Orchiata bark vs. Better-Gro bark
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:31 PM
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Orchiata bark vs. Better-Gro bark Male
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I like the pecan shells idea. How well did it work?
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2018, 09:38 AM
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Orchiata bark vs. Better-Gro bark Male
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I fail to understand the fascination with Orchiata.
  1. Most sympodial orchids outgrow their pot in 2 or 3 years, necessitating repotting, so 'longer lasting' is immaterial.
  2. I am told by people who are using Orchiata, that the pH changes after 2-3 years, so 'longer lasting' is not really true.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2018, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantzzzzz View Post
Hoya Carnosa and related liked to dry out more, I do grow these but haven't had the chance to grow them in an epiphyte mix. They grow very slowly for me and I think it's the lack of light.
Remember Hoyas are epiphytic milkweeds. When ones like carnosa are happy they grow so vigorously they can outgrow their space quickly. They start in spring when weather warms, and don't stop until weather cools.

They don't like to dry out during the growing season. That right there will stop their growth. But being epiphytes, they also need lots of air in the potting mix. People who put them in heavy bagged potting soil find they can rot easily, so they have acquired the reputation of needing to be kept dry. This will keep them alive, but they won't grow much, if at all.

You can use a potting mix of 90% medium particle pumice, volcanic cinders or perlite, and 10% bagged potting soil. In this kind of medium you can water a lot, and they will grow happily. A bonus is you won't have to repot because the inorganic particles don't break down. Just top dress with a thin layer of organic matter each spring.

Also, in common with most tropical milkweeds, the warmer the better for lowland Hoyas. In shade, and well-watered, H. carnosa grows well in Phoenix summers outdoors.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2018, 02:52 PM
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I had no idea Hoya were particular! We have one in a large hanging basket lined with coconut fiber and potted in miracle grow potting soil. It’s outside. I think we’ve had it for 10 or 15 years and it’s never been repotted. It’s a beast. It’s weathered extended periods of neglect so I’ve been thinking it was pretty much indestructible.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2018, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairorchids View Post
I fail to understand the fascination with Orchiata.
  1. Most sympodial orchids outgrow their pot in 2 or 3 years, necessitating repotting, so 'longer lasting' is immaterial.
  2. I am told by people who are using Orchiata, that the pH changes after 2-3 years, so 'longer lasting' is not really true.
Kim,

While the life of Orchiata is far greater, I think it's wise to repot about annually anyway. Nonetheless, the superior grading and "cleanliness" (i.e., no small bits or fluffy stuff) makes it worth the added expense.

Basically, once you prep it to fully absorb water, it changes very little until you dump it at a repot. I know no other potting medium that doesn't slowly degrade over that same time period.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2018, 09:41 PM
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Orchiata bark vs. Better-Gro bark Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliceinwl View Post
I had no idea Hoya were particular! We have one in a large hanging basket lined with coconut fiber and potted in miracle grow potting soil. It’s outside. I think we’ve had it for 10 or 15 years and it’s never been repotted. It’s a beast. It’s weathered extended periods of neglect so I’ve been thinking it was pretty much indestructible.
Most Hoyas aren't particular, but few people grow them well. After this amount of time the potting soil in your basket (which is essentially sawdust and black charcoal) has been completely eaten up by soil microorganisms, and not much remains in that basket other than a tangle of roots. There will be plenty of air to the roots because there's not much to impede air flow.

I didn't mention that many people say Hoyas are set back severely when repotted. I don't believe that if they are repotted into a medium reasonable for epiphytes.
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2019, 10:38 PM
Mechanica071 Mechanica071 is offline
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Orchiata bark vs. Better-Gro bark Female
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I've found good results with Better-Gro, BUT (and this is a big one!) only if I've bought one of the bags that were stored INSIDE the stores. This doesn't guarantee anything but I've had really bad luck with mold and broken down medium from the bags sitting outside in the elements. My local stores all keep most of their bags outside so it takes a little hunting to find ones that have been kept indoors, but it's SO worth the extra effort to find a good, cheap medium.
Orchiata has given me good results on fragile miniatures and seedlings, but I can't always justify the expense when I could be using that money on more orchids If I've got some sickly rescues having issues with their roots it's more than worth the money, though.
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