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"Cottoney/Spongy stuff" in mix.

This is a discussion on "Cottoney/Spongy stuff" in mix. within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a Dendrobium orchid that I notice was full of a cottoney/spongy stuff that ...

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  1. #1
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    Default "Cottoney/Spongy stuff" in mix.

    I have a Dendrobium orchid that I notice was full of a cottoney/spongy stuff that I thought had made media breakdown and possibly preventing air circulation around the roots. I had an emergency repotting this morning. Funny thing is The root were amazingly healthy and robust. Now I am wondering if I made a mistake repotting. Anyone experience anything similiar?Miller

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    A lot of growers/orchid collectors use pearlite in their mix to improve air circulation. That could be what you found in your mix. It's almost like styrofoam. In fact, I've seen packing peanuts used with sphag to help with circulation in phal pots!

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    What color and size is the cottoney stuff? I've had new orchids (usually younger ones) that still have attached to the center of the roots the medium they used as babies. It's usually greenish and can be described as spongey. I don't know the name of it though.

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    Nicki I've seen that stuff too, it looks to me like florist foam - which I find odd to use in orchids but I'm not a commercial grower.

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    Does it kinda look like polyfil, that stuff used in throw cushions? I've seen it once or twice in the potting mix, I suspect it's just an odd bit that got into the mix, it does help with the aeration of the mix though. Don't get the impression that it's too bad a thing to have in there.

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    Definitely odd and for me it's proven a pain at times to remove it from between the roots.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoStems View Post
    Nicki I've seen that stuff too, it looks to me like florist foam - which I find odd to use in orchids but I'm not a commercial grower.

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    probably rockwool. medium used in hydroponics, and sometimes orchids.

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    Thanks for all the replies, this is/was something organic that grew all over the bark. It looks like marshmellow and cotton had a baby! lol I can't think of a better way to describe it.

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    like mold? i had some white mold growing in the medium of a small LC 'trick or treat' and every time i tried to repot and use anti-fungus it came right back, finally, i took it completely bare root, and tossed the whole plant in a mild bleach solution in my sink for a few hours, then repotted in bark/deco rock, and no sign of it since.

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