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This is a discussion on Gas Prices within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; hey everyone, Whilst wondering if I should add my old, dead blooms and such to ...
Whilst wondering if I should add my old, dead blooms and such to my compost heap, I stumbled on a question. If ethylene gas from unburned sources and methane from fruit can cause bud blast, then why doesn't a compost heap? Or is it possible for a compost heap to generate enough gas to damage buds? and come to think of it... if I have my plants growing IN compost, can they be affected in this way? all I know is that my compost is kept in the greenhouse along with my plants, and im wondering if I remove it maybe more of my plants will be inclined to bloom Any advice is apreciated. Thanks,
Drew, any source of rotting vegetation shouldn't be kept in an enclosed environment with your budding orchid plants, especially compost piles which are actively "working" and generating heat and steam. Even vegetative material which has already been composted should be kept apart, given the predilection for the stuff to attract insects and harbor fungus and mold that can easily spread to your plants.
When you say that you're growing your orchids in "compost," I assume you mean a fir or redwood bark orchid medium, and not vegetative household waste that's been composted down (apple cores, grass clippings and banana peels) or something?
Orchid bark has been superheated, dried, and "sterilized," but even so, here anyway, we keep all the components of our media stored out of the greenhouse, and only bring in enough at a time to work with so we don't risk the insects and nesting critters. The stuff in your orchid's pots will break down over a period of 8 months to two years, but not at a rate that causes the release of harmful gas.