Potting Soil for Zygopetalum?
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  #21  
Old 04-01-2024, 11:07 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
I think those potting soil mixes need to be watered like Phals. in sphagnum: Very lightly over the top, without soaking the medium. This way they remain evenly moist yet retain air. I think most garden centers overwater them.
I have a heart fern that arrived potted in one of those messes. It takes two weeks for it to somewhat dry out. The problem is that if you go over the dry out threshold, it actually becomes hydrophobic, just like sphagnum. You water from the top and the water slides over like a glaze and falls through the sides. I can't wait to repot it!!!!

I've seen a lot of infamously "thirsty" plants arrive potted in that packed up, wet, muddy peat and their root systems usually show signs of severe stress. Namely Calatheas, Maranthas, ferns... are all usual suspects. Ironically, my Calatheas do great and grow enormous in a mix of 25% coco coir, 25% perlite, 25% orchiata precision, and 25% tree fern fiber... and I let them dry out almost fully. Go figure.
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  #22  
Old 04-02-2024, 08:41 AM
lambo1972 lambo1972 is offline
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Potting Soil for Zygopetalum?
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I have read zygos like higher acidity. I was thinking of adding something for that. But ‘classic’ bark mix. Seems to be recovering with 3 new growths. Finger crossed. What would be something good to add for acidity? Kanuma was mentioned. Thanks for all the advice y’all!
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2024, 02:46 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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I have read zygos like higher acidity. I was thinking of adding something for that. But ‘classic’ bark mix. Seems to be recovering with 3 new growths. Finger crossed. What would be something good to add for acidity? Kanuma was mentioned. Thanks for all the advice y’all!
Bark is fine. Orchiata is buffered with dolomite with keeps its pH more neutral, other barks are slightly acidic. As you water the dolomite will wear off and the bark will slightly decompose (this is good!), bark is extremely helpful for Nitrogen fixing microorganisms. If you aren't using Orchiata, any regular pine or fir bark will be slightly acidic already, so it's all good!

The best thing you can do to keep the medium in the right conditions is to use RO water and to flush the pot profusely once a month. Or if using tap water with low TDS, running water through that pot as much as possible. It really helps keeping salt deposits to a minimum and in exchange maintaining the acidity Zygos like.

Kanuma also works, and I like it, but it is true that it can dissolve/crush more easily than perlite. Sphagnum moss is also acidic and works well.
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