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Orchids/growing Cattleyas in a rock medium



I purchased a couple of Cattleyas from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and they arrived potted in rock. It is my understanding that they start them out this way and as the roots get bigger they place the pot into a larger pot and so on. Have you ever heard of growing Cattleyas or any other orchid this way? I guess the roots grow happily between the pots, but I don't think this is the most tidiest way to grow them. Do you think the longevity of the roots would be longer with this growing method?

Thank you Wayne,


Derick; there is a special kind of rock that looks a little like perlite.  It is called "grow rock" and the firing process for this rock creates a very porous surface. The porous surface is able to retain nutrients from feeding, as well as air.  I don't know if the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate is using this product  In general, since rock is inert, it may be good for anchoring plants in the pot but provides no nutrients for growth. I have heard of placing one clay pot inside of another so the plant can grow on with little to no damage. This provides additional surface for the elongating roots with minimal damage during repotting.   Wayne


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Wayne King


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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