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  #1  
Old 06-06-2018, 07:39 PM
Irisha99 Irisha99 is offline
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Hi, everybody.
My husband bought this brassavola digbyana today. Itís my first Brassavola so I am not sure on its care needs (growers mentioned lots of sun and let it dry out between waterings). Also, my husband bought a few plants from the same grower and they grow their plants in bark mixed with sponge rock and some pieces of cloth? Look at the picture, please. Should I repot it or this medium is good for this plant needs? The tag claims it was repotted at the end of last year. Thank you
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2018, 10:24 PM
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I think the mix looks good. First you don't want to anything until after it blooms... I see a nice fat bud! Like all Catts (it's a close relative) it likes to dry out between waterings - the large bark is good. You could uses the "skewer test" to find out when the bottom of the pot dries out. I have found that these tend to do even better after the climb out of the pot. But if it was just potted at the end of last year, you can easily wait until it is crawling out of the pot to repot. And in the future, that sort of mix is what you should be continuing to use.Not sure about the cloth, have never used it (might hold a bit of extra moisture). Large bark (with or without perllte) is what is desired.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:09 AM
Irisha99 Irisha99 is offline
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I am always skeptical of what hides within the mix and isnít visible to the eye. I had some plants with sphagnum moss hidden inside the pot at the base of roots and some had what looked like potting soil. So you think itís safe to wait? I do normally repot into orcheata mix. I donít use perlite because I bought one bag from Home Depot and it Looked like sand so I returned it. Do you recommend it and if yes, what brand? And I love the skewer method. I do use it on most of my potted orchids. Do you recommend sticking it deeper into the pot. I usually have it in about 2Ē deep. Thanks for your suggestions, Roberta!
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:40 AM
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Home Depot perlite is good only for a soil amendment, not for orchids. I get larger perlite from either of two nursery supply places that do have some orchid supplies - I get #2 perlite (fairly small but still chunkier than the Home Depot stuff) for small bark mix (Cyms and Paphs mostly) and #3 perlite for medium bark for Catts. For large bark I don't use any perlite, but could get #4 - big chunks - but the large bark is so airy already I don't think it needs amendment. Your favorite online orchid media supply place can probably provide - it's light so shipping shouldn't be a killer. Perhaps someone can advise in your area.

Generally I agree with you about wanting to repot new plants on general principles. But if these were purchased from a local grower who could tell you the actual repotting history, and the medium looks suitable for the purpose (which this does), you may have found a rare vendor who actually does grow and take care of the plants. In that case, if they tell you it was repotted at the end of last year, it probably actually was.

I'd stick the skewer down farther, near the bottom of the pot. This is a big plant, and you do want it to go pretty dry down to the bottom. When it does come time to repot, consider a basket if you can accommodate that, then you will get rapid drying with no worries.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:45 AM
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Thanks so much, Roberta. Will search perlite of good quality on amazon.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:54 AM
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if you go to a large greenhouse (and you have one local) get large horticultural perlite...I buy huge bags for my mixes and for the garden beds.....its only 30$ or so, and I do a lot of organic veggies. perlite does hold some moisture, helps aerate the mixes, AND increases the cation exchange, or exchange of gases...it is an expanded volcanic product....

now, I just love brassavolas, and you have a really nice looking plant WITH A BUD! give this plant lots of sun, hard sun, and water thoroughly WHEN DRY! brassavolas really like to dry out! with a bud, you want to baby it a little bit, put it in a more protected place, but still dry! that media looks wet to me!

I don't know your circumstances or conditions, but if you are worried, just ask, lots of folk here to help you!

put that flower, once it opens, in a small room, it is so wonderfully fragrant!
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irisha99 View Post
Thanks so much, Roberta. Will search perlite of good quality on amazon.
Specifically look for #3 perlite (or super coarse) You can get smaller quantities at places like rePotme.com, price per unit is high but you probably don't want a 4 cu. ft. bag at this stage... You can certainly use other inorganic material, such as lava rock, pumice, etc. There's nothing magic about perlite, its function is just to keep the mix open as bark breaks down. So don't worry too much about the details, it's the end result that you want. Large bark is important, what else you put in there of similar size is much less important. You could use cut-up wine corks to do the same thing that the perlite does.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dounoharm View Post
if you go to a large greenhouse (and you have one local) get large horticultural perlite...I buy huge bags for my mixes and for the garden beds.....its only 30$ or so, and I do a lot of organic veggies. perlite does hold some moisture, helps aerate the mixes, AND increases the cation exchange, or exchange of gases...it is an expanded volcanic product....

now, I just love brassavolas, and you have a really nice looking plant WITH A BUD! give this plant lots of sun, hard sun, and water thoroughly WHEN DRY! brassavolas really like to dry out! with a bud, you want to baby it a little bit, put it in a more protected place, but still dry! that media looks wet to me!


I don't know your circumstances or conditions, but if you are worried, just ask, lots of folk here to help you!

put that flower, once it opens, in a small room, it is so wonderfully fragrant!
I live in NYC and don't know of any greenhouses nearby. But I can google this stuff and see if I can get it online.
I put the plant in a southern window, behind sheer curtain. I have my cattleyas there and a dendrobium, they seem happy. Hope she likes it there too
will water only when dried out. I put a stick there already to monitor. Thanks for the suggestions.
I heard these are fragrant, can't wait for it to open (fingers crossed).

---------- Post added at 12:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:09 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Specifically look for #3 perlite (or super coarse) You can get smaller quantities at places like rePotme.com, price per unit is high but you probably don't want a 4 cu. ft. bag at this stage... You can certainly use other inorganic material, such as lava rock, pumice, etc. There's nothing magic about perlite, its function is just to keep the mix open as bark breaks down. So don't worry too much about the details, it's the end result that you want. Large bark is important, what else you put in there of similar size is much less important. You could use cut-up wine corks to do the same thing that the perlite does.
I have a lot of hydroton, it absorbs some water but dries out pretty quickly. Maybe a combination of hydroton and bark would work? I guess I will keep it potted as is for now not to disturb its bud.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:38 PM
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I have a lot of hydroton, it absorbs some water but dries out pretty quickly. Maybe a combination of hydroton and bark would work? I guess I will keep it potted as is for now not to disturb its bud.
If the hybroton is close to the same size as the bark, should work... if the inorganic stuff is small relative to the bark, it blocks air spaces instead of improving them. If much larger, it doesn't mix in, and doesn't do much.

Absolutely don't rush to pot it. (If potted in that large bark mix at the end of last year, it should be fine for another year at least) And certainly not before the flower... fragrance, especially in the evening, is like lemon. And this is the species that gives all the Blc-s their "floof" - the lip is incredible. Your hubby appears to have found someone who is selling divisions... and so probably does know something about these plants. If nearby, a person whose acquaintance you should make, somebody to learn from.

Personally, while I usually repot after obtaining a plant, I make an exception when I know who grew it and what they use for potting mix. For instance, I usually don't touch Catts from Sunset Valley Orchids until they're climbing out of the pot, because I know that they were potted in top-quality bark and my own mix is likely to be worse. I do think that is the case here. If you can't improve on it, let it be...
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Last edited by Roberta; 06-08-2018 at 12:47 PM..
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