; we used potting sticks and rammed it into the pot...sometimes the pot then broke, and you had to start all over. The test of good potting was to lift the plant by its leaves and see if if the pot fell off ; if it did, it was not tight enough. No stakes needed ! Repotting is needed more frequently than in S/H , bark, peat etc - usually every 18 months or two years at max, depending on frequency of watering. It really needs a porous clay pot - the old-fashioned hand thrown thick walled kind, not the modern machine made thin- and much less porous ones . Plastic pots don't let the air througheither, so the mix would stay too wet too long. But with all those advantages ( and some disadvantages) , why did the world give up using it ? Easy - when I was an orchid Soc. Secretary in the 1960s I bought Osmunda for the club - paid 20 pounds sterling for a 120 pound weight ( say 50Kg) bale; by 1970 it had risen to 200 pounds and we were joking that the compost cost more than the plant - but had to be renewed so frequently, it was cheaper to throw the plant away and buy another.. eventually, even if we wanted it, we couldn't get it - supply and demand - it had all been collected out .
    History !

  4. #234
    catttan's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Dorsetman;264353]For at least 70 years, fern roots ( Osmunda regalis - the Royal fern) was the preferred media for growing orchids. .....................


    Thanks Geoff for the extra info. Very interesting story to go with it too.

  5. #235
    nen's Avatar
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    Nice colours!

  6. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    For at least 70 years, fern roots ( Osmunda regalis - the Royal fern) was the preferred media for growing orchids. Often mixed with sphagnum moss. No fertiliser used, the natural breakdown of the materials provided all that was needed. Also, if the water was good, the moss carried on growing ( slowly) and its colour gave a wonderful guide to the need for water. When it turuns white, it is dry ; green it is wet . Sphagnum moss - the right kind ( there are a dozen different species ) can hold 19 times its own weight of water when saturated. No fert' by the way because that can kill it - the moss - and hasten decay of the mix. But potting with this mix is a skill, which it takes time to learn ; we used potting sticks and rammed it into the pot...sometimes the pot then broke, and you had to start all over. The test of good potting was to lift the plant by its leaves and see if if the pot fell off ; if it did, it was not tight enough. No stakes needed ! Repotting is needed more frequently than in S/H , bark, peat etc - usually every 18 months or two years at max, depending on frequency of watering. It really needs a porous clay pot - the old-fashioned hand thrown thick walled kind, not the modern machine made thin- and much less porous ones . Plastic pots don't let the air througheither, so the mix would stay too wet too long. But with all those advantages ( and some disadvantages) , why did the world give up using it ? Easy - when I was an orchid Soc. Secretary in the 1960s I bought Osmunda for the club - paid 20 pounds sterling for a 120 pound weight ( say 50Kg) bale; by 1970 it had risen to 200 pounds and we were joking that the compost cost more than the plant - but had to be renewed so frequently, it was cheaper to throw the plant away and buy another.. eventually, even if we wanted it, we couldn't get it - supply and demand - it had all been collected out .
    History !
    Thanks for the info, Geoff.

  7. #237
    culanluasg's Avatar
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  8. #238
    culanluasg's Avatar
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    the big cattleya No 075 (cattleya hybrid import from Taiwan)
    the second blooming


  9. #239
    culanluasg's Avatar
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    Blc Haadyai Delight

  10. #240
    123orchids's Avatar
    123orchids is offline Senior Member
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    Wow they are just gorgeous and very well grown. Congratulations, my catts still have not bloomed but I am patient.

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