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Trying S/H?

This is a discussion on Trying S/H? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Okay, I'm getting really, really close to trying S/H. I have a couple of guinea ...

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  1. #1
    momokev's Avatar
    momokev is offline Senior Member
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    Default Trying S/H?

    Okay, I'm getting really, really close to trying S/H. I have a couple of guinea pigs in mind. A couple of questions for those who grow this way....

    What if the root system isn't the best?

    What kind of media works best? Do you do different media for different kinds?

    How do you pot the orchids without damaging the roots? I'm assuming you want to get ALL the bark off?

    Where do ya'll get you supplies? Online somewhere?

    Thanks!

    Lisa

  2. #2
    uncasteeb's Avatar
    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    What if the root system isn't the best?
    I,ve potted some with so so roots & it does seem to take a few months for the plants to adapt.Once new roots start they seem to really thrive.

    What kind of media works best? Do you do different media for different kinds?
    I just use what is readily available which is a product called "Hydroleca" , which is just basically a topping aggregate.For Paphs , Phrags ,Phals i add a little charcoal.For the plants that are supposed to not like their roots constantly wet i add more charcol.The charcoal doesn,t "wick" very much so the top of the medium stays drier.
    Prime Agra seems to be the medium people rave about but i haven,t tried it(can,t get hold of it).

    How do you pot the orchids without damaging the roots? I'm assuming you want to get ALL the bark off?
    Yes remove all the medium you can as it will rot quickly when kept constantly wet.When you pot into s/h you don,t "firm" the medium down.You just tap & shake the pot to spread the medium around the roots so little chance of damaging roots.I soak the medium in SuperThrive to help the shock of repotting & only water with no fert for a few weeks .

    Where do ya'll get you supplies? Online somewhere?
    The local garden centre(i suppose something like your HD stores).

    Just remember to fill the bottom of the pot with medium to slightly above the drain holes so that when you pot the plant it,s roots are not in water.
    My Phals have roots below the drain holes now after a few months & seem to
    have no problems.
    I tried a sacrificial Phal in s/h after doing a few weeks of seeing how well the medium wicked & deciding how high the holes in the pot had to be.The plant was cheap (about $17) & it has been in bloom for nearly 4 months(19 flowers) & still looks absolutely superb.

  3. #3
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    Default

    The big rule folks always say is to repot when new roots are JUST starting to grow from the plant (i.e., those new itty bitty roots coming off the plant). Apparently, the roots adapt to the new growing situation but once they've grown a bit, they don't adapt back to yet another new growing situation - so you want them as new roots so they haven't "fixed" yet to whatever medium they're currently in. I really do believe this is the most important thing to remember.

    What kind of plants are you trying?

  4. #4
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Lisa, this is so exciting!! I am gradually switching over most of my collection to s/h. I buy from a great guy whose site is www.grow-in-hydro.com. He lives in my state. Also check out www.firstrays.com. There is a wealth of information there.

    Some people buy from their local hydroponics store also. I prefer the PrimeAgra product, supposedly it wicks a bit better and is oddly shaped so the pieces don't fit together. That way there is a bit of air in between.

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hey Lisa,

    See this thread. Louis did a step by step photo guide. You might find it helpful.

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...read.php?t=242

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer

  6. #6
    momokev's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JOHNnDC
    What kind of plants are you trying?
    I have a NOID onc and phal from Lowe's I'm not terribly attached to. I hope eventually try a paph and phrag, but I don't have any of them I can take a chance with yet until my experiment works (I'm being optimistic )

    Thanks for the link, BD. I didn't even think to search for it! Louis just thinks of everything...

    I'm so nervous ever since I started thinking about doing this. I take my orchids way too seriously!

    I did find a website for a hydroponics store in Asheville, about 2 hours from me. I might ride up there next Sat (wish I could go this Sat!) and see what they have.

    Thanks for the wonderful help, guys!!

    Lisa

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    Here something I found both in Asheville, and at a closer store in Charlotte. I think it's the same as the Primeagra. What do ya'll think? I'm going tonight to the Charlotte store as they are open to 7pm, so tell me quick!!

    Hydroton, (2-1/2 Gallons/10 Liter) $10.95



    Click to enlarge
    This clay aggregate growing medium is perfect for larger plants grown hydroponically. The pebbles leave plenty of room for air transport and root development and retain moisture remarkably well. Hydroton has neutral pH and does not degrade.


    Lisa

  8. #8
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    Before I found a good source of PrimeAgra (the north american importer is based in part in NJ), I used Geolite, which is similar to Hydroton, which I hear is similar to hydroleca. Very round pellets, very floatant, not so good at wicking. Plants were fine with it, but it was annoying to have the stupid pieces float up as much as they did. It seemed more difficult for paphs to find a good roothold as well. I think the main advantage of primeagra is that it doesn't float nearly as much, thereby allowing the plant a better anchor, and it wicks better. The top will still be dry, however.

  9. #9
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    I would reccomend Primeagra which is what I have used in all of my s/h transplants. I could purchase the hydroton here in Asheville, buts the irregularity of the prime agra seems to allow the roots to take a better hold of the medium. Also the Prime Agra seems to wick much better than the hydroton. just my 2 cents!

  10. #10
    momokev's Avatar
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    Ah, so much for life being easy

    Alright Matt and Jason, where do ya buy the Primeagra stuff. Does it cost a fortune in shipping?

    Lisa

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