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Thread: Coconut husk chips

  1. #1

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    I have been increasingly impressed by the properties of coconut husk chips. Does anyone have a secret cheap source for large quantities?

    Oak Hill Gardens seems to have the best deal, but just thought i'd check since it's time to resupply...

    Another related question: what size do you use, the "small" (1/8-1/4" chips) or "medium" (1/4-1/2" chips)?
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I've bought CHC from a couple places. I think one in Florida (Jim's, maybe?) seemed to be the best deal the last time. Go to the suppliers section of www.orchidmall.com and you'll find plenty of suppliers.

    I'm not as deeply in love with CHC as I used to be because it sometimes seems to cause disease. Yes, there are ways to prevent disease, but I miss the immediacy of bark. To improve aeration, I now mix in plenty of sponge rock and think the CHC I have now is the fine size.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    CHC are great, but don't keep them waterlogged too long, they seem to deteriorate more rapidly. Its very important to leach them before using also. You should see all the neat stuff that seeps out of them!




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    Yeah, they leach tannins something fierce, for one.

    I've never heard that they might cause disease, herenorthere. Can you elaborate, please?
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I can't elaborate because it's just a suspicion. I first heard of the potential problem from another orchid grower and it made me wonder.

    When I first started using CHC, I used it straight and was so pleased with it that I repotted lots of things into it. A few months later, a hanging pot blew out of a tree and I saw nasty white mold and awful roots. So I began mixing in sponge rock and am now up to maybe 50% sponge rock. My Gongoras seem to love the stuff, but I do believe some of the other plants have more problems. That sudden decline and death kind of thing that seems to happen to a random orchid every now and then for no apparent reason.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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