Reconditioning prime agra???

jank(US10)May 24, 2011

Does anyone have a method of cleansing/purifying old prime agra so that it can be reused?

I have been soaking it in clorox and water for few days, then completely drying it in the sun, before baking it at 400 degrees for a few hours, to kill anything living, I hope.

Then I have been soaking it in magnesium sulfate---or another time, vinegar---trying to get out any dissolved minerals. Then soaking in fresh water for a few more days.

Anyone have a method with more "science" to it?

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penfold2(4b, MN)

Are you sure there's a need for it? I can't think of a good reason to go to all that effort unless the previous plant was diseased. Some people worry about about mineral accumulation in media like this, but it's not a concern when you look at it from a plant's perspective. Plants are only affected by minerals that are dissolved in the soil solution, and these minerals are easily flushed away during watering. Minerals that are adsorbed onto a medium like Prime Agra do not contribute to soil solution TDS, and therefore have no effect on roots.

I reuse all my inorganic media with no special treatment.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:20PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

I agree, probably over kill. I reuse my rocks after washing. If you want to continue the clorox wash and sun-dry steps, that will kill algae and any insects. Properly watered orchids don't have mineral buildup problems for most water sources.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 4:41AM
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highjack(z6 KY)

I soak mine in 10% bleach solution over night, rinse thoroughly, soak over night again in plain water, then air dry it to make sure the chorine has been removed.

I clean mine because of the possibility of virus not because of a mineral build up.

Brooke

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 6:25AM
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jank(US10)

Thanks for the input.
I was most concerned about algae and virus, being that I'm sure I must have some among 200 plants even if it is not clearly evident.
Wasn't sure about the second step. I am an over-waterer, so guess I don't have to worry about the minerals.
Have already done the chlorine soak, rinse, and dry; so guess it is on to repotting!
Jan

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:49AM
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orchidnick

Ditto, I soak in Chlorine only.

Nick

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:19PM
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