Tips on mixing in sphag moss to bark?
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  #1  
Old 01-31-2021, 10:11 PM
milkygato milkygato is offline
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Tips on mixing in sphag moss to bark?
Default Tips on mixing in sphag moss to bark?

Iíve noticed that my orchids are getting dry too fast after watering (in 2-3 days), possibly due to warming of weather. I soak the bark for ten minutes or so but itís still drying out fast so I want to experiment with mixing in sphag moss to the mixture. Would appreciate any tips on doing so.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2021, 02:14 AM
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What kind of orchids do you have? Are these freshly/recently repotted plants? New bark is rather hydrophobic, and it takes at least a couple of months before the pores of the bark open up a bit and hold water. Soaking for 30-60min at each watering would help the bark open up a bit faster.

If these are not recently repotted, yes you could add some sphag to the bark. I used to pot my orchids (mostly Phals) in a mix of bark and sphag so that the pots wouldn't try out as fast, I'd guess it was one part sphag for 4 parts bark, but I experimented to find the right ration for my conditions.

Now I've gone back to pure bark and I don't have to repot as often (sphagnum tends to sour and need replacing yearly, particulrly when used in a mix since it never fully dries out). And it seems that the plants really like the more frequent wet/dry cycles.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:39 AM
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Tips on mixing in sphag moss to bark? Male
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In the good old days (1960-1980), back in Denmark the media of choice was spaghnum & bark, in approx 3:1 ratio.

You fluff up moist (but not wet) spaghnum, and toss it with the back.

Take a firm handfull of mix, and place it in the center of the roots. Then gently pack more around the roots from the outside. Place this in the pot, and then pack more mix around the edge.

At that point my dad would use a potting stick to tamp it down. I only packed it as firmly as I could with my fingertips.

I still use this mix for my Paphiopedilum (in plastic pots) and Dendrobium (in clay pots), and also for Cattleya in 3" pots only. For larger Cattleya I use a bark/charcoal/perlite mix; that way I can water everything on the same schedule.
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Old 02-01-2021, 08:26 AM
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Tips on mixing in sphag moss to bark? Male
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Camille's question about what orchids you are considering using this for is important but for all of my Paph's, Phrag's, Oncidium's, Zygo's etc. I use Kelley's Korner Paph and Seedling mix. It's perfectly blended small fir bark, sphag, sponge rock and charcoal.
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:14 AM
milkygato milkygato is offline
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Tips on mixing in sphag moss to bark?
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I have phals and I repotted them about a month ago. I didnít know bark takes that long to become porous!

Perhaps Iíll give it another 2-3 months with longer soaking time and come back with an update.

Thanks everyone!
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