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Thread: Orchid Bark vs Turface

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    raymond's Avatar
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    Orchid Bark vs Turface

    Which mix is better for a Nepenthes Maxima?
    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that." --George Carlin

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    Both not great

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    Safety Shears's Avatar
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    Unless you add some LFS and Perlite neither are going to be very effective. I'd prefer orchid bark to Turface though.

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    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    Lava rock is always your best option. If everything else has failed.. use orchid bark as a last resort

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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    Here's the mix I use:

    -Orchid bark
    -Sphagnum
    -Perlite
    -Charcoal
    -Turface (thoroughly washed and sifted to remove small pieces)
    -Expanded shale

    The small amounts of turface provides trace minerals.

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    I still have a few Nepenthes growing in mixes containing turface, but what I found after growing dozens of them for a year so is that those planted in mixes containing a decent amount of turface had formed hardly any roots - in fact, they were severely stunted. It was somewhat shocking to the point where I've decided not to incorporate it in with that genus at all. However, it works fine with Sarracenia and Heliamphora, both of which have a similar root morphology.

    And similarly with orchid bark, I still use this one on occasion, but there has been some credible evidence as of late that it may promote pathogen growth. If you keep your plants fairly dry or repot frequently, it may not matter.

    Some of the simpler mixes have often proven to be the best, such as perlite or pumice mixed with sphagnum moss, or simply straight sphagnum for smaller plants. I've also used kanuma with a few species and it has proven to work quite well, as can be seen by the noticeably longer root hairs on plants growing in it (although this could also be the result of the sterility of this media). I've even used soil collected in Southern Oregon for some species found in ultramafic environments, and this too has been working quite well. Lots of opportunities to experiment, I suppose.

    I guess I should wrap this up by saying the common forms of N. maxima will probably grow in anything that doesn't pose an immediate harm to the plant!
    Last edited by mato; 10-08-2014 at 01:13 AM.

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    Is peat + turface better than pure peat for Sarracenia?
    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that." --George Carlin

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