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Old 11-27-2010, 01:26 PM
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Orchiata

Hey everyone, hope your holiday weekend is going well!

I have been using this stuff (Orchiata) for about a year now and I really liked the results I was getting so I've been repotting with it ever since. Most of my orchids are doing really really well in it. The problem is that they seem to have to be watered every other day, so Im going nuts watering!!!

I want to keep using it because it does a good job, but I am thinking of mixing something in with the bark to allow it to hold a little more moisture. Would coco chips work? I dont want to use sphag because that will get nasty way faster than the bark.

I never soak my bark. I just rinse and go typically. Would it help if I did a long initial soak of the bark?

Just looking for suggestions. Watering 70 orchids every other day (some every day) is getting tyring.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whalloper View Post
.... Would it help if I did a long initial soak of the bark?

Just looking for suggestions. Watering 70 orchids every other day (some every day) is getting tyring.
Here you go, that's the best thing I found working when you have a chunky medium. That's what I do with my chids that are not in S/H or Sphag. I rinse them first, then let them sit in the fert water or just regular tap water for about 30 min or so. You will save yourself at least 2 waterings a week, I think. I found the coco chips drying just as fast as bark if not faster.....
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:14 PM
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Here you go, that's the best thing I found working when you have a chunky medium. That's what I do with my chids that are not in S/H or Sphag. I rinse them first, then let them sit in the fert water or just regular tap water for about 30 min or so. You will save yourself at least 2 waterings a week, I think. I found the coco chips drying just as fast as bark if not faster.....
Wow, only 30 minutes? Ill try that. Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:33 PM
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If you prep the bark by pour8ing boiling, or even h=just hot water on it, it "opens up" the structure, making absorb better in the future.

If you don't do that to start, water heavily, wait 30 minutes and repeat.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:02 AM
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Hi I mix some of mike's mix (coir, perlite,and charcoal) into my bark and coco chip mix to help hold some moisture. I can only water due to my work schedule once a week I do water my smaller pots twice if needed especially in summer months but the coir mixed in does the trick and the chunky bark and coco chip and perlite help keep it airy for thos that still need that drying out between watering. Keep in mind it depends on types of orchids when doing this but my Catts love it and my moisture loving chids really love it. I also use it with my younger Dens. My mature ones are in bark mix.
So what types of chids are you growing ?
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:07 AM
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[QUOTE=So what types of chids are you growing ?
Emmaye[/QUOTE]

I grow pretty much only phals.

I have never used coir. It sounds like it could be something to try. I have used coconut chips and I like them for a couple of my plants. So is coir just finely shredded and chopped?
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the info!! I was hopping to use it by itself--the add for it said it holds moisture--is that a crock?
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:56 AM
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Which substrate are you referring to - orchiata, coco chips or coir?

Brooke
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:25 AM
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I'm a true believer. It's so much more simple than fir bark and the others.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:53 PM
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It goes under the name Orchiata/monterey bark -- repotme.com sells it on line.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:02 PM
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Would this mix be a good stand alone mix for catts & phals!!!
Thanks!! It seems my orchids dry out so fast. They are under T5 fixtures in my spare bedroom--shared with the cats (Furry cats ) !!
The temperature in the summer during the day under the lights have been 86-90 degrees !!! Night drops to about 78 degrees. We also run central air through out the whole house. I run the ceiling fan constantly. During the day I crank it on high.

My phals are in spag mixed with a bark mixture (about half/half. Some of it is that monterey bark from repotme.com). My catts are in all bark mixture - was using English Gardens cattleya mix. Has perlite & other little pieces of ? in it. Was wondering if I switch to the Monterery bark only (Med ) chunks would be not so drying out ??

Thanks!!
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:14 AM
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Your Phals with the sphag/bark combo will stay wet longer than straight Orchiata bark. Your Catts will remain basically the same.

I don't use bark for Catts but have switched many things to Orchiata seedling bark mixed with perlite and charcoal. In the beginning, for me it has been as difficult to hydrate as other bark. I decided the seedling bark could be more useful because I change the size of my additives to make it more open vs more moisture retentive.

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Old 09-04-2012, 01:35 PM
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I put my bark in a bowl of water and microwave for a couple of minutes, let cool and then pot the orchids. I know unconventional, but it works. And takes only 2 minutes instead of 30!
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amybudorchids View Post
Thanks!! It seems my orchids dry out so fast. They are under T5 fixtures in my spare bedroom--shared with the cats (Furry cats ) !!
Well done on having Cats that behave themselves!!!!!! We don't have any but I know many members have problems with naughty cats and naughty Catts too!!!!
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:42 AM
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I have just started using Orchiata in the last year. I love it. I use the medium and use a little extra perlite so the mixture is more airy and makes for better drainage.I have gone back to using clay pots for my catts and they seem so much happier.

I also use Orchiata with a mix of perlite, hydroton and coco chip bark for my paphs, phals and have some oncidiums that need repotting and am gonna try this and see how well it works.

My orchids are not on a watering schedule In the summer it's more often especially when I get the 90* days. But the weather has been cooler and maybe once a week I also cheat and put a little extra water in my humidity trays so they can suck up some extra thru the bottom of the pot.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:40 PM
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Thanks!! Sorry I just posted now--just seen it!! I still have a hard time navigating this forum!! Over 50 brain!!!
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:20 AM
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Even though I'm considered to be the "S/H Guy", I have been using Orchiata for a few years now, and have found that - unlike pretty much any other organic medium - it is safe to use finer grades, or mix grades, to increase the water retention, without resorting to additives.

I attribute that to its mechanical stability: with other media, they break down relatively rapidly (which is accelerated by keeping them moist), and the fines clog up the air flow to the roots, suffocating and killing them. Orchiata appears to be stable for many years, so that's not an issue.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:52 PM
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Suggestion where to purchase repotting supplies

Hello everyone:

Am new to your site as well as to collecting orchids. I have various ones which I am repotting since I do so as I purchase them.
I buy the bark(and all supplies for that matter) from Home Depot but can get expensive. So.... I was wondering if there is any particular place(online) where you guys buy your supplies. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. BTW....Am learning so much from all of your comments/pics/experiences. I love it!
Another Geek (Mayra)
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:32 AM
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Hi and welcome to the forum Mayra!
I do not use this product, but I believe many get from rePotme Orchid Supplies - Orchid Mix - Orchid Pots - Orchid Care - Orchid Fertilizer
glad you joined
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:36 AM
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[edit by Kat -- removed due to complaint]
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:57 AM
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glad you chimed in then Ray...I don't use it, only have seen that is where some order from...good information
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:12 AM
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Good morning and thank you to both.

I shall check both, RepotMe as well as Ray's store.
Have a great day to all.
Mayra
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whalloper View Post
Hey everyone, hope your holiday weekend is going well!

I have been using this stuff (Orchiata) for about a year now and I really liked the results I was getting so I've been repotting with it ever since. Most of my orchids are doing really really well in it. The problem is that they seem to have to be watered every other day, so Im going nuts watering!!!

I want to keep using it because it does a good job, but I am thinking of mixing something in with the bark to allow it to hold a little more moisture. Would coco chips work? I dont want to use sphag because that will get nasty way faster than the bark.

I never soak my bark. I just rinse and go typically. Would it help if I did a long initial soak of the bark?

Just looking for suggestions. Watering 70 orchids every other day (some every day) is getting tyring.
Just a thought, did you soak the bark overnight before you used it? I have been talking to the company that produces this product whilst I have been away and it's very well prepared and ready to go but I am thinking that soaking it for 24 hours might enable it to hold some moisture in future. If you already do this and it's too arid still then let me know.

I am considering changing to this product from the regular pine bark.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolero View Post
Just a thought, did you soak the bark overnight before you used it? I have been talking to the company that produces this product whilst I have been away and it's very well prepared and ready to go but I am thinking that soaking it for 24 hours might enable it to hold some moisture in future. If you already do this and it's too arid still then let me know.

I am considering changing to this product from the regular pine bark.
I've been using Orchiata for some time now, and have been delighted by it. I've found too, that it works very well if I add a small percentage of coco husk (about the same size chunk) to help retain a bit more moisture. They work well together.
But I will add, and some will also agree, that if soaked in very hot water and soak for a few hours or even overnite will help it begin to absorb water more efficiently. Actually, I just pour the hot water over it in a bucket and stir it around well and then let it cool down. This is enough to do the job.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulB View Post
I've been using Orchiata for some time now, and have been delighted by it. I've found too, that it works very well if I add a small percentage of coco husk (about the same size chunk) to help retain a bit more moisture. They work well together.
But I will add, and some will also agree, that if soaked in very hot water and soak for a few hours or even overnite will help it begin to absorb water more efficiently. Actually, I just pour the hot water over it in a bucket and stir it around well and then let it cool down. This is enough to do the job.
Thanks Paul, that is good to know. Now I just have to find some near where I live for next Spring.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:39 PM
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Thanks Paul, that is good to know. Now I just have to find some near where I live for next Spring.
I know that Cal West, a supplier here in Southern California, has theirs processed and shipped from Australia. Not sure if it's native there, because here, it's called the Monterey Pine. All over the place in Monterey, California Pinus Radiata . It would be interesting to find out.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:47 AM
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"When you include freight from NZ, of course larger, closer firms can offer better pricing. They don't have to pick up the tab to get it to the east coast. I think you'll also find that the society pricing is higher now, and does not include shipping - at least that's true on this side of the country."

The prices I gave you earlier did include actual shipping that I included per bag in the price I told you. The supplier's price does not include shipping because each customer pays actual. Actual varies by the day with fuel, distance, season, and probably the home life situation of the person at the freight line doing the quotes. Unless some major fuel issue comes up the variations are small.

Here is the latest I received yesterday. The price of each of the 4 sizes is different, but similar. Rather than give the exact numbers I was quoted I have averaged the four which assumes I order a pallet with equal numbers of bags of each size. The largest size is the most expensive and the least popular in my experience so the price I'm using is a few cents above what I would expect to pay for an actual pallet .

A pallet is 45 bags minimum and 78 bags maximum and the shipping is the same for each so shipping per bag can vary with order quantity between 45 and 78 bags.

Given the above circumstances the price quoted is $14.35 per bag plus shipping of $2.54 to $4.41 per bag based on pallet size.

Therefore the price per bag delivered to me under the assumptions above will be $16.89 - 18.76 per bag. An average of those representing a pallet size of 62 bags is $17.83 per bag delivered.

So the bottom line is that retailer markups plus the UPS/FedEX charges for individual bag delivery result in major price increases of 200-300% to the small customer. Not a complaint or a criticism just a fact.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:47 PM
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Ray, the distributor is in Atlanta so I assume the west coast would higher delivery than the east coast. But I don't that for certain.

It's been a year since I bought it. I'm about to order either two or three pallets for local consumption so I'll have the pricing soon.
Where is that being shipped from, JLu? It's hard to imagine it's going from Atlanta to the west coast for that freight rate.

My distributor is in the Atlanta area, but I understand it is also distributed out of the west coast, and the company that brings it into the US is in Hawaii, where they have had it for quite a while. It all originates in New Zealand, so consider the distances and related ocean shipping costs.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:04 PM
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I just started using Orchiata about 2 yrs ago. I get the 1/2-3/8 inch size. I mix this with enough perlite to make a nice airy mix for my catts. I use this same mix and add medium coco chip bark and hydroton for paphs and other moisture lovers.

Ray and JLu,IMHO does it really matter where you get your orchid supplies from as long as your happy with the price and product but most important of all customer service. I have been able to get the majority of my supplies at a nursery owned by one of my OS members. Yes, she maybe pricey. I get a 1 gallon bag of Orchiata for 4.98 plus I get a 10% member discount. Could I do better elsewhere. Probably. But prefer to keep my business local as much as possible.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:37 PM
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I've been using Orchiata for about a year and love it. I bought a 40 Liter bag....I believe the price, including shipping from Atlanta, Ga. to N.C. was about $60 or $70. That was last April. Well worth it if you're saving on the potting mix.
The Besgrow Co. that manufactures it recommends that you not soak it or add any other potting media. I've found that I do have to water more often though.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulB View Post
I've been using Orchiata for some time now, and have been delighted by it. I've found too, that it works very well if I add a small percentage of coco husk (about the same size chunk) to help retain a bit more moisture. They work well together.
But I will add, and some will also agree, that if soaked in very hot water and soak for a few hours or even overnite will help it begin to absorb water more efficiently. Actually, I just pour the hot water over it in a bucket and stir it around well and then let it cool down. This is enough to do the job.
Hot water? Thats a lot of work... I just soak over night in my special solution and pot it up. I don't mix it with anything else. Though, I have been known to use orchiata like hydroton...
I know, I know... don't leave your chids feet wet. But it works really well for me. And an even greater factor: orchiata doesn't turn to mush! Well, not as fast as the other stuff anyways. ^^;;

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Old 03-15-2013, 06:12 AM
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Where is that being shipped from, JLu? It's hard to imagine it's going from Atlanta to the west coast for that freight rate.

My distributor is in the Atlanta area, but I understand it is also distributed out of the west coast, and the company that brings it into the US is in Hawaii, where they have had it for quite a while. It all originates in New Zealand, so consider the distances and related ocean shipping costs.
I'm just a society member who is willing to accumulate an order, pick it up at the freight terminal because I have the equipment to do it, and distribute it to prepaid society members. There is no spec buy on my part. The members only pay me the actual amount I pay the distributor. I actually lose money because of personal expenses and work I put in it. It's just part of contributing to the success of my society. I sell nothing and never will...I hate selling stuff.

I gave you facts from my quote and I am not going to settle for allowing you to muddy up the puddle with nonsense.

In less than 24 hours of sending out my notice to society members in two nearby societies I already have 55 bags committed.

The facts are as in my post above...members will pay actual cost of approximately $17-19 per bag. It looks like $17.80 right now (including shipping) based on orders.

I never criticized you or RePotMe or any other business. Your business is your business. I just told people some facts and they are documented facts for my situation and my situation is the only situation that I'm interested in. Some globalized hooey about the cost of prunes in Wyoming doesn't interest me.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:43 AM
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Wow !!! I love this forum..... newbie brain is learning so so much ! Thank you
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:00 AM
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I did some research online and did cost/shipping comparison like Ray for Orchiada. My orchid-guy who owns a nursery highly recommended it. As luck would have it, I went to a hydroponics store in town and asked if they would order it in bulk; they did. So now I am able to get the big bags for $30...it is the only potting medium I use for my Catts and they love it. I do not presoak because I am lazy, but the Catts do not mind and I only water twice a week.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
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Empress - one of the reasons that it is not recommended to soak Orchiata is because they test, then adjust the pH by application of dolomite, and soaing can extract some of it.

It's going to be absorbed and washed out over time, but soaking it in advance might hasten that.
I did not know that. Thanks for letting me know!


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Old 03-16-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
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Hot water? Thats a lot of work... I just soak over night in my special solution and pot it up. I don't mix it with anything else. Though, I have been known to use orchiata like hydroton...
I know, I know... don't leave your chids feet wet. But it works really well for me. And an even greater factor: orchiata doesn't turn to mush! Well, not as fast as the other stuff anyways. ^^;;

I use the hot water to help breakdown whatever it is on the surface that makes it repel water at first. I want to wash it anyway, because it usually has a lot of dust on it. Usually, once the water becomes cooled down, I can pot with it in the same day.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:48 AM
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Paul, that dust is the dolomite.

One may occasionally see a while mold growing on the stuff, but it - according to the producer - is a penecillium species that kills other fungi and is not harmful to the plants.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:37 AM
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Isn't dolomite white-ish? The dust I have in the Orchiata is brown but it doesn't have a ton of it.

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Old 03-17-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
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Paul, that dust is the dolomite.

One may occasionally see a while mold growing on the stuff, but it - according to the producer - is a penecillium species that kills other fungi and is not harmful to the plants.
Thanks, Ray.
I haven't seen much of the white mold, but the Orchiata I get from Cal West is usually pretty dusty. I'm not one to wash it completely (the soaking is enough. I just find that using the hot water helps with the initial water repellency.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:48 PM
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I don't bother with THAT dust - forgot about it in fact - as I typically water in plants pretty heavily after potting, and the Orchiata is so wonderfully "open" that it all washes right out.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:12 AM
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All this information has been really helpful. Thanks guys, I am going to look for it in Australia, it must be around somewhere.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:46 AM
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Besgrow has pretty comprehensive usage guides and FAQs for Orchiata on their website and, as Ray stated, they don't recommend washing.

Orchiata Usage
Orchiata FAQ's
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:36 AM
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What size is recommended for Paphs? The sizing confuses me.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:13 AM
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I use seedling size for all of my three Paphs

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Old 11-12-2015, 08:41 PM
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Have two bags of Orchiata now and am going to start using it tomorrow. Will not soak but will use Ray's idea to pour boiling water over it to see how it goes. That won't take long. I have almost run out of my old bark so this is a good time to experiment with this bark on my Paphs for the coming year. Fingers crossed it's the potting medium I have been looking for after trying nearly everything else.

So some Paphs will be in the old bark as it runs out and some will be in the new bark, will be interesting to see the difference in 12 months time.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:41 PM
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Hmmmmmmmm going to use the two bags of bark to repot this afternoon. Will need a lot of hot water to break them up.

I have a feeling this will be a good decision but I will need to keep the orchids in Orchiata together so I can keep them watered on a different schedule to everything else.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:54 AM
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I think you'll be very pleased w/the orchiata. I really like it.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:24 PM
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I would NOT go "hog wild" with Orchiata on your paphs........We have a fantastic grower/hybridizer in my area who went to it for all her seedlings and after giving it a good effort is switching BACK to good ole Oregon grown Douglas fir. When I was last visiting her she gave me a first hand illustration why. Roots are not "grabbing" the media like fir. When the roots like the media they will cling to it and don't want to let go.......More plants (seedlings/deflasked) than usual are "disappearing"........ With that said, maybe YOU will be able to make it work wonderfully for your culture environment? I have all five sizes and have found it works good for my catts and a few other species as well. I tried it with my phals for a little over a year and didn't like it with them at all - took about 30 plants and dumped it all out and went back to my tried and true media mix for phalaenopsis. My current standard paph mix is large bag of small Douglas fir bark, 3 gal 1/2" lava rock, 2 gal med perlite, 2 gal charcoal, 2 gal 1/2" chopped sphag - seems to work fabulous (about 2-3 years)......
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:44 AM
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I think it might work ok. We don't get Fir Bark in Australia from what I've seen and we mainly use Pine in my commercial experience. I am going with the Orchiata as it stays drier and I have inconsistent experiences with other mixes or other barks. I know I will have to water more often but maybe I will have more consistent root growth with my plants.

Also, keep an eye out for one called 'Kiwi' Bark which is also made in New Zealand. I have good reports of Kiwi and Orchiata and purchased in good quantities should prove to be good value.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:36 AM
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PS. I am also experimenting with using stones and pebbles in my mixes. I am also discovering pure sand works well.
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