10 reasons to use it as
orchid growing medium.
Why Horsemanure for Orchids
effective and inexpensive medium.
perfectly balanced food including a dozen
or so trace elements.
tremendous blossom booster.
an extra bonus, the plants receive
hormones, fungi and bacterium, which can
affect the genes of the plant which
stimulate better growth and an increase
in the number and quality of flowers.
plants produce flowers at an earlier age,
sometimes before they are one year old
and before they have produced their first
bulb. This is a big benefit for hybridisers.
plants become more resistant to pests and
diseases. For millions of years up until
about 100 years ago, plants received only
my experience, the fresher the manure is
the better. There are bonuses in this that are living things - hormones, fungi
and bacterium. Allowing the manure to
become old and dry may adversely affect
in horse manure keep on growing in winter
in Tasmania in an unheated glass house.
of the soluble elements in horse manure,
you feed the plants automatically each
time you water them. Computer control
cannot improve on that.
with very low E.C. (electrical
conductivity) like Disa, will grow
better in horse manure than anything else,
but for these you do need a buffer to get
the E.C. balance right. Sphagnum moss is
a very good buffer. Fill the pot to 50 -
60% with horse manure then fill the top
half with sphagnum moss. Plant the orchid
in the sphagnum moss and water the plant
every day freely with free drainage. This
keeps the E.C. balance perfect and then
you can't go wrong. For other plants,
just plant them directly in the horsemanure. You can still put a little
bit of sphagnum on top to help reduce
There is no problem with salinity
build-up when you feed the plant this way. Using Horsemanure is about
feeding the plant, but of course there are other important factors to
control for plant performance. They are temperature, humidity, light and
E.C. or electrical
conductivity of a solution may be measured in micro Siemens (ÁS) and is
an indication of the salinity of the solution. The higher the E.C., the
higher the salinity. The E.C. of the solution feeding a plant should
not be higher than the E.C. of the plant because this causes 'reverse
osmosis' where the the water and nutrients are leeched from the plant
instead of the other way around.
are some tentative values for E.C. levels.
800ÁS phalaenopsis, cymbidium, pleiones, cycnoches and catasetum.
600ÁS odontoglossum, oncidium, miltonias, lycaste.
400ÁS cattleya and paph group.
(The above figures were suggested by Wally Thomas and Barb Thomas as
you can see why disa should not be planted directly into horsemanure but
rather planted in a buffer such as sphagnum moss with horsemanure
underneath for the roots to take only what they need. Cattleya and paphs
at 400ÁS may also do better if potted this way in a buffer.
more about Using
Horsemanure for Disas,
click on this link light
and temperature for
information on this.