Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
Like Tree6Likes

Growing orchids in rock?

This is a discussion on Growing orchids in rock? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Most of my orchids are in a bark mix. I have one catt in lava ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Kathi
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    How can I pick just one???
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,397
    Member's Country Flag

    Default Growing orchids in rock?

    Most of my orchids are in a bark mix. I have one catt in lava rock, and have just acquired one that is in Stalite, which I am told is a lightweight processed rock. Both are in 6" pots, and I am told that the advantage of potting in rock for larger pots is that it is harder to overwater.

    The one in lava rock I have had for a while, and seen no growth...one eye started and then shrivelled. I am thinking of repotting it into bark mix, as I am afraid it is not retaining enough water.

    The one in stalite is new, and extremely healthy looking, with 2 spikes starting, so I plan to leave it in stalite. I think the grower said he waters only once a week.

    Anyone have any hints on growing in lava rock or stalite, or comments on how often you water in these media?

    Thanks--

  2. #2
    Vmax's Avatar
    Vmax is offline Member
    Real Name
    Vanessa
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Um, any one I have met.
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    63
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Hi Kathi,
    The plants I have growing in rock prefer less water, anyway. They are Laelias and are specifically rupiculous (thriving in rocks). My catts have all done far better in a bark mix, so I would probably repot into bark. I tend to water more frequently as temperatures soar, so that may not be so helpful for you in this case. I watch root growth as an indicator of overall plant health. Not too regimented, but it's worked for me so far.
    Good growing to you,

  3. #3
    orchidsal's Avatar
    orchidsal is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    AL
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Vandaceous Types
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    3,768
    Member's Country Flag

    Smile

    Kathi I have a couple Dendrobium's and a Epicattleya in lava rock and they are doing quite well in it. I do believe you need to water a bit more with lava rock as the medium versus bark mix's. It could be that your right about the rock drying out to fast. As you know Cattleya's like to dry out between waterings, but they may very well want to continue to 'sip' in between time. If it were me and its been a long time since you have seen new growth, I would repot in medium size bark, perlite, etc. I admit to know nothing about stalite and am hoping someone else can help you there. Good growing! AL

  4. #4
    leafmite's Avatar
    leafmite is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Leaf Mite
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    angraecums, anything fragrant
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    222
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Hi!
    I grow all my orchids in straight lava rock but for my vanilla to which I added other media. During the winter, I water once every six to eight days by dipping or soaking each plant in a bucket of water, depending on their watering needs. To avoid mineral or salt build-up, I don't use tap water and I fertilize every other watering. In the summer, I water more frequently, soaking longer in the bucket, every three to five days, if mother nature doesn't do the work for me. If the rain is light, though, I still give the plants a soak. The only problem I had was when I soaked one of my cattleyas a bit too deep and water got into one of the pseudobulbs but that is a tale for another day (the plant is recovering). I really love lava rock but I've also read negative reports of its use. If you do very well with another medium, I would assume it might benefit your plants to continue what works for you. Hopefully others will chime in with advice. Good luck!
    Leafmite
    Posted via Mobile Device

  5. #5
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Kathi
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    How can I pick just one???
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,397
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Thanks all. Since I have repotted a LOT of plants lately, and am sick of it, I think I will try watering the lava rock one a bit more often as suggested and see if that helps. If not, bark it is.

    The Stalite intrigues me, as somehow it's processing means it is supposed to drain well, but retain adequate water for the plant. The plant in it sure looks good, but if anyone else has comments about Stalite, I'd be interested in your experiences.

  6. #6
    Vmax's Avatar
    Vmax is offline Member
    Real Name
    Vanessa
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Um, any one I have met.
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    63
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Kathi,
    Can you post a picture of the Stalite? I don't know if I have encountered it before

  7. #7
    rich63's Avatar
    rich63 is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Rich Weise
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya & Den.
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Columbus OH.
    Posts
    952
    Member's Country Flag

    Default Growing in Rock

    Kathy, The vendor that I have been seeing almost every week lately. They grow all of their Cattleya and a few other type of orchids in some type of rock. I was told that there is only two vendors in Florida who use this rock that is from some where TN? That is why I'm always repotting my new plants. They know how to deal with type of meduim. It dose make repotting very easy. Soak for 10-15 Mins. and the rock dosen't stick to the roots like the bark. They do mix in a little bit of coconut chips and pearlite within the mix depending on the plant? I did include a couple of photos of the rock that they are using. This isn't lava rock, it is to heavy. I use to sell lava rock for ground cover, years ago. Good luck on finding the type of medium you are looking for. Take Care, Rich
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  8. #8
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Kathi
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    How can I pick just one???
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,397
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Rich--yes, that looks like the media this vendor uses, and I bet it is the same one! So, you repot out of this mixture into bark, I take it?

  9. #9
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    33,137
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Our vandas grow in lava rock, Kathi. I also have some living Spanish Moss draped over the baskets of lava rock to hold moisture a bit longer. I put lava rock into most of my mixes because of the how light it is and how it allows air to the roots of the plants.

    Cheers,
    BD

  10. #10
    panam's Avatar
    panam is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Patty
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    What isn't?!
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Yuma, AZ: The little corner where Arizona, California and Mexico meet.
    Posts
    3,093
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Great idea with the Spanish Moss, Bruce. I'm always looking for ways to hold moisture, and I have some moss just sitting there looking pretty...sort of... I'll have it contribute from now on!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Growing Among the Orchids
    By Bikerdoc5968 in forum The Jungle
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: January 20th, 2009, 06:40 PM
  2. Slow growing Rock Laelia
    By ABro in forum Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: July 31st, 2006, 03:07 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.