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amending terrestrial mix

Posted by amyqofu z9 NorCal (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 15, 10 at 18:25

I have some premixed terrestrial orchid mix for paphs and cymbidium. I feel that it is keeping my paphs too moist. What would be the best choice to amend the mix with? I have on hand hydroton, coconut chips, bark, charcoal, perlite. Any of these a good idea? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: amending terrestrial mix

Paphs are not terrestrials, Cymbidiums to a varying degree are also not. Throw away the terrestrial mix and mix everything else together.


RE: amending terrestrial mix

I am on your side Nick. I agree with you

RE: amending terrestrial mix

Not too sure what is in your terrestrial mix but you may want to save the mix in the event you want to grow truly terrestrial type of orchids, such as Spiranthes or Epipactis. But, even with true terrestrials pot culture can not be expected to be in line with what you would find in nature.
To use the mix for terrestrials, I would mix in either granitic gravel at either twice as much gravel as mix or equal amounts OR you can use packing peanuts that can be broken into small pieces and then mixed with the terrestrial mix at 50-50. Do not mix with other ingredients that would decompose unless you plan to repot yearly as terrestrial mixes can deteriorate rapidly under a weekly watering schedule.
For paphs and cymbidiums check out Google for cultural needs.

RE: amending terrestrial mix

Thanks, all. I only report what is on the back of the bag, which is from Rod McLellan, a very large orchid grower in/near Half Moon Bay in Northern California. It says "excellent for all terrestrial orchids, especially cymbidiums and paphiopedilums." It is mainly of fir bark and sand; I probably should have said that in the OP.

RE: amending terrestrial mix

I use seedling bark, charcoal and larger perlite for my paphs. I think if you add any of your inert ingredients except the hydroton it would open the mix up, permit better drainage and air exchange. The hydroton would hold too much moisture for your purposes.

Check Carter & Holmes and their recommendations. They use seedling bark, peat moss and perlite. It sounds similar to your mix.


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