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Potting Mix frustration

This is a discussion on Potting Mix frustration within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; ...

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  1. #1
    Businti's Avatar
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    Angry Potting Mix frustration

    This must be covered elsewhere so where is it?!!!!!! I have spent the last couple of hours specifically looking for potting mix recipes.

    I have 10 X Phaleonpsis, 1 X Catlea and 30 X Cymbidiums (just inherited originally from prize winners my Grandmother grew.)

    They all need re-potting and I know all need different mixes. Please can someone give me some recipes. I live in South Africa, where to the best of my knowledge you can’t just buy an orchid mix. Totally clueless but got the orchid bug badly.

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    For my cattleya I used a bark/charcoal/perlite, my phals are in sphagnum moss, but I wouldn't recommend it. As for the other, not sure, I don't have any of those.

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    Look for what is available in your area. Is fir bark readily available? Can you get coconut husks? Are clay pellots available? Styrofoam packing peanuts ( or real peanut shells)? Basically, you need something that will hold a small amount of water and will release that water through evaporation to the orchids roots. For cattleya and Phalaenopsis and other orchids with thick fleshy roots, a material in larger pieces allows air to reach the roots. For cymbidiums, finer rooted plants, use a medium that is in smaller pieces. Cymbidiums are even sometimes planted in soil.

  4. #4
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    Do you have palm trees nearby? I find the stuff that comes off at the bottom of the frond clump...when pulled off is much like the mixes. You'd need to chop the wood ends of fronds into smaller pieces and treat for bugs and fungus'. If I didn't think the neighbors would think me weird, i'd go around my neighborhood and collect some myself.

  5. #5
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    plan bark will do for all.the phallies ,cats and most likely the cymbids I would be puting into straight bark where its fir or pine bark of a medium grade, known as grade 3.

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    Thank you for all your replies. Pine bark is readily available. Coconut hisks only from one retailer in the country that i know of. I am quite happy to go and pick up some palm fronds from around the neighbourhood! Alana, please can i ask what proportions you use. It seems to me these recipeis are as ephemeral as smoke in the wind!

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    stefpix is offline Senior Member
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    you could get some coconut husks, wash them, dry them and either chop them or pull the fiber out. coconut works best for me.
    coconuts should be available in south africa... and a machete as well.

  8. #8
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    Seems to me to be about a 60% bark 30% charcoal and 10% perlite, but that is a rough guess, because mine is premixed.

  9. #9
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    Thank you, that is a great help

  10. #10
    Businti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefpix View Post
    you could get some coconut husks, wash them, dry them and either chop them or pull the fiber out. coconut works best for me.
    coconuts should be available in south africa... and a machete as well.
    I like your thinking. Just up my ally that kind of thing. going to do a little research. I will let you know how i get on. Coconut Ice anyone?

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