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Mix ingredients?

This is a discussion on Mix ingredients? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Jason, how often do you repot your plants in sphagnum? I've grown to love it ...

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  1. #11
    Liz's Avatar
    Liz
    Liz is offline Senior Member
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    Jason, how often do you repot your plants in sphagnum? I've grown to love it for my phals and I put all of them in sphag in April and I'm not sure how long it will last before breaking down. The plants are outside in clay pots.
    Thanks,
    Liz

  2. #12
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    OrchidTraci is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Jason, how often do you repot your plants in sphagnum? I've grown to love it for my phals and I put all of them in sphag in April and I'm not sure how long it will last before breaking down. The plants are outside in clay pots.
    Thanks,
    Liz

    I think it depends on the quality of the sphag moss. If you but it in some very cheap moss, you may be looking at every 4-6 months , which isn't to good to disturb the plants(I've had cheap stuff decay on the faster side. However, if it is high quality New Zealand moss(very high$$ but worth it in my opinion), you can keep in in the same moss for a year , maybe a little longer. Which isn't to bad because alot of orchids need to be repotted 1 time every year .

  3. #13
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    I've heard a year for New Zealand sphag (which is much lighter in color than domestic sphag). However, I use moss primarily for masdies--small clay pots, loosely packed moss, watering every 2-4 days...and I end up repotting every 4-6 months because any longer and the moss starts to really compact. I suspect the frequent watering is responsible for compacting the moss, but I use the clay for its evaporative cooling. I don't grow phals, so I can't really talk about growing them in moss, but the masdies at least don't seem to mind the repotting. Repotting something in moss just means pull it out of the pot, gently pluck off most of the moss (don't need to get every tiny piece off), and wrap the roots loosely with a wad of new sphag. Not very traumatic, and you never end up compacting the mix and pushing on the roots.

  4. #14
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    I've heard a year for New Zealand sphag (which is much lighter in color than domestic sphag). However, I use moss primarily for masdies--small clay pots, loosely packed moss, watering every 2-4 days...and I end up repotting every 4-6 months because any longer and the moss starts to really compact. I suspect the frequent watering is responsible for compacting the moss, but I use the clay for its evaporative cooling.

    I only used moss briefly for phals a while ago, for a sick plant or two. They didn't seem to mind the bi-annual repotting. I can say that the masdies I have don't seem to mind the repotting. Repotting something in moss just means pull it out of the pot, gently pluck off most of the moss (don't need to get every tiny piece off), and wrap the roots loosely with a wad of new sphag. Not very traumatic, and you never end up compacting the mix and pushing on the roots.

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    Heather, I think there are at least three variables affecting the choice of a medium that ends up working for you: (1) a medium that is tailored to the plant's moisture requirement, (2) a medium that works in your conditions and pot preference, and (3) a medium that you yourself feel good about using. Variable #3 doesn't get much play, really, but I think different mediums work well for different people depending on whether they themselves have a good feel for it and how it behaves.

    I'm moving my paphs over to a medium chc/#4 perlite mix because I couldn't get the proper feel for another medium that uses a smaller grade of chc and aliflor. Just couldn't get comfortable with it - even though a very reputable professional grower uses that mix.

    I really like CHC because it is clean, it lasts a long time and it doesn't break down very fast. I was very afraid to put a catt in it, even after tailoring the medium to that type of epiphyte and hearing testimonials from people. But I set my jaw and tried one. Most of the others are in bark and a couple are in diatomite/chunky peat. The one in the chc mix is doing the best and seems to involve the least guesswork. I think this may be because it holds moisture on the inside while drying from the outside. So it provides a longer period of moisture without that much actual *water* in contact with roots, so less risk of rot - especially when cut with appropriate sized draining additives. O'course I'll know more when I repot, but judging from the backbulbs it is very happy.

    John

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    Very informative! Thanks for posting John!

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