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  #1  
Old 12-06-2020, 03:52 PM
realoldbeachbum realoldbeachbum is offline
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Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal?
 

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Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal? Female
Question Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal?

Just received this healthy digbyana from Odoms. Yes, it is #80 (can't believe I have 80 already).

Generally, if new plants are not in spike, I repot them right away so I can check roots, etc. This plant is in 100% charcoal. I have never repotted anything in just charcoal! Only lately I have started adding charcoal to my mix, but only about 10%. Not sure what to do here. Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2020, 09:26 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal?
 

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Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal? Male
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Charcoal doesn't decompose without fire. I would shake a little out to look at what I can see. If the roots aren't dead I would leave it in that pot.

Note well: Its roots are often much smaller in diameter than those of most Cattleya species. The plant isn't too large for that pot, so it could stay there a while longer.

This plant is from the Yucatán Peninsula. It has temperatures and humidity like your summer for most of the year, except nights usually cool off a little. It gets several very wet rainy seasons per year alternating with several, weeks long dry seasons. Winter tends to be dry and warm. The forests are partially deciduous in winter, so it gets a great deal more winter light then than it does in summer. People assume that because it was once called a Brassavola and has glaucous leaves it must need very high summer light, but that isn't true.

In summer it needs very large amounts of water. The owner of Orchids Amore formerly posted here; he said he grows it in sphagnum moss that he gets soaking wet almost every day in summer, and plants not watered so much don't flower much. The comment is here:
Best way to convert an orchid to a mount?

I find plants do best for me when watered daily during the summer, even in semi/hydroponics. I am contemplating moving my three smaller plants into sphagnum moss next spring, because I think even daily automated watering of mounted or S/H plants isn't enough.

Bob Fuchs of RF Orchids in Homestead, Florida (extreme south, nearly tropical) told me it flowers best if given so much winter sun it turns red. He has a huge plant in a wheelbarrow. They move it into the greenhouse for the summer because Florida summer sun is too intense for it. In winter they move it out into a field next to the greenhouse. It gets full winter Florida sun, and is not watered except by the rare winter rain.

I would definitely not repot this particular species unless it were just starting new roots. It might be many months before it makes more roots, and if you damage roots while repotting the plant can be set back for a few years.

Edit - I read the Mayan name when I visited the ruins at Cobá, but couldn't remember it. I found the name on this site. I had to tell my search engine to use Spanish and search Mexican sites. It was known as "sak ikim lol" which means "flower of white feathers".

The site also shows a diagram of growing orchids in semi-hydroponics.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2020, 09:35 PM
realoldbeachbum realoldbeachbum is offline
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Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal?
 

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Thanks ES for the advice. I will carefully follow.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:13 PM
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DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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Some great Info above.

I am a half a zone north of RF but do a similar move. This one is pulled out from under the eave in winter and slide under it in summer. It gets a bright morning either way but the noon sun is cut off in the summer while it is in full sun to ~3pm in winter.


I do not understand. The idea of only using charcoal. To me I have used it as much as half of my mix bu the other half was lava rock because it is way too light otherwise.

I use close to 50/50 charcoal and perlite for my succulents but they tend to be in really heavy and large pots.

I would leave it as it is and re-assess the medium when a repot is necessary.
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Old 12-07-2020, 07:31 AM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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Being in NJ, my digbyana stays inside** the greenhouse.

I got it as a seedling (PB+leaf = abt 6"), so I started it in a shallow net pot with a bark mix, which allowed it to dry out pretty quick. I hung this on a mid-level rail for good light exposure.

When it outgrew the net pot this spring, I put it inside a shallow homemade oak basket, which I then filled with Aliflor (LECA) nuggets. This gives it space, and still allows it dry out fast. It is now hanging as high as I can possibly place it.

In 2 years it has gone from double lead, to 9 leads, and PB+leaf height is around 10-11" now. It still has some ways to go though.

** I am sure that it can handle full sun here in NJ, but it would get too much water if hanging in my Vanda rack (watered 20 min every 6 hrs), and not enough water if placed with my Cymbidium (watered 3 hrs every 3rd day).
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2020, 12:42 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Repot New Digbyana in 100% Charcoal?
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I've seen it used a few times.
Charcoal is generally more expensive than bark, otherwise I'm sure it would be used more. I would treat charcoal like bark, should last longer, might dry out faster.

Here is one example of charcoal being used:
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