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  #1  
Unread 02-15-2012, 11:42 PM
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Cool Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix


I was repotting my new Phals and went and bought some of this Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix. When I got home and opened it up, I was kinda surprised to see that it looked more like soil than tree bark. I was kinda hesitant about using it at first, at least until I read other people's reviews of it. So far, I seen mixed reviews, some good, some bad. I decided to test it out and filled up an empty pot and watered it to see how well it drained and how much water it retained. The water drained out of it pretty quick. It looked similar to the medium that the orchids already had, so I decided to try it out. At least on one of the plants, to see how things went, before repotting them all into it.

After repotting an orchid with it, I gave it a good watering, using fertilizer and SuperThrive. One thing that I did do to help was to place the pot on some paper towels to help wick away any excess moisture. When the paper towels were completely wet, I squeezed them out and placed the pots back on them. I did this a few times, until the towels no longer soaked up any more excess water.

I already leave my ceiling fan going on medium speed, so that they have fresh air circulation. I checked on my repotted orchid daily to see how the roots were doing. Yet another reason I love using transparent pots. It's been well over a week now, and the orchid seems to be doing okay, and the mix seems like it's drying out pretty good. I have a couple other Phals that are currently planted in sphagnum moss, and upon comparing both potting mediums, the moss seems to retain more moisture than the Miracle Gro does.

The one thing that I would suggest when using this medium, is setting the pots on paper towels to help wick away any excess water. Seeing as I only have half a dozen orchids at the moment, I didn't really mind taking the extra time doing this.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to hear from anybody else who might have used the Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix, and perhaps get your input and any suggestions that you might have.

Last edited by tom_e_boi; 02-16-2012 at 12:02 AM..
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  #2  
Unread 02-16-2012, 12:30 AM
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I use this for certain houseplants but, even then, I have to mix sand, vermiculite and perlite to open this up. I think if you use a tiny pot and the roots are very healthy and crammed in (without being broken), this medium would probably work for a phal orchid. If the miracle grow doesn't dry completely in a four or five days, though, try something else. I hate repotting and disturbing happy roots so I use lava rock/net pots, or mount my orchids. Good luck and keep us posted!
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  #3  
Unread 02-16-2012, 08:22 AM
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I only use it for my terrestrial orchids, and I add perlite, styrofoam peanuts and other things to the mix to help open it up. I lost a few phals to the Miracle Gro mix and would never use it again for any other orchids other than terrestrials.
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  #4  
Unread 02-16-2012, 09:22 AM
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I prefer chunky medium like bark or coconut husk chips but I do know some people who grow in peat moss mixes that are a lot like Miracle Gro. My only suggestion would be to keep that one orchid in it for six months to a year to see how it does before using it on all your orchids. I do agree with you about clear pots. That's all I use on phals now.
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  #5  
Unread 02-24-2012, 03:20 PM
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The one problem with the M-Gro mix is that it breaks down quicker than bark, therefore frequent repotting is necessary, say every 6 months instead of a year. Keep your eye on it.
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  #6  
Unread 02-24-2012, 03:34 PM
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I used it years ago, when I only had a few plants, and it was ok I guess. I did find that seedlings out of flask grew really well for me in it though. (Grammatophyllums)
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  #7  
Unread 02-25-2012, 09:34 PM
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Default RE: Miracle Gro orchid mix

Hi-

Like so many others here, I've tried using Miracle Gro for orchids; I've had nothing but bad luck as it seems to hold too much water... and I'm a fairly devoted clay pot user (for what it's worth).

The time I did use Miracle Gro I also added vermiculite, clay pot shards, bark, foam peanuts, etc to "open" it up but I still couldn't seem to find a happy medium

I'm glad it's working for you though!

Cheers and Blessings
NeoOrchid
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  #8  
Unread 02-25-2012, 09:51 PM
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Cool *UPDATE* My Using Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix

Just thought I'd chime in and post an update for others to know about how my use of this mix is going so far...

I've kept a careful eye on my repotted orchids and seen how well they handled their new homes. So far, I would have to say that the results look positive. I was concerned about the mix not drying out fast enough, but it has dried out enough to where I was comfortable with watering them again a week later.
I have a couple others Phals which are still in the sphagnum moss that they came in when I bought them, and I had watered them the same day that I watered the Phals in the Miracle Gro mix and they were still slightly damp and didn't need watering just yet. The Miracle Gro mix dried out much faster than the sphagnum moss.
One factor that I believe helps is that I had repotted the Phals into Oxygen Core Dual™ Pots, so they're basically planted in net pots which are then placed into an outer clear plastic pot. As you can see in the pic that I attached, the majority of the roots are on the outside of the net pots and not actually buried inside the mix. So they get plenty of fresh air, which the orchids seem to enjoy very much.
Another benefit that I've noticed from using these pots is that when I placed them outside on a warm sunny day, in a partly shaded area, the mix warmed up enough to help dry it out even faster. And as the moisture evaporated from the inner net pots, they keep the roots in a nice humid environment. After bringing them all back inside, I turn on my bedroom's ceiling fan on medium speed for a couple hours to help circulate the air around them and dry out any moisture that condensed on the clear outer pots. There wasn't much condensation on the pots, and it probably would've dried up on its own, but I run my ceiling fan anyways. So that they can get some fresh air. Because isn't that when they open up and take in CO2, at night time?
One last thing that I wanted to point out is that when I repotted the Phals, I wrapped the roots around the inner net pots and used twist ties to hold them in place. So that any future new root growth can grow in between them and downwards into the empty space beneath.
Attached Thumbnails
Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix-dsc05996.jpg  

Last edited by tom_e_boi; 02-25-2012 at 10:19 PM..
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  #9  
Unread 02-26-2012, 07:51 PM
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I use Miracle-Grow for about 20 phals, no problems. My humidity doesn't go above 55%.
However the watering frequency does depend on the type of pot. I find that the clear pots with side slits need to be watered more, even though I incorporated some spagnum moss. I have never had a problem with rotted roots as all my pots stand on a slotted rack. Remember that conventional wisdom says that moss shouldn't be used exclusively in pots more than 6 inches.
BTW, you may need to eventually rethink your netted pots preference as its difficult to check roots/trim roots/remove dead roots once new roots have grown through the nett.
( also repotting the entire plant from the old basket )
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Last edited by orchidsarefun; 02-26-2012 at 08:12 PM..
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  #10  
Unread 02-26-2012, 09:56 PM
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Cool

Well, my Phals that are in sphagnum moss are still in the 4.5" clear pots. I went ahead and left them in the same pots that they came in because they were originally both sharing just one pot when I bought them, and their roots weren't as vast as my other Phals, (I separated them and planted them in individual pots). I may plant them in the 5.5" dual pots next year, when they're larger. But I'll wait until then before making that decision.
I've grown orchids for well over a decade now, and have experience with using both bark and sphagnum moss. Tho, I am new to using these 5.5" pots that I have now, and this Miracle Gro mix. I mentioned in another thread of mine about how I altered the net pots by widening the spacing of the net pots before using them. It took alot of time and patience when I threaded the roots through the net pots, but after the first plant, I kinda got the hang of it.
In regards to when I have to change out the potting mix, all I would have to do is tip it over and dump it out. Then wash off the roots. There really wouldn't be much need for actually removing the plant from the net pots, and I could still have easy access to the crown and check for any bad roots. I use my favorite cutters, which are made by Gerber. They're pretty small, very high quality and sharp. So pruning with them isn't much of an issue, even in small or hard to reach spaces. Plus, if it boils down to it and I had to remove the plants, all I would have to do is cut away the net pots and simply use the outer clear pot on its own. The net pots are only a dollar something, so it's not like I invested much into them and they're pretty much replaceable. Repotme.com actually sells them as individual replacements or as a combo, which is how I bought them. I like them so much, I've even bought more of them already, and plan on buying more of them in the future.
Everybody has their own unique preferences when it comes to orchid growing. Which is why I started my threads on here, so I can share my own experiences with everybody. While hearing other people's experiences as well, and perhaps gain some new ideas in the process. I just wish I new about this forum years ago, but at least I know about it now, lol. I haven't even been a member for that long yet, and I've already come across many ideas that I never would've thought of on my own.

Last edited by tom_e_boi; 02-27-2012 at 12:00 AM..
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