Mix combination question

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some call me brian
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do you mean, "teach a man to fish..."?
catch a man to fish is whole different ball of wax!

one thing about rockwool that scares me a little is, and i'm not entirely sure of this so i may be wrong, but i thought that it is either a possible carcinogen or, because it's made from spun glass, the dust is very bad for people.
anyone know if either is correct or if i just took a few half facts and put them together in a way that made it greater than the whole?
 
M

Mahon

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I think that you have mixed potting medium and analysis together...

CHC has certain things in it that, over time, are deadly to orchids. Talking about conditions is a different thing though. Conditions may increases or decrease this amount of time it take for a plant suffering in CHC (though it will fool you with root growth) to die.

I realize what you said. I bragged about my findings on humus (no analysis though)... it has been THE BEST medium for me. But the humus may not work in other's conditions. Perhaps it will turn toxic in different conditions, I don't know yet. But for my conditions, I have never been able to grow Paph. micranthum and Paph. malipoense so well...

I feel the analysis is important for mediums though. Xavier has tests done on limestone for his plants, which will explain nice green plants, and then plants suffering from chlorosis... different sources of things will yield different results.

Again, I don't claim to be an expert. Very interesting though Jon.

-Pat
 

Marco

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patrix said:
1. I have well water, does that make a difference (aside from MSU) and would it hurt to do my final soaking in a dilute rooting hormone?

My final soaking is in a straight 1tsp of KLN per 2 gallons of water. I do it cause it's whats generally recommended. Is it helpful? That I don't know but it doesn't seem like its hurting my plants so I'm just going to continue on using it.

I don't use superthrive though 1) cause it smells like medicine and 2) flowers on a phal came out deformed but that I think happened cause I used to much superthrive for to long of a period. 3) KLN is so much cheaper

Tadd & Jon - Great post replys. I think the chunks I used in my smaller pots are too big. I use the same size chunks as my BS plants. Thanks you guys prompted me to keep an eye out on my seedlings in tiny pots.
 
P

patrix

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thanks for the responses from reputable members. I had repotted 1/2 (9-06)of the paphs in rock wool, alifor and big chunk perlite and was concerned it was staying too wet. Now I am hand watering each-no h20 in the crown- and seeing alot of good top growth-i just hope it is happening below ground too. I will step up the humity and think that the layering idea is great -thanks again
 

gonewild

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Mahon said:
Out of curiousity, how can you lay to rest that coconut husk is not toxic with the analysis and research done?

As I said, I have orchids that have been growing in CHC for 6 years without re potting. I have never seen or read research published that shows coconut fiber to be toxic to orchids. I would be happy to see it if it exists. My experience which I'm sharing with this forum is how I lay it to rest. It is my opinion, you have the opportunity to prove me wrong if you can. Present facts.

Here is a plant planted in CHC and then put back into a coconut as a pot. It has been in the same coconut with with the same CHC for years. It has also been located in over a dozen different locations. I see no signs of toxicity.
rod_coco.jpg



It is possible that CHC will not affect orchids in the short run, and possibly, if repotted frequently, there will be no effects.

Not only is it possible it is a certainty.

Good root growth is initiated by hormones. When the hormones are gone, so is the plant.

Maybe someone has redesigned plant biology while I was away? In the old days plant hormones were produced in the tissue of the plant itself.

Growing plants do not get their hormones from the soil. Root growth is controlled by auxins produced in the tissue of the plant itself not from hormones in the soil. You are confusing synthetic rooting compounds containing root initiation acids (IBA, NAA) with the natural plant auxin IAA. IBA and NAA can cause rootless stem tissue to initiate advantageous roots. Once the roots are growing the "hormones" are of no use to the plant and in fact their presence in excess may be toxic to a plant, but not their lack of.

The salts in CHC are not the issue, it's the hormones in it.

So you are saying CHC contains natural hormones that effect plant growth and once depleted the plant dies. Do some study research on the internet. Give one link on the internet to research that suggests a plant will die when the soil runs out of hormones. Google for plant hormones and report back your new findings.

The salts in CHC can be leeched easily with RO water, yet the CHC still hasn't been treated with Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate.

Lost me here, what does Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate have to do with your statement?

And I would put down any false claims in order to sell my products.

I'm not selling CHC. I don't even use it here in the USA. I use it in Peru because the coconuts just keep piling up in the garden. But since you brought up the subject I'll ask you a question...

Here I'm growing my orchids in inert ceramic (PrimeAgra). Where are the plants getting their hormones from?

I find in orchids that there marketing, and then there is research.

I assume you mean here that research done by a company selling something will be slanted to favor their product. Don't think for a second that independent research is not slanted toward something the researcher would like to prove.

Most research is funded by someone selling something. That is why you should do your own tests and report the findings. But then I suppose if you discovered something that worked well, you would want to market it.

The cheap plants of Paph. rothschildianum we have in the US are "awarded", so they fetch higher prices, when in fact, they originated from very cheap stock, not selected plants.

Cheap stock? A "cheap selection" is a selection of plants is it not? The fact someone selected a cheap plant to present it for an award means it is selected. Not really sure what your point is or what it has to do with coconuts and hormones?

-Pat[/QUOTE]
 
E

Ernie

Guest
Chc

Lots of good info. IMO none of it is wrong! Grow in what works for you under your conditions and watering/fertilizing scheme. If you want to try something new, test a couple plants in it before going nuts. Allow them to stay in that mix for at least 6-12 months before you make any decisions. A potting mix should...
-support your plant
-hold water AND AIR near the roots without retaining too many excess salts
-dry at a rate that is suitable to your growing environment and watering habits/methods
-be available to you
-be reasonably affordable
-break down at a rate that does not exceed reasonable expectations of repotting
-WORK for you

-Ernie
 
M

Mahon

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Lance,

I believe you have very general statements... there is in fact MUCH research done. I will now post the email I recieved from Xavier Garreau de Loubresse:

I discontinued use of coconut products several years ago. They must
soak in a XXXX AMOUNT calcium nitrate solution for at least a week, rinsed,
then in a XXXX AMOUNT magnesium sulfate solution for same time. Then
the 'salts' must be removed with RO wated + XXXX AMOUNT of calcium
nitrate, takes a long time because of the previous salt
concentration...

Then they can be 'acceptable' for few weeks to few months... second
problem starts, some batches have water-insoluble hormons, I guess it
has something to do with the source of the CHC, or the time of the
year they are harvested... anyway, the plants start roots like crazy,
and many times, the root system will collapse all of a sudden later,
when the hormons stock is exhausted. And last, many people reported a
lot of problems with fusarium in CHC problems. AnTec used to treat
like crazy ther plants when I visited them 10 years ago, Terraclor,
Subdue, Rizolex, streptomycin, aliette + dithane... once a week one of
them! So it could explain that in some places the problem will start
later. Even in Indonesia, where they use a lot and lot of coconut
products, their plants start to have problem after a while...

I posted on the orchidweb.org AOS forum about the
danger. They claimed I was stupid because sodium is easily leached...
A few months after, I posted again, because they were showing
chlorotic, necrotic plants on ebay, and on their website. Stunted
plants too... I posted to warn people about CHC and the dangers, gave
one way to relief slightly, by using divalent cations, so magnesium
sulfate and calcium nitrate, to soak. The sodium and potassium from
the chips move out, and is replaced by calcium and magnesium. I said
too that there are some others problems, some batches are contaminated
by fusarium, and they all have natural hormones, that promotes strong
root growth, and once they are gone the plant slowly start to die.
Added to pine bark, it is possible to use certain types of coconut
products, otherwise, better to forget... I found amazing growth, followed
by amazing stunting. I paid analysis, because I though this product
was interesting. mineral, hormonal, and pathogens. Was very
expensive...

Another discussion with Xavier:

Now in Europe the latest fashion is rockwhool cubes, and
it will be a disaster, I tried before. I feel it is not enough to say
it does not work, there are analysis mineral, and others, to support
the fact that some substrates cannot work at all for paphs, or for
orchids... like NZ sphagnum vs Chilean one, rockwhool, some types of
perlite from Greece, some types of lava rock. I feel that the
ingredients must be carefull choosen. To tell you, I even got lime
tested, different kinds. And the analysis explained why one time the
plants have nice green leaves, the next, heavy chlorosis. pH and EC
are nothing compared to the remaining... Even fertilizers, I tend to
avoid high NO3 fertilizers, they induce a lot of deficiencies, that
end up killing the plants, always...

Hope this helps on CHC. I am careful to exclude details of his research. My thanks to Xavier. :)

-PM
 

Rick

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I've only been growing since spring 2001, but I do have orchids that have done very well in CHC for over 3 years. A couple of these have not been repotted over this same time period. I just repotted my lowii after 2 years in the same CHC mix.

I also have plants that I have reppoted after less than a year in the mix. Most of these have been Barbata sp paphs. Some have gone back into fresh CHC and have done fine. Some I have recently repotted into bark mixes. In particular the ones that have done poorly in CHC are species that I would expect to like lower pH mixes.

The mix ratio I use is 2 parts CHC, 1 part perlite, 1 part charcoal, and either 1/4 part of oyster shell or chopped sphagnum depending on which way I want the pH to go.

What are the toxicants in question in the Xavier work?
 
M

Mahon

Guest
Not sure of the toxicants, I wish Xavier would post here just this once...:poke:
I am thinking it is the Potasium and Sodium, and they are replaced with Calcium and Magnesium when washed in Magnesium Sulfate then Calcium Nitrate. Magenesium replaces Potasium, the Calcium replaces the Sodium in the CHC...
:)

-Pat
 

Rick

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This wouldn't be realy new news then. The ion exchange capacity of CHC has been brought up before, and that's what prompted the soaking solutions as you listed. By the way standard fertilizers add a significant amount of potassium (K), and if you use potash or Protekt, you add a bunch more too.
 
L

lienluu

Guest
patrix said:
Mahon you did not read my post, I do not have anything in CHC at this time, which is why I made the post.

I do not consider you an expert on anything but find you very annoying so please do not respond to any more of my posts ever. Your consistently irritating behavior to the members of this forum have strongly suggested that you have a some sort of emotional maturity problem, your juvenile responses to their posts and questions clearly confirms it.Again please do not respond to any more of my posts as you not credible in any sense of the word. I really wonder if it is worth keep you as a member with all of the CHAOS you create, however it is not my decision.

Patrix,

You can ignore his annoying posts. This is what i've done. Just simply go to his profile and click on the "Add Mahon to Your Ignore List". It will ask you to confirm and once you do so, any and all posts from him will be omitted from what you see.

Of course, if someone quotes him, you will see the quote. But better than nothing.

Here is a link to his profile, towards the center top 1/3 of the page, you should see the Ignore feature:

http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/member.php?u=111


Lien
 

gonewild

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Patrick,
My statements are not general. They are to the point and I gave examples for each.

What you posted from Xavier's email does not help at all. If you in fact carefully excluded details you very thoroughly excluded any proof or even a hint at a reason to give creditability to what is written.

You state:
"Then they can be 'acceptable' for few weeks to few months... second
problem starts, some batches have water-insoluble hormons, I guess it
has something to do with the source of the CHC, or the time of the
year they are harvested... anyway, the plants start roots like crazy,
and many times, the root system will collapse all of a sudden later,
when the hormons stock is exhausted."



You can't possibly have a potting media that is acceptable for "a few weeks"! That is not enough time to determine anything except perhaps his salt levels are through the roof from the concentrate soakings he does.
We need to know the EC of his saturate solution from the CHC. It sounds to me like his growth problem might be from high EC levels caused by excess additives.

Where does he come up with "some batches have water-insoluble hormons"? So some coconuts do and some don't? Plant "hormones" don't work that way. Don't forget to read up on plant hormones and report back.

"the plants start roots like crazy, and many times, the root system will collapse all of a sudden later, when the hormons stock is exhausted

His roots collapse for some other reason, not "when the hormons stock is exhausted". And he says "many times". How many times?

You'll need to show more than this to prove CHC is toxic. Keep trying.:poke:




Mahon said:
Lance,

I believe you have very general statements... there is in fact MUCH research done. I will now post the email I recieved from Xavier Garreau de Loubresse:



Another discussion with Xavier:



Hope this helps on CHC. I am careful to exclude details of his research. My thanks to Xavier. :)

-PM
 
M

Mahon

Guest
Rick said:
This wouldn't be realy new news then. The ion exchange capacity of CHC has been brought up before, and that's what prompted the soaking solutions as you listed. By the way standard fertilizers add a significant amount of potassium (K), and if you use potash or Protekt, you add a bunch more too.

Yet again, I wish Xavier would post here about this, as he is the expert on it (I am not)... he came up with the washing of CHC, but for some reason (which I do not know), he stopped using it with his orchids, as it still kills them.

-Pat

EDIT: I have contacted Xavier to post here. Hopefully he will. :)
 

Heather

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Clearly, I think we need to hear from the horses mouth, so to speak.
If Xavier won't post, and he has not published, all we have to go on is our (own) experiences. The longest of which have been about 6 years so far I can tell.

Has anyone been growing longer than that in a CHC mix?

Also, how might the CHC issues change with the inclusion of materials such as diatomite, perlite, charcoal, or all three?
 

gonewild

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This one germinated and grew to this point exactly where you see it, in coconut fiber and in a coconut.
(No I did not give it hormone therapy).
I don't know how many years but probably 3 years old.

o53c.jpg
 

gonewild

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Here is a link to a company web site with info about CHC (coir). Interesting and very informative. I suspect they have done the research and would disagree with the toxicity theory.

Very informative, but of course they are selling the product.

http://www.basvanbuuren.nl/pages/base.asp?id=74&language=2&site=1

Here is a statement they make:
"Coir is believed to contain substances that stimulate plant growth, although there is no scientific evidence to substantiate this."

This statement could be where the hormone toxicity idea comes from. If in fact CHC becomes toxic to orchids I doubt this Dutch company would be investing in the product. They specifically explain the ion exchange problem and mention using it as a media for growing orchids.
 
M

Mahon

Guest
Lance,

I forgot about this... I once had a nice plant of Brassavola nodosa growing all over a fourth of coconut shell. It was a plant in which I got from Mr. Sanders, which he recieved from Selby Gardens in the early 1970's. The plant was at least 30 years on this nasty looking coconut piece... he showed me a specimen of Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica surrounding half a coconut. I was amazed, except that the mount is quite ugly... so I do know that orchids have grown on coconut shell...

Perhaps Xavier was describing deadly CHC for Paphs. and Phrags., because I now remember all the coconut mounted orchids. There was even Schom. brysiana on one... :)

-Pat
 

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