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Old 19-11-2007, 02:17 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were repotted
in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir bark (about
the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like peat material .
BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big difference being no Peat in
the others and one had a smaller bark chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's , no
flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc



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Old 19-11-2007, 02:28 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

Catts, I usually use a mix of small bark, perlite, lava rock and recently
I've been adding osmunda fibers. I use small bark because I don't water as
frequently as I should, so my medium is more closed than many people would
do.

I don't have much luck with dendrobiums. It'll be interesting to see what
people suggest.

I didn't know Catts would kekei....

K Barrett


"BruceM" wrote in message
...
In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were
repotted in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir
bark (about the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like
peat material . BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big difference
being no Peat in the others and one had a smaller bark chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's ,
no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc



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Old 19-11-2007, 05:26 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

Kekei - I was speaking in general when I should not have. My
apologies



"K Barrett" wrote in message
. ..
Catts, I usually use a mix of small bark, perlite, lava rock and recently
I've been adding osmunda fibers. I use small bark because I don't water
as frequently as I should, so my medium is more closed than many people
would do.

I don't have much luck with dendrobiums. It'll be interesting to see what
people suggest.

I didn't know Catts would kekei....

K Barrett


"BruceM" wrote in message
...
In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were
repotted in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir
bark (about the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like
peat material . BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big
difference being no Peat in the others and one had a smaller bark chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's ,
no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc





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Old 19-11-2007, 07:20 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

So I should have a glass of wine and share it with the Cat's ? Which cat,
The Red Emperor or the Maine Coone?

Thr Phal's seem to be a it less sensitive to drying out than the Cats and
Dendrobiums (based on watching mine). would that be a correct general
observation? Watching these over the last year, they seem to prefer it if I
let the medium get dry just a 1-2 inches down and then water them. The phals
seem to like it if I let the medium dry 3-4 inches down (4-6 inch pots).




"tenman" wrote in message
...
BruceM wrote:
In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were
repotted in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir
bark (about the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like
peat material . BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big
difference being no Peat in the others and one had a smaller bark chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's ,
no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc

I use both a 2/3 medium bark/ 1/3 #3spongerock mix and a 2/3 large CHC/
1/3 #4spongrock mix for mature catts in clay pots (small seedlings are in
a finer mix in plastic). In the bark they are potted harder (tighter) and
the CHC is used as a looser, more open mix (which creates issues of how to
physically immobilize the plants). Both have worked ok, though in clay
pots and my traditional dry conditions, the CHC has an edge. That said, it
will depend a lot on your humidity levels and as well on temps and light
as they affect metabolism and how much water the plants use. Dens I have
in 'seedling mix' of 2/3fine bark and 1/3 #3spongerock in clay pots potted
tightly.

A common misconception from which I myself once suffered concerns water
levels. Orchids are water-loving plants when they are in their growth
phase and with optimum conditions. Some such as vandas and catts don't
want to sit in water constantly or be soggy but they do need copious
amounts of water - the confusion is in thinking they don't need water
because they don't want to stay wet. Ideally they should be wet, then dry
and then wet right away again (during growth and in the daylight). The
problem is that we stick them in pots and limit the air movement around
the roots and packed medium and then we have problems we blame on water.
So in culture, it's a balance you're looking for based on all those
variables. This second glass of wine is making me loquacious.



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Old 19-11-2007, 11:38 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

Interesting you would get that impression.

Catts and dens have pseudobulbs for storing water and nutrients, so can
handle long dry periods. Phals don't, only having their fleshy leaves for
storage, so generally need to stay constantly moist.

I also believe there is no such thing as a "best" potting medium for a
specific plant. Yes, the watering needs of the plant play a role in medium
selection, but so do the light level, air movement, temperature, humidity,
and the watering tendencies of the grower, which of course, vary all over
the map.

Some time ago I summarized a bit of that he
http://www.firstrays.com/potting_media.htm

--

Ray Barkalow - First Rays Orchids - www.firstrays.com
Plants, Supplies. Books, Artwork, and lots of Free Info!


"BruceM" wrote in message
Thr Phal's seem to be a it less sensitive to drying out than the Cats and
Dendrobiums (based on watching mine). would that be a correct general
observation? Watching these over the last year, they seem to prefer it if
I let the medium get dry just a 1-2 inches down and then water them. The
phals seem to like it if I let the medium dry 3-4 inches down (4-6 inch
pots).





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Old 20-11-2007, 08:40 PM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
SuE SuE is offline
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 10:38:31 GMT, "Ray B"
wrote:

Interesting you would get that impression.

Catts and dens have pseudobulbs for storing water and nutrients, so can
handle long dry periods. Phals don't, only having their fleshy leaves for
storage, so generally need to stay constantly moist.

I also believe there is no such thing as a "best" potting medium for a
specific plant. Yes, the watering needs of the plant play a role in medium
selection, but so do the light level, air movement, temperature, humidity,
and the watering tendencies of the grower, which of course, vary all over
the map.

Some time ago I summarized a bit of that he
http://www.firstrays.com/potting_media.htm



As Ray says the potting media is generally specific to the grower not
the plant. But Den's don't want a lot of space and if your potting
them up like the Catts you have too large a pot. Try a saucer style
or 1 size smaller than you think they should have and not too deep.
SuE
http://orchids.legolas.org/gallery/main.php
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Old 20-11-2007, 09:30 PM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Posts: 140
Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water


"BruceM" wrote in message
...
In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were
repotted in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir
bark (about the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like
peat material . BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big difference
being no Peat in the others and one had a smaller bark chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's ,
no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc


As already said there is no answer for the absolute correct medium? However
you will have to use what is available to you and based on your growing
enviroment.
Even though this sort of response is correct it is frustrating as it doesnt
really answer your question.
I use bark,spagnum moss and perlite at say a 3-1-1 ratio i would add a
little charcoal to if it was readily available for me,but you can adjust to
your requirements,if you are worried about overwatering you could add more
perlite for instance and use a chunky bark.If your plants dry out too
quickly add more moss and don`t forget to feed and check the ph of your
water.However ph and feed strength is something else you may or maynot want
to dabble with.
I think this bark mix is hard to beat but obviously is a personel choice, i
believe it is a good staring point for anyone.
I grow catts,dens,coelogyne,masdevallias,cymbidiums all based on this mix.
Hope this helps
Keith
UK


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Old 22-11-2007, 12:05 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

When looking at the plant in-pot, without inspecting buried roots, the
symptoms of "too wet" are pretty much the same as those of "too dry."
Either way, the plant looks dehydrated -- because if you keep the plant too
wet, the roots rot and can't transport any water to the green parts that
show. If you've been growing your Catts and Dens in the same mix, and
watering them on the same schedule, as your Phals, I would suspect that the
former are lacking in good roots. Oversize pots, mentioned in another post,
will aggravate this problem. Kenni


"BruceM" wrote in message
...
So I should have a glass of wine and share it with the Cat's ? Which cat,
The Red Emperor or the Maine Coone?

Thr Phal's seem to be a it less sensitive to drying out than the Cats and
Dendrobiums (based on watching mine). would that be a correct general
observation? Watching these over the last year, they seem to prefer it if
I let the medium get dry just a 1-2 inches down and then water them. The
phals seem to like it if I let the medium dry 3-4 inches down (4-6 inch
pots).




"tenman" wrote in message
...
BruceM wrote:
In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were
repotted in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir
bark (about the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like
peat material . BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big
difference being no Peat in the others and one had a smaller bark
chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's
, no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ).
The dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple
have new growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it
seems this should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc

I use both a 2/3 medium bark/ 1/3 #3spongerock mix and a 2/3 large CHC/
1/3 #4spongrock mix for mature catts in clay pots (small seedlings are in
a finer mix in plastic). In the bark they are potted harder (tighter) and
the CHC is used as a looser, more open mix (which creates issues of how
to physically immobilize the plants). Both have worked ok, though in clay
pots and my traditional dry conditions, the CHC has an edge. That said,
it will depend a lot on your humidity levels and as well on temps and
light as they affect metabolism and how much water the plants use. Dens I
have in 'seedling mix' of 2/3fine bark and 1/3 #3spongerock in clay pots
potted tightly.

A common misconception from which I myself once suffered concerns water
levels. Orchids are water-loving plants when they are in their growth
phase and with optimum conditions. Some such as vandas and catts don't
want to sit in water constantly or be soggy but they do need copious
amounts of water - the confusion is in thinking they don't need water
because they don't want to stay wet. Ideally they should be wet, then dry
and then wet right away again (during growth and in the daylight). The
problem is that we stick them in pots and limit the air movement around
the roots and packed medium and then we have problems we blame on water.
So in culture, it's a balance you're looking for based on all those
variables. This second glass of wine is making me loquacious.





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Old 22-11-2007, 11:41 PM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water


"BruceM" wrote in message
...
In your personal experience, what is a good medium for Dendrobiums and
Cattleya's?

I have several new ones and a few older ones. The older ones were
repotted in Better Gro Phalaeonopsis mix, a general purpose mix of Fir
bark (about the size of a quaerter), hardwood charcoal, and a bark like
peat material . BG had several other mixes for orchids, the big difference
being no Peat in the others and one had a smaller bark chunks.


The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's ,
no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc


Wrinkled growth is from desiccation. Make sure the DUNK their pots in water
up the rim until all the medium is wet. Trying to water some of the coarser
mediums is difficult as the water runs right through it. The roots get
nothing. The leaves and bulbs shrivel.




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Old 23-11-2007, 04:25 PM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
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Default Den and Cattleya growing medium and water

The cats seemt to do okay in it. They grow, new shoots, Several Kekei's ,
no flowers on any of the older ones (on one sI have had 1.5 years ). The
dendroibiums appear to hate it. Most of them sit there, a couple have new
growth. The Phal's go crazy in it. Looking at the books, it seems this
should be a okay mix, but experience is always better.


Lack of flowers from mature plants can be from a poor root system or
lack of enough light. I mention poor roots because of the topic, but
more often than not light affects flowering .

Also, for watering: In general do Cat's and Den's like more water than
Phal's? I water them on the same schedule, and some are oky, other show
signs of needing more water such as wrinkled new growth, shriveled
pseudobulbs, etc


Wrinkled growth is from desiccation. Make sure the DUNK their pots in water
up the rim until all the medium is wet. Trying to water some of the coarser
mediums is difficult as the water runs right through it. The roots get
nothing. The leaves and bulbs shrivel.


I agree with Kenni - the dessicated appearence can be from rotted
roots, which can't absorb water, or too dry of a mix. Whenever plants
look dessicated it is a good idea to check the roots, and the medium.
The medium can look good from the top and be rotted in the center.
After the roots and medium are checked then I can decide if it's from
lack of water or too much water. I water my plants in bark
thouroughly ... to make sure all the medium gets wet. I have about 40
orchids and go through 8 to 10 gallons of water per watering. I then
allow them to almost dry before watering again. That translates into
once a week for some during the winter to every other day in the
summer. It's important to water according to the plants needs rather
than a certain schedule. The schedule comes as you become familiar
with the plant's environment and needs. Orchids can be grown in just
about anything that holds them in the pot - if it allows air and water
to the roots. Too much air (too dry) or too much water (too wet)
should be avoided. Overwatering usually happens not because we add
too much at once, but rather by watering too often - before the medium
has a chance to almost dry out. There are exceptions to every rule,
for instance, Phrags like being wet.
I hope this helps.
Good growing!
Bob Campoli - Philadelphia, Pa


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