Don Burden (donb@coplex.coplex.com)
Thu, 3 Feb 94 19:51 EST

> Does anyone here know the pH that Osmunda fiber results in? I just
> got the stuff, and it is weird! I'm wondering if this would make a great
> soil material for Pings? Don, or anyone who reads the orchid groups,
> could you post the query there? Thanks

Osmunda fiber was used long ago in orchid culture (before I started growing
orchids). It decays and gets moldy too fast, and use quickly declined
when growing plants in a medium of primarily fir bark was shown to produce
healthier plants. Osmunda is acidic.

Nepenthes seeds:
Seeds are slow to absorb water. You should soak the seeds in water for a
few days until all the seeds sink to the bottom. Adding a few drops of
Super-Thrive or Hormex, and a weak solution of Miracle-Grow plant food to
the water may help. Direct seed exposure to sunlight helps germination
according to the Juniper book, so don't cover the seeds. If no germination
is seen in three months, change the environment (put in a warmer area,
increase humidity and water, give more light, etc). Leo Song keeps his pots
of seeds in water, just covering the top of the soil but this will cause the
water to become stale. The long germination time and the constant moisture
may allow the embryo of the seeds to become infected with the 'damp-off'
disease before sprouting and this may be the reason Nepenthes seeds never
have as good a germination rate as other CP genera (Michael C.'s hypothesis
from long, long ago.) Don't throw out the seeds too quickly - germination
may take over a year.

HID lights:
I have a 1000 watt metal-halide. The ballast box doesn't get too hot -
just warm to the touch. The bulb seems to produce the most heat, and this
is sent upward through the ventilation holes in the reflector.

Sarracenia seedlings:
Nearly all species need full sun to look their best. Seedlings take 4-5
years before they get big enough to flower. During the first two years,
leaves are very small and look quite different from that of a mature plant.

Don Burden
New Albany, Indiana, USA