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Anyone reusing clay pots?

This is a discussion on Anyone reusing clay pots? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; If I have to make a cut on one of my plants, I will usually ...

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  1. #11
    jfrizz743 is offline Senior Member
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    If I have to make a cut on one of my plants, I will usually take a piece of charcoal that I use in my potting mixes and crush it and use the charcoal powder like you would cinnamon.

  2. #12
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    I have most of my orchids in plastic pots. I use the clay pots mostly to keep the plastic pots from falling over. The clay pots that I do use for growing plants in, I disinfect by soaking them in water with peroxide. It kills the fungus and it resolves any calcium deposits from water and fertilizer.

    Ania

  3. #13
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Pots can be sterilized with heat, so baking a clay pot is acceptable. I would not use any used pot without sterilization unless the same plant is going into the same pot. I have stacked clay pots in my oven at 250 overnight. Heat is not going to damage a clay pot, unless it is cracked already. Part of the process of making clay pots is exposure to high heat in a kiln.

    I do not reuse my plastic pots. They are cheap and I can not be bothered to soak those in a bleach solution. They go into my recycling bin for the trash people to pick up. I don't know if all states recycle but it is mandatory here and should be everywhere. IMHO. I do sterilize my plastic S/H pots with bleach solution.

    Even healthy orchids suffer to some degree from the various common pathogens. I believe, it is impossible to grow orchids and not have to deal with insect and non-insect pests and diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Without close attention, minor outbreaks can lead to disaster when a favorite or expensive plant becomes so infested or infected that it must be discarded. I have a fairly large collection but at least once a month I observe each and every plant most of the time more often. IMHO, to risk one of my plants by using an unclean pot is foolhardy. The plant is much more valuable than a pot. When dividing plants, I use a disposable single edge razor blade.

    When I add a new plant to my collection. I inspect it carefully and then isolate it from the rest of my collection to make sure all is okay. I also try to repot new plants as soon as I get them. Sometimes this can be difficult for I may receive many plants in a short period of time. I have made errors of omission n the past and have been sorry. I ended up introducing scale into my Catts by not isolating a plant received in trade. Before I discovered the problem it was wide spread. Part of my Catts are tiered above eye level on the back of a bench.

    To stabilize pots, I use pot trays. Pot trays also allow me to remove a series of plants at one time and bring them into the potting shed for inspection or repotting. Part of the greenhouse has rolling benches so pots would tend to fall.

  4. #14
    orchidslave is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks Geoff, Ania, and Ron. I've never heard of using ground charcoal on cuts before. I will have to give that a try. I agree that plastic pots are much less expensive to use - although it seems harder to anchor some plants in them - so I've only used them for phals and paphs mostly. They're also easier to clean than clay. Since I've had some problem with bark breaking down faster than I think it should which can result in snow mold, I've been thinking of changing to plastic pots and diatomite, or Aussie Gold, and I've been reading some of the posts about S/H and thinking about trying that. With 200-300 orchids, I dread "slavin" in the heat repotting, and the expense of it all. It's also difficult to find pots large enough for some of my big old catts. Any feedback you have in regards to this area would be welcome! Thanks again!!

    Kathy

  5. #15
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    I have slowly converting plants over to S/H. That growing technique should do well with South Florida rains

  6. #16
    orchidslave is offline Junior Member
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    Well I do have a shade roof over my benches so they don't get the rains except where it leaks!! I do collect rain water in a 55 gallon barrell and pump that water once rainy season starts. Have you ever grown in straight diatomite - or do you use aliflor? Do you think small lava rock would work, since that's available locally?

  7. #17
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Being a northern grower...the mediums that I use may not work for you and vice versa. I do have one Catt that I purchased at the Miami Show a couple of years ago that looks like it may be aliflor that it is growing in. I have some Catts in slat baskets

  8. #18
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    Wash them in a tub of water scrubbing whatever material is stuck in the inside of the pot, then soak them in a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and Alcohol for about 30 mins. Dry them and you're good to go. I re-use mine all the time with no problems.

    Bleaching is fine as long as you let it sit in the sun for at least one day to dissipate the chlorine. Do not re-use right away.

    The keyword here is: Sterilizing!

  9. #19
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    hey, orchidslave. i use ONLY clay pots, both new and recycled. good luck.

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