Mellard, David dam7 at CDC.GOV
Thu Nov 15 17:31:48 CET 2001

>Could you please explain what this is.

Fafard is a soilless media used by many professional nurseries for growing
plants.  The primary component is milled sphagnum moss (from Canada
probably), which is treated somehow to make it more airy. It also has
perlite in it and some versions may have fertilizer added.  When first
watering it, care needs to be taken to ensure that it is watered long enough
for the mix to absorb water if you are starting with dry mix.  Once wet, it
retains water readily but yet remains very airy.  My trilliums love it and
grow beautiful roots in it.  I have kept them in pots with Fafard over our
very wet winters (outside) and they did great and did not rot even though we
had lots of rain.  This gets back to the mix being very airy, yet water
retentive.  It's also very easy to tell when the mix is drying out because
it changes color.  One needs to be careful if moisture is a crucial factor
for a particular plant because the top can be dry while deeper in the pot
can still be wet or damp.  I am trying it now with some terrestrial orchids.

There are other brands of soilless mix.  I use Fafard because it was
recommended to me by an orchid friend.


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