|Authors: ||M.G. Blanchard, E.S. Runkle|
|Keywords: ||chunky peat, coconut, fir bark, translucent pot, vegetative growth|
Two experiments were performed to determine the effects of container opacity and different media components on rooting and vegetative growth of several clones of Phalaenopsis and one clone of Doritaenopsis hybrid orchids. Doritaenopsis White Moon and Phalaenopsis Sharon Bay were grown in 12 cm translucent or opaque pots containing a bark-based media.
After 30 weeks at 29°C, plants in opaque pots had formed >7 roots outside of each container, whereas <2 roots per pot had developed outside the translucent containers.
In a second experiment, Phalaenopsis Brother Showpiece, Brother Wild Thing, and Pink Twilight were grown in opaque 12 cm plastic pots containing different ratio of medium-grade Douglas fir bark, medium-grade coconut coir, long-fibered sphagnum moss, coarse perlite, chunky peat, and fine-grade charcoal.
Plants were grown for 33 weeks at 29°C with a maximum light intensity of 300 Ámol m−2 s−1. In general, plants grown in a medium consisting of 1:1 (by volume) chunky peat:perlite or 2:1:1 perlite:chunky peat:coconut coir had fewer aerial roots than plants grown in a bark-based or 1:1 perlite:charcoal media.
In addition, plants grown in the chunky peat:perlite mix or chunky peat:charcoal mix had the greatest increase in leaf span compared to the other medias.
These studies provide scientific evidence for the advantages of translucent pots, and also indicate that chunky peat can be used as an alternative to a bark-based media.
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