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Orchids/soil mix for Cattleya

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Question
Hello Wayne,

How are you doing? I hope you are well. I have a question regarding an ideal soil mix for Cattleyas. I have some medium grade Orchiata bark, charcoal, and some sponge rock that I would like to mix together for potting up a couple of Cattleyas. What ratios of the materials would you mix together for growing Cattleyas? Do you think they would do better in sphagnum moss?

Many thanks,

Derick

Answer
Thanks for your question Derick.  I prefer 5 parts med fir bark, 3 parts sponge rock, and 2 parts #3 charcoal.  Try to strain out all of the dust and fine particles prior to use.  Also, dry fir bark is difficult to wet so be sure to soak it thoroughly before use.  I would not recommend sphagnum as it tends to compact over time and can be difficult to rewet once it dries out.  I have heard some good things about the Orchiata bark and those who use it, do not mix it with anything.   I am currently testing it out on a couple of plants.

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Wayne King

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Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.

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