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What medium,water and fertilizer do you use ??

This is a discussion on What medium,water and fertilizer do you use ?? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Two very good growers in my area, have switched their growing medium to coconut husks ...

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  1. #1
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Default What medium,water and fertilizer do you use ??

    Two very good growers in my area, have switched their growing medium to coconut husks !

    One is Line's Orchids in Chattanooga, a very well known grower of fabulous phals. They are using coconut husks(small) for small pots with a peat mix and larger husks for larger pots,also with some peat mix in it !!! This blew me away......before they were using bark,peat mix and sponge rock.

    I would have a hard time with this concotion I think....will have to see how this does in a year.

    Another grower that was using a peat mix for his paphs and phrags is now using coconut husks, with sponge rock added. He is also experimenting with semi-hydro. He said it is getting harder to find good fir bark...

    A our last meeting ,we had a phal brought in and the spikes were as big around as a man's finger!!!!! It was coverd in blooms and the grower uses Michigan State Univ. fertilzer.

    OK, so EVERYONE tell us your growing methods..

    Louis, I noticed in the orchid you sent , it had a mix of bark and coconut husks....do you also use this???

  2. #2
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    For my Paphs and Phrags, I use regular tap water, Peter's orchid food and regular medium sized bark/stones/charcoal mix. I also like lja's coconut husk mix.

  3. #3
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Hi Gilda,
    I'm just getting into re-potting, but have most plants in bark mixes that contain a bit of charcoal, chc, diatomite, and a bit of perlite. Some of them have sphag instead of the chc and diatomite. The paph mix I have that I've been using to repot has bark, charcoal, perlite, teeny bit of sphag. (really teeny!)

    I use grow-n-thrive fert. these days, which is 8-10-8. I bought it after using Grow More for a while because the vendor I bought many of my plants from uses it, and they all seemed happy upon arrival and have continued to seem happy.

    I use distilled water. In fact, I recently got my local corner store to place a double order for me. I average about 10 gal. per week for about 20 plants...soon to be more! in

  4. #4
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    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Here we use bark, coconut husks, charcoal, and perlite, more or less husk depending on how much moisture I want the mix to retain between waterings.

    And for fertilizer: seaweed regularly with every watering, fish emulsion as bloom booster (till we run out, which'll be soon) and monthly supplements of, yep, you got it, Michigan State University fertilizer!

    We started using that only a few months ago to try it out, so I can't really tell yet what the effects of it are, but a few growers I know absolutely swear by the stuff. Several have also said they still use bloom booster of one kind or another on top of it, but I don't know if that's necessary....

    For water, just plain old Arkansas tap--have never even tested it.



    Anyway, my two cents....

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    Heather is offline Banned
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    I find it interesting how many of you use regular tap. I may eventually give up on my distilled. Tho now they are getting it specially for me! I'm also supplying my museum w/ recyclable sculpture craft material! lol! It is for a good cause I suppose.

    People keep wanting to fill the bottles w/ drinking water though.

  6. #6
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    Gilda, I originally used a bark-based mix for paphs and a sphag/clay combo for phrags. A batch of very bad bark knocked off half my paphs and caused me to switch to a CHC-based mix with minor additives like charcoal and perlite. I was satisfied with that but switched after a year to s/h purely for convenience. My schedule would not permit me to tailor watering for certain plants that dried out a little faster or slower, so in s/h they all get watered the same day. (And I can stretch watering by a few days by topping off my reservoir).

  7. #7
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    very interesting....Heather, I have always heard paphs and phrags have to be watered with "good" water...so I use rain water...but Pete and Louis's growing sure proves that wrong!!!

    Is there a secret to judging when the CH needs watering short of digging one out and sqeezing it ????

    Also, what is suppose to be the magic to MSU fertilizer??? How is it different from dyna-gro?

    Jason, do you have pics of your orchids in semi-hydro??? A friend is trying it and so far,so good. She got all her supplies from Ray's. It might be time for me to try one or 2.....I love experiments!

  8. #8
    dahlia_guy is offline Member
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    I have been experimenting a lot lately with mediums. A local supplier sales compressed bales, (size of a loaf of bread when compressed), of CHC for 3$. I have been incorporating more of this in to my mixes and even have a few orchids in pure CHC to see how they do. It has only been a couple of months so we'll see wha happens. I find that it stays moist for a long time but can appear dry at first glance. Try using wooden skewers inserted into the middle of the pot to determine if it is dry yet. I like the Shultz mix because it has a lot of pumice and charcoal as well as small to medium sized bark. I also got a large gab of diatomite at the last show/sale I went to and have been trying to incorporate that in as well as trying 1 in pure diatomite. (not s/h) For fertilizer I rotate between fish emulsion, (still widely available here), and some generic powdered orchid food. So the short story is I am not very consistent. LOL!

    Travis

  9. #9
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    I grow many species orchids including Paphs and Phrags and use a bark, perlite, charcoal and occasionally pumice mix. I have a few species in S/H of many genera and they seem to be holding their own. M'm not a fan of CHC because of how fast it breaks down in my GH and fir bark is only $9 a 2 cu ft bag in my area.

    I use tap water and mix fertilizers to whatever is the cheapest. I do like the seaweed extract as well as fish emulsion.

  10. #10
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Travis,
    I bet it keeps you on your toes, watering all those different
    mediums..but I bet you will find one that works great for you!

    Persistance,
    The folks at Line's said the reason they went to CHC was that it is suppose to last 7 years?????? Did someone pull their leg?

    It is comforting to know that reg. tap water and fertilizer gives great results,too! I think it is like most things...someone out there is trying to make a big buck by coming out with all these new ways of growing.....

    It can be really confusing to the new grower. A woman at our meeting was told NO you can't grow anything under flourescent lights ..that you had to have HID....this was after a speaker had brought his flourescent light cart setup !

    It is through these forums that we can share our growing experiences and learn from each other...

    Thanks !


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