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Growing Media

This is a discussion on Growing Media within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi, I have a Dendrobiums Orchid plant which i got last week. It is planted ...

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  1. #1
    senthil is offline Junior Member
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    Default Growing Media

    Hi,
    I have a Dendrobiums Orchid plant which i got last week. It is planted in a clay pot with only Charcoal as potting medium. Do i have to add any other potting media to it. Since it is only big pieces of Charcoal the water immediately runs away, so how frequently do i have to water it.

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Dendrobiums like to dry out between watering. If it completely drys out in one day, you can water again the next day. What type of dendrobium is this? Some like a Shishir rest and do not require water or very little water throughout the season.

    If you do not wish to water as often, you could repot your dendrobium in a mixture that would retain a bit of water. (Bark and charcoal mix) Dendrobiums like to be potted tight, so don't change the size of the pot unless absolutely necessary.

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    senthil is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for the reply. I would like to whether charcoal can hold water because after few hours of watering it looks dry.

  4. #4
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    charcoal is very good at releasing it's water into the atmosphere, which is why they use it for evaporation fridges. I wouldn't use it as a medium for this reason. If you look around you can find all sorts of things to use for medium. For example: I live in an area that grows and processes huge amounts of sugar cane. Once the sugar cane has been crushed there is a fibrous material left over and is discarded. Many growers here soak it for 2 weeks to clean it and use that as medium. It wets nicely and holds water like a lightly wrung sponge. This is the perfect conditions for most orchids.

    Look around, if you can find something organic that will hold a bit of water and not break down too quickly, try that. Add some expanded polystyrene and a few pieces of charcoal to give more aeration and a bit of heavy metal absorption.

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    blrnut is offline Senior Member
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    you can use coconut husk chips with Charcoal

  6. #6
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    Default Potting Medium

    Quote Originally Posted by dudleyleroux View Post
    I live in an area that grows and processes huge amounts of sugar cane. Once the sugar cane has been crushed there is a fibrous material left over and is discarded. Many growers here soak it for 2 weeks to clean it and use that as medium. It wets nicely and holds water like a lightly wrung sponge. This is the perfect conditions for most orchids.
    I find this quite interesting. What liquid do you soak this in to "clean it" and what are the risks associated with using this medium?

  7. #7
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    We soak it in plain tap water, which we change every 2 days over the 2 week period. Our tap water is very good quality and the chlorine evaporates while it's soaking.

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    Default Growing Medium

    Quote Originally Posted by dudleyleroux View Post
    We soak it in plain tap water, which we change every 2 days over the 2 week period.
    Thanks for the quick response. I hope I get the chance to try this soon. I drive past several fields and at least one such factory most days.

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