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Limestone question...

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Kipper, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    What would be the best way to add limestone to a mix for the lithophitic (sp) species that grow around areas rich in limestone, such as Tetramicra canaliculata.
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use oyster shell (from a feed store) for plants that grow on limestone and/or need a higher pH or extra calcium.
     
  3. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    Thanks Marni, Do you grind it or does it come fairly well ground? I'll get some.
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It is in flat chips 1/8 to 1/4" across. I just use it as it. Any place that sells feed for poultry should have it.
     
  5. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    Excellent, Thanks Marni! You rock.
     
  6. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Keep in mind that calcium carbonate is more soluble in cold water than in warm...
     
  7. CoveLady

    CoveLady Active Member

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    Marni, Do you know if the oyster shell would help raise the Ph of somewhat hard water? I have a big bag of it from the feed store that was bought for another purpose. Would I put it on top of the pot so it would get watered when the plant is watered or mixed into the potting mix. I am not in a position to put in a RO system and don't know where I would store gallons of it so that I could water frequently.
    I want to thank you for the info on the fogger, it is up and running but not with the final installation. It is great, lots of loverly fog when it is needed. Maybe now I will be able to more successfully growing mounted plants. I really appreciate the information and help I have found on this forum. I have always been attracted to species plants but only some have I been able to be successful with up to a point. Now I have hopes of doing much better than before. I did not know anyone who I could ask a question or get beneficial information. This is a pleasure. Cove Lady
     
  8. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Why are you trying to raise the pH? I fear that you may be equating "higher pH" with "more calcium." Plants that grow on limestone cliffs, for example, tend to grow their roots into moss-, and/or detritus-filled crevices that hold moisture and tend to be more acidic than the presence of limestone might suggest.

    If you have hard water to start with, it likely has plenty of calcium dissolved in it already. Beside that, as it already contains dissolved calcium carbonate, it will actually dissolve the oyster shell much more slowly.

    There may be ways around your RO storage space situation; just how much water do you use each time, and how often?
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think the oyster shell would significantly change the pH. What is the pH of your water?