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soaking before repotting

This is a discussion on soaking before repotting within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by L I Jane Traci-I never soak bark overnight as I never think ...

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by L I Jane
    Traci-I never soak bark overnight as I never think of repotting until I see a plant that can use it.One thing I've been doing in the past 5 yrs or more is making up my mix & putting it in a sealable plastic bag with some water & microwaving it for 2 min or so & then throw it in a basin to cool down either naturally or with cold water & then I pot.
    This way I can make up as much as I want --when I want--when I get the urge to repot!
    I thought about doing the microwave thing but didn't know anyone who tried it. Now I definitly will give it a try!

  2. #12
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    Jane, I never thought of doing that, but it sounds like the microwave would accomplish in two minutes what it takes overnight to do without. Thanks for the tip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by L I Jane
    Traci-I never soak bark overnight as I never think of repotting until I see a plant that can use it.One thing I've been doing in the past 5 yrs or more is making up my mix & putting it in a sealable plastic bag with some water & microwaving it for 2 min or so & then throw it in a basin to cool down either naturally or with cold water & then I pot.
    This way I can make up as much as I want --when I want--when I get the urge to repot!
    way cool idea, jane! have you ever tried this technique on chc? do you think this would work to get the salt out of it?

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    I *love* that idea, Jane. I'm wondering about putting it in a sealable plastic bag though - why doesn't it explode? Just doesn't make enough steam for that?

    It may be interesting to try boiling for de-salting CHC, but I won't be the one. The soak/drain/soak/drain/soak/drain routine has worked for me so far. Don't want to tempt the fates.

    Speaking of CHC, I recently moved a cattleya from bark into a dampened (medium) chc mix. Just gave it a few days of semi-shade and that's it. It didn't even blink! New roots galore. I am thrilled.

    I know, "John, get a life."


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    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    Jane, I never thought of doing that, but it sounds like the microwave would accomplish in two minutes what it takes overnight to do without. Thanks for the tip!
    I tried it tonight, but in a 'throw away' container. It works like a charm. I strained out the hot water, then ran cold water over it. It worked like a charm!

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    I've never had a bag explode on me yet--whooie-- I hope I haven't tempted the fates by saying this!I have a large strainer that I just rinse the mix after the 'nuking'to get rid of the 'mud' that has formed from the bark dust etc. Glad that this tip has been good for you Traci & others who have responded.If I didn't follow this I never would repot because I don't think ahead far enough.After I do a few bags --any leftovers I reseal so I can use it in the next week or so.

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    As far as CHC goes, I don't think you can get away from the soak/rinse/soak/rinse routine to get rid of the salt, although zap/rinse/zap/rinse sounds like it might speed up that process as well.

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    I wasn't planning to post just yet because I'm new but Jane's post about microwaving her own mixture got me interested. I have been growing orchids for over ten years now ( just a hobby, nothing serious) and I have lost count on how many orchids I have bought and lost over the years. Its always been a problem to me how to sterilise my medium when repotting. Using the microwave has never occured to me, thanks for sharing it to us Jane, its brilliant . Now, if I could only fit a 4 feet tall tree branch inside a microwave oven ...lol.

    Tanya

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