Lorenzo’s Recipe for Treating Driftwood

During the August Honolulu Orchid Society meeting. Lorenzo Ordinado explained that driftwood and other woody materials such as tree branches should be treated with lime before they are used to mount orchids.  Here is Lorenzo’s recipe for the lime treatment:

a.  Pour one cup of lime (powder form) in a 5-gallon bucket.  Fill the bucket with water and mix the solution.  Soak the driftwood or tree branch in the solution for 3 days.

b.  After 3 days, empty the bucket.  Pour one cup of lime in the bucket.  Fill with water and mix the solution.  Soak the wood (driftwood and tree branch) again for 3 days.

c.  Empty the bucket and let the wood dry for 3 days.

d.  After the wood is allowed to dry for 3 days, pour one cup of lime in the bucket, fill with water and mix the solution.  Soak the wood again for another 3 days.

e.  Empty the bucket.  Spread the wood out and allow to dry for 5 days before using.

The entire process requires 9 days of soaking in the lime solution and 8 days of drying the wood.  It requires a 5-gallon bucket and 3 cups of powdered lime.

You can purchase a 5 pound bag of hydrated lime from City Mill at a cost of $8.99 plus tax.  The 5 pound bag has about 20 cups of lime.

Hydrated Lime
One word of caution.  The lime is a very fine powder.  Use the lime outdoors or you will end up with a room filled with white dust.  Avoid breathing the dust as much as possible.

Powdered Lime