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Diatomite

This is a discussion on Diatomite within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So, just curious if anyone out there uses diatomite as a media. Is it good ...

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  1. #1
    sadie's Avatar
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    Default Diatomite

    So, just curious if anyone out there uses diatomite as a media. Is it good for standard catts? How about Rhynchostylis?

    Thanks--just looking for a media that doesn't break down to quickly, but I'm unfamiliar with this one. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hi Sadie,
    I have been using diatomite since June in potting up some of my phals, so far so good. I do a mix of 60/40 diatomite/ sphag. I like diatomite because it is very easy to use, free draining, ph neutral, non- organic and water retaining.

    I started to use it on my phal seedlings since s/h (LECA) was too cold for the babies in winter. I have tried it on phals, Onc. Sharry Baby and one catt, and I would only use this diatomit/ sphag mix only for phals under my conditons.

    My pots are lined with the diatomite at the base and sphag is introduced at a depth to cover the roots with a mixed layer of diatomite.

    Some phal growers in Singapore have had geat success in using this potting mix. The porpotions can be adjusted under different conditions.

    The people who sold me the diatomite use it with CHC, I guess diatomite is very versatile!

    Cheers,
    Juliet

  3. #3
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    Something to be aware of:
    "As reported in the September 2006 Issue of the AOS Orchids Magazine, diatomite absorbs salt and salt can be injurious to orchid roots. If diatomite is used, be aware that it will retain fertilizer salts and is reported to not respond to conventional leaching/rinsing techniques. If orchid mixes containing diatomite are re-used, we strongly recommend that the mix be thoroughly soaked and drained repeatedly (minimum of 3 times) to make sure salts from fertilizing are no longer embedded in the diatomite.Test for salts before reusing. "

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    Good to know....thanks!
    Connie

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    Thanks Laurent!

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambert View Post
    Something to be aware of:
    "As reported in the September 2006 Issue of the AOS Orchids Magazine, diatomite absorbs salt and salt can be injurious to orchid roots. If diatomite is used, be aware that it will retain fertilizer salts and is reported to not respond to conventional leaching/rinsing techniques. If orchid mixes containing diatomite are re-used, we strongly recommend that the mix be thoroughly soaked and drained repeatedly (minimum of 3 times) to make sure salts from fertilizing are no longer embedded in the diatomite.Test for salts before reusing. "
    Hi Lambert,
    Thanks for the info!
    I am aware about the 'salt built up' issue, but if the diatomite is changed around two/ three years and rain or RO water is used, I don't see any probelm. I prefer diatomite over bark because it is so clean and mild (ph neutral).
    The price of diatomite here in WAust is cheaper than bark, so I will continue to use it and monitor the ECC of my pots.
    Happy growing,
    Juiet

  7. #7
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    Excellent post! I used to use diatomite in my potting mix years ago, and I think I may have experienced some burn, but the plants didn't suffer badly enough that I would've stopped using it. I think, during these times, its best to go with what is cheaper - and just keep your eye on your plants, Juiet

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    Well--from the above, I think I'll skip the Diatomite. I love having people to ask about this stuff.

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