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Phal potting medium opinions

This is a discussion on Phal potting medium opinions within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I know most people grow their Phals in moss but I was wondering if anyone ...

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  1. #1
    SlipperFreak is offline Junior Member
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    Default Phal potting medium opinions

    I know most people grow their Phals in moss but I was wondering if anyone has tried or actually uses CHC instead of moss and if so have you seen any difference in growth habit?
    It seems to me that CHC would be a better choice than moss, mainly because CHC can last for around 7 years or so as opposed to the quick decomposition of moss.

    Cheers,

    SlipperFreak

  2. #2
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    A CHC/diatomite mix is working well for me, although I do have two phals in moss/diatomite just as a test. there doesn't seem to be a huge difference in growth habit, all else being equal...

    they've been in for a few months, roots and leaves developing pretty well. I'll see what they look like after a year or so.

    p

  3. #3
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    Slipperhead is offline Senior Member
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    I don't own many phals but I grow mainly in 100% sphag after seeing the results at Norman's Orchids.

    After seeing the results of others, I'm experimenting with a few in semi-hydroponic. So far, so good!

  4. #4
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    A third of my collection is phals...I started out 4 years ago in a bark mix....bad results...switched to moss ,layered with styro peanuts...great results ,but too expensive when it came to repotting almost 100 phals ! I now grow mine in ...plus 1/3rd perlite, 1/3rd charcoal and 1/3rd Fafard 3B , which is a peat based mix. Best results so far and it is going on 2 years. Here is a picture from our March show of me with my winning phals... also one of them received the Best Phalaenopsis Trophy ! cute little orangy thing on the left side toward the front . Judges said it should be a winner when it grows up.... that was it's first bloom.
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  5. #5
    HollyT is offline Junior Member
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    Default Good potting mix for phals

    Great orchids, Gilda! I love phals, have about 40, and have experimented with several different mediums including sphag, coir, CHC, and the semi-hydro method. Sphag and coir produced good results (my conditions are patchy sun in a tree-shaded greenhouse in Wash DC area in summer, and inside under fluorescents in winter; water and fert good but humidity in winter is a challenge). I couldn't leave well enough alone, so moved several to S-H. Most sulked and a few died. Took all but 2 out and put most in a CHC mix with perlite and charcoal. Doing OK, but not great, in my view. I think the CHC mix is too airy--not enough contact with the roots to provide max nutrition. I think I'll gradually go back to coir with more perlite and charcoal---more like the pro-mix technique in this article: http://www.msu.edu/user/harveyb/mud.htm

  6. #6
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    nice job, Gilda! I don't grow phals much anymore, but in the past I have used bark-based mixes, a CHC-based mix, and s/h. I consider CHC-based to be similar to bark-based, except that CHC tends to hold more moisture and lasts quite a bit longer. I had a few in s/h and they really seemed to like it. Certainly more than paphs.

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    My Phals are in s/h(even 1 off my Phal gigantea seedlings & a good sized Phal bellina) , most of the 1,s i,ve given to friends & family have been put in s/h as well.So far no deaths & they really really seem to like it.
    Even my sister who can kill weeds has 1 off my Phals & a Zygo growing very happily after 4 months .
    Some of my Mum,s are in bark(medium size) & these grow well , i really do think that other areas of their culture are as important or more important than the medium used.

  8. #8
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyT
    ---more like the pro-mix technique in this article: http://www.msu.edu/user/harveyb/mud.htm
    Holly ,
    That is the article I found when I went searching for 'mud' receipes ! I also add extra holes in my pots for air circulation.

  9. #9
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    Great pic, Gilda! Congrats on all those ribbons!

    Because of our watering schedule here, growing anything in pure sphag would keep the plants' roots too sopping wet. As far as watering goes, I think the key to good phal growing is "cool, even dampness," so that nutrients are consistently available. To that end, I use a mix of fine bark, fine CHC, fine charcoal, and fine sponge rok. If you do decide to grow them in sphag, it'll help to pot them in terra cotta. The porosity will allow the roots to breathe better, stay cooler, and dry off faster.

  10. #10
    whatstomata is offline Junior Member
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    Default Greetings from a newbee

    Found this forum last week when I was trying to get sum info re: Miltassia Royal Robe, 'Jerry's Pick'. Started reading further and found how informative u all are and had to join...thanks! Now I feel a little stupid here as I'm not familiar w/ sum of the materials u all r using...chc and coir???? I've accumulated about a dozen phals and have repotted all in coconut husk with great results, very exciting for me as this is my 1st attempt. All but 1 has a spike or 2. Yippie do.

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