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Thread: Soil???

  1. #9
    BigBella's Avatar
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    I have used a number of composts for Nepenthes over the years, including various cedar mixes, so-called orchid barks, etc., and have noticed little in the way of difference in terms of plant growth. Success is more individual cultivation practice than any given potting mix.

    My current mix of choice is a quick-draining, live sphagnum moss-based compost with some fine bark, pumice, and perlite . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    natevincent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    I grew Neps & orchids from 2000 or so until winter 2006/2007 when my dad got sick - I sold all my plants cos I was spending all my time taking care of him and was never home to take care of my plants. I probably used cypress mulch half of that time. Do not use cocoa shell husk mulch (smells like chocolate) it turns all fungusy really quick. Look for cypress or cedar. I like shredded cos normal mulch is pretty big chips but the shredded is "finer" but still pretty bulky. I'm getting back into the hobby now and will be using the cypress mulch again when I get my new vivarium wall project setup. Soil in the display tanks and most pots in the GH tanks will be a shredded LFS, mulch and turkey grit blend used over a drained false bottom so I can set the misters to rain whenever and not have to worry about flooding the soil.

    I can't recall how the plants "took it" but anytime you disturb Neps roots you're going to set it back a month or two before it gets going again. For gentler transplanting I generally just removed the excess LFS and left the main root ball of LFS the way they were bound. Simply pot them on in the new mix and let them discover it by themselves as they grow. If you see most HL Nep pics in the wild they're growing in moss, twigs, dead leaves, etc. nothing too "fine" or compact.

    I should add I grew in climate controlled conditions of 80% RH and proper temps, air flow, etc. In a windowsill this soil mix may be too airy and the plants may dry out too quickly, I don't know cos my windows won't grow much more than ferns and begonias all my Neps and other high light plants have to be in grow chambers.
    WOW! Thatnks for the great reply Swords! This really helps! im probably gonna end up useing cypress mulch cuz its cheaper .

    Also Thanks big Bella for your reply as well! Always great to hear from such an amazing grower!

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    cmm889's Avatar
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    I also use cypress mulch and really like it, its SUPER cheap I bought a bag that will work for my lifetime (like 50 gallons )... for about 6 bucks.

    its also becoming popular in heliamphora mixes as well

  4. #12
    natevincent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmm889 View Post
    I also use cypress mulch and really like it, its SUPER cheap I bought a bag that will work for my lifetime (like 50 gallons )... for about 6 bucks.

    its also becoming popular in heliamphora mixes as well
    Do you mix anything in with the cypress mulch?

    ---------- Post added at 02:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:27 AM ----------

    Also does orchid bark with a little perlite do well? Or the pre mixed orchid soil bags?

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    swords's Avatar
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    I wouldn't imagine there would be any sense in adding perlite to straight orchid bark or mulch, it drains extremely rapidly. If something is potted in straight bark or mulch and water does not drain/run straight through then it's time to repot.

    I've never grown a Nep in straight orchid bark (or orchid mix) or straight mulch, I don't think it holds enough water by itself for Neps. It may work fine if you have a controlled humidity chamber and water every couple days. Orchids can get away with it cos their roots, leaves and pseudobulbs (if they have them) are very thick and succulent and can store a lot of water compared to Neps' thin leaves and generally fine roots.

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