POTTING: The Orchid Block System

Culture Orchid Doctor

by Robert M. [Bert] Hamilton (Compiler)

Originally published in The Orchid Doctor in 1980 and 1988

Posted by Sys Admin almost 5 years ago.

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As a potting mix it offered many advantages; refer to OA82-6

Consisted of a styrofoam block shaped to fit inside regular pots, topped with shredded foam rubber and shredded long-fibered sphagnum mixed together and all held in place with a spray to fix it; a pad of moss is placed under the plant which is then anchored with pins. OIE85-July-12; for another account of its features and use, refer to OR81-186; for notes on layering, see OA88-12

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Potting Comments
POTTING: Aeration It is greatest in the mix when the particles are uniform throughout; a fine ingredient mixed with a coarse one causes "cementing" between bits. OA86-172 0
POTTING: Affects the Size of the Next Flowers Timing is important; try to repot as soon as the new roots appear on the rhizome. A69-902 0
POTTING: Aseptic Techniques Wash hands well, spread out clean newspapers on a bench and remove a sheet or two after each plant is handled; sterilize even the tool used to pry the plant out of the pot; sterilize any tool that comes in contact with the plant; use a new or cleaned pot; clean and sterilize the potting tools. A67-97 0
POTTING: Common Faults The usual ones are: repotting at the wroag season; overpotting; not taking enough care in dividing plants; placing the back end of a sympodial too far down in the mix to get it upright; not repotting every two years or sooner for most types. AH86-102 0
POTTING: Crock Sterilization For re-use of crock sterilize with high-test hypochlorite at one ounce to one gal. water; pre-cleaned pots should be soaked up to 30 minutes; rinse well after; it is corrosive to steel tools but it is feasible to sterilize them also in it. A71-439 0
POTTING: Delayed It is harmful to plants to delay re-potting; more harm is done to cattleyas than to cymbidiums by leaving them in the pot for extra years. A67-713 0
POTTING: Faults The usual ones are: repotting at the wrong time; over-potting; faulty placement in the pot; neglected potting; unnecessary potting; for a review see AH50+ 0
POTTING: Faulty Placement of Rhizome Do not place the back end of the rhizome deep in the pot in order to secure the plant or to bring the front end upright; maintain all rhizomes level with the surface of the media. A67-564 0
POTTING: Frequency Every years is recommended because a vigorous cattleya grows out of the pot in two years; some monopodia Is such as vandas can stay in the same pot for five years. A69-1083 0
POTTING: Layered Different mixes used in layers in the pot; for cattleya culture a layer of one part bark to one part charcoal is placed in the bottom third; two parts perlite and one part peat moss is placed in the middle third; it is topped off with a bark-charcoal mix; great success claimed. AU80-23 0
POTTING: Overpotting of Seedlings by Design A reasonably safe method is to choose a well-drained container which avoids sogginess, such as a Rand Aircone plastic pot and use a mix of coarse pebbles as drainage, then a layer of hardwood charcoal and wine corks and lastly a layer of coconut fiber on top. A84-493 0
POTTING: Repotting For a lot of pointers on when to do it for most popular genera and how to do it with what materials with detailed instructions and many illustrations, refer to A81-1437 0
POTTING: Wear Rubber Gloves Sterilize them in solution each time; it is impractical to wash hands free of pathogens each time. OD67-50 0

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