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Old 06-10-2008, 11:29 AM
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Phal Repotting & Media

Yes - I have purchased a phal from two different growers that I have considered excellent growers/sellers - the plants looked really healthy, but both planted in sphag - when I got home and removed them from their pots I was horrified at the condition of the root systems - I wrote a letter of complaint to one of the growers and received no reply (disappointing) - the plant ended up loosing 2/3 of its foliage before I halted the decline and currently is but a shadow a year later from what I purchased. The second grower told me he would give me full credit for another plant. I think it is really important to know that any issues that surface down the road are from culture that YOU have provided versus damage caused by someone else.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:43 PM
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Hi Mike,
Today I'm surprised to find my Oncidium's bulbs are plump up. It's just 14 days after I switched from bark to coir. I'm very happy.
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:30 AM
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Excellent! Now your only challenge is to determine watering frequency so as not to keep them too damp - hopefully you have got that part figured out. This whole process is slightly different for all of us with slightly different conditions. Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:57 AM
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Wow this is a great thread, I've been reading all the posts this morning. I was about to repot a phal, when I decided to come and have a look in here. Now I want to wait and see if I can find the coir. Is there anyone that knows where I might find it up here in S. Ontario, without ordering from the states.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:17 AM
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I'm so happy, after my post I decided to do a little looking and found that the local hardwre store carries it and a 9lb. bale is $7. Is that a big brick and a good price?
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:25 PM
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Yes, sounds like a good deal, and 9 lbs should last turn into quite a bit of mix when rehydrated.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:55 PM
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For the life of me, I cannot find charcoal! So, I'm going to try just a perlite and coir mix. I have enough perlite to truly last a lifetime. The bag is HUGE (even bigger than the 50 Liter bag of Hydroton)! I got it at a local hydroponics store for about $12. So, I'm going to try just coir and perlite. I have several plants that are in desperate need of repotting, so I'll start with those guys first! Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleysgr8 View Post
For the life of me, I cannot find charcoal! So, I'm going to try just a perlite and coir mix. I have enough perlite to truly last a lifetime. The bag is HUGE (even bigger than the 50 Liter bag of Hydroton)! I got it at a local hydroponics store for about $12. So, I'm going to try just coir and perlite. I have several plants that are in desperate need of repotting, so I'll start with those guys first! Thanks for the suggestion!
I just went to my local nursery and found a small bag for less than $5...I would think OSH or Home Depot would have something similar.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butt0n View Post
I just went to my local nursery and found a small bag for less than $5...I would think OSH or Home Depot would have something similar.
I bought a bag for about $5 at OSH. Home Depot doesn't carry it as I know.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleysgr8 View Post
So, I'm going to try just a perlite and coir mix. I have enough perlite to truly last a lifetime.
Coir and perlite will work just fine. I've used this mix on some of my moisture loving plants. Make sure you put a little extra perlite in the mix, so the coir doesn't compact down after several watering.

I suggest using small to medium perlite with the coir.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleysgr8 View Post
For the life of me, I cannot find charcoal! So, I'm going to try just a perlite and coir mix. I have enough perlite to truly last a lifetime. The bag is HUGE (even bigger than the 50 Liter bag of Hydroton)! I got it at a local hydroponics store for about $12. So, I'm going to try just coir and perlite. I have several plants that are in desperate need of repotting, so I'll start with those guys first! Thanks for the suggestion!
You can go to your local pet store. they often sell it in boxes.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:40 PM
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I believe that I might have found a similar product at our local garden center. It's called Sun-Cocopeat. I tried rehydrating a small amount of it and it looks exactly like the pictures in the first post. The sales clerk at the garden center said that they really like using it since it doesn't turn into mud. Since I live in Canada I was extremely happy to find some locally. And the price seemed very good too. It was $9.99 for a 5kg block.

Here's the web address if any Canadians want to find out more about it:

(opps...it appears that I can't post a URL until I've made 5 posts. I think I'm at 3 or 4. Sorry)

I've moved one of my small orchids into this mix. I only had perlite so that was all I used. My house tends to be very humid in summer so I hope I won't rot this plant. I'm thinking that I might need to mix it 50/50 with bark but I'll try the full strength mix first. :-)

The previous post said that you could use pet store charcoal if you can't find any in the garden stores. Has anyone else tried this?

Oh, and if you live in Manitoba and want to know where I got this coir, it was from Lacoste Garden Center on St. Mary's road just outside of Winnipeg. :-)
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:07 PM
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Smile Repottin new orchids

Quote:
Originally Posted by berkeleysgr8 View Post
Mayres, I should repot my new orchids when I get them too... at least I'd know that the newbies needed similar care as my older plants. I killed a little 3 spike Phal a few months ago and a double spike Naples Nights because I left them in sphagnum (not a medium I am successful with).
I too like you should have repotted my new plants as I purchased them. Mind you they are still doing great but now they really do need to be done . Some of the roots have rotted or dried but they are making new ones . I have Phalaenopsis , 77 to be exact . Many have flowered and flowered a second and third time . I use sphagnum moss , orchid bark chips and charcoal in my mix and they do really well . I am also trying some cinnamon mixed in the mix as well , helps to ward off any bacterial infections and the like . Also when I repot , I rinse the roots in a mixture of listerine and water , an antiseptic so the roots don't get any infections.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayres View Post
As far as I can tell from a fair amount of experience - you can repot a phal ANYTIME and they do not skip a beat. Any phal I get I repot soon after acquisition because chances are very good it will have at least some compromised roots that should be removed - that has just been my experience from a host of sources.
This is good to know because I always freak when repoting Phals. There is always a root or two to get ridd off!
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:57 AM
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I finally moved all of my orchids over to this potting mixture because the first few that I tried were doing so well. I can't say enough how awesome this mixture is doing for my orchids. They all stared growing new roots and new leaves and three are sending up a flower spike! I've only had two of my orchids rebloom for me before and it was not any of these three. THe only problem I can see is that the mixture is so light that it will not hold a stick firm enough to clip the flower spike to. Any suggestions?

Oh, by the way, I have 18 orchids. I've been bitten by the bug. :-)
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:13 AM
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Welcome! Yep - those bugs are really BIG "biters"! Never had a problem holding up a stake in this media if necessary - but for the most part I enjoy letting the plants handle their spikes in a natural way - not usually bothering with stakes.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:55 AM
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Never had a problem holding up a stake in this media if necessary - but for the most part I enjoy letting the plants handle their spikes in a natural way - not usually bothering with stakes.
I rarely use stakes either; I like them the natural way.

I have made a few adjustments to the coir mix I have been using. I deleted the diatomite and now add some rice hulls and cork chips for more aeration. For some of my orchids (mostly paphs) I use 1/2 coir and 1/2 shredded coconut husks. I get all my ingredients from repotme.com and just can't keep myself from tweeking perfection whenever I need to repot something. I'm still looking for that perfect Catt mix. My pseudobulbs have a tendency to stay shriveled no matter how much I water.

For all of you who grow Catts in bark, good for you!! It is just too dry here and won't work for me. I'm slowly adding more water retentive mix until I come up with something good.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:44 PM
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awesome thread here! i am heading to a hydro store next week to pick up some of this stuff. i cant wait!
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:48 AM
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Connie~ I have some Catts growing in a bark mix while others are in a coco husk mix. The coco husk mix has some charcoal, hydroton and packing peanuts. Ratios are 80%, 10%, 10% for the mix. The packing peanuts are filled about 1/4 of the bottom of the pot. I had a mini Catt that was in a bark mix that just wasn't up to par and after I moved it to this mix it has done much better. I don't know if this will work for you or not, but I know that Natt's Orchids has many Catt's growing in a coco husk mix.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:14 AM
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Thanks Jenny! I bought some shredded coco husks from repotme and I really like the look and feel of this stuff. In fact, all of their media is just supreme. I'm going to repot a bunch of Catts tomorrow (some new, some I have had for a while) in the shred, rice hulls, and charcoal. The rice hulls are sort of a new thing to use in place of perlite, which tends to float to the top and wash away. It just lightens/opens up the mix.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:45 AM
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I also added bark chips to the bottom of the pots because this mixture was falling out the holes in the pots. I was thinking it might be a good idea to put something a little heavier in the bottom because some of my orchids were a little top heavy. I accidently knocked one of them over and had a mess to clean up. What would you suggest to use? I was thinking of something like coarse gravel but I'm not sure what orchids can tolerate. I also have some clay pellets that I tried for semi-hydroponics. Would it be ok to use them in the bottom of the pots? I gave up trying to raise my orchids in s/h. My house is just way too humid in the summer and I actually had mold growing on the top of the pellets. But this mixture seems to work awesome in my house, both summer and winter.

So it isn't necessary to attach the spikes to a stake? Do they look as nice without being staked?

Oh, by the way, number three is sending up a flower spike. Yippee!! At least, I think it's a spike...this one is slightly different than the other two, but it definitely doesn't look like a root.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:11 AM
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Sheltie, when I need some weight in the pots, I use big pieces of lava rock in the bottom as my drainage, instead of styrofoam p'nuts. I always have a bag of it around, as I grow my angraceums, and some other species in it. When I started doing this, I was surprised to see how much the roots seem to like it, they grow right on down to it and wrap around them. You can get a bag of it from any box store.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:29 PM
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Sheltie it is all about playing around to see what works in your environment, nothing wrong with trying new stuff. Orchids will tolerate just about anything that drains. I have used smooth little 'river rock' in the bottom of pots for extra weight. I also have a lot of pretty ceramic pots that I use for decoration when I bring my blooming orchids downstairs to enjoy. I just put the plastic pot into the ceramic and they don't tip over when in bloom.

Staking is largely just a matter of preference. Rarely do I have to stake a spike because I think it will snap off if I don't. In nature, phals grow with the leaves pointing down, not up, so the flowers grow downward also. Growers stake to save space too; they have more room on their benches if spikes point straight up. I like mine with a natural little bend so I don't stake at all.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:42 AM
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Since my space for my orchids is limited, I will still stake the spikes.

And thanks, rcb. I'll have to look for some lava rock the next time I'm shopping.

My first spike is now forming buds. :-)

Why is it that I still get excited each time one of my orchids flowers? :-)
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:30 PM
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Why is it that I still get excited each time one of my orchids flowers? :-)
That is why all of us are so addicted! That thrill never wears off.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:47 PM
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So, how's about an update. How does everyone like this mix still?
I need to repot my phal and was thinking of using this. Pictures anyone?
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:03 PM
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I still love coir but have tweeked the original mix by adding tiny cork pieces for more drainage (also helps the coir not to compact) and shredded coco husks (about 1/3 of the mix) instead of so much coir. For some of my species or primary hybrids I add some chopped sphagnum as well. Keep in mind I have a very dry climate and have a difficult time with media drying out too quickly, especially in summer.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:10 AM
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I still put EVERY phal in this media and they all seem to LOVE it!
I will add one word of caution that i have noted from using it for several years now. If you purchase a large "brick" and break off portions over time for use you MAY find that the brick is not evenly mixed - in terms of the quality of the contained material - I have noted some bricks contain portions of very fine material almost like dust/powder (that can excessively compact if not mixed with other coir/materials) and then at the other extreme sections may be quite airy/springy - almost like wooden steel wool. It appears that the best option might (?) be to break up and rehydrate the entire block/brick at once and mix with your other materials and keep stored for later use. I have yet to do this - but it seems like a good idea. I currently have a few plants (out of 60 or so) that have quite heavy/compacted media bases - doesn't seem to hurt the plants a bit - just can't water them but about every 2-4 weeks during the cool part of the year! I may get ambitious one of these days and redo a few to even them out with the rest?
Another important thing in my book is placing a good healthy portion of styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of the pot - especially if the plant is large and the pot is a good sized one. I just repotted my largest phal a couple months ago - back into coir - back into the same 8 inch pot - and there is about two inches of peanuts in the bottom - the huge mass of roots looked fabulous!
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:27 PM
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Thank you so much for the info, phal looks great. I've ordered the materials and am very excited to repot my phal and see how it does!
Has anyone had any luck with oncidiums in this mix? Mine came in a peat mix, so I'm thinking it would do well?
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:43 PM
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I have recently bought a phal, and I am not happy with the way it was potted, I will
definitely give this a try, I'm just waiting for the blooms to fade before i re-pot them.
Does this work with Dendrobiums as well? I have one that is kinda overpotted and im
planning on repotting it as well.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:10 PM
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I use the same ingredients for everything I grow but alter the ratios to suit the orchid I want to pot.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:39 PM
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Hi all,

I enjoyed reading about this Cocogro months ago, and I just finally bought a brick.

I have perlite to mix with it. Would that be okay to grow oncidiums in Houston? I will also put some phals in this mix.

Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:20 PM
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Lol I love it when this thread pops up every so often. Mike really should bag up his recipe and sell it. My phals did best in his medium ratio. Better than with Schultzs mix by far. But as montioned above you can play with the ratio depending where you live and the orchid you are potting Tara
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:18 AM
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I will be taking vacation soon and plan to move the last few orchids I have in sphagnum moss into the coir mix. I've found that most of my orchids have adjusted quite nicely to a mix of coir and perlite. I may go on the hunt for charcoal to add too.

Trinigirl, I think you'll find that Oncidiums will do exceptionally well once they adjust to the new medium and develop new roots!
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:05 PM
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Mike, I've got a quick question...your ratios of 75:20:5...is that with the coir rehydrated or dry? I'm starting to mix, and I don't know whether or not to get it wet before measuring.

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Old 09-12-2009, 05:16 PM
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koshi I don't think it will matter as long as you measure all the ingredients in the same state, either all of them wet or all of them dry. That way the percentage of each will remain the same.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:24 AM
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You know I'm actually just making a visual approximation. In reality it might be 60:30:10 or 60:35:5 or some other such percentage. I usually break off pieces of coir from my brick to start off the process into a large plastic pail and then fluff it up with some water. Then I start adding perlite until it looks right visually. Lastly I add some charcoal to the mix. I stir the whole thing up and hope for the best!
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:45 PM
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I went ahead with your original ratio, using all dry ingredients. After thinking about this a bit I felt the ratios would change if rehydrated since the coir seems to be absorbing all the water. The 75/20/5 was easy for me to work out in the small quantities I used: 3 cups coir, 3/4 cup perlite, 1/4 cup charcoal. I'm not great at math, so I think I'll stick with this one!

I'm going to repot my dendrobiums today. I just can't seem to keep the bark chips hydrated enough, and I'm still too much of a beginner to feel confident.

BTW, I found the CocoGro at a local hydroponics store. What a hoot! I felt like I was back in Ann Arbor!
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:02 PM
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I've found the folks that work the two hydro stores in my area to be a "different breed" as well. Be careful not to pack the coir too tightly into the pots for your dends or they may stay wet toooooo long. I've noticed with my phals as well that there is quite a difference for watering needs based upon how "tightly" my repots are done. I've only tried this blend with one dend that had few remaining roots so couldn't tell if it really worked for dends well or not.....
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:20 PM
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Well, it's only been a few days since I repotted my ailing phal in your mix, but I'm delighted to report that it is doing very well!! The leaves are no longer floppy, and it seems quite happy! My only regret is that I didn't have any small clear plastic pots so that I could observe the roots.

Thanks so much for your recipe!!
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:01 PM
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Great! The "trick" now is coming up with the proper watering frequency to match. As you have noted, one of the nice things about the clear pots is you can see the condensate on the inside surface of the pots which tells you that there is no need to water yet. Of course you always have the bamboo skewer method noted on this forum. Also you soon learn much by simply picking up the pot/plant and noting how heavy it now is (works best with light plastic pots). Very light = water now. In my home and Oregon weather conditions the frequency can vary tremendously - in the dead of winter I can sometimes go about a month between waterings if the media is fairly densely potted and during the heat of the summer they won't even make it a week before needing water - maybe sometimes 2X per week. On average a weekly watering works for most sizes. Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:35 AM
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Hopefully I will have the time and energy this weekend to mix up some coir and perlite... I have several orchids that are in DESPERATE need of re-potting. I've been a very bad orchid mom for several months. *sigh*
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:37 PM
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Mike, yesterday, my recuperating phal in question fell off the table. I guess I wasn't watching it closely enough and it got dry. Since it is still top heavy, it just toppled over. No kitty bite marks, so that's my best guess on what happened.

Anyway, the roots were exposed and they look great! I had to trim back one that was questionable when I last potted it, but all the others, including the new ones, look very healthy and have active growing tips.

I repotted it, but this time I put a few of the marble chips that had been in the bowl under the pot into the bottom of the pot to give it a bit more heft. Some water and Superthrive, and it's good to go! I do think it's time for me to put them under some lights. The window is not getting as much light as it did during the summer.

Thanks again for your recipe...it has done wonders for my orchid-growing skills!
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:00 PM
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Excellent! That is great to hear.
This time of year the watering is cut waaaaay back with coir mix in my home environment context. I have not watered some of the larger plants for three weeks now and am not sure if I'm watering tomorrow yet or not? I'm sort of contemplating adding more styrofoam peanuts in the mid section of pots when they are quite large if/when there is any section of the pot which is mostly media and few roots? Will see! I've had a few fall off my stands too in the past few months from being too top heavy with long heavy spikes - I just repot them back up and generally speaking they just go on as if nothing happened!

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Old 10-30-2009, 11:09 PM
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Yes, definitely watering is slowing down here, too. I wish I had read about cones or peanuts in the center of the larger pots. I will do that the next time. The bigger ones take far fewers waterings than the little ones. I hate to say this, but I might be getting so many plants that I'm having a bit of a time making sure they're all watered properly! Naw....
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:21 PM
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A few things that help tremendously with the watering when you get larger numbers of phals (I have about 70) - with different sized pots and plants....
1) Use clear pots. If you see condensate inside it probably doesn't need to be watered.
2) Coir (when dry) and clear plastic pots weigh next to nothing. You can tell when they need to be watered by just lifting them up once you get the hang of it.
3) Careful not to pack in the wet/damp coir mix too much when repotting in order to stabilize the plant - I think I have errored a bit here - must be more careful in the future.
4) Sometimes I've noted a brick of coir is not uniformly mixed - and then when I de-brick it a piece at a time I get portions of nice fluffy material and then portions of small granular material. It would be better to do a bigger batch at once to get a more uniform coir material throughout multiple pots. My guess is that using a little more perlite with the finer material would help?
Still learning.................
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:39 AM
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Mike I don't use the coir peat mix for any phals but do use it for the terrestrials I have and use 50% perlite. This was the recommendation when we used to do hydroponic growing for non-orchid seedlings. The coir peat never gets fungus gnats either

I am finding more and more vendors are using the coir/perlite mix for many orchids now because it reduces the watering routines in big g/h's.

Brooke
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:26 AM
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I cannot say enough good things about this potting mix! My orchids are LOVING it! I think that almost all of my orchids are blooming this year. 6 of them are just finished blooming and 6 more have just started! In about 2 weeks we are moving to a condo. I'm a little worried how they will handle the move while they are blooming. :-(
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:47 AM
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I recently bought some vandaceous compots and I was wondering if this would be a good mix to start them off in. I know eventually theyll get bigger and need a much more open mix but since theyll be kinda small ya know.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:12 PM
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Longer Fiber Coir

Hello Everyone,

We were reading this thread and considering the comments regarding types of coir. We currently carry the finer grade which is "peat like" as was mentioned in the thread, and would like to let you know that we also bringing in the longer fiber type as a result of reading the posts here. It will join our shredded coconut husk, small, medium and large coconut chips and finer grade coir. We expect delivery of the American Agritech Botanicare coir in 3/4 inch fiber in the next several days. We will offer it by the quart and larger quantity like our other mediums, and most likely by the brick too. Thank you for alerting us to the interest in this other size of coir.

All the best!

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Old 03-03-2010, 07:11 PM
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Dang! I JUST received my order from you today, and I was looking for that very thing!
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:15 PM
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should us newbies stock up on this and have it ready when it's time to replant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayres View Post
Check cynthia's thread of the skewer method - http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/new...=skewer+method
This potting mixture should work - but it definately will take more monitoring to make sure you don't over water. People often get away with watering on a routine schedule with bark - say once a week. With coir mix it will vary depending upon the time of year - could be as long as 3-4 weeks depending upon your conditions.
i was a too lazy waterer with my phals and two out of three of them stopped flowering and one grew a keiki.

i was watering every two or three weeks in toronto in the winter without understanding anything about good watering practise (which i am making up for by reading, reading, reading here)

so, i'm trying watering once a week now and each plant has its own skewer, so that i can check that BEFORE watering (as well as the pot weight at the same time to learn this method too); but it sounds like these coir mixes would be a better solution, along with proper checking on dampness/dryness BEFORE watering. HELP

also, i have added one small paph to my collection and have read that they like their roots to stay moist and should not dry out as completely as the phals, so maybe coir and/or some loose sphrag would be good for this plant.

help - this is where it gets confusting;
orchid genus + medium + area + time of year + good watering practice

fyi, the paph i have is a small;
paph hsinying web red wizard X
paph hsinying rocket blood ruby

with six lmottled-coloured leaves
grower siad it it will throw a spike soon, like the others he had

in an east facing window.

hope this is the right place to put this post.
if not, please let me know.
thx,
April
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:13 AM
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Is this method easier to work with than bark?
I like growing in moss, but I hate repotting in moss, because I always end up breaking roots trying to push the bark into small spaces.
Right now I am using a s. moss and perlite 70/30 mix,
It was worked well, but I am looking for a better medium.
It seems this method is working well for you, is it like a dirt medium, it seems like potting soil. For sure potting soil will be a lot easier to add in small cramp space
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:55 PM
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There are a couple of plus attributes to this mix from my perspective....
1) No need to replace media until plant literally grows out of the pot! I repot when the plants have lost enough bottom leaves that they look leggy and/or they have tons of lower level aerial roots that could be inserted or when they just are busting out of the pot (young plants).
2) It may "look" like dirt, but is much different in attributes - good coir has quite a bit of fluffy/stringy (looking for words here!) material that when mixed with perlite will give you a lot of air spaces. Note poor quality coir will not only have excessive salt (and need to be rinsed many times), but also be more dustlike and compact not unlike soil.
3) The water absorbing qualitites of this stuff is amazing - you can easily tell when your plant needs to be watered by doing nothing more than lifting up the plant/pot. Light = water. Heavy = wait.
4) When potting keep the mix fairly dry (just slightly damp) or it will clump stick together and be somewhat difficult to coax in and among the root mass. If/when dry you can tap and shake the pot as you go and easily fill in all the voids.
5) BE CAREFUL not to overwater!
Good luck!
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:55 PM
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Hi Mike I came across your thread last week and decided to try it.
On pay day I went shopping and got the botanicare cocogro a 5 killogram brick, perlite, and charcoal and had a re potting marathon yesterday. I researched for ones I have that love moisture or and ones to not completely dry between watering s. Which was all of them except for like 8 or 9 that I have. So lol even with that brick OMG I thought i wouldn't have enough it made up three 5 gal buckets plus one large turkey roasting pan I have 2 1/2 five gal buckets left over. I didnthave packing peanuts to use but used hydroton on bottom of pots( small layer) as drainage and in center areas of root clusters to allow air flow (hope it works that way as rocks).
So this extra coco fiber I have cover it? Leave it open to dry out? What do you recommend?
Thanks
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:05 AM
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Amazing how those bricks "fluff" up isn't it! I always have a supply made up that is waiting for the next time I need it - sometimes in a few days/weeks - sometimes many months down the road. I let mine dry out and it rehydrates with no issues. I have about a ten gallon container now made up with all three ingredients that I probably won't use until this fall.....after the summer growing season. I will go through all my phals this fall and repot all that have outgrown their current pots and/or have become leggy (after bottom leaf drop) or have excessive lower level aerial roots.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:50 PM
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OMG Mike!
In just 2 days what a difference you mix makes!!!!!! You really need to patent and market this wonder mix! Here's just one amazing example... I had a thread a while back about a 2 root phal and I had it potted up in fine bark over a month ago it started forming 2 new roots and a new leaf. Well it was on its way still a bit droopy of course and sitting on a humidity tray.... This morning one of the new roots mad a drastic curve toward your mix and its 4 leaves have perked up so high like at attention in the army or something it looks like its going to take flight right out of its pot!!!!!!
WOW!!!! This stuff is the BOMB! I can't believe my eyes and that was just one example my paphs are sooooo happy too its unreal. I love this stuff its awesome and Mike you are awesome for sharing your magic recipe.
I can't wait to see them tomorrow morning and every morning as they progress and improve.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!
Emmaye
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayres View Post
Mix is approximately 75% coir, 20% perlite, & 5% charcoal.
I've been itching to try this mix since I stumbled across this classic thread a month ago. Well I finally reached a point where my first Phals purchased in May have all finished their blooming cycle, so it was about time for a repot-a-thon. I decided to go with ingredients from repotme.com, since they have added the coarse coir to their menu (at least partly in response to this thread). I bought a 12 scoop Select-A-Blend bag with 8 scoops coarse coir, 3 scoops small sponge rock aka perlite and 1 scoop small charcoal, which is as close as I can get to Mike's proportions by ordering that way; works out to approx 67% coir, 25% perlite and 8% charcoal, close enough for rock and roll as they say.

I soaked as much mix as I intend to use this week in normal dilutions of Grow More 20-10-20, Neptune's Harvest liquid seaweed and a little epsom salt, mixed well and then drained in a colander.

My first impression, just from the feel of it in my hands, is I really love this blend. It's certainly a lot airier than the tightly compacted spagnum that I just freed several of my favorite Phals from. I put my new bellina in it yesterday and 3 more plants just now. I'm using the slotted clear pots from repotme with packing peanuts in the bottom.

Last edited by jayfar; 07-22-2010 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:26 PM
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"sounds" great, BUT where are the pics?
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayres View Post
"sounds" great, BUT where are the pics?
Maybe next time. I think I just hit the threshold post count that allows me to post pics.

Or maybe a little later today. I see my Phal. bellina is happy enough in its new digs (repotted this one Thursday) that it has started to open its bud this morning. The little guy actually had one open bloom and the bud when I received it last Friday, but apparently 4 days in a dark shipping box in the custody of the USPS didn't agree with it and the bloom drooped and died by Sunday. Turned out it's most substantial good roots were 3 air roots with bright green tips hanging out of the pot, which I've put inside the new pot.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:48 PM
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I still can't say enough good things about this potting mixture. I've been able to get my phals to bloom again and again without even trying. I helped my daughter move all of her orchids over to this mixture and her's are doing even better than mine. It could be that mine are neglected just a wee bit more than her's. :-)
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:50 PM
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Thanks mayers for the awesome post. I recently got the bug and I'm trying to maintain a Phal that was my Mom's just before she passed. I'm going to repot it in this mix. I thought I had the bad Cocogro I read about on the boards that turned to mud but I think mine is ok. It surely does expand. I soaked it and strained it and squezed the water out and it is light and fluffy. Picked up some pearlite and charcoal so here goes.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:48 AM
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I bouth this coconut coir. Does it look god for potting medium (for phals)?

How often are you water orchids potted in this mix?
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:39 AM
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It is a little difficult to tell from the picture, but coir that is somewhat "stringy/fibrous" is what I personally prefer - in other words a mix of the smaller particles and the stringy pieces. I'm sure there is a term for this portion of the coconut, but I'm not sure what it is. I see some smaller pieces in your media. (I'm told that they actually use the stringy portion of the coconut shell to make things like mattresses and other more expensive items and that the ground up tailings that are sold as coir is actually the "garbage" from these other more lucrative processes - whether this is true or not I don't know for certain?) The more ground up the material is the more careful you will need to be to not compact when potting up - and also possibly add a little more percentage of companion materials (perlite/charcoal) to make certain the overall blend doesn't compact. Yes, I would think what you have would work - be sure to rinse it well in case it has salt buildup (sometimes the information on the packaging notes that it has been multiple rinsed already in preparation for plant use). The frequency of watering depends completely on the size of pot used and the time of year. Little 2" pots with seedlings may need to be watered 2-3X per week when very warm temps prevail. Large pots in cool weather may go 2-4 weeks between watering. You can tell when to water easily by the weight of the plant/pot when you lift it up (when you utilize light weight plastic pots) because the coir absorbs so much water the post watered combination is quite heavy in comparison. The majority of my phals are loosely potted in this material and will be watered weekly during warm weather.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for answer!!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:45 PM
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Hi everyone,
This is a really great thread and has proved to be really informative to me
One of my phals- Happy Girl to be exact needs to be re-potted. I see that there's high praise of the coir and things similar, but I can't seem to find that here. What I do have in great abundance (since I live in the Caribbean) is coconut husk..when I went to the garden center the other day I bought a bag of ready made orchid potting mix just for the sake of it and was wondering whether or not that would be good for my phal? or would I have to purchase something else? or add something to that mixture?

Any suggestions/recommendations would be most appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:02 PM
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Phals can successfully be grown in/on a wide variety of media types - of course in nature they grow with NO media - the media is more for our use in helping to provide a suitable way to care for them away from their natural setting. What does your husk material look like? My first concern would be making certain it is well rinsed to remove any salt(s) buildup. Are you thinking of mixing it with the ready made orchid mix you spoke of? Your ultimate aim is to provide both moisture and adequate looseness in the mix to provide air to the roots....
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:27 PM
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The coconut husk that I have already(via the tree in my neighbour's yard) has already been cut into small strips (quarter of a quarter) and left to dry. Then the orchid mix that I purchased from the garden center, has coconut husk that's mixed with agricultural charcoal,stone, and some perlite..the husk that's in that bag has been cut into chips roughly the size of your thumb nail and has already been rinsed.
And yes I was thinking of mixing it with the mix that I purchased.

At the garden center I also saw that there were bricks of compressed coconut fibre,but I didn't get that as I was on my lunch break and needed to go back to the office.

I'm a little nervous about re-potting this plant,because I don't want to loose it (and it was the first orchid my boyfriend gave to me, so I'm particularly attached to it lol )
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:31 AM
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If you use your home made coconut cut up husk I'd soak and rinse several times to leach out the salt. The salt comes from the ocean environment - it is attached to mist, fog, etc. - and pretty much gets on everything whether or not you can actually see it. Once that is done it should be fine to add to your other media if you like - otherwise the mix you purchased should be OK too if used as prepared - sounds interesting. Maybe you could take a picture of what it looks like before or after you also post a picture of your newly repotted phal! Don't worry about repotting your "baby" - they love it! Just be sure and remove any bad roots when you do and then don't overpot for the amount of root mass that you have.... Good luck!
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:44 PM
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Sorry for the late reply,there was a death in my family and I've been a little busy. I did take your advice to rinse the husk out several times and the went ahead to incorporate some of that with the mix I bought from the Garden Center. It's been a little over a week since I repotted them and they look good...I keep checking on them each time I pass by,and they have a nice colour green.
After I've re-potted though I'm not sure what to look for.....to be honest I keep looking for any yellowing,because I'm scared I did something wrong lol.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:13 PM
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The first thing to watch with a new media is to get your watering frequency right - which can also vary with most areas depending upon the climate - maybe not so much where you live? Do keep too wet nor let get too dry. With the type media that you are using the tendency might (?) be to keep to wet rather than too dry - especially if you overpotted at all. Hopefully your pot was not much bigger than the available root mass. Phals LOVE to be repotted (in my experience) and if/when they are "happy" they should keep/retain nice firm turgor in their leaves.....
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:35 PM
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So far I've not kept it too wet nor too dry. The leaves are nice and firm..I've not choked the plant with too much of the mixture but I do think I've given them enough to make them happy and healthy.
I'd post a picture to show you what I did,and you can give me your thoughts.....but I'm not really sure how to post or upload a pic

I never knew that they liked to be repotted...I'm still stunned by that lol

oo forgot to say that the pot wasn't too much bigger than the root mass.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:42 PM
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Sorry to bring back the dead... but I had a hard time finding the original ratio for the mix and finally got back here. I can't believe I've had my plants in this mix for so long (3 kids since I put my plants in this mix) - but just repotted everyone today and I was shocked to see the state of the roots. Compared to how I started this all (they were in moss and a rotting mess, hardly anything left under the level of the soil), now the plants (and keiki's galore) roots are pushing the plants right out of the pot! Not that I really measured this time around, but it was so helpful back then when I was trying to rescue a bunch of sick orchids
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzarkQ View Post
Sorry to bring back the dead... but I had a hard time finding the original ratio for the mix and finally got back here. I can't believe I've had my plants in this mix for so long (3 kids since I put my plants in this mix) - but just repotted everyone today and I was shocked to see the state of the roots. Compared to how I started this all (they were in moss and a rotting mess, hardly anything left under the level of the soil), now the plants (and keiki's galore) roots are pushing the plants right out of the pot! Not that I really measured this time around, but it was so helpful back then when I was trying to rescue a bunch of sick orchids
Congratulations on your SUCCESS! It's so rewarding to look back and how far you and your "chid" have come!

No need to appologize. I don't know about others but I LOVE reading the archived messages including Mike's.

Thanks for sharing!

Lilia
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:27 PM
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I'm new to caring for Orchids. I can't seem to find the recipe that is so much mentioned on this thread. Can someone guide me please?
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