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Bill in NYC

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My phrags have never bloomed and I am considering repotting them in diatomite. Would it still be advisable to have them standing in water then as I have them now?
 

slippertalker

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I don't see why not......actually it won't break down as quickly as other mixes and the capillary action should help keep the roots wet.
 

phrag guy

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That is a good ??. I myself have put some of my plants in pure diatomite using the semi-hydroponic style.
I was wondering if this is a good move? I read on one site that is forms to much algea and the rock wants to lay against each other so the roots can't breath right.
Has anyone here used diatomite in S/H?
Thanks
Russell
 

Jason Fischer

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OK, I'll put in my 2 cents. Using diatamite with phrags will ONLY work if it is done semi-hydro. If you switch to this method here is what will happen. The existing root system may adjust, but many times it crashes and rots. But not to be alarmed, at the same time new roots develop quickly and actually adjust to the new condition, and that's when your plant starts to flourish. Most orchid roots will adapt to new conditions if done right, and is what I consider one of the wonders of plant adaptability.

From my experience, using diatamite in a bark mix with phrags will simply dry them out unless you water every single day. Since my set up doesn't work for semi-hydro, I simply use a small bark mix often with Fafard 3B (like sunshine mix) and the plants seem to do quite well.
 
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PHRAG

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Jason Fischer said:
The existing root system may adjust, but many times it crashes and rots. But not to be alarmed, at the same time new roots develop quickly and actually adjust to the new condition, and that's when your plant starts to flourish. Most orchid roots will adapt to new conditions if done right, and is what I consider one of the wonders of plant adaptability.
What do you recommend if the plants don't start putting out new roots as the old ones rot?

I found when I made the switch from other media to s/h that I lost alot of roots, and most plants did replace them with new roots adapted to the new growing conditions. But a few never quite caught up and either died or were sent away to people who said they wanted to try and revive them.

Is there a step between total root loss and sphag and bag? Maybe a product that helps generate new roots, or other techniques that the wizards use to stimulate the roots.
 

SlipperFan

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I had all my Phrags in S/H (clay), and they were doing well for a couple of years. But then they started to decline. I repotted most this Spring into a mixture of diatomite, CHC, Sponge Rock & Charcoal. A few I put in S/H with diatomite only. A few that were doing well in clay I repotted in clay. They are all in clear pots, and I can see good roots on all of them right now. I typically water Phrags twice a week.
 

Leo Schordje

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I have a fair number of Phrags in straight diatomite. I grow them standing in individual trays of water. (external, not internal) It works quite well. I only move healthy plants into diatomite, stressed plants go into sphagnum until they have healthy roots. You do end up having to repot every 1 - 2 years, because algae & moss do bukd up, and the plant will need to have new growths relocated so their roots will come out into the mix. Good stuff, but not a miracle media.
Leo
 

Jason Fischer

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I think Leo has it right, the plant should be pretty healthy when you try it as it takes a while to re-adjust. I'd say it brings the maintenance of growing phrags down, but personally still believe in good ol' bark mix. We use the smaller grade bark mix with a little sponge rock and charcoal, and recently I really like adding in 10 to 15% Fafard 3B peat moss, which is one of the ingredients Chuck Acker uses. Yes, you have to water them quite often when you don't use the peat moss, so the work load goes up, but I haven't seen better culture other than rockwool/grow cubes.
 

Rick

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Bill in NYC said:
My phrags have never bloomed and I am considering repotting them in diatomite. Would it still be advisable to have them standing in water then as I have them now?
I have phrags potted in all differnt media, and they all bloom (at least eventually). How much light do they get? I think that is a bigger factor to blooming than potting mixes.
 

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