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2007 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

1—7 March

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Colour change.
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 09:40

Mornin' all,

Don't say too much, but at the moment there is a clear blue sky overhead !!!!!

I must truthfully admit that when I read Peter's remarks about giving my Dendrobium speciosum more light, that I did have a chuckle out aloud. To be honest Peter, although this last winter has been one of the warmest on record, we have had far too many dull days. Can't alter what 'Mother Nature' throws at us.

And now on to John from New York.

Hi John. Thanks for the interesting item about hydrogen peroxide. I feel sure that some people will take up what you have said, although over here as I no doubt you will have read, 'Provado' works so very well.

Your 'Five penneth' about the colour change is very interesting especially as the white piece has gone completely. I wonder if it is just orchids that do this? And is it possibly due to the constant hybridisation?

Regards, Rocky.

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From: davidbennetto
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Orchid House
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 10:00

Well after weeks of reading the posts, it's time for my first
contribution of sorts. I'm after any tips or advice on converting a
recently aquired alu framed polycarbonate glazed greenhouse into a
suitable environment for growing intermadiate orchids. My house just
can't practically accomodate my collection any more.
I have some ideas on what i can do to get the thing set up. But any
reccomendations welcome, espicially on heating it.

Thank
David

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From: Russ and Jenny
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Flowering Miltonidium
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 19:25

Hi all,

as an 'orchid newbie' I am quite proud that this has flowered, no bud drop etc. and looking still quite healthy. what do you think?
I also have yet another query; the flowers on one of my Phal's are now starting to come to an end, and I would like to cut it off at the eye so it will flower again, what's the best way to do this?

regards, Jenny
Sunny (at last) Cornwall

Miltonidium -Hawaiian sunset now in flower!!

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Mealybugs
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 19:25

Hello John,
Thanks for the tip I give it a try.
Ronbow.

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Mealy Bugs,ect
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 19:35

Hello Geoff,
Thanks for your advice much of which I have done, but I don't think I have the time, the stamina or the will to repot and was all of my plants. I recall you mentioning a smoke, around the time you were having trouble with scale. Did you ever find a smoke or know of one available in the UK.
Ronbow.

Geoffrey Hands wrote on Tuesday, February 27:

> I too had MB on phals ( they also love the new leaves at the top of
> Dend. nobile canes..)- and found it resistant to most things, and
> followed a similar path to you , Ron. However, I DID succeed in the end.

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Ronbows problems.
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 20:35

Hi Rocky.
Have done and am doing the manual stuff and the Provada as I said is significantly les than 100% effective. The thing that irritates me the most is when the flowers on a nice Phal spike start dieing out of sequence and premature when inspection almost always reveals young Mealies at the back of the petals and sometimes in a half opened bud. Frankly I do not have the time or the patience to examine the back of every petal. Believe me I am very tempted to go back to growing Tuberous Begonia and even Geraniums. They don't get mealies and do not require Lights or high and expensive winter temperatures and which perhaps might even improve ones Carbon footprint and all that sort of Rot or BS.
Incidentally the plants with the sticky stuff on them generally do not have the Mealies.
BTW. Did you not get the T Shirt?
Cheers son,
Ronbow,

Roger Grier wrote on Tuesday, February 27:

> Ron, Mealy Bug. Finest thing to do when MB are seen is to physically
> remove them with a fine pointed wooden skewer or something similar, and
> squash them. Then spray all over the plant with Provado. Yes I know
> you have many plants but it is worth its weight in gold to do this. I
> have a job to find any MB these days.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Jenny's Phalaenopsis.
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 13:45

Hi there Jenny,

Right then, the cutting off of the flower spike above a dormant node/eye/bud or whatever you like to call it.

It is not one hundred percent sure that dormant eye will start to grow, but I guess 70% of the time it will.

One of my Phallys had two flower spikes, and when all of the flowers had finished and had fallen off I cut both spikes off above a dormant eye at about the same level, that being about three inches from the base of the spike. Damn me if the thing completely ignored what I had done and started to grow two new spikes quite quickly..........it is now known as Phalaenopsis insubordinate.

So, cut about a half an inch above a node. Now then, common sense, if you make the cut about eight or nine inches or more from the bottom and it sends out a new spike it will look very top heavy. I normally try to cut about three or four inches from where the spike leaves the main part of the plant, the upright rhizome.

Have you ever pruned a rose tree/bush????? Cut to an outside bud is the advice.

If you look carefully and feel with your fingers you will know which way any dormant eye will grow. Better to try and have it grow out from the main plant rather than across the middle. If you are VERY careful, with your finger nail, or a fine pair of tweezers you can remove the protective cover to the dormant eye and see where it will go.

Hope this is what you wanted.

Kind regards, Rocky.

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Flowering Miltonidium
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:30

Hello Jenny,

Received wisdom says cut off your phalaenopsis spike an inch above the second node up from the bottom but an inch above any node will do − choose the one that will give the most graceful new spike. Just remember to use a sterile cutter.

Regards,
Tina
from the cold and grey seaside of North Wales.

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From: P G Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Color change in orchids
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 14:25

I have an Oncidium Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance' and after many years it is
still
blooming with a white lip. It just finished blooming. Strange.........
Kind regards
Peter from Bloubergstrand

"John J. Rupp" wrote on Wednesday, February 28:

> Last Spring I purchased an Oncidium Sharry Baby 'Red Fantasy' in bloom
> with several flower spikes. All flowers were the same and looked very
> much like a typical Oncidium Sharry Baby but with a little more red
> tinge in the lip. This Fall it bloomed again on new growths and all
> flowers were solid red, without a hint of white in the lip. I really
> like the solid color better. Any odds on this?

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From: P G Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Colour change.
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 14:35

Hi Rocky,
That's right, you can't change what mother nature throws at us, but
you can try to use what is available more efficiently.
If your Dendrobium speciosum would receive 'full sun' when it is
available, it would have much lighter green leaves and the colour
of the flowers would be yellow. Full sun 'now' will not change the
colour of the flowers, but full sun in summer and autumn will.
Kind regards
Peter from Bloubergstrand

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Cutting the spike.
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 19:30

Hi Tina,

I noticed that at the end of your advice to Jenny that you said: Just remember to use a sterile cutter.

To be honest I have never bothered, and I know that we have been down this track before, but let me tell you my setup.

I have a small pair of scissors always hung up in my greenhouse, and I use them for every job that needs them. I cut off a Phalaenopsis flower spike just above a node, and then I hang them up again. One or more days may go by and then I might just use them to cut up a long leaf so that the pieces fit easily in my transparent plastic bucket that hangs under the roof. This is used for all rubbish and is continually removed and the contents dumped. The scissors are also used for many more 'cutting' jobs.

The question is, and I hope that John from NY might be able to answer is this, if I use the scissors to shall we say cut back a spike and then hang them up and do not use them for at least THREE DAYS, WHAT THEN???!!!

Kind regards from a sodden New Forest.

Rocky.

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From: Russ and Jenny
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Jenny's Phalaenopsis.
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 08:15

Hi Rocky,

Thanks for that; I have now noticed that one of my Phallys has another 'bract' from the main spike (well, I think so!), this one has only just started to grow below the one that is flowering and is about a centimetre long, to be honest I thought it was just going to be another flower! as I mentioned before the flowers are starting to die off, so do I still cut it and leave the new bit?
There's more to this orchid growing malarky than you first think aint there?? Well, I am going to persevere as my husband has fishing as his hobby.

regards, Jenny. from still sunny Cornwall

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Cutting the spike.
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 11:55

Hello Rocky,

Sunlight is, of course, a good steriliser. The longer you leave your scissors hanging up, the better. I just prefer not to risk potentially virused sap from one plant entering into another. I use a powerful little blue flame gizmo and flame the cutter immediately after each use. I think it came from Millets, is about 7cm long, and fills with butane.

I know it's fussy and 99 times out of a 100 you can get away with it − but the last cut might have been on a new plant and the next cut might be on your best plant. I also keep my rubbish bucket outside the greenhouse, not in it.

It's a nice sunny morning here. I can see from the house that the automatic vents are open, which means that the temp inside is above 22C. I must go and open some bottom louvres.

Regards,
Tina

Roger Grier wrote:

> I noticed that at the end of your advice to Jenny that you said: Just
> remember to use a sterile cutter...

Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Jenny's 'Bract'.
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 17:45

Hi Jenny,

From what you describe, the new flower spike [bract] is worth keeping, so cut just above it and watch it grow.

Are you up to taking a photo of your Phally with new 'bract' so that we can see where it is please.

Regards, Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Sterilising sunshine.
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 17:45

Hi Tina,

Now I did not know about the sterilising effect of the sun, thanks, more information to cram into my head.

My 'Rubbish bucket' is only about four inches across and five inches deep.

I quite often take leaves that have fallen off the Phalaenopsis to show people that the horrible markings and colouration are quite natural. They seem to forget the colours that we all see in the Autumn.

Lovely day here this morning and for the first part of the afternoon, but.....................

Regards, Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: My Dendrobium speciosum.
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 18:00

Hi Peter,

I will take on board what you have said/recommended.

This year, when the weather is warm enough I will put the plant out in the garden in the sunniest place that I can find. It will sit in a large plastic saucer all the time, so that I can give it all the water and feed that it can handle.

Watch this space!!!

Cheers, Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Encyclia citrine.
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 10:00

Mornin' all, and what a lousy morning it is, heavy rain and strong wind.

Does anyone know where I can buy a flowering sized plant of Encyclia citrina [Cattleya citrina]. Or maybe someone has a piece to give away, that's my Scottish father speaking, ha, ha.

Ideally from a supplier in the U.K. or maybe Europe.

Also does anyone have exact information as to how they grow this plant..........in great detail.

Later today I will tell you why I ask the above question.

Thanks, Rocky.

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Encyclia citrine.
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 11:05

I remember a long conversation about this at the Canterbury (?) Congress. As far as I can recall, it was decided that it grows best, or better, or even slightly less worse, mounted and upside-down.

Hope this helps!
Tina

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From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Encyclia citrine.
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 12:10

Roger, Try Burnhams they used to have quite a few mounted plants. When a new growth has appeared and is over an inch long I hang it at bench level where it gets soaked whenever the under bench misting comes on. When the new growth has turned into a large bulb I hang it up in the roof area where it gets sprayed twice a week. This is my third plant and it seems to work. Regards froma dismal Devon

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From: P G Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Encyclia citrine.
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 16:45

I had a plant of Enc. citrina for many years. It flowered every year.
And then one year something ate the new growth as it was emerging from
the bulbs and this was the end of the story. It stayed on for several
years, but it never produced a new growth and eventually there was
nothing left of it.
It wants intermediate temperatures. Morning sun. Misted every morning
during the growing period. Should be dry by nightfall and high humidity
at all times. Actually quite easy to grow. It must be mounted, as the
leaves are pointing downwards and the flowwers as well.
Kind regards
Peter from Bloubergstrand

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From: Russ and Jenny
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Encyclia citrine.
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 17:05

Hi Rocky,

As you are aware I am no expert. I have loads of orchid websites saved in my favs however and came across this http://www.orchids.org/species/genera/E/Euchile/citrina/index.html ; dont know if it will help. Also, bit of history from this site found in a google search, that in 2002 you asked a very similar question!! hee hee.

regards, Jenny
wet and windy cornwall

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Jenny's Flower Spike.
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 20:45

Jenny,

Rocky is very experienced and knows his onions about Orchids. However, I make virtually all my Phal spikes continue to flower by forming a Branch, and I do this by treating as many nodes as I wish with KEIKIGROW PLUS: (KGP) My plants frequently produce several branches or secondary flowering, per spike and often branches on branches and I recently had a twin spiked plant with 11 branches.
Initionally I used the KGP with the intention of increasing my plants, especially the species, and I did produce a few Keikis, but have never been able to get them to produce roots or grow into plants.

Just for the matter of clarity, and not intending to create controversy, I use the term branch, whilst Rocky terms it Bract, meaning I think the same thing, but to my mind a Bract is botanically the first leaf below the flower, of any plant, not just the Orchid.

KGP is obtainable from:- Plant Hormones Canada. Mail to James D Brasch, Ph,D. Box 40583, Burlington, Canada, L7P 4W1. Tel 1-905-335-1713.
E-mail:
Web Site.//www.orchidmall.com/hormones/

Ronbow.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Russian spy!!!
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 08:40

Mornin' Ron,

How very nice to read what you told us about the 'KGB' woops! KGP. So Ron, what is the cost including all the charges to get it sent over from Canada. And also how very nice to hear about Jim Brasch. I swapped a few E-mails with Jim a few years ago when my wife and I were staying with friends quite near to where Jim works, but unfortunately we did not meet up.

On the term 'bract' that I used Ron, I was trying to describe the tiny flap of 'skin' that covers the dormant eye, maybe we can use a better description.

And do please tell us how you use the KGP..........dab it on where and how?

Cheers for now, Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: That citrina.
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 08:45

Hi Jenny,

That was very kind of you to show me the link to Cattleya/Encyclia/Euchile citrina. Some very interesting information.

Later today I will phone Burnham's to see if they have it, as I could not see it on their website.

Cheers for now, Rocky.

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From: Andy Mckeown
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: catch up
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 16:00

I have just returned from 3 weeks in Thailand − a bit of a shock from the cold.

I have been enjoying catching up with all the postings in the last couple of days though there's too much to reply to. Some fantastic pics as always − I lke the D speciosum Rocky irrespective of the colour and Roys new Paph is a delight.

I read the postings about mealy-bugs with interest − though never having had them apart from the odd minor outbreak. However after a few hours of going through my cattleyas I found one with a fairly heavy infestation. Interestingly it was in the middle of a large group and none of the others appear to have any. It was a plant I imported from Thailand last year and I may not have sprayed it since it had just been doused with whatever in Thailand. I suspect it had eggs when it arrived. I am going to have a go with the H2O2 as per Johns advice and will elt you know how I get on.

Andy

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From: Andy Mckeown
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Den lindleyii
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 16:05

I bought one of these from the Taiwanese nursery at Weston, repotted it and hung it up dry near the roof. It now has several flower spikes and they should open soon. When do I start to water it?

Andy

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From: Andy Mckeown
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: photos
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 16:10

This is a few of the plants that greeted me on my return

Andy

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Andy's 'Return'
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 17:35

Hi Andy,

That sure is a good 'return' for some excellent growing.

I love the Ascocenda if that's what it is?

Full marks for the clean wonderful foliage. [I don't just look at the flowers.]

Regards, Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Another year.
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 17:40

Hi all, especially Andy now that he's back.

'Our' Cattleya Nellie Roberts x Charlotte Goddard is doing its thing again.

If the damned moth had not have laid its eggs last Autumn and the caterpillar, known as the 'Night Raider' had not eaten some buds I would have had three similar spikes like the one in the photo.

Next year the moths will be dealt with severely and if any caterpillars do emerge they will be dead in no time.

Rocky.

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Kieki Grow!
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 21:25

Hello Rocky et al, I last bought Kieki Grow Plus last June at 22,C$ per 15ml and 49. C$ per 49 ml. plus 7 dollars postage.Suggest you visit Jims site for up to date price as well as other information as to how to use ect. I am sure that Jim will respond to a email. I use a artist brush and paint it on, but on re reading the instructions, I see that I don't always adhere strictly to them. I will be more careful and maybe will be more successful. I don't always wait until all the flowers die. Incidentally Jim refers to the Bract or Sheath which has to be slit. I us a craft knife. Jim is very good and will, I'm sure respont to any requests. I don't particulary care about the lack of success with rooting Kiekies as it seems to me that they take too long to flower and I probably won't live to see it.

Silvio,
I attempt to keep the Temperature to 75f. 23C day, 65f 16 C. for 3 or 4 hours during the night night and around 70% humidity. I don't have a fogger or misting device but do spray every morning as well as damping down in the summer.
With regard to exhausting the plants. I think that is a very much over used term for any plant. Any plant pruduces flowers so as to reproduce its self and if conditions are right, and as with most forms of life will have a natural spell. In a lifetime of growing all sorts of plants I have seen them grow and florish for years, and then for no apparent reason, they deteriate and die, and in the 7 years I have had orchids a few, but only a few plants have done just that.
I will out of interest, look at the French suppliers product.
Regards,
Ronbow.

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From: Andy Mckeown
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Re: Kieki Grow!
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 12:25

Ratcliffes sell it and you can often find it on Ebay. You can also get Keikiroot to stimulate root development

Andy

Ron Bower wrote on Monday, March 05:

> Hello Rocky et al, I last bought Kieki Grow Plus last June at 22,C$ per
> 15ml and 49. C$ per 49 ml. plus 7 dollars postage.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 15:30

Hi all, from whatever part of our planet you live in,

I would love to hear your comments about the four attachments that I have posted. All were purchased here in the U.K.

Do you have similar 'items' for sale in your country?

One 'Orchid' compost I purchased in December last year and I filled a plastic see-through pot with the gunge and then watered it. It is still as wet now as when I watered it all those weeks ago..........and to call it free draining!!!!!

Of course the problem is that people who but from Garden Centres here in the U.K. see this collection of garbage on the shelf and unwittingly they buy it thinking that it is the correct compost to use for epiphytic orchids. I've been spreading the gospel for years, but these type of composts keep turning up. At least one of them has I believe stopped production.

Regards, Rocky.

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From: Sharon Williams
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 17:45

Hi Roger: It is interesting to see the orchids pictured on the packaging. I think that mix might not be so bad for the miltoniopsis and the cymbidium, as many here grow miltoniopsis in peat mixes as they like to stay moist (it is really dry here), and I know folks who grow their cymbidiums in manure. However, I believe it would be death to a phal or a cattleya. We have a medium here called Schultz orchid mix which I have been told is a very poor medium as it breaks down too quickly. It is a mix of 40-50% aged fir bark-large size, Arcillite 25-30% (looks like large pumice) and 25-330% charcoal. It doesn't look bad to me, has no small fines in it, but I didn't use it after I heard the bad reports. May still use it to try it for myself. Perhaps those comments came from growers in very humid climates?
Cheers
Sharon

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 18:20

Don't be shy, Geoff − I am sure your new Orchid Focus medium is much better than these! Tell us all about it.

Tina

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From: Kenneth Bruyninckx
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Den lindleyii
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 22:25

Andy,

Did you stop watering this species ?

In our greenhouse none of the Dendrobiums (or any of the other orchids for
that matter) are kept dry over wintertime. Experience has shown for us that
they still require water from time to time.

Of course the frequency and amount of water is slightly reduced (darker
days, less evaporation etc etc) but we still spray them regularly about once
every 5 days now.

Kind regards,

Kenneth.

--

Kenneth Bruyninckx

Akerne Orchids

Laarsebeekdreef 4, B-2900 Schoten, Belgium

tel. +32 (0)3 651 40 36 fax +32 (0)3 653 06 76


www.akerne-orchids.com

See us at the following shows and events in 2007:

*London Orchid Show, London, UK (16-18/3)
*7ème Biennale Intenationale d'Orchidées, La Hestre, Belgium
(17-20/5)
*Open Nursery Weekend, Schoten, Belgium (26-28/5)
*Peterborough International Orchid Show, Peterborough, UK (16-17/6)

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From: Kenneth Bruyninckx
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 22:30

Hello Rocky,

Hey, that's the free market for you. anyone can sell and promote so-called
potting mixture for orchids :-)

I wouldn't use any of the ones shown but I'm biased of course !

Kenneth.

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 00:30

Hi Rocky,
As you know, I live in the most distinguished part of this planet, Crewe (the Centre of the Universe!).

While I respect your opinions of the various 'composts' (and to some extent agree) I would take issue with you on how we should describe them. Apart from the rather loaded term 'gunge' you seem to suggest that something that holds water can't be 'free draining'. Let's be a bit more objective; 'free draining' doesn't necessarily mean 'rapidly drying out' and I would like to see if excess water passes through a mix before I would condemn anyone for calling it free draining. Could you puddle a pond with it? In any case, there are plenty of epiphytes that seem happier if they don't dry out too readily and so water retention could be a deliberate manufacturer's aim..

If, in your experience, it isn't suited to the epiphytes you grow, then fair enough, don't buy it and don't recommend it. Maybe even say what you find it unsuited for. I think that some of these products have been on sale for many years. Although, like you, we aren't attracted to them.

I could introduce you to orchid growers who swear by rock-wool cubes and grow plants I envy, but it certainly isn't a medium we like either. Geoff has many of his orchids standing in water (I have a sneaking suspicion that he even rolls his trousers up for a paddle to join 'em). His plants are usually healthy and thriving (like him) but that doesn't mean that the technique would work well for us all.

By all means let's be critical but slanging products (and by implication their manufacturers) doesn't really assist those you would like to help. If your compost really is as wet now as when you watered it "weeks ago" then the humidity in your greenhouse must be close to 100% and/or your sample is in a non-drainable saucer as in the pics.

Why do you buy the stuff if you so disapprove of it? I would have imagined that you'd be smart enough to 'roll y'r own!

What's in flower in your near-tropical latitude at present?

Good growing,
Cheers
John

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Those 'Composts'.
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 09:15

Mornin' all,

Hi John, you asked me why I buy these products..........only to take along to show people when I give my chats on orchid culture, especially to newcomers. I would never use such composts.

And hello to Kenneth..........as we say here in England, 'Speak of the Devil and he will show up' ha, ha. Yesterday I E-mailed Patrick Denissen, so he may contact you about a certain orchid. Doubt if I will be at the London Show but best of luck.

Regards, Rocky.

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 09:25

My brief was to design a compost for adult plants − not seedlings, which
would be good for Garden Centre orchids. My garden centre − (my local one ,
I don't own it ) Sells Phals, Cattleyas, Paphs, and Dendrobiums − which I
would guess make up 99% of the total, although occasionally Epidendrums (
the Ballerina type − dwarf reed-stems) , the jewel orchids with copper
leaves , name lost for this senior moment -( usually sold with its rather
boring white flowers, as if it were to be appreciated for the flowers, to me
it's to be grown for its leaves − that's what jewel orchids means ),
Promeneas, Vandas even ! , and others.

I was supplied with − literally − a complete pallet load made up of large
and small bags of a dozen different materials ; bark in sizes from a
pigeon's egg down to rice, aggro-foam , coconut husk chunks, ditto fibre ,
bark and sphagnum mixes, etc. etc., . No limit placed on how much my mix
would cost . I experimented, trying to get a mix which felt good and looked
good , and one which would last perhaps rather longer than Douglas fir bark,
charcoal and Perlite mixes − which sometimes seem to break down so fast that
they do not provide ideal conditions for root growth for long enough to be
worthwhile.

I suppose I used my experience unconsciously in several areas. Certainly,
from the sample bags I have used since then, there is no problem with dust ,
and it's all usable . Even if saturated by dipping the plant , as soon as it
has drained there will be air at the roots , and it can also be gently
rammed into the pot without too much root damage for the same reason ( the
foam, which cushions the plant and helps grip it firmly) .

Obviously enough I tried them out , although I did not feel that I had the
time for a several year trial. But I have been using some since I first
designed it, and it has produced good results. Nothing sensational − but
then, magic bullets are as likely as free lunches !

There has recently been talk about paying me a penny a bag ( or some-such )
for use of my name on the bags, but only talk. When I book my world cruise
on my royalties, I'll let you know.

Geoff

Tina Stagg wrote on 06 March 2007:

> Don't be shy, Geoff − I am sure your new Orchid Focus medium is much better
> than these! Tell us all about it.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Orchids in flower
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 10:15

I have taken a lot of pics lately, and will put them up on my web-site, but
the orchid which has given me the biggest thrill is shown here − Cyrtorchis
arcuata.

The story is that some time towards the end of apartheid in South Africa -
when it was definitely ending but Nelson Mandela was not yet President ,I
went to RSA and had a 3 week holiday visiting different parts ( saw Disa
unflora in flower on Table Mountain too − but that's another story) .
Naturally I did a safari/game park − the one chosen was a private one close
to the Mozambique border with some interesting sand forest ( where I saw a
cluster of swallow tail butterflies , estimated to be over one hundred
thousand of them flying together in a huge "ball" ) and in the forest were
what looked like vandaceous orchids in the trees.

Going walk-about was not "on" − I was in a jeep looking at a pride of lions
some 10 feet away from the vehicle!.

I had hoped for Ansellia here, but I was given a local name for the plants
that I saw − which of course were nothing like Ansellias vegetatively − and
later interpreted it as referring to Cyrtorchis arcuata. A year or two
later, at a show, I saw this plant − my plant − and bought it out of some
kind of sentiment .

It has grown slowly ever since − and is now much larger than when I bought
it, but even now is say a foot high (only). Probably I had wrong conditions
until recently, but after my move to the South Coast , with better light ,
and also maybe after raising the temperature to suit my changing collection
in other respects, suddenly this year it produced three spikes.

So I have a total of 15 flowers and buds − (6,6 and 3 ). The flowers are
some 5 or 6 cm natural spread − they would be twice as large if the cranked
petals extended flat.

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Laura Peppiatt
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 10:45

Hello everyone and thank you very much for a number of usefull tips that I have got for the last few month,

I killed my first phals in a compost like this. Probably it would be OK for some orchids but not for phals.

Kenneth,

I am going to London Orchids Show. I am thinking about buying Brassovola Nodosa because I love fragrant orchids. Are you going to bring some of those to the show? Is it difficult to grow?

Regards,
Laura Peppiatt

Kenneth Bruyninckx [mailto:kenneth@akerne-orchids.com] wrote on 06 March:

>See us at the following shows and events in 2007:

> *London Orchid Show, London, UK (16-18/3) *7ème Biennale
> Intenationale d'Orchidées, La Hestre, Belgium (17-20/5) *Open Nursery
> Weekend, Schoten, Belgium (26-28/5) *Peterborough International Orchid
> Show, Peterborough, UK (16-17/6)

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tony Watkinson
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Orchids in flower
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 23:10

Strange that Geoff should have this one in flower at the same time as one in flower was presented at our last meeting(Feb) on the other side of the globe. See the attached pix. It is the first one that anyone here has seen too. Imported from Madagasca I believe.

Tony

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: James H
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] So called 'Orchid Compost'.
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 23:25

Roger,
I would watch what you say about someones products on a public list as yours
could be concidered Libel and could be grounds for a lawsuit.

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