Worm tea for Orchids
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:22 AM
Laserbeak Laserbeak is offline
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Worm tea for Orchids Male

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Old 03-31-2021, 04:41 AM
tropicaloliver tropicaloliver is offline
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Worm tea for Orchids
Default Not all orchids are epiphyte, Paphiopedilums are terrestrial

Originally Posted by svlair View Post
OK as a retired microbiologist I will climb on my soapbox briefly. Bacteria can be harmful or beneficial. The whole selling point of worm tea is that it is supposedly loaded with beneficial bacteria and their metabolic byproducts that are of benefit to plants.

There is ample evidence that worm tea is helpful for vegetable crops but perhaps not for orchids. The bacteria are of soil origin and that is their natural environment. Orchids are grown without soil and these bacteria probably do not colonize orchid roots or their media.

My experiment was confined to a single orchid and the worm tea proved to be of no benefit whatsoever. Please keep us posted if your results are different.
I never understand why everyone only talks about orchids as epiphytes, orchids are a big family of plants that also includes terrestrial species like the Paphiopedilums so been terrestrials, shouldn't they be ok with worm casting?
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:16 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Worm tea for Orchids Male

There are terrestrial orchids , but I believe paphs are better described as “semi-terrestrial”, as their roots tend to spread in the leaf litter of the forest floor, rather than down into the soil.

Anyway, I believe the fact that the bacteria from worm castings may-, or may not be beneficial, regardless of their soil origin. (I cannot say which, as I don’t know the species.)

For the most part, the microbes in probiotics do not directly do things to the plants. Instead, it is their secretions that may be effective, so may be thought of as a “chemical treatment” of the plant, no matter the origin of the microbe.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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