BARK: Potting Material

Culture Orchid Doctor

by Robert M. [Bert] Hamilton (Compiler)

Originally published in The Orchid Doctor in 1980 and 1988

Posted by Sys Admin almost 5 years ago.

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A history of its use from its beginnings, with names of its originators, their trials with different types and the results; refer to A87-1038
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Bark Comments
BARK: Additives Recommended To each cubic yard add 4 lbs. Urea (U.F.38), 2 lbs. triple superphosphate, 10 lbs, dolomite and 1 lb. iron sulphate. AU87Winter-17 About 10% coarse peatmoss mixed with it seems to start plants off faster than without. A81-1311 0
BARK: Advantages and Questions It's a variable product and does not produce as good growth as osmunda did, but it's accepted because it is easy to use although it can cause more trouble than most other media; what is lost by using it? OR81-391 0
BARK: Best for Cymbidiums? At end of third year of trials, plants in bark were significantly larger than in pumice or calcined clay. OA84-78 0
BARK, COARSE: Watering Frequency for Potted Plants More frequent watering is required to prevent shrivelling; better to water twice the same morning. A70-148 0
BARK, COMPOSTED: For Cymbidium Mix I.C.I, composted forest bark (50% with medium fir bark) is made from bark skinned from logs at pulp mills and composted. Orchid advocate, vol.5, no.5, 1979, p.166. 0
BARK: Drainage in the Pot Use styrene "poles" 2/3 the depth of the middle of the pot held up by several supporting stones at the bottom so the centre of the mix has a dry drainage; an alternative method is to place a small pot, inverted, in the centre of the larger pot before fitting the roots into it. RMH 0
BARK, FINE: Finer Than Seedling Bark So fine it is sometimes called "coffee grounds" because of its appearance; should not be confused with fine seedling bark which is more commonly used. A71-310 0
BARK: How to Prolong Its Life Use 1.5 ttpg. Captan 50%WP (Orthocide) as drench once or twice yearly. A75-803; A76-795 0
BARK: Pine Garden mulch type; if pieces are not less than 1/4" in size, it is suitable as a potting medium but will not last as long as fir bark and should be washed and cleaned first of fines and dirt, A80-850 0
BARK: Pine or Fir Fir bark as used in the U.S. does not require "composting" to condition it before using; pine bark as used in Australia may benefit the plants by first being "composted", especially local barks; they are worth experimenting with; pine bark tends to decompose quickly OR85-69 0
BARK: Potting Mix A typical mixture would have about 15 parts medium bark, 1-1/2 parts coarse Perlite, 174 part charcoal chips (quarter-inch size). OR87-173For cymbidiums in a high humidity area near the ocean in California the use of very large decorative bark pieces has been successful. OA82-8 0
BARK: Recycled If roots die back on approaching the media in the pot, empty the mix and sift out the fines, soak the remaining bark for four days and re-use. AU87Spring-10 0
BARK, RE-USE: In Potting Mix Uncertainty rules; use trial method; put some plants in previously used bark and some in fresh and compare results. A61-582 0
BARK: Sequoia Type It's a mixture of several barks, fir, pine and spruce. OR85-255 0
BARKS: From Hardwood Trees No trial has been successful with them; they decompose rapidly; develop heat and injure roots; high nitrogen favors decomposition; if available, chestnut bark is resistant. A74-896 0
BARK, SOUTHERN PINE: Suitability for Potting Has been used but results were not very satisfactory as a rooting medium; use it only weathered and composted. A75-437 0
BARKS, SUITABLE: Other Than Douglas Fir Silver birch, the rough part from the base of the tree; it is heavily crevassed with many a lay er of dead cells to decompose; also chestnut, pear and apple. N79-163 0
BARKS, SUITABLE: Other Than Fir or Cork In Australia weathered hardwood is recommended; short lengths of wood with bark adhering of ti-tree, malaleuca, or banksia are as good or better. AU79-199 0
BARKS, SUITABLE: Other Than Fir or Redwood Proven examples are few; more experimentation is needed; live oak should be good but hardwood barks decay rapidly; why not try others? A79-785 0
BARKS: Toxins They exist in fresh (Australian pine) bark but are absent in aged; ageing is achieved by storing it moist for six to eight weeks; tannin can be leached by soaking. AU76-75; AU79-51 0
BARK: To Moisten or Not Before Using Most authorities advise soaking before using; west coast growers sometimes pot in dry bark and water after one or two days to let broken roots heal; it seems to make no difference. OD67-117 0

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