CHC = Coconut Husk Chips, you may find Use of Coconut Husk Chips interesting
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This is a discussion on Bollea coelestis within the Orchids of Other Genera IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Originally Posted by Lars.Kurth a mixture of CHC, styrofoam chips, epiweb and perlite.. What is ...
A little story....
I recall when Pine bark was supposed to be disappearing ( about 1990 ) - the main supplier in UK at the time was stopping production of the sizes we wanted ; general panic set in. Then CHC arrived, and I heard all the talks about coconuts piled on the beach, getting salt-encrusted, etc etc, also what to do about it. I bought some quantities, and used it for some years in various mixtures. OK , but not spectacular I thought.Then it disappeared, and somewhere along the way the excellent bark I buy now arrived.
Also along the way I got commissioned by a commercial organisation in UK ( from whom I had been buying hydroponics fertilisers for many years) to "design" a general purpose orchid compost for use by non-orchidists, who had bought supermarket plants , and wanted to repot them. To this end I took delivery of a standard pallet piled quite high with 100 litre bags of everything under the sun - from foam, through charcoal to grit to several grades of bark with or without sphagnum and also Coco both as the rolled up compressed fibre blocks and as the chunk chips.
I did my stuff - the compost was marketed ( as "own brand" by two or three UK nurseries, and under the fertiliser name too - they even put my name on the bags). We discussed a royalty, but I took 40 gallon of concentrated hydroponic fertiliser - enough to keep me going until I celebrate my 150th birthday perhaps (?) well, for a long time anyway , as payment.
But I also made up 10 large UK standard trash-cans ( 75 litre size) of different composts and didn't need to buy anything for a couple of years or more. What I had left over was mainly the large CHC - which seemed too big for any sensible use.
But recently, run out of bark, and waiting for a show to collect some, I made up a batch of compost using the CHC large chunks for my Vandas - and they do seem to be doing quite nicely in it.
Back to my couple of rather ailing Bolleas - I'll have another look at them, with your post in my hand. Thanks for the info.
[QUOTE=Lars.Kurth;240551]Good luck. Seems the plants like similar conditions to Cyrtochilum, but slightly warmer.
Thanks for the tips! I have a Pescatorea klabochorum growing well in a pot and the Bollea is in a pot as well -- was planning similar conditions. Hopefully can post a bloom pic as nice as yours in the future!
I have a Bollea ecuadorense that I might need to think about repotting now...
Just to put things in context: the right substrate depends very much on your growing conditions. I would recommend against repotting unless something is wrong. On CHC and epiweb: I started experimenting with both last year and it works in my conditions. I find that a CHC heavier mix (about 50%) works well in baskets in particular for plants which tend to be grown in spaghnum such as Gongora and friends. I use it in clay pots as well, sometimes mixed with bark and sometimes with more open substrate material such as styrofoam packing chips and epiweb, but only about 30% of the substrate is CHC. You will need to be careful to find the amount of CHC that works for you. If you use too much, the susbtrate will stay too wet and your plants may suffer.
On the Bollea: I grow it in a pot and it appears to do fine. But I don't have long-term experience. So handle with care and don't make any fast decisions.
Beautiful! love the color combination.