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  #1  
Unread 02-01-2008, 07:49 PM
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Default Bark mix vs. Sphagnum

Could some of you please chime in with some reasons why bark mix is preferable to sphagnum for growing Phals.?

Thanks,

Sue

Sue Fourmet
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  #2  
Unread 02-01-2008, 07:52 PM
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Only one reason -- more air to roots. Some folks here grow Phals successfully in Sphag, others swear by bark or even Semi-hydroponics. The one thing I can tell you for sure is the roots need air to survive and however you get that to them is good. They also need moisture and nutrients. However you balance all of the above is to your advantage.
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  #3  
Unread 02-01-2008, 08:21 PM
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I've also heard (and I think it was on the OB site) that sphagnum moss breaks down more quickly than a bark mix.
Also, my own personal feel about moss is that it stays too wet for too long and I always worry about root rot. Many phals come from the greenhouses in moss because it is easier care for the greenhouse grower.
However, we all use moss when we are trying to salvage an ailing orchid or trying to mount a young plant.
A Native American friend of mine always said that live sphagnum moss has got healing properties for plants. She always used fresh moss, not what you buy in a bag. I have learned to do that also. I'm very careful that there isn't anything in the moss that could hurt my orchids, but I do use the fresh picked s. moss for young orchids. It's worked well for me so far.
I'm sure this was more than you needed to hear.
Sorry..... kiki
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  #4  
Unread 02-01-2008, 09:04 PM
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Hi Sue

I have all my phal hybrids in straight aliflor (along with most of the other chids) but I have all the phal species in sphag and their baskets hang sideways. They are the only 'chids I grow in sphag.
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  #5  
Unread 02-01-2008, 09:45 PM
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Sue,

You use the term bark mix, but what about the same for sphag? Why use straight sphag?

Why not mix it up with bark?

It's not that orchids prefer one mix over another, it's the growers that have this preference.
Also ... its not the media that carries the success - its really the growers, (IMHO)

I've got catts in clay pots, full of roots without any media at all.

Sphag.moss is not for hobbyists who like to water more often. There's nothing wrong with that either. To some folks its' love!

If you like to pay more attention to you orchids, then perhaps a bark mix is the way to go
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  #6  
Unread 02-01-2008, 10:04 PM
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Oh Sue, I didn't take into account that you are in California. Perhaps you would do better with moss. Like Sue in Florida, phals could dry out quicker than where I am in Maine, so moss would be the preferred medium. That is another consideration....location. kiki
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  #7  
Unread 02-02-2008, 10:15 AM
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Choosing Potting Media
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  #8  
Unread 02-02-2008, 11:26 AM
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Default I use bark mix almost all the time.

Some folks brought me some orchids from the WOC. I went to repot them as they old me that they were not allowed to have them in bark coming into the country. On one of them, many of the roots were rotted off. For the most part, unless it is a plant that I know likes to be damp most of the time, I stick to bark mix.
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  #9  
Unread 02-02-2008, 11:36 AM
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Default Bark mix vs. Sphagnum

Thanks to all of you for your advice. I bought a small bag of bark mix so I think I'll try repotting one or two of my Phals. in bark to see what I think. I've been using the sphagnum for a year or so in the pots the orchids came in, but I do worry about over-watering.

Sue
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