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  #1  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:08 AM
Evendozen Evendozen is offline
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Do any on the forum use Orchiata ? Female
Default Do any on the forum use Orchiata ?

I have purchased a small bag of Orchiata but none of my orchids will need re-potting for months. Do you add charcoal to it ?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:36 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Orchiata comes in five different sizes or grades -- meaning the size of the actual pieces. Different sizes are appropriate for different plants.

I use one of the medium grades and I've got my three phals and one catt in it. I do not mix it with anything else, I use it "straight." I've been extremely happy with it, though I do have to water just a bit more often than when those same plants were in a fir bark mixture, as the Orchiata provides very good drainage and aeration.

I'm sure others with much more experience than I will be along shortly with more detailed advice.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2017, 10:15 AM
No-Pro-mwa No-Pro-mwa is offline
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I have just started using it so I don't have that many in it. But I have done it both ways. When I'm in a big hurry I use it alone, when I have more time I mix both charcoal and large perlite in it.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:58 PM
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Ray Ray is offline
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I find it better to use the appropriate size for the plant and NOT add anything to it.

A word to the wise: Orchiata can be very hard to wet, initially. You do not want to soak it, as that extracts the dolomite used in the aging process. Instead, pour hot water over it - only enough to wet it with little runoff - then wait 15-30 minutes and repeat. That will "open up" the structure, allowing it to absorb better going forward. Once it has cooled, it's ready to use.
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Old 12-17-2017, 03:17 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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All of my plants are in Orchiata. Some of them are in straight Orchiata, and others are in Orchiata mixed with various other things. I can't tell that there's any benefit to mixing it with other stuff, so as my plants need repotting, I will repot them in just Orchiata.
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Old 12-17-2017, 03:26 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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I use Orchiata, and mix in some perlite (sponge rock) to help keep the mix open, especially in the smaller sizes (#2 perlite with the small bark, #3 with the medium sizes, don't bother with the largest) I don't use charcoal. My water tends to be on the alkaline side, so don't need charcoal to remove organic acids from breakdown. I wonder how much use it does in general... by the time a mix starts to get acidic, the plant should repotted anyway. Charcoal is environmentally quite unfriendly on several counts, so I'd suggest that if it is used, that it is for a clear beneficial purpose.
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:16 AM
No-Pro-mwa No-Pro-mwa is offline
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It's good to know that it can be much easier. I like not mixing.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:54 PM
greenpassion greenpassion is offline
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I too use Orchiata. I use it straight, and did as Ray advised, and poured very hot over it, let it cool, and did it again. I am pleased with the results. I use med grade and the large grade for my biggest phals.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:44 PM
bethmarie bethmarie is offline
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I have a bag, used it a little and disliked it quite a lot, since I tend to under water and new orchiata is about as absorbent as diamond.
I'm going to try Ray's suggestion and see if I get better results.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:38 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethmarie View Post
I have a bag, used it a little and disliked it quite a lot, since I tend to under water and new orchiata is about as absorbent as diamond.
I'm going to try Ray's suggestion and see if I get better results.
Haha, I tend to over water, so I love it! I can water every day in the summer time, and every two or three days in the winter (smaller pots, like 4 inches or less, can still get water every day in the winter), and the plants don't get over watered.

I have upwards of 50 plants, and I can just hose them all down in the summer, but when they're inside for the winter, it sometimes can be a lot to keep up with, but that's okay, because I just like watering, you know?
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