Phal / Den Potting Mixes?
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:12 PM
Shelley Shelley is offline
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Phal / Den Potting Mixes?
Question Phal / Den Potting Mixes?

I'm a newbie, and I recently repotted my phals in bark, but I notice they just dry out so quickly. I thought I was watering too much, but I am beginning to realize I actually underwater. What kind of potting mixes do you use for phals? I don't want to go with the moss, I think I would overwater with that.

I am also looking for a good potting mix for dens.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:36 PM
mayres mayres is offline
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Phal / Den Potting Mixes? Male

I put all 35-40 of my phals in a coir/perlite/charcoal mix - approx. 65-30-5% each. They LOVE it and do not dry out too quickly - in fact you have to be careful not to water too soon. A forum friend that lives in southern california uses something similar called Aussie Gold, but you can make it up yourself for less money. Many people are using this for other moisture retentive genera as well successfully.
One problem with bark is the quality of the material. Another issue is that it usually needs to be somewhat tempered by soaking for 24-48 hours ahead of time - a drop of soap to lower the surface tension helps too. If the bark will not initially hold water it can be necessary to soak the plant and media together for 15-30 minutes at each watering for awhile - a month or longer. Good luck! Since dens like to dry out a little more I use a bark/perlite mixture only - like with phals there are lots and lots of medias and blends that will work - your culture habits and your environment will dictate what will be FOR YOU the best. Experiment a little and see how it goes - you'll get there!
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:03 PM
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Lagoon Lagoon is offline
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Hi Shelley,

My phals are in - 30% peatmoss,30% small bark,30% perlite and rest charcoal. Some are in sphagnum moss with 25% perlite.
Same mix for my dends. I just water my phals abit more.

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Old 09-23-2008, 08:33 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Phal / Den Potting Mixes? Male

Shelley, you really cannot simply take someone else's advice on potting mix, without knowing how your growing conditions and watering habits compare to theirs. Both of the folks' recommendations above might work for you, but you cannot just arbitrarily assume so.

As an example, for my greenhouse conditions, no coir mix has ever been very good, while Gloria's might be, although my usual non-s/h choice is a mix of 50% CHC, 25% each coarse perlite and charcoal.

You've already identified two likely ends of the spectrum for you - have you considered a mix of the sphagnum and bark? You could either do as Gloria does and water the phals more often, or simply make the phal blend have more moss compared to the den.

Another thing folks often disregard is the option to experiment. Try mixing some medium and put it in a pot with no plant. Set it next to your plants and water it normally with them to see how well it holds/drains/dries. It won't take long to assess their performance.
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Last edited by Ray; 09-23-2008 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:14 PM
snow snow is offline
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good idea ''ray'' .
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