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  • 1 Post By chrisa
  • 1 Post By phraggy
  • 2 Post By ECC_lectic
  • 1 Post By stateless
  • 1 Post By zainal abidin
  • 1 Post By ECC_lectic

Lava Rock & Sponge Rock

This is a discussion on Lava Rock & Sponge Rock within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I am beginning to start mixing my own potting mix. Can someone tell me the ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Lava Rock & Sponge Rock

    I am beginning to start mixing my own potting mix.

    Can someone tell me the difference, benefits, and attributes of:
    Lava rock
    Songe Rock
    Perlite

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
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    Never used lava rock with orchids only in marine set-ups. I suppose that it will hold a certain amount of water but will be slightly alkaline and free draining.
    As regards the American sponge rock and perlite it is practically one of the same thing only the sponge rock has a much larger diameter.Both will have the same properties of the lava rock without the alkalinity.

    Ed

  3. #3
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    Never used lava rock with orchids only in marine set-ups. I suppose that it will hold a certain amount of water but will be slightly alkaline and free draining.
    As regards the American sponge rock and perlite it is practically one of the same thing only the sponge rock has a much larger diameter.Both will have the same properties of the lava rock without the alkalinity.

    Ed

  4. #4
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    I picked up some red lava rock at a landscaping supply centre, and after rinsing it about 10 times to get rid of fine red dust, and soaking it in filtered water for about 2 days, changing the water daily, I would say that the alkalinity issue is minimal, and is easily balanced by the acidification of water due to carbon dioxide. It's denser than perlite or sponge rock, and therefore heavier, and it holds water much longer. I find that plastic pots with perlite tip over too easily, but with lava rock, they don't.

    One drawback of lava rock is that the rocks are huge for our purposes, and unless you're potting up a vanda in it, you need to break up the pieces. I use a hammer and a masonry chisel, and it's not difficult at all, but it creates more red dust which should be rinsed away. A bit of a nuisance, but it's really cheap, and a pretty good medium once you go through the trouble of washing and soaking it.

  5. #5
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    I use lava rock for a few orchids some epidendrums and a vanda, I'm told that lava rock can accumulate fertilizer residue more than other potting media. I'm in florida and grow outside, so lava rock can take a lot of water and doesn't decay

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    Chris for short period is ok for long term is not good as ed said is not good none of orchids grower right now in Malaysia using this medium right know as compared a couples of years ago.

  7. #7
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    If you treat lava rock as a semi-hydroponic medium, mineral buildup is not an issue. It's a problem only if you let the lava rock dry out. And like with other media, you should run pure water through it from time to time. I have a vanda potted up in a blend of big chunks with charcoal and CHC. It’s a lot happier than when it was hanging commando.

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