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Opinions on Potting Medium?

This is a discussion on Opinions on Potting Medium? within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; First, a little background - I care for Phals at work that my boss purchased ...

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  1. #1
    PurpleFlowers's Avatar
    PurpleFlowers is offline Junior Member
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    Default Opinions on Potting Medium?

    First, a little background - I care for Phals at work that my boss purchased several years ago (before my tenure here began), and which have been abused and neglected by various employees. They came from a local orchid greenhouse, and were apparently quite pricey and impressive when originally purchased. By the time they landed on my desk, they were suffering and not at all impressive. (My boss was quite angry that they had been neglected by other staff members, but really wants nothing to do with them herself). In any case, I took them back to the greenhouse where they were purchased, and had them do a repot (this was about a year ago).

    I was told they were certainly near death, but the medium they use would help to bring them back to life. They did perk up for a bit; one even flowered, but now they're back to looking rather sad again. Could the medium be to blame? It's quite different than the regular bark medium I use at home (where my Phals are all very much healthier than these two even though several were big box store rescues). The medium is called Aussie Gold Orchid Mix I haven't noticed any folks on here talking about it, so I was just wondering how good it is... Opinions? Should I repot the sad work Phals in bark mix?

  2. #2
    orchidlady's Avatar
    orchidlady is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    It is best to use what works for your particular conditions. If your other plants are doing fine, then these will likely do better in the potting medium your othr plants are in. I use Aussie Gold for my Paphs and they seem to really love it. Other people have problems with it. It can stay too wet if watered too much. For Phals I use New Zealand sphagnum moss, but don't recommend it to others unless they are used to the challenges of using it. In my conditions a medium that tends to hold more moisture works the best. I don't have much luck with bark. So, if bark works for you, then I would use bark. Photos of the plants may help with what the problems might be.

    Susan

  3. #3
    PurpleFlowers's Avatar
    PurpleFlowers is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply on Aussie Gold, orchidlady. I've been really swamped at work and haven't gotten a chance to get back on the forums here lately -- I have been thinking more about this particular potting mix and why I haven't been having much luck with it. I think it does have to do with it holding too much water, as the roots of my office Phals were starting to rot when I pulled them out to examine...I don't tend to overwater, so this was something of a mystery to me.

    I've done some first aid and repotted in bark mix to see how that goes. I have to say that the environment of my office is not ideal for growing any orchids either, as it tends to get rather hot and dry in here. I may have to see if the boss will let me take them home to my "orchid window" and see if they do better. Thanks again for the insight!

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