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Repotting, Oncidium, bark or bark and sphag

This is a discussion on Repotting, Oncidium, bark or bark and sphag within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have a Gilded Tower Mystic Maze. It's new to me (Sat) and seems healthy ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Repotting, Oncidium, bark or bark and sphag

    I have a Gilded Tower Mystic Maze. It's new to me (Sat) and seems healthy (6 nice looking p-bulbs). The missus bumped the spike against something carrying it in from the car, and we lost a bloom. This morning, I had the windows open and it was blown off of the table that it was on (need a heavy decorative pot to put it in). Several blooms broke (never expected them to be brittle). I don't think it will be too long before I am ready to cut the spike and repot. I can't really see what's in the pot it's in now, but the top looks mossy. This is in an apt, so the AC will keep the environment pretty dry. I've read that these like to stay a little moist (I guess like a Phal?) unlike my Catt that would prefer to go dry before watering. If that's the case, should I use a mix of bark and sphag to help hold in more water?

    And how do you know what size bark to get?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    jsehorn is offline Junior Member
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    Oncidiums have thin roots which don't like to be too dry, so you'll want to go with small size bark. Plants with thinner roots usually prefer smaller bark, and plants with thick roots like a coarser mix. If overwatering is a concern for you, you could use a mixture small and medium bark. I don't like to use sphag at all, but if you tend to underwater your plants, adding a little bit would help keep the roots from getting too dry. I see a lot of Oncidiums being grown in pure shpagnum, but that isn't for me. I grow my Oncidiums in a mix of fine bark, sponge rock, and charcoal. I'm more likely to overwater than to underwater, so this is a good mix for me because it is fast drying, but still holds moisture. The roots seem to enjoy it.

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    Thanks. I'm afraid (but not sure) that I might have a tendency to over water. Hopefully, that will keep me vigilent and I won't.

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    Good advise from "jsehorn"! Just remember what works for jsehorn in his environment might not work for yours, if you have a nursery anywhere close by you can ask them or other orchid hobbyist in your area to see what works for them, a good place would be a local orchid society.

    Personally I use medium grade for all of my orchids that are not mounted and make a my own mix on what I have learned works well for those that are in pots. I don't add sphag to my mix. I have as many mounted as possible with the amount of orchids I have, repotting every 2 years would take me forever if I did not mount.

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    Thanks, Jack. Will do

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    It is always a balancing act between water, media, container and environment. There will always be a range that works with one, with adjustments as necessary with the others. All 4 species that went into this hybrid like frequent water but not constant moisture. The media should be fast draining and well aerated. Mounting or growing in shallow pans is sometimes recommended. The recommendation for a mix with (lots of) sponge rock and charcoal is a good one, but I'd go for a medium bark especially if you think you tend to overwater. No sphagnum. Ideally it would be the kind of mix you could water every day when it is warm but it would be nearly dry the next day.

    Brascidostele Gilded Tower 'Mystic Maze' is vigorous grower that tolerates a wide temperature and light range. Good choice.

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    Lots of good info coming in Kirk and folks. Thanks tons! Keep it coming. I'm going to a local Orchid shop tomorrow. I'm hoping they've got some good stuff for media and fertilizer, and maybe some pots (and maybe an orchid )

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by notsogreenthumb View Post
    Lots of good info coming in Kirk and folks. Thanks tons! Keep it coming. I'm going to a local Orchid shop tomorrow. I'm hoping they've got some good stuff for media and fertilizer, and maybe some pots (and maybe an orchid )
    I sense a full-blown addiction kicking in...

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    Quote Originally Posted by notsogreenthumb View Post
    Lots of good info coming in Kirk and folks. Thanks tons! Keep it coming. I'm going to a local Orchid shop tomorrow. I'm hoping they've got some good stuff for media and fertilizer, and maybe some pots (and maybe an orchid )
    I get the feeling Steve that it is probably a good thing that you don't have a lot of room as an addiction is about to start!

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:56 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    I sense a full-blown addiction kicking in...
    I get the same feeling Kirk! We do such a good job of turning people into orchid addicts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDT View Post
    I get the feeling Steve that it is probably a good thing that you don't have a lot of room as an addiction is about to start!

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:56 AM ----------


    I get the same feeling Kirk! We do such a good job of turning people into orchid addicts!

    Enabling orchid addicts is our job! We love our work!

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