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Old 02-03-2016, 10:08 PM
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The CAIR/Char/Perl/ mixture: too much h2o retention?

The more I learn the more I learn what I am doing wrong. I thought I was in the chips with the above mixture: 75% coir, 20% perlite, 5% charcoal-but now I think that mixture is too broken down and holds water too much. I've had several leaves drop, including one phal that had bloomed beautifully for about 3 months or more, then began losing leaves, all the while sending out two new flower spikes. At this point it lost its last leave, I am thinking it is the end...


Should I mix in more bark or what?
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:45 AM
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Did you thoroughly rinse the coir? It contains salt which must becrinsed out with repeated soaking and rinsing.

Regarding water retention, you may just need to water less often.

I'm guessing the Phal has collar rot or crown rot. Probably not much left to save, but post a picture if you want to try to save it.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:10 PM
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I admire those who can grow in bark, coir or mixes using them. I killed the roots of everything until I switched to basket pots with red lava rock (and now LECA). In the mixes, my orchids would do great until about February and then the medium would be broken down enough that it would never dry. So, every spring, I would need to start over again with establishing the orchids. When I realized that the orchids I had actually grow on trees and should theoretically grow in anything...my life became so much better.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:53 PM
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I use coir with Oncidiums, and they thrive happily there, can't have enough moisture. I have two in a coir container itself and I have small bark mixed in and they really like it.

As for Phals, I have learned they really like to dry out and lots of air at root zone, so I did away with bark mix on some of them. I just used hyrgolon sewn into baggies. It has some styrofoam peanuts and clay rocks inside each baggie, just to help add plumpness, that way it is easier to sandwich the Phal roots without being too tight, and balancing the plant in the container. In some containers I also mix in either some chunky lava rock or some clay rocks. Phals are responding well.

wish2grow, you may also try to lean your Phal so the other end part is raised, and just the roots are below. I do that to my Phals and the plant responds well. But as to the current Phal you have, it may already have succumbed to collar rot as mentioned by Catt..so maybe try a new plant, and learn from the experience, and change your media. That was my mistake before, I think I placed the plant too deep that it gets collar rot.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:22 PM
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This is all great info, thanks a lot. I did not soak my coir first. Also, I think it needs a bit more bark for my phals. I really don't think the 3 I have with crown rot are going to make it, darn. Back to the drawing board. Meantime, I inherited a bunch of cyms that are doing great! I hope my thumb turns from black to green so they stay ahead of my learning curve. Thanks everyone!
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