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Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

Posted by Danielle317 7 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 17:52

I've got two oncidiums, one is a regular size with 6 mature psuedobulbs and 2 newer ones, and the other is a smaller twinkle, with about 6 psuedobulbs. Both are currently in hydroton in plastic pots (this is how I received them), and though they're doing very well, I want to move them back to bark. The hydroton just isn't the right medium for this environment. Right now I've got to give them a thorough misting daily, and soak them once a week for about 30 minutes. They would probably like more, but I tend to forget a weekday soak. They made it through the winter, despite the horrible dryness in my house (thanks to the humidifier and the constant misting), so I'm calling it a win. Still, I think bark will be a better home for them.

I ordered some smaller oncidium bark mix from repotme, and I'm hoping that the bark will keep them damp for a few days at a time, and I can get a break from the constant misting. Does anyone have suggestions or advice on what to do before, during, or after?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

I'd leave them in the hydrotone which works real great for me. Switch to Semi-hydroponic and humidity problem solved. Place them in 1/2" to 2/4" tray of water. The moisture will wick up the pellets and your plants will enjoy moisture without being wet. Never have to repot as it does not deteriorate.

Nick


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

I completely second the S/H idea.


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

Uuuuugh. But it's so uglyyyyyy. And even when sitting in a dish with water, it just doesn't seem to be enough. Between the plastic pot and the older, spotty, ragged leaves of the back bulbs, the larger onc is just floppy and ugly. The twinkle is still cute and green. Maybe I'll just figure out a nicer pot situation. Soon enough they can sit outside and it will be easier.

It's not the answer I wanted, but I respect your opinions. If you think it's detrimental to the plants, I'll wait on it.


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

If there are new roots forming, the next few weeks is the time to repot them if you were so inclined... In the past I struggled going from S/H to bark, but you're not really going from S/H, just a 'rock' mix.

Good luck,

Bob


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

I have many orchids in the oncidium family and wouldn't consider putting them in hydroton. They get watered twice a week and some would like more. The clay pellets dry out way too fast for these water-loving orchids. I guess if you switch to the water tray, it could work though. I only use hydroton for my cattleyas. I don't plan to repot my oncidiums since I'm trying the "pot in a pot" method.


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

My dislike of the hydroton is twofold: first, while the plants are putting out new growth, I want them to do more than simply survive. I want them to flourish, and I don't see that happening without them having something other than clay pellets for them to dig their roots into. I fertilize them, but that can be challenging from season to season. Despite all of the watering and misting, I see symptoms of chronic dehydration. There are areas of accordion-like leaves on all new growth. I noticed today that one of the newer psuedobulbs burst through the outer leaves at the base, because they were so tight.

Second, the plants don't get watered where they sit. I carry them to the kitchen. I feel that the hydroton is very unforgiving on these thin roots, even with minor jostling. If the plants stayed in one place and had water poured over them and were never disturbed, it may be different. But I move the pots around at least once a week; bark may be a more gentle option for all the handling they get.

My package arrive today. Maybe I'll only put one in bark, see how it fares, then make my decision about repotting the twinkle. I'll think about it.


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

I agree with you Danielle. I grow them in small bark with a little sphag mixed in. You could mix some perlite if you want. They have always done fine for me in this mix. Bob is right, if you are going to make the move, do it now.

Jane


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RE: Transitioning oncidiums from hydroton to bark

If you end up going to new bark pour some boiling water over the bark in a bowl and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Then dump it and repot away.


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