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Preferred potting medium...

This is a discussion on Preferred potting medium... within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I know different orchids often require a varied degree of potting mediums, but what is ...

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  1. #1
    Shannara's Avatar
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    Default Preferred potting medium...

    I know different orchids often require a varied degree of potting mediums, but what is your preferred potting medium for most of your orchids? Are there any potting mediums you avoid using?

    Almost all my orchids are in a bark mix with either perlite or charcoal. Most of my orchid collection consists of Encyclias, Dendrobiums, some Cattleya and Mokaras. The only other potting mediums I use are coco fiber, seedling mix, tree fern fiber mix, and some well drained soil for my vanilla and spathoglottis. The Mokaras and a few mounted orchids have either no medium or coco fiber. Any seedlings are in a seedling mix. I have one orchid that I purchased that has aliflor because of its need to have very good drainage.

    I have maybe two that are mounted with a sheet moss but absolutely no sphagnum in any of my orchid collection to avoid the risk of exposure to sporotrichosis.

    Shann~

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    We typically use a bark mix for our assorted orchids. The large vandas are in lava rock and we have a few mounted orchids that grow with some Spanish live moss to help hold the moisture. I hate to admit it, but I have a couple of phals that seem to only do well in sphagnum (loosely packed around their roots).

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    My personal preference for most of the orchids is medium/large orchid bark in wooden baskets. These would dry out faster than plastic pots, but they work best in my greenhouse since I have to run the misters every day in summer (sometimes several times a day) to keep the plants cool.
    This allows me to cool the plants down without drowning the roots.

    I only use spaghnum moss for seedlings and compots. And even then, I have to pay very close attention to them since they can go from sogging wet to crispy dry in a couple of days in our climate.

    My vandas are either completely naked or in an airy container with LECA pellets.

    My cymbidiums are outside of the greenhouse, in the traditional large plastic pots with mostly 50/50 medium orchid bark + potting soil mix.

  4. #4
    Shannara's Avatar
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    I hate to admit it, but I have a couple of phals that seem to only do well in sphagnum (loosely packed around their roots).
    I only use spaghnum moss for seedlings and compots.
    I know a lot of growers use it and I often have a hard time finding orchids I want that aren't already planted in it. It can be very frustrating at times...especially when they are mounted with it and there is no way to remove it without damaging the roots.

    I guess it keeps my orchid buying habits slightly under control.

    Shann~

  5. #5
    playtime8978's Avatar
    playtime8978 is offline Senior Member
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    I have mainly bark as I tend to over water ( I am learning not to) but have a masdie in moss that seems quite happy at the moment. I have on order some Seramis for some recently deflasked seedlings I will be receiving near the end of the week so I will let you know how I do with that. I tried Leca but it was drying out too quick without a resevoir so wont use it unless I try semi hydro, I also have one in coconut husk that seems to be doing just fine.

  6. #6
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    I use quite a bit of Sphag and know many that do We have never had an issue with sporotrichosis. Why is that a major concern for you?

  7. #7
    Shannara's Avatar
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    Both myself and fellow coworkers have contracted sporotrichosis from handling sphagnum. It is rare but entirely possible if you have a batch carrying the spore....if you have any cuts or puncture yourself while handling it you risk exposure. The treatment can be costly depending on your insurance. After having treatment for over a year I am simply not willing to take that risk again.

    Shann~

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