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Alternative ways to pot

This is a discussion on Alternative ways to pot within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    TundraKev's Avatar
    TundraKev is offline Banned
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    Feb 2005

    Default Alternative ways to pot

    I thinking of making some changes in the way I grow some Dends. hybrids and maybe an Onc. hybrid and wanted to get your opinions.

    Last spring, I got my first Barkeria and instead of mounting it or throwing it in a basket, I just plopped it in a tall, narrow clay pot with a few chunks of tree fern. Over the summer, it went from 2 leafless canes with three very challenged roots to a very happy plant that has been in bloom almost all winter. The new roots just grew all over the tree fern and the outside of the pot. It seems like a good way to grow this plant since the tree fern dries so quickly after being watered. Iím now growing another Bark. the same way. The tree fern has also not shown any signs of deterioration either.

    Anyway, with this success under my belt, Iíve been thinking of doing the same thing with some of my Dends and an Onc. It just seems so difficult to keep these happy in potting mix. For the Dends. Iíve always kept them in the smallest pots possible, use a fast draining mix, watch the water and still have problems with root rot. Especially in the summer when they are outside, itís almost impossible to control the water when it rains. Last summer was really horrible because it was the coldest one in 50 years and very wet to boot.

    The one Onc. Iím talking about is an old plant and doesnít seem to want to stay in a pot anyway. The majority of the roots are just waving all over the place..

    The other reason Iím thinking of making these changes is from advice given on another forum I frequent. One knowledgeable Dend. grower insists the best way to grow these is in pots with only pieces of broken bricks Ė something else Iím considering.

    Oh, forgot to mention I also tried the chunks of tree fern in a shallow clay pot with a Ceratostylis and itís doing really well too. Kind of seems like a nice alternative to the traditional mounting.

    So, has anyone tried anything like this or care to share your thoughts? Thanks.


  2. #2
    MikeWA's Avatar
    MikeWA is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2005


    I'm not an inside grower and with so many plants I don't get to experiment much. From what I have seen, orchids will grow on just about anything. As long as the required light, water and fertilizer are provided. What works for you may not work for me with my watering regime.

    But, I have orchids growing on everything from driftwood(freshwater) to a cedar shingle.

    I have an orchid growing on a crumbled concrete slab and I heard of someone growing in a bunch of broken up AOL CD's. I personally like that one.

  3. #3
    Gin's Avatar
    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    I grow both inside and in the green house , inside I use Spag. for the specie Phals . also have a couple of Phals. in semi hydro .minis mounted on a large cactus skeleton, Tolumnias mounted . In the green house most of the Catts.are in the expanded clay pellets but not in semi. hydro . just the pellets that way when they are ready to grow over the edge I can set that pot in another larger one , the Phals. are all in semi hydro . have mounted on a large grape vine mini Dend. pieces from a repot . broughtonias on old oak slabs . A mini Catt. on an old oak burl . Oncids . dangling in the air , they left the pot . There are very few plants in bark . This is just my opinion but I think less pot and bark is better . Gin the repot bark hater .

  4. #4
    peteMc's Avatar
    peteMc is offline innocent bystander
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    Jul 2004


    thank you Tk - i think the tree fern chunks might be a good solution for an Aeranthes henrici that I have read/heard has the same rot problems you described. i'll give it a try a bit later.


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