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Old 11-13-2022, 07:02 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Originally Posted by florianradke View Post
Now I was given a brassavola in rough shape, and decided to place in an antique unglazed upright pot. I coated the interior of the pot with powdered graphite. My hope is that the graphite will be non-harmful to the roots, but also close and smooth out many of the porous holes in the pots surface that the roots and their glue-like substance grow into, deterring adhesion, while still allowing the passage of water. It's a bit of an experiment.

An interesting experiment, for sure. You definitely need to keep an eye on it if you value the pot. Brassavolas tend toward wild roots - I mostly gave up on mounts, put them in wood baskets with little or no medium. (Think of those as three-dimensional mounts) Both roots and growths go wherever they feel like. They definitely like having their roots go "wherever", with lots of air. Where do you live? Do you grow indoors, or greenhouse or??? (I live in coastal southern California, a very benign climate, so grow mostly outside... I am a "What can I get away with" grower.)
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Old 11-14-2022, 09:27 AM
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Be very careful in your use of cork.

Some 30 years ago or more, ground cork was touted as the new, great potting medium. It was cheap, uniform in size, and easy to work with. The compressibility made it stabilize plants quickly, and it seemed to hold water fairly uniformly.

Unfortunately, some months after repotting plants with it, it went from “fantastic” to “root-smothering mush” seemingly overnight.

Apparently the large volume of exposed cracks/voids/cell interfaces (or whatever) allowed microbes to go to town.
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Old 11-14-2022, 12:54 PM
florianradke florianradke is offline
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Thanks for the note of caution regarding cork. (OP I hope this is not too far off the original topic of packing peanuts!) My approach is to use the highest grade cork I can find. Cork, being the bark of the cork oak tree, is a highly variable material. There are different grading systems (which I don't pretend to understand), but generally the higher grades have more uniform material distribution with lower porosity and fewer pits and fissures, and are also largely absent insect and fungal damage. Generally speaking "flor grade" cork is the highest quality, and to many does not even look like cork because it is so bright and uniform. Part of the grade of cork has to do with the age of the tree (and the thickness of the bark) that the cork was harvested from. I will then disinfect and coat in activated charcoal dust. I only use gigantic pieces to keep airflow high and usually in a orchid pot with holes. Only have two pots like this but it's worked so far.

I grow in Massachusetts. Indoor in the winters, hybrid indoor/outdoor in summer.

The powdered graphite idea came from this article: Frontiers | Getting a Grip on the Adhesion Mechanism of Epiphytic Orchids – Evidence From Histology and Cryo-Scanning Electron Microscopy

If you scroll down you'll see Fig. 6 is interesting.

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Old 11-23-2022, 08:27 PM
Clawhammer Clawhammer is offline
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I just got a box full of orchids fully packed in peanuts from Andy's today.

Black friday sale on right now too...
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Old Yesterday, 02:00 AM
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