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lime supplementation for paphs

This is a discussion on lime supplementation for paphs within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I don't know if this has been covered before, so I'll give it a whirl. ...

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    Jmoney's Avatar
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    Default lime supplementation for paphs

    I don't know if this has been covered before, so I'll give it a whirl. I've read Antec's articles on lime supplementation for certain paphs. About twice a year I will remember to sprinkle a bit of crushed lime (the bird feed stuff that doesn't dissolve instanteously), but the stuff gets completely washed out after 1 or 2 waterings. And I will forget to sprinkle more. What do other people use, if at all, and how often?

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    We use crushed oyster shell here, the same stuff they throw out to the chickens. You can get it at a feed store (if you live somewhere rural and chicken-ey) or at a pet store that sells marine aquarium supplies. Make sure to rinse well and soak before you use. If your water's just a little acidic, it dissolves slowly with every watering, just enough to provide trace amounts.

    The stuff's heavy, so if you order it by mail, be prepared for some shipping cost.

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    Heather is offline Banned
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    Really - oyster shell? I have a glut of that at the museum left over from my native american garden that no one continued....Thanks for the info!

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    i bought some greenhouse grade calcium nitrate. im assuming that the lime is for calcium supplementation, right? would there be another reason for adding lime or oyster shell? for example, would it help the plants to have a more basic medium (not just additional calcium for uptake)-- ive read that chc is pretty acidic, so would the addition of the lime make the substrate more basic?

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    kewpie, yes on all counts!

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    Default Calcium Source

    Here in North Florida we just go out into the woods and find the dolomitic limestone boulders along the roadside. It breaks apart fairly easy and we put it on top of the Paph medium. I mark the Paphs that like the calcium with a red label, just to make sure I get it right.

    Clark

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    Which paphs do you find benefit from the addition of lime?

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    antec

    for hybrids, just base it on the parentage.

  9. #9
    e.muehlbauer is offline Junior Member
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    CHC, if you mean coconut husk chip, is not very acidic. One of its advantages is that it has a pH of about 6.8...acidic, but barely below neutral. Bark is much more acidic...redwood bark even more acidic. I add oyster shell to brachy's, parvis (except delanatii), complex paphs, and the strap leaved paphs (except rothchildianum) In addition, I use marble chunks on the bottoms of pots for brachy's and parvi's....as I think that it simulates the limestone rock that their roots would contact in nature. Does all of this really matter? Probably not....I do it because I think that it might help them...but in reality, they get plenty of calcium from DynaGro fertilizer, which contains calcium nitrate. Since Dyna Gro is somehwat acidic in the 10-5-5 stuff that I use (very acidic in high P formulas), I use Pro-Tekt in a 2:1 ratio (High N: Protekt) to bring the fertilizer solution up to a pH of about 6.5 or so....Take care, Eric

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