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Author Topic: Flowering on the deck  (Read 824 times)
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Bruce
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« on: March 22, 2013, 12:08:27 »

Hi All

Currently flowering at home Tillandsia oerstediana
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Vriesea brassicoides
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Scottinsandiego
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 16:12:25 »

Nice.  Particularly large T. orstediana.
And that whacky Vriesea brassicoides is very sculptural.  Guess it got its name from cabbage.
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paul_t23
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 23:36:51 »

Hi Bruce,

Beaut plants.  What a super inflo on that Till and the V. brassicoides sure is an intriguing plant.  Is it growing in rocks, or are the rocks just a topping?

I also noticed those beaut hanging plants of what I assume is T. xerographica, but how do they go in a strong wind in an exposed spot like that?  I guess you must have them spaced out enough so they don't bash into everything around them.  I have a couple that I need to move and I think you've just shown me what I need to do with them!

Cheers, Paul
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Bruce
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 00:37:51 »

Hi Paul

The rocks are Diatomite a very light mineral 7-12mm that drains rapidly. I started growing all my potted Tills in it as I find pine bark breaks down and turns to mush after a few years.

I have gone overboard with the xeros after finding I can get 15-20 pups per plant off them when they flower. Having grown them by this method I wouldn't plant them again which goes against everything I've found in other Tills but they just seem happier hanging for me. The only worry I had was when Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald blew past and my flowering plants blew around and bashed into each other only cosmetic damage a few bent spikes was able to keep pollinating.

cheers Bruce
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void
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 02:36:16 »

Beautiful plants Bruce, thank for sharing!

The wiring to the Till. xero's could be extended down and anchored below as well. This way lateral movement is abated (possibly not swivelling unless the wiring is thick enough to control this as well). A longer wire will also allow for multiple plants to be positioned on the same line below each other, by simply twisting off a couple loops from the main wire, and attaching new plants to it (secured with an attachment loop above and below the plant to minimise further twisting).

I haven't tried this myself, but the logic seems reasonable to me?!

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Excuse the  hardcore graphics...
Erik
 
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 06:14:26 »

Hi Bruce,

That's very interesting re the diatomite.  I've used volcanic scoria following the same general idea.  The spaces between the pieces drain almost immediately but the pieces themselves still hold a fair amount of water to release as vapour and this maintains a moist-but-not-wet environment for some time between waterings.  However, the pores in the scoria are fairly open so it does dry out completely over a day or so in hot weather. 

Would I be right in thinking that with its much finer pores, the pieces of diatomite would absorb a lot of water but would release it more gradually over a much longer period? If that's the case it would be great if you could let me know, because if it is, I definitely have to give some a go Shocked
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Bruce
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 09:28:31 »

Hi Paul

Correct. Your logic is scary!, never really thought about it in that detail but I think you are onto it!. I also feed with a slow release fertiliser as I guess you would know and when motivated liquid feed as well. Time is precious and I've got none.

cheers Bruce
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void
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 10:59:39 »

Hi Paul and Bruce,

Interesting discussion. I would suggest the logic is parallel to the use of coir chunks, as used by many orchid growers. The coir chunks would naturally decompose in time, but hold more moisture than bark chunks. Air-filled porosity is still high, moisture is released slowly but remember that salts (fertiliser) are also held for longer within the micro-pores of the coir. Flushing is required periodically.

I have trialled coir as well as scoria, amongst various other materials for use in vertical garden technologies.

I believe pH and TDS levels are much easier to manage in the mineral materials over organic, especially in the long term, therefore an excellent direction to be moving in.

Heat levels in the root zone area are maintained as more stable with the rapid drainage of larger gauge mineral pieces, whereby heat build-up (we discovered) in smaller mineral practicals which held more moisture, proved to increase the heat. This was discovered in roof garden trials with the same scoria & porous volcanic media's. Apparently its moisture in mixes that transfer heat and lose heat.

All the above factors work together cumulatively, pending your requirements. Some might want the heat in cooler climates, sometimes heat is lost too rapidly in cold climates, etc. Larger chunks stabilise this somewhat, but drops moisture and nutrient retention.

Food for thought!
Kind regards,
Erik
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gonzer
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Gnarly dude!


« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 13:38:04 »

I find pumice works better than scoria.
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 22:40:09 »

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the confirmation.  I dunno about scary logic   Cheesy but I spent a good few years playing around with scoria with native Dendrobium orchids (can't resist fiddling) trying to find a system I could use to pump lots of a controlled fertiliser mix into the roots without drowning them and without the potting medium consuming various portions of the fertiliser ingredients that I'd gone to so much effort to mix up to a specific recipe - back in the days before good balanced mixes were available commercially. 

It worked superbly for a good few years until it suddenly stopped working and no matter what I did over several frustrating years, I couldn't get decent growth any more.  It wasn't until a few years later that I discovered that the local water supply authority had started treating our water using a different method ............ resulting in tap water with a pH up close to 8!  At that pH the orchid roots (and a lot of other roots) just cannot take up a lot of nutrients effectively, and with the scoria not producing any acids (like bark) to bring the pH down, it meant that my beloved orchids were being starved of nutrients.  Once I worked that out, I could have fixed the problem by re-acidifying the water but by that time I'd pretty much given up on the orchids and started on broms ...... which was much better anyway!

I just thought I'd mention that to go with the great info from Bruce and Erik and gonzer because after that frustrating experience of mine, I suspect that something as simple as pH of the water supply may well be the culprit in a lot of those cases where people try different growing mediums and get poor results when other people get spectacular success.

Cheers, Paul
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