kovachii / diatomite

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jhoff

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Have you tried pumice?
I have not. It's my understanding that diatomate is good for several reasons including that it provides calcium (similar to oyster shell) and it has a slightly alkaline pH. I'm not really interested in "trying things" than in what others are successfully growing their kovachii in. I grow almost everything else in a CHC mix (plus perlite and charcoal) or sometime sphagnum moss and neither of those are great for kovachii.
 

Stone

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"jhoff, post: 717971, member: 13227"]
It's my understanding that diatomate is good for several reasons including that it provides calcium
You have been mislead. Diatomite supplies Si mainly. You would get just as much Ca from pumice. (ie not very much)
It is the physical properties of diatomite which you are looking for. Enter.....Pumice. A far superior medium as it attracts roots (hairs) rather than repel them as diatomite does. I have used both.
pH is regulated and Calcium supplied with limestone, water, gypsum, shellgrit, and/or Calcium and potassium nitrates
 

jhoff

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You have been mislead. Diatomite supplies Si mainly. You would get just as much Ca from pumice. (ie not very much)
It is the physical properties of diatomite which you are looking for. Enter.....Pumice. A far superior medium as it attracts roots (hairs) rather than repel them as diatomite does. I have used both.
pH is regulated and Calcium supplied with limestone, water, gypsum, shellgrit, and/or Calcium and potassium nitrates
Alright, that makes sense. Can you suggest a source or shall I just buy it anywhere? Have you used both with kovachii? And although pumice sounds like a reasonable substitute, I'm still curious what folks grow kovachii in.
 

kiwi

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I agree with Stone. Pumice is excellent and it is very noticeable when you repot that the roots adhere strongly to the pumice.
 

Stone

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I agree with Stone. Pumice is excellent and it is very noticeable when you repot that the roots adhere strongly to the pumice.
If I could afford it I would use a lot more but unlike in NZ, where it's coming out of your ears, in AU it is very expensive!! :)
 

Anca86

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I grow my kovachii in rockwool mixed with LECA. It's doing fine. It might do better. I have a Phrags Prof Braem in pumice. I decided to put it in pumice because the growths were rotting and I was desperate. It seems to recover little by little. I was surprised to see that pumice keeps moisture.
 

awesomei

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What do folks grow kovachii in now? I've got some old plants (from 2007) that I've got growing in diatomite and I either need more of it or need to use a different medium? He's my awarded kovachii for attention :) It's in spike right now...View attachment 29970
Gorgeous!
 

awesomei

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I grow my kovachii in a mix of small bark, sponge(perlite), small charcoal and crushed oyster shells. I use only rain water. I feed weekly with a 25% MSU or CA nitrate. I always adjust my fertilizer solution to 7.5. I grow mine in an area of my greenhouse cooler with a small a/c unit.
George
 

orchid527

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Alright, that makes sense. Can you suggest a source or shall I just buy it anywhere? Have you used both with kovachii? And although pumice sounds like a reasonable substitute, I'm still curious what folks grow kovachii in.
I have dozens of kovachii from several sources. The smallest are in moss and they do just fine. When they are ready to move up, I use small Orchiata with perlite and granular limestone in 4 inch pots. When they outgrow those pots, I move them to the next larger size Orchiata with a little bit of granular limestone in 5 or 6 inch pots. None are standing in water, but I do water them at least 3-4 times per week. In my opinion, they seem to be as easy to grow as any phrag, but they do not like hot weather. I bring my largest ones inside when it gets too hot in the greenhouse. Mike
 

richgarrison

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pumice =? lava rock i was thinking not and waiting for a commercial product to be sure i understand what we are talking about....

any help from the jury? link to a product that == pumice in this conversation?
 

jhoff

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I bought my diatomite originally from orchidmix.com. There's still a link on his main catalog page for it but not on the resulting page. I asked him about it and he said: "Grow stone was not the main product. It was opals. When they stopped they stopped mining. They can be reused by backing them. Another material similar is grow stone but not as good. They stopped producing for a while but were purchased by another company. They are sold still as grow stone and also as BuddyStone. I do not carry it." Not sure what he means by "backing them". I have been re-using my diatomite by washing then heating in the oven for awhile. I haven't looked up grow stone or buddy stone yet.
 

jhoff

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I have dozens of kovachii from several sources. The smallest are in moss and they do just fine. When they are ready to move up, I use small Orchiata with perlite and granular limestone in 4 inch pots. When they outgrow those pots, I move them to the next larger size Orchiata with a little bit of granular limestone in 5 or 6 inch pots. None are standing in water, but I do water them at least 3-4 times per week. In my opinion, they seem to be as easy to grow as any phrag, but they do not like hot weather. I bring my largest ones inside when it gets too hot in the greenhouse. Mike
I have been growing mine in straight diatomite with a bit of oyster shell mixed in and I do keep mine in about 1" of standing water. I find mine do grow better in the summer (hotter here in Seattle) but it doesn't get that hot... maybe 90-95 peaks in the summer but it cools down daily. In the winter, I keep my greenhouse at about 53 min at night. What temp do you find to be "too hot"? I've found that mine tend not to become large, multi-fan plants - each fan produces just one more each year and the old one dies off. That said, 2 of mine produced 2 fans this year. I'll look up Orchiata and see about getting some granular (what size?) limestone as that would prolly be better than oystershell?
 

orchid527

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I have been growing mine in straight diatomite with a bit of oyster shell mixed in and I do keep mine in about 1" of standing water. I find mine do grow better in the summer (hotter here in Seattle) but it doesn't get that hot... maybe 90-95 peaks in the summer but it cools down daily. In the winter, I keep my greenhouse at about 53 min at night. What temp do you find to be "too hot"? I've found that mine tend not to become large, multi-fan plants - each fan produces just one more each year and the old one dies off. That said, 2 of mine produced 2 fans this year. I'll look up Orchiata and see about getting some granular (what size?) limestone as that would prolly be better than oystershell?
The older leaves start turning yellow after a few days with the temperature above 90 degrees. It has an immediate effect on kovachii of all sizes. If I can avoid this, mature plants can accumulate 3-4 years of old growth and will bloom every year. The granular limestone I use is about the size of fine sand. It doesn't wash out of the Orchiata as quickly as powdered dolomite.

My first kovachii were slow growers, but all of the recent flasks, mostly from Chuck Acker, have been very robust growers. I think these flasks are 4th generation US kovachii and my oldest plant is 2nd generation US kovachii. Mike
 

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