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  • 2 Post By raybark

Gneral repotting issue: moistness of bark medium

This is a discussion on Gneral repotting issue: moistness of bark medium within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I repotted a paph that I was anxious about; followed the directions on this site. ...

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  1. #1
    SMS
    SMS is offline Junior Member
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    Default Gneral repotting issue: moistness of bark medium

    I repotted a paph that I was anxious about; followed the directions on this site. The plant seems healthy and continues to grow. However, with this plant and several others I have with orchid bark on the top surface, it is difficult to determine if the plant is dry, as the surface ( or the area below it) does not really feel moist. Suggestions or corrections?

    Thanks,

    Shelley

  2. #2
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Did you cure the bark before using them?. natural bark in its original form is repulsive to water and needs to be soaked in water for a few days for it to absorb water. you could use a bamboo skewer to check the moistness of the areas inside the pot

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    If the bark is Orchiata, you do NOT want to soak it, as that extracts some of the dolomite used to adjust and stabilize the pH, and adding Ca and Mg. I prefer to pour a small amount of boiling (or at least very hot) water on the bark to only wet it. Wait 30 minutes and repeat. That accelerates the "opening up" of the bark so it will absorb more water. Let it cool, and it's ready to use.

    To try to get a handle on the drying rate, there are several techniques that can be use.

    The "skewer" method - inserting a wooden skewer down into the pot for 15 minutes, then removing it to see if it's wet - is pretty good.

    I have also weighed a pot when dry, and again after watering to determine the difference. With a little practice, you'll be able to tell just by picking the pot up.

    Then there's the "experiment" method: using the same medium, fill several of the same pot, but with no plants. Water thoroughly, like you would the planted ones. After a day or two, dump one pot and see what the medium is like. Then, after another waiting period, dump another. Pretty soon you'll know the drying rate and be good to go.

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Ray's advice is very good. Also be aware that Paphs do not want to be totally dry

  5. #5
    SMS
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    Default

    Thanks so much for your responses, sorry for the delay. I did pre-soak the bark, per the instructions on this site. The paph seems to be doing well, as does a new one I just acquired at a show. I started using bamboo skewers, and find that helpful, though will try the "experiment" method Ray suggested; really like that idea. Thanks again,

    Shelley

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