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Thread: does anyone grow in straight charcoal?

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  1. #1
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    Clara
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    Default does anyone grow in straight charcoal?

    I'm thinking of potting my catts and dendrobiums in plastic baskets in charcoal so that I can water them daily with an automatic timer. has anyone tried this? Or I could grow them bare root but I'm not sure how to. Just stick them in a clay pot with no media? I don't have room to hang them all. Thanks for any help or suggestions. Clara

  2. #2
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    Bruce Brown
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weetamoo View Post
    I'm thinking of potting my catts and dendrobiums in plastic baskets in charcoal so that I can water them daily with an automatic timer. has anyone tried this? Or I could grow them bare root but I'm not sure how to. Just stick them in a clay pot with no media? I don't have room to hang them all. Thanks for any help or suggestions. Clara
    Hi Clara,
    If you water regularly growing on charcoal should not be an issue. We have grown in just lava rock before. Good luck!

    cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
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    Thanks Bruce! I'm very glad to hear that. Clara

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    Ray Barkalow
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    Default

    Clara, you might also consider LECA - lightweight expanded clay aggregate. It will be a bit heavier than charcoal, so provide more stability.

    One thing to keep in mind: changing the potting medium will mean the root system will have to change as well, so that the new root growth will be optimized for the new environment.

    Read this - it applies to all repotting.

  5. #5
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    Zainal Abidin Bin Othman
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    Cattleyas and dendrobiums they love charcoal very much you will enjoy it later all the best.

  6. #6
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    Clara
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    Thanks Ray, a very informative article.

    can i pot in pebbles? or a mix of charcoal and pebbles? do they drain as fast as charcoal? I have a lot of little pebbles.

    ---------- Post Merged at 12:43 PM ----------

    thanks Zainal,
    I potted a couple in charcoal weeks ago and I've waited to see how they're doing and they're growing lots of roots so I'm doing lots more this weekend. I love seeing the pics you post. Clara

  7. #7
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weetamoo View Post
    Thanks Ray, a very informative article.

    can i pot in pebbles? or a mix of charcoal and pebbles? do they drain as fast as charcoal? I have a lot of little pebbles.
    You CAN pot plants up in pebbles, but they hold pretty much no water whatsoever, so you’d have to water very frequently.

  8. #8
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    Okay thats what I hoped. I can mix some into the charcoal and save a little money. TY

  9. #9
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Orchid growing shouldn’t be about saving money, it’s finding the proper balance between your overall growing conditions, your easy-to-maintain watering habits, and the medium+container so that they meet the needs of the plant.

    It certainly is worth experimenting, but be aware that if you arbitrarily change one parameter, it may negatively affect the growth of a plant that was doing well.

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