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Old 02-09-2014, 12:52 PM
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Advice needed; best medium for Maudiae-type Paphiopedilum?

I have 2 Maudiae-type Paphiopedilums and one Maudiae (I think) x fairrieanum, I know it's time for a re-pot. I know these are not the highest maintenance type Paphs, but I do want to give them a pretty good potting base & encourage good roots. What I have on hand now is standard coarse fir bark (I can chop it finer to medium or fine, no problem); a little orchiata bark (medium and fine); a mix with bark, perlite and charcoal; and sphagnum (US, not New Zealand).

Need some advice from slipper growers; what medium would you suggest, do I need to but anything different or can I use what's on hand? I mostly use rain water on all of my plants, if that makes a difference. How long would you wait between re-potting now & the next re-pot (I have recently heard 6 months is a good target interval).

Suggestions appreciated - thanks!
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:30 PM
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Hi, as you may have read on my posting I now only use CoCo nuggets (12 to 18mm size) on all my orchids, especially Paphiopedilums, no mater what size pot I use and the root growth is beautiful.
They should be repotted annually but larger pots seem ok for upto 2 years.
I stoped adding other items to the Paph mix many years ago, why is it realy needed!

I top of with a lime based product to keep the mix sweet, here in Australia when can buy a product called Sel-grit a small limestone pebble about the size of a large pinhead from from rural stores used for chicken grit.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:52 PM
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Thank you Ron.

I can't get CoCo nuggets locally, except in a mix of other materials, but maybe mail order? Do you prepare them with an Epsom salt or Cal Mag rinse before use, or just several changes of clean water?

I never would have thought of using chicken grit as a top dressing! Roughly how much do you apply as a top dressing?
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:15 PM
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Thank you Ron.

I can't get CoCo nuggets locally, except in a mix of other materials, but maybe mail order? Do you prepare them with an Epsom salt or Cal Mag rinse before use, or just several changes of clean water?

I tried useing attitives to the mix after washing and found more trouble that it was worth, now I only add common garden lime to the last wash about 3/4 cup to about 100 liers of water.
I usually soak a block of CoCo nuggets about 4 or 5 times until the water runs clear and lime the last mix


I never would have thought of using chicken grit as a top dressing! Roughly how much do you apply as a top dressing?
About 1/4 or so a teaspoon to a 4 inch pot, just sprinke it on top of the mix and water in.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:42 PM
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Hi Ron, Just wondering about how you prepare the coco nuggets. I have used some and they seem to be working well but someone said to me at one of the shows here that people had been having trouble with lots of salts in the mix. I had soaked mine before use, changing the water four times. Do you think this is enough or do you do something else? thanks. Beautiful phal by the way! I am struggling to find the right spot for mine at our new place.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:06 PM
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I still have to chuckle at the idea of using chicken grit for orchids! Who knew?? It makes good sense, though, and you can't argue with what works!

I live in an area that prides itself on being a regional power house for chicken production. I am sure I can find chicken grit at a feed store somewhere nearby.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:43 PM
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Hi Ron, Just wondering about how you prepare the coco nuggets. I have used some and they seem to be working well but someone said to me at one of the shows here that people had been having trouble with lots of salts in the mix. I had soaked mine before use, changing the water four times. Do you think this is enough or do you do something else? thanks. Beautiful phal by the way! I am struggling to find the right spot for mine at our new place.
Heather
Hi, there are several brands on the market here in Australia and we orchid growers realy only use one brand, it is called Orchid Mate and come in a block that when soaked comes up around 45 litters of nuggetts.

When I first started useing this band sevearl years ago a big debate was going on about its salt content, lots were told it did not need rinseing.
I have a meter that measure salt contents in water called a TDS meter.
Most of the bales on first rinse mesured around 950 PPM of what ever was in the water, it did not differentate between salt of what ever else had been disolved in the water, I fiound that the salt contens tend halve on each rinse.


I first soak for aabout 2 days, empty out and let drain for about an hour and fill with fresh water, after this I repeat the process another 3 to 4 times and in final rinse I use the lime to freshen up the mix and PH.
I have read in a few articles about salt content in water and how much can lead to toxicity to plants roots, for Phallies I believe it is only around 200PPM and can lead to death of root system!

Then ready for use, Here is what it looks like when ready for use.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:50 PM
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Simpler to use bark, me thinks. A lot of water wasted with coco mix as far as I am concerned. Works for some, but not me.

I gave up using it when I lost half of my stock to root rot.

I now use an imported bark from New Zealand called Orchiata. It is very clean (unlike Ozzie brands) retains moisture without getting soggy, and as it is so hard lasts for up to 2 to 3 years before needing to do repotting.

As it comes in 4 sizes you can find a size that is just right.

I have put my Paphs into it, and haven't lost one in 2 years, which for me, is a record.

I suppose it is horses for courses, for me personally, that horse, has run its course.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton View Post
Simpler to use bark, me thinks. A lot of water wasted with coco mix as far as I am concerned. Works for some, but not me.

I gave up using it when I lost half of my stock to root rot.

I now use an imported bark from New Zealand called Orchiata. It is very clean (unlike Ozzie brands) retains moisture without getting soggy, and as it is so hard lasts for up to 2 to 3 years before needing to do repotting.

As it comes in 4 sizes you can find a size that is just right.

I have put my Paphs into it, and haven't lost one in 2 years, which for me, is a record.

I suppose it is horses for courses, for me personally, that horse, has run its course.
Hi Anton, have nothing to say wrong about using pine bark, used it on my Paphiopedilums for about 15 or so years, i like to repot them at least every 2 years to keep the mix fresh and Paphs seem to love frequent repotting into fresh mix.
Now the main reason why I changes 'COSTS!"

I have around 300 or so Paphs raisng from 2 inch pots up to 8 inch pots and cost of bark was killing me, love too use it if I had only a few plants!

So CoCo nuggets around 1/4 of cost and I find works great for me.
But note the openess of my mix medium orchid bark 15mm drained very well and allowed the thick Paph roots to meander quiet well through the mix.
As you say horsers for coursers and costs
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:33 AM
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Yep, I will have to consider costs once I retire in the not too distant future myself. She who must be obeyed told me to enjoy my hobby while I can......

BTW here's a sketch of the drip I mentioned. Others may be interested too.
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