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Roots Part 2

This is a discussion on Roots Part 2 within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Thought you might like to see this. A couple of weeks ago I decided to ...

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  1. #1
    TundraKev's Avatar
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    Default Roots Part 2

    Thought you might like to see this. A couple of weeks ago I decided to start moving a few things to lava rock. These two hybrid Oncs. were some of my first victims. I've always had trouble keeping good roots on these in a bark mix, so I thought they might be good candidates for the rock.

    I'm pleased so far. For one thing, the roots are really growing fast and second, they are so much easier to take care of. I do water almost every day, but I can do it where they sit. I just give the rocks a few squirts from my pump sprayer and that's it. I don't have to haul them to the kitchen sink and dump gallons of water on 'em to wet the bark. I think I used larger pieces of rock (1 - 1 1/2 inches) than most people do, but it's nice seeing what's going on down in the pot. I've also moved a lot of my Dendros to this and the results so far have been very good.

    In the second photo, I removed some of the surface rock so you could see what's going on down in the pot.




















  2. #2
    orchidaddict789's Avatar
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    That's great! Your onc certainly looks very happy in lava rock! Nice roots!

    I like lava rock. I find it to dry out quickly and prevents root rot, and is easier to water. I have a den in lava rock (decided to test it out since all my other orchids are in bark). So far now, lava rock works .

  3. #3
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    What nutritional properties are there (I'm assuming none)? And do you have to compensate for other trace elements or pH at all? (ie, how do you balance and fert in lava rock?)

    Julie

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    Kev-

    I've had some root problems with both my dens and oncidiums....seeing this makes me want to give it a try. Those roots look great. (another one for the roots and leaves club, eh?) Do you have any recommendations on where to purchase this stuff?

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper
    What nutritional properties are there (I'm assuming none)? And do you have to compensate for other trace elements or pH at all? (ie, how do you balance and fert in lava rock?)

    Julie

    These get fertilized like my others: weak solution, weekly. I guess they do get hauled to the sink once a week for a good flush and fertilizer. As far as the other stuff goes, I don't measure ph and all that. If I had to do that, I would stop growing plants.

    I would assume, there are very few if any nutrients in rock, but you never know what those roots are extracting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mde
    Kev-

    I've had some root problems with both my dens and oncidiums....seeing this makes me want to give it a try. Those roots look great. (another one for the roots and leaves club, eh?) Do you have any recommendations on where to purchase this stuff?

    Matt
    This came in a 50 lb bag from a garden center. I think it was about $5. It's the same stuff used in landscaping and comes in black and red. From what I've heard, either works well.

  7. #7
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    I'm trying out the same large lava rocks on a Brassia in S/H. Going very well so far. I should get a shot of the roots for you. They're pretty like yours, but not as long and numerous, last I checked. The only thing I really dislike about it so far is that it scratches up my fingernails when I pot with it. I guess I should either get gloves or be less prissy. I don't mind gloves.

    This is the new thing in potting for me: cheap. I'm testing out lava rocks and cypress mulch right now. Both are in the 'landscaping' section of the local name-brand home improvement store, and are therefore literally cheap as dirt.

    Oh – another thing: the lava rocks seem to work well as a top dressing in order to discourage squirrels from rooting about in a pot. I'm going to test this out by adding some to a Coelogyne pot that they just love playing in.

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    Good timing, I repotted a few Catts . today, they are in Hydrotron pellets , not one rotted root on any of them . I potted a Phal in cypress . worked well, no rot there either . I heard it has anti fungal properties Nice roots Kev . Gin

  9. #9
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Good results...congratulations ! Watering everyday is a no-no for me though..too many orchids to do that. I do have some lava rock in trays and find it stays wet 3-4 days.....hmmmmmmmm.

  10. #10
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    One caution is salt build up on lava rock. Just a heads up.

    I can grow an orchid on anything. I have one on a cedar shingle and a compact disc at the moment.

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