Sphagnum - Loose or Packed Tight?
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:32 AM
Fairorchids's Avatar
Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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Sphagnum - Loose or Packed Tight? Male

I have also purchased from both OV & Christoffersen, and admire their results with the tightly packed spaghnum. Having read only the tail end of this thread, it appears that most are talking about large/mature Cattleyas. Size is an important consideration too.

I use spaghnum (coarsely chopped), but only for seedling plants up to 3" pot size, and mixed with about 1/3 seedling size bark & charcoal. That mix is only used in 3" plastic pots with multiple slits in the sides; I pack it fingertip firm, but not hard. This ensures a 3-4 day period of fairly consistent moisture + some air flow.

For 5" & larger I use clay pots, with granular mix II (Catt size bark/charcoal & super coarse perlite in 2:1:1 ratio).

For 3.1/2" to 4.1/2" sizes I use clay pots, with granular mix I (1/2 the bark is seedling size).

For a few larger plants, I use baskets with Aliflor (Leca) clay nuggets.

With this size based selection, I can water everything in the greenhouse at the same schedule (twice a week in winter, three times a week in summer).

My dad, who was old school, used exclusively clay pots, always with spaghnum/bark mix (3:1) and tamped down as hard as he could with a potting stock. Plants grew fine, but it made watering a more cumbersome process, as you had to water pots of different sizes at different rates.
Kim (Fair Orchids)

Founder of SPCOP (Society to Prevention of Cruelty to Orchid People), with the goal of barring the taxonomists from tinkering with established genera!

I am neither a 'lumper' nor a 'splitter', but I refuse to re-write millions of labels.

Last edited by Fairorchids; 06-08-2021 at 09:34 AM..
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