What is "epipaite" potting mix?

The Jester of Xanadu ez043438 at shaggy.ucdavis.edu
Tue May 31 11:37:55 EST 1994


: You could also use blocks of charcoal. Many orchids are grown that way.

As for orchids, it depends on the species some times as to what you want 
to grow it in. For example, the rupicolous Laelias do better in rock or 
mounted on rock than in bark or moss or other materials. Epiphytes only 
use the medium to have someplace to sit and for moisture retention. They 
normally get moisture straight from the air, and whatever they are in 
retains more moisture for them to utilize. The trick with orchids is to 
make sure that there is not too much moisture, and yet there is enough, 
and to make sure air can get at the roots. If you grow epiphytic orchids 
(not all orchids are epiphytic - a good deal are terrestrial) in soil, 
the roots will tend to rot from lack of air and excess water. Some 
examples of materials I have seen used to pot or mount orchids are:

tree fern fiber, osmunda fiber, sphagnum moss (both Wisconsin and New
Zealand), fir bark (actually, it's redwood bark), cork (both mounted on
slabs and potted in shredded bark), live trees, charcoal, ceramic, rock,
lava, marbles, old truck tires (shredded), glass, perlite, vermiculite
(used more as an additive), circuit boards (used as a mount), driftwood,
straight clay pots (nothing in them - mounted plant), rockwool, and
hundreds of mixtures of the above. Oh, and soil mixes for terrestrial
orchids. 
 
Jeff Kirby




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