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  #1  
Old 09-28-2022, 01:43 AM
spes1959@gmail.com spes1959@gmail.com is offline
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Default Macadamia shells as potting medium

Hi everybody I recently Saw videos of brasilian growers of Walkerian Cattleya recommending Macadamia shells as a culture substrate. Do any of you use it? And where can you buy it? thank you
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2022, 09:21 AM
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Good luck finding a readily available supply to experiment with.
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:22 PM
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The easiest way I can think of to get shells is to order a couple pounds of raw macadamias and shell them yourself. Finding someone in the nut processing industry that would be willing to sell you shells will be difficult, and finding someone that will sell you small quantities is likely impossible. Unless you can find a boutique company that’s especially eco-minded and looking for novel ways to market the waste product.

A PVC pipe cutter and a long movie would give you a decent amount of shells to play around with. The PVC cutter gives you halves instead of shattering the shell into small pieces. You can then process the shells into the desired size with some careful hammer work. Hopefully you like macadamias?
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:43 PM
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There are no magic potting media. Those plants are growing well because the environment around them is good, not because of the macadamia shells.

Macadamias aren't native to the Americas, so no Cattleyas ever grew on them until people arrived.
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Old 09-29-2022, 11:50 AM
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Keep in mind that all these 'specialty' substrates are usually things that are readily available and generally in high abundance in the countries they are used in. In this case it's macadamia shells, and other times it's materials such as coco husk fiber, lava rock, cork...

As long as you can create a suitable pot environment as required by the orchid in question, many materials can be used as potting substrates. Also keep in mind that what may work in a Brazilian climate may not work very well in other climates.

I don't think you will find shells in Europe very easily, I think most macademia nuts are imported already shelled.
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Old 09-29-2022, 12:30 PM
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Thank you Camille, I will remain loyal to Orchiata when it Will be ever available again.
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Old 09-29-2022, 12:54 PM
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If ambient temperatures, light, humidity and watering are correct, people grow them successfully on wine corks.
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spes1959@gmail.com View Post
Thank you Camille, I will remain loyal to Orchiata when it Will be ever available again.
I bought some at a nursery in France this summer and they told me that it's getting more and more difficult to purchase. They make an order but never know when it will arrive, which bark sizes they will get, nor how many bags!
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spes1959@gmail.com View Post
Thank you Camille, I will remain loyal to Orchiata when it Will be ever available again.
Orchiata went missing in the US for about 8 months... the garden-supply store where I get it was out of stock for that long... they just recently got some more, they get it from the one importer in the US so it was not a local problem. Their shipping costs went 'way up ... so the price almost doubled. You may get yours in some reasonable time, the shipping finally may be happening. But it will hit your bank account, alas.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:52 PM
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Their shipping costs went 'way up ... so the price almost doubled.
Absolutely true.

It used to be that a 40' container could travel from major cities anywhere from Australia up to Shanghai for between $2000 and $3000. Now it's more common to see rates 10x that.

Price gouging by the few big shipping lines.
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