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Dec 7, 2014 8:07 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
Has anyone found a suitable substitute for Douglas fir bark? This has now become so terribly expensive, particularly when you add in shipping, that I need to find something that will replace it. Lowe's sells a good, clean grade of cypress bark (mulch), but it is not in chunks like the fir bark and there is really no way to truly grade it as fir bark is (fine, medium, large). I stocked up this summer on Douglas fir bark, but with so many plants, I am sure I will run out of this in the spring. I see that a couple of large orchid sellers, one is Carter and Holmes, no longer sells Douglas fir bark and has substituted cypress for that. I don't know if they have a source that does something special to make it more suitable for orchid growing.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Avatar for Gardenspot2010
Feb 7, 2015 8:45 PM CST

Miracle Grow now makes a medium for orchids and cacti. Haven't read the contents to see if it has what you are looking for, but it might be a place to start when looking for alternatives.
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Feb 7, 2015 10:01 PM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
Hum, I have never seen this, at least not here in our local Lowe's. I will check it out.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
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Feb 10, 2015 9:50 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ☼🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Ken, I'm surprised you don't have a chipper. Or maybe this isn't something one could make with one?
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Feb 10, 2015 10:22 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
I probably should have a chipper, but I don't think it would work with cypress mulch. This mulch is not the bark, it is the wood, shredded. I think the shredded wood would just clog up the chipper, but then again, I don't know that it would. What a chipper probably would do is chip up large pine bark "nuggets". I don't know whether pine bark would be a good substitute for Douglas fir bark. Pine is certainly plentiful and relatively cheap here in Mississippi.

Has anyone used pine bark as a substitute for Douglas fir bark in growing orchids?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
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