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re-potting

Posted by Lamora 8a WA (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 10, 12 at 8:16

Hi, I found a really nice ceramic pot to put my Rope hoya in, drilled holes in it today. The pot it is in now seems to be too small, I can't even put my finger in it to see how wet/dry the soil is. The plant itself is only 6" tall, so it is still a baby.

My question is- do they like to be root-bound some? the pot I want to put it in is 2" larger (at the base)and 1" taller than the one it is in now. And since they are slow growers, it should work for a while. I've read here that they dont like to be messed with re-potting a lot,so I am hoping this pot will give it what it needs. (plus-- I like it :))

plus- the soil has food in it already (MG) should I feed it reg plant food when I do re-pot it? Should I re-pot now? or way a few weeks? Like I said, I can't get my finger in it to feel the soil. Oh and I've read that watering from the bottom is better, is this right?

I really love this new member of my family and want to do good by it.

Thanks for any advice in advance :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: re-potting

What is the size of the current pot? If it's a little 2.5" - 3.5" pot then moving up should be Ok. If you are jumping up to a 6" pot then I would not recommend it. Alternatively you could use the new pot as a cache pot and simply fill the free space with little pebbles or something. Heavy plants or pendantly growing plants are best in pots with extra weight so this might be a good way to grow your Hoya compacta.

A tip for telling when to water is to become familiar with weight of the pot when wet and then when it has become dry enough to water. After a while simply picking up the plant will let you know when to water.

Mike


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RE: re-potting

No plant prefers to be root-bound.
That advice usually has more to do with improper soil-choice, which necessitates that a smaller
volume be used in order to mitigate the excessive moisture held in the soil. With a properly draining
soil mix, there is zero reason to limit a plant's root-run. Greater growth will be had if oxygen
returns to the root-zone in a timely fashion.

Miracle Grow is nearly the last soil that I'd use for a plant that I cared about...the only
worse soil I've seen is that mud that Hyponex dumps into a bag.

Instead, I would opt for a mix composed mainly of "Orchid Bark" in fine-grade,
amended with coarse Perlite and perhaps a small pinch of potting soil, such as African Violet or Orchid Mix.

Easiest means of determining moisture content is to stick a kabob skewer or wooden dowel deep into the pot,
and then water when the skewer comes out clean and dryish.


Josh


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RE: re-potting

Thanks for linking that article, Josh. I've always liked it.

I hope everyone understands, when coming to this forum with questions about their first Hoya, that they've entered a den of fanatics. If you ask what soil your plant should be potted in, or how often it should be watered, you should expect to receive an answer about the ideal solution.

Everyone starts out using whatever materials that are convenient to them, so please don't feel there's any judgement implied. I know my first batch of Hoyas lived in "African Violet mix" for their first couple of years with me. :P And here they are, brave survivors of the experience, blooming their heads off. So it's all good. Just take it one step at a time. Hoyas are pretty resilient and will give you plenty of time to learn how they like it.


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RE: re-potting

Josh I wish that seedling grade bark were more commonly available but I think for most of us it has to be mail ordered from an orchid nursery or picked up in person, at least stores here don't carry it. I agree that seedling or fine grade bark would be an ideal Hoya potting media. I would still mix in some potting soil if only to help prevent bark from spilling out of the pot during my clumsier moments and to help add more weight to the pot. I am also loving the smaller grades of Diatomite as a soil additive, this is often sold in garages as a material to help soak up spilled oil. I also have some Aussie Gold mix that is based on Diatomite but I have yet to try it for Hoyas. I imagine it might be a great straight out of the bag mix for people that don't like to mix their own potting medias.

Mike


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RE: re-potting

Josh, it's not an easy task to find good soil when you are just starting, especially with such aggressive advertisement from companies like MG!
As a Hoya newbie myself, I just started looking for soil and all bark related media I can see (Miami area) is in huge chunks, slightly different mixes all sized for Phalenopsis or other BIG orchids. In my experience these are way too dry for Hoya and very difficult to control moisture level for the beginners. I mix 1:1 phalenopsis mix with cactus mix and it seems to work OK, although I have to get rid of largest chunks of bark and charcoal. Another option I'm going to try for my Hoyas is BGI Select Quick-Draining Soil (mixture of pine bark, Canadian peat, Florida peat, and dolomite) I use it for Bougainvilleas and Adeniums, and they like it.
Lamora, good luck with your Hoya! Check your plant often and soon you will know when to water! :)

Aggie


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RE: re-potting

Hello!

I know that it's difficult locating a good source of bark.
For small batches, pet stores often carry a ZooMed repti-bark product that is quite expensive....
but for small batches, it might be tolerable. In many parts of the country, bark and/or bark mulches
come in seasonally. Also, check with landscape suppliers and any nurseries that stock or order Orchids.

I purchase a product called Greenall MicroBark, and I then screen it over a 1/4 inch plastic grid
to keep the particles that are under 1/4 inch. After that, I shake out all the particles that
are less than 1/16 of an inch. It takes a lot of effort to get the very best material, but so worth it.

Mike, seldom do I use pure bark - other than for Christmas Cactus.
Mostly bark, with coarse perlite to open the mix, and some lava rock for durability, structure, weight,
and moisture retention...that's the ticket. A small amount of potting soil - less than 15 percent
of the overall mix - wouldn't hurt a thing. It will help "bind" the other more porous ingredients.

GG, you're right...I don't mean to sound judgemental toward the newcomers. That's not my goal.
But you will find that I am quite judgemental in other regards. I definitely judge between a bad
soil and a good soil, a good soil and a better soil. We have to be critical of our methods in order
to keep improving our growing practices and offering information that is most likely to improve
the growing experiences of others. For those spending large amounts of money on special, rare plants,
I think nothing but the best will suffice.


Josh


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RE: re-potting

Josh, GG, Mike, what is your opinion on a potting product like these? Hope these links work:

pumice:
http://site.unbeatablesale.com/img236/jnsn35172.gif

or bark:
http://site.unbeatablesale.com/img236/jnsn35937.gif

If you had to choose between bark or pumice, which is better for hoyas?


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RE: re-potting

Yep, I know Josh. You're a nice guy. ^_^ And I do agree that we should keep our advice (and our practice) up to high standards. No one wants stuff dumbed down for them just because they are new to a type of plant. We do have valuable plants here and the conditions we provide them shouldn't be taken lightly as they are living things.

Lamora, you might want to browse sites like rePotme to get an idea of the sorts of materials that are used for these types of plants, so you know what you're looking for.


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RE: re-potting

Lightning, that would be a very hard decision...
both of those ingredients are what I consider essential for my mixes.
If I had to choose between Perlite or Pumice, I'd take the Pumice. That's an easy one.
In general, I use more bark than I use Pumice, but Pumice is a superb amendment to the bark.
I can tell you this: I have grown arboreal species in pure bark, but never pure Pumice.
I have grown succulents in pure Pumice, however.

Thanks, GG ;-)


Josh


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RE: re-potting

Thanks for the sites greedyghost and greenman-- wish I had seen them before I posted in the hoya forum-- oh well, now harm done. :) I did get some perlite and wood chips and my DH got some more soil, it is mainly for starters and seeds tho, but it was the only one that has the bark and perlite in it already. My daugher has the bag of perlite right now, and I didnt see if it had a ratio (if there is one) for it on the bag yet. I am hoping to get it back today-- lol.

It has been not quite a week yet, and the Rope Hoya is still very wet, almost soggy. I am getting a bit concerned. Will it hurt it to have a "re-do" on the potting" when I get the perlite back? and the chips, how much of each should I put in? How big should the chips be?

I will admit, I am confused about soil, the more I look, the more confused I get! But I guess it will sink in sometime. (hope)

Aggie-- thanks for the luck-- I am going to need it, ;)

Marjie


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oops

feeling silly-- this is the hoya forum!! too early for my brain to work. Meant to day on the House Plant forum!! ok--it is a Monday.


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RE: re-potting

Thanks Josh for the great information. I'd like to get my hands on both for my hoyas, but it can get expensive.

Would "ordinary" red lava also work, the kind that is sold for landscaping at the big box stores? Or is that too "harsh" an ingredient? For example, would it work to combine a little of that red lava with a mix that is otherwise mostly bark?


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Lava rock

Lightning, I love Red Lava rock (which is usually called Scoria).
I actually have red Lava Rock, grey Lava rock, and white Pumice all on hand for mixing.
I wish I had access to massive bags of screened red Lava Rock. Not only does it have excellent
properties, but it is also what I find most attractive in a mix of bark and Turface, et cetera.

The only thing to keep in mind is that you want your particles in the size-range of 1/8 to 1/4 inch.
For the Lava Rock, even 3/8 of an inch would be fine, too. However, you don't want giant pieces.

Make sure to rinse the dust off the Lava Rock and the Pumice...that dust will clog the mix.


Josh


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