07-29-2013, 06:31 PM
| | Note my comments are based on home growing culture - greenhouse growers may find different results.
After successfully growing phals in this media/mixture for about five years I had built up my phal collection to approximately 70-80 plants plus maybe another 20-30 seedlings. I was bordering on "out of control" with number of plants vs. space and time available to properly care for them. Alas, I was "hit" by some sort of phal virus in late 2011 (best I can determine from limited information I've been able to pick up) that nearly wiped me out. I only was able to save a handful of phals and have since switched over to Paphs being my favorite/orchid of choice. I do however STILL love phals and currently have about 25-30 plants (which to some would also be called "out of control"
For the past year and a half - slightly over - I've been growing in orchiata bark to test this method of growing vs. the media noted here. I fully intended to try a plant or two in each acquired at the same time and monitor the difference, but after repotting ALL my phals back into coir mix yesterday I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that, at least for me, this mix brings about FAR superior results!
The plus for Orchiata - overwatering will not lead to root rot.
The negative for Orchiata - if you don't water frequently (and MORE frequently in hot weather) the plants will suffer/droop and not be happy.
If you don't want to "fuss" over your plants every day or two then DEFINATELY consider moving them to the coir mix discussed in this thread - as long as you are careful not to OVERWATER - fabulous results can/will be obtained! My experience shows that these plants prefer to be damp side rather than dry.