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  #1  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:26 AM
Atalah Atalah is offline
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Bark for garden mulch Female
Default Bark for garden mulch

I wonder if you could use bark that isn't advertised as fir bark for orchids, but bark in 40 liter bags meant as mulch for the garden. I have a bag, it's not overly expensive, I could use it to mulch my blueberries, but I would like to use some for my orchids as well. A lot of the bark is easily recognized as fir, but the bag doesn't say what type of bark it contains.

Right now I'm keeping a portion in an open bag so it can dry out a bit. I hope that I can rinse the dirt of when I need to and that it won't be too time consuming making chips in the size I want. ...Assuming it's regarded safe to use that is
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:15 AM
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Mulch may not have a very good life-span in a frequently watered pot. It is intended to break down and be incorporated in the soil, after all.

Also, bark intended for use in orchids is usually treated in some way to reduce the resin content, some of which are phytotoxic. For mulch, it's fine, as that's intended to keep plant (weed) growth down, but for orchids, it is to be avoided.

Having said that, it is also possible that you have run across some mulch that is perfect, so it might be worth an experiment with a plant you're willing to sacrifice.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2015, 10:01 AM
Atalah Atalah is offline
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Thanks. I'm still looking. It's not easy to find orchid soil. The standard orchid media available here get very bad critiques.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Having said that, it is also possible that you have run across some mulch that is perfect, so it might be worth an experiment with a plant you're willing to sacrifice.
I think you're right. I'll do that.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2015, 12:13 PM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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Much of the bark used for landscaping mulch is pine bark and not fir bark. Not saying that fir is never used for landscaping, but it's not the same as pine. Most of the pine bark nuggets have a high resin content.

I have heard of people using cypress mulch for orchids. Haven't tried it myself.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:45 PM
Atalah Atalah is offline
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I've found out that some orchid growers in my area sometimes use what they call french bark. Again, it is used for mulch and garden decoration, but is indeed valued for it's slow decaying ability and I seems that it is not unconventional as an orchid medium.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:22 PM
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Default Bark for garden mulch

Basically, you need to evaluate it for its ability to absorb moisture, as well as the size and shape of the spaces between the particles.

Many years ago, I had a local source of cypress chips, and they absorbed really well, and never decomposed, but being somewhat like flat flakes, they stacked too tightly, so suffocated the roots. Fortunately, by blending in about 1/3 coarse sponge rock, it became reasonably acceptable.


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Old 01-12-2015, 03:19 PM
Dan796 Dan796 is offline
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Default Cypress mulch and Royal Oak charcoal

Hi all,
I've been experimenting with Cypress mulch to grow my Orchids for 2 years now with excellent results!
It's especially good for minis that need a fine bark.
It will hold water, and let lots of air in at the roots.

At our local big box garden center, a bag of Cypress mulch averages between $4.00 - $5.00 for 40 lb bag (3cf).
And each bag can be easily sorted into several different size grades, fine for mini's up to large chunks for Catt's, etc.
I ran out of retail orchid bark one day, and decided to experiment with Cypress because the trees naturally grow standing in swamp water. So, logically, it seemed to me that the bark would be more resistant to fungus and rot. It doesn't quickly break down in a pot like pine products do!
I always treat the Cypress mulch with non-toxic Neem oil after planting as a preventative for hiding bugs, and to guard the newly planted orchid against root rot and fungus.
Also, I've found Royal Oak charcoal crushed to desired size works great! It's all natural ! They Do Not use chemical accelerators of any kind to make their Hardwood charcoal chunks,
I've been also using their charcoal for 2 years with no negative results. You can buy it at big box stores for approximately $14.00 - $16.00 for a 10 lb bag.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2015, 05:10 AM
Roey.P. Roey.P. is offline
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PINE BARK ARE THE BEST l have heard sequoia bark too.
For other tree cut the tree and put on it from both sides ordinary green sphagnum like on building walls from the inside and outside and spray water any two days if it alive after 2 months its good for orchid but use a fresh one. ALSO DONT TAKE WOOD THAT DRY TO FAST OR YOU WILL NEED TO WATER ANY 3 DAYS.

Last edited by Roey.P.; 01-16-2015 at 05:17 AM..
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2015, 10:26 AM
Atalah Atalah is offline
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Cypress sounds interesting indeed were it not that Cypress is not a common forest tree in Europe. So it's probably not gonna work for me. The treatment with Neem also sounds like a good precaution. I'll remember that.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2015, 09:29 PM
pipsxlch pipsxlch is offline
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I use the lava rock sold for walkways or bedding or whatever for my plants that like good drainage- so pretty much anything.
I second the hardwood natural charcoal also, it's another thing I use. It was roughly $14 for a big bag (25 lbs?) of the charcoal, and less than $5 for the rock.
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