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Can regular lump charcoal be used in orchid mix?

This is a discussion on Can regular lump charcoal be used in orchid mix? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Originally Posted by chemist Do you really have one like that ?!...

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chemist View Post
    Do you really have one like that ?!

  2. #12
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    Chemist, unfortunately, I do. I've got a mini Phalaenopsis hybrid that I've had for almost three years now that has yet to flower. I though Phals were supposed to be easy?!?! Anyway, I would be willing to test out new potting media on this frustrating little plant.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCSchrum View Post
    Chemist, unfortunately, I do. I've got a mini Phalaenopsis hybrid that I've had for almost three years now that has yet to flower. I though Phals were supposed to be easy?!?! Anyway, I would be willing to test out new potting media on this frustrating little plant.
    That is a good choice for an experiment. On another forum, a grower from Vietnam grows monstrously large standard Phals in clay pots with big holes in them, full of coarse lump charcoal & nothing else.

    BTW, try exposing that Phal to some cool temps, gradually decreasing down into the 40s F at night. If it is adult size, that might be the temperature change it needs to force out a spike. All my hybrid Phals stay outdoors until we are in the mid 40s F at night here, it does not seem to bother them (I have heard others say to keep Phal temperatures no lower than 55 or 60 F, but I always let mine go colder than that).

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catt Mandu View Post
    That is a good choice for an experiment. On another forum, a grower from Vietnam grows monstrously large standard Phals in clay pots with big holes in them, full of coarse lump charcoal & nothing else.

    BTW, try exposing that Phal to some cool temps, gradually decreasing down into the 40s F at night. If it is adult size, that might be the temperature change it needs to force out a spike. All my hybrid Phals stay outdoors until we are in the mid 40s F at night here, it does not seem to bother them (I have heard others say to keep Phal temperatures no lower than 55 or 60 F, but I always let mine go colder than that).
    I have cooled this Phal the last two falls, to no avail. I bought this plant in bloom, so I assumed it is mature. It has grown considerably larger in the time that I have had it. I'm starting to lose my patience with this plant.

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    If it 's a MINI-PHAL (like a Kingidium hookerianum), since you haven't had any luck the way it is, you might try mounting it, which is how I have my mini Phal./bloomed twice since I got it. Better to check with the real experts though before doing this :-)

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    It's a Phal, Sogo Gold 'tris'. I believe it has a lot of Phal equestris influence. I'm afraid mounting wouldn't work with my growing conditions. I grow my orchids in an east-facing windowsill in my apartment. The humidity is very low in the winter and summer, and I don't have the time to water mounted plants everyday.

  7. #17
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    I've found that many times when I get a Phal from a non nursery store, it has been forced to bloom at the youngest possible age and is quite stressed. They rarely bloom again for a couple of years, they need to get settled in to your conditions and finish maturing. It may be that I don't take fabulous care of them (quite likely), but it usually takes me a couple of years to get them blooming again. I've a rescue or two that I've had longer than that and am still waiting for them to bloom. However the large healthy rescue hasn't been cooled to try to force it yet either. I'd give it another year if its obviously growing.

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    If it's truly Sogo Gold, it has no equestris in it at all, and isn't really a mini, which might explain the large growth you've seen, and also supporting Carolla's observation.

    On the other hand, based upon your observation, it may be that it's Sogo Gold x equestris, an unregistered hybrid, and whoever wrote out the label didn't know what they were doing.

    Either way, don't give up on it!

  9. #19
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    I'm pretty sure that it is Sogo Gold. It was in bloom when I bought it, and the blooms looked exactly like the pictures of Sogo Gold I found online. If it doesn't have any equestris in it's background, then what does it have? How big does this Phal need to be before it will bloom?

  10. #20
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    I've bought quite a few Phals in bloom on small plants, but for me to bloom them in my home, they are 10" or more across (some become quite large) and have 5 or more leaves, though the really mature plants will have 7 to 10 leaves. I have one that is at least 15 yrs old that entirely fills my kitchen sink for instance. It has bloomed on and off for many years. I personally don't know how large your specific plant needs to get, sorry! But please don't give up on it. Of course, I can't toss a healthy plant if it never blooms..

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