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Can anyone help ID a strange potting media?

This is a discussion on Can anyone help ID a strange potting media? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Okay, so, I've got this new plant, and it seems to have something in the ...

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  1. #1
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Default Can anyone help ID a strange potting media?

    Okay, so, I've got this new plant, and it seems to have something in the media I'm not familiar with. It is fuzzy and white, and cottony, and very small. Smaller than perlite and not crispy like perlite. Size of an ant's head small. When I pull it apart, what looks like the powder of bark can be seen coming out. I went out and checked the packing material. A fair amount of bark mix had come out of the pot, and this substance seems sort of mixed in in a very sporadic manner.

    My first panicky thought was "oh NO! MEALIES!" But I checked that out online and this looks nothing like mealy bugs.

    Any ideas? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    LJA
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    Heather, that doesn't sound like any kind of media I at least have ever run across. Actually, it sounds more like some kind of egg case; that "bark powder" inside might be insect eggs.

    Not sure, so don't freak, but: you should probably run some insecticide through the media and repot as soon as possible.

    (And, even if it does turn out to be some kind of newfangled osmocote or something, no harm would be done...)

  3. #3
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Ok, yeah, that was my thought too. Just a bit more info - it is really wooly - and when I pull it apart, very fibrous and cloth like, almost like a pill from a sweater. Very much like that actually! There is nothing moving. Most of what I saw was in the leaf bracts (I think that is the word, you know when some media, in shipping, get's stuck down there? This and some bark pieces were that way. Plant was not packed too well, and bark was everywhere.) Just, found maybe 5 pieces or so on the plant, and a few more in the packing material near the rest of the spilled media. Which I removed from the plant and tore apart. Does NOT seem like some sort of osmocote.

    Yikes, ok maybe I should repot even though it is in bloom, huh? It is such a huge and healthy looking plant (pics tomorrow.)

    Thanks anyone who has any other ideas!

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    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    Heather, if you're not sure what it is, then why don't you just repot? I have repotted many plants in spike, bud and flower with no negative results ever. Just be careful not to disturb the root system as much as possible and the plant should be fine.

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    Pete's right. As long as you're careful when you clean the old media away to disturb the roots as little as possible, you can repot in bloom no problem. The only thing you don't want to do when a plant is blooming is divide it; otherwise the flowers'll go for sure.

    After your latest post about it, it sounds definitely insecty to me.


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    Heather is offline Banned
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    Cause I'm scared to!!!!

    Lol, It is just so pretty!

    No really, I know you guys are right, I should just do it. I'll do it tomorrow. Whatever it is isn't worth the risk - I want whatever it is out of there, bottom line! It is just so weird!! So, the curious in me want to know what it is.

    Thanks again, you guys! I need a little hand-holding on these things, I'm afraid!

  7. #7
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    You could always put some in a little jar and see if it hatches??

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    Heather is offline Banned
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    No Way! Not wanting to risk it for that long!
    If you guys think I should get it out of there, it's outa there! I want it in a new pot anyway. I happen to have one all ready for it!

    I'll be brave.

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    Well, I meant after you repotted, you could save some of the things out if you were curious...

    Bravery is good! Take some pics of what the plant and flowers look like; worse comes to worse, if you break too many roots, the flowers might go but at least no critters will be chewing on, in, and around your plant! (Well worth the risk, in my opinion...)

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    Heather is offline Banned
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    Oh. I'm such an idiot sometimes. That is a good idea, maybe I will do that if I can control my paranoia!

    I don't imagine the blooms will last anyway, and took pics tonight. So, those will be up tomorrow. I'll repot tomorrow night. Be brave, H, be brave! Worth the risk to me too. It is huge! And I am totally in love w/ it.

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