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Prime Agra - Reuse or not?

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Heather

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For those of you who grow using the clay aggregate product marketed as Prime Agra - do you or do you not re-use it when you repot? The condition I'm most interested in is, when perhaps, you send a plant off bare root for another to grow, do you then clean and sterilize the media that the plant was potted in and use it again when potting up a different plant?

Thanks, H
 

Ron-NY

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I reuse my Prime Agra. I put it in a pot of water and boil it but it would be possible to sterilize it in an oven as well. If I am repotting the same plant into a larger container, I don't sterilize it first, I just add more to the larger pot.
 

NYEric

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What's S/H? I dont reuse media because if a plant died in it or needs replanting generally the salts from fertilizing, pathogens [virus, fungi, pests. etc.] may remain in the media. Why not use fresh stuff? E.
 

Ron-NY

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Prime Agra is an expanded clay pellet. It doesn't break down for it is inorganic and there shouldn't be a problem if it is sterilized prior to reuse. I never reuse organic mediums for your reasons stated plus others. S/H = Semi Hydroponic.
 

NYEric

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I use a various mixes depending on what the plant is doing. I use coconut chips [roots love this stuff], diatomite [retains moisture], bark[just because], sphagnum moss [if lots of moisture is needed], agricultural charcoal [filters impurities], and aliflor (baked clay pellets) [if drainage is required]. I have all my phrags in growing trays w/ R.O. water pumped among the bottom of the posts. How does sterilizing remove salts from fertilizing unless you soak them out? E.
 

Ron-NY

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that is why I boil, the salts disolve in the water. With S/H the pots are flushed out on a regular basis and there isn't a large build up of salts to begin with. You must need to change your medium on a yearly basis with your culture. Did you see the link I added to my last post?
 

NYEric

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Yep, thanx for the info. I will change my medias more often than that. Do you use R.O. or distilled water to boil the pellets and doesnt boiling concentrate the salts? E.
 

bwester

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I put mine in the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. That'll kill pretty much anything.
 

Ron-NY

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NYEric said:
As soon as I can I will send photos of the gowing trays and teh root growths w/ this method. E.
are they ebb flow trays? I find amazing root growth with this medium too. The best part is that it never breaks down so it never needs to be changed. Potting up is a breeze for the roots bind the medium together. I don't have a problem with root burn from salt build up, the pots are flushed at each watering.
 

NYEric

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Nope, they are the cheap tupperware type trays you get from National Wholesale Liquidators on Broadway near Houston St. I use R.O. water and a Fluval 1 in each tray pumps the water continuously. I have 6 trays full of Phrags and fertilize 2 trays at a time for a few days in separate fertilizing trays so I'm constantly moving and working w/ the plants. It's a little busy but I get to constantly check the plants. E.
 

NYEric

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Jason Fisher or one of the other guys at Orchids Ltd. questioned my methods but as soon as a plant shows a problem I pull it out. E.
 

Heather

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Ron-NY said:
You had a concern with reuse of medium and disease spread but you don't with multiple plants that are sharing the same water :confused:

I wondered about that too.

How long do you boil the PA for, Ron? That's usually how I pre-treat new PA. Also, FWIW, the plants who's mix I would be reusing are not sick or dead plants, just going to new homes and I'm short on prime agra! :)
 

bwester

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Wrap in foil, bake in oven at 500 for 30 mins. Way easier and kills some viruses that can survive boiling.
 
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gore42

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I don't usually bother to boil mine, but I do soak it in Physan for a while. If you used it long enough that you think salts might be a problem, Id either boil it or rinse it for a good while.

- Matt
 

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