the perfect orchid substrate

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“It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science. ” Carl Sagan

I love orchids. And I have many of them. I like how they don’t need a lot of attention and surprise me with their exotic flowers when I happen to forget about one. Every now and then I pour a shot of water in a plant pot and that’s about it. The only problem I constantly have is bad orchid substrate in which orchids can be bought originally. Oftentimes there is already mould or it just uses up after half a year (which is normal btw) and you need to repot it. But I came across a great idea in an orchid forum (one of many occassional procrastination retreats) that will make it very easy in future to kind of repot them. One used those superabsorber water beads I never thought about using for orchids. First I was sceptical if they can release a tiny amount of for orchids harmful components but a quick scifinder session proved me wrong. So I ordered a pack of 1000 water beads and soaked them in distilled water and my favorite fertilizer (see link above). I tested this system out for one one month, which is the time duration in between the big orchid “diving” sessions where Normally I let them soak in water for one day and take them out again. But now I pretty much safe alot of time. I just remove all beads into a big pot and re-soak them in water and fertilizer and use the interim for a quick root check-up. After a month I can safely say for thick root orchids it works pretty well (e.g. Phalaenopsis) whereas you should let your thin roots orchids or natural breeds in normal substrate since they prefer wood chips to stick to. Regards, Ea

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