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Dendrobium rare

Why is charcoal used as a potting mix?



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Date: 13/01/2010

Some like it simple ...

Orchids are costly plants and people often think of posh options when it comes to Ochid care. Our team likes it simple. Our experience of the use of charcoal as a potting mix has been excellent. We have used charcoal along with coconut husk or other potting media and has had excellent results.

Advantages of Charcoal

a) Charcoal allows good air circulation for the roots due to its consistency
b) It is inert and will not decay
c) It absorbs water to a certain extent and helps maintain the necessary moisture. It also helps in good drainage.
d) It helps to firmly anchor the plants in the pot
e) As charcoal is made from burned wood it is readily availlable for everyone in India
f) It is a cheap option to burn the old and dry barks of trees. However we do not encourage deforestation or cutting the trees in any forms.
g) Too much charcoal do not harm the plants as it is Carbon from burning of Organic wood.
h) It may adsorb to (stick to) excess fertilizer and create an ideal place for roots.

Note: Charcoal can adsorb to some useful minerals as well. Hence we discourage excessive use. The risk is more with activated charcoal (Activated charcoal is charcoal softened and made more porous for increased adsorption)


Oncidiums in Charcoal

Photo: Oncidium Orchids potted with Charcoal and Coconut Husk