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Semi-Hydroponics - your experiences?

This is a discussion on Semi-Hydroponics - your experiences? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Actually they aren't ceramic-they are clay. There are several options-PrimeAgra is one from First Ray's ...

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  1. #11
    Becky is offline Junior Member
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    May 2004
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    So California
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    Default Ceramic balls..

    Actually they aren't ceramic-they are clay. There are several options-PrimeAgra is one from First Ray's orchid site-or Hydroton which is probably what you're thinking about-more round and consistent in size and shape than primeagra. There is also a S/H forum site..http://www.firstrays.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.shtml that you can go to for all kinds of information and help

  2. #12
    Callie in Toled is offline Junior Member
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    May 2004
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    Toledo, Ohio
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    13

    Default S/H thoughts...

    So happy to read all the interested responses! How encouraging. I love First Rays and has been my "bible" for s/h info. I also like this site
    http://www.nhm.org/guana/tz-webpg/semihydr.htm
    Lots of pictures and good info.
    I have about 20 switched over to s/h now and so far, I love it! I too am a severe under-waterer most of the time, but have lost a fair share to root rot due to too much pampering or not realized the bark was too wet. The S/H just seems so much easier. It is my understanding that a cache pot is just the ticket for displaying a blooming s/h plant. I agree - remove to water it though. Ray recommends the Prime Agra. His rates are excellent if, like me, you don't have a supplier near by. Anyone tried cymbidiums in s/h? Thanks for all the replies. Ray has a forum on his site also with many good questions and answers. I do like the versatility of this site though and hope to be in the plant drawing!

  3. #13
    Kenner is offline Junior Member
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    May 2004
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    Default

    Callie

    I live near Sandusky and am a newbie to orchids. My first being a Phal, which I did get to rebloom before my cat knocked it off it's stand. My second, an oncidium "Sharry Baby", that has not rebloomed after 1 1/2 years. I think it neads more light. So I bought a new Phal. I want to get more varieties and I was wondering what you have luck with, being in the same locale.

    Kenner

  4. #14
    Callie in Toled is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Hi Kenner,
    Nice to hear you're so close. Sharry Baby is a wonderful one to have - good choice!
    Phal's always do well for me. I have done much experimenting over the years, that's for sure! As many as you can have outdoors, weather permitting, with ample shading from direct sun, go for it! Anything I put outside from now until Sept/Oct (depending) always does well for me. I have tried many things - put a 3 season room on the s.w. corner of my home, growing in every room of the house. Most recently I bought an Orchidarium to see how growing in there would be. But nothing compares to outdoors with the proper conditions. Not sure how close you are to the water, but just watch the wind. Storms in our areas are brutal (like the one we had today - ouch!!)
    I've done well with Oncidium. Perhaps I should tell you what hasn't worked - I can keep Catt's growing, but getting to rebloom - nada. Lack of appropriate light is my guess. I do not have luck with dendrobiums, and I'm not sure why, so I don't try them much. Phrags and paphs are good for me. Cool growers are good too, if not in screaming sun - (masdevallia, pleurothallis, dracula). Encyclia do well for me too. A good re-bloomer is encyclia cochleata, with purple and lime green flowers. Mine blooms faithfully 1-2 times per year. I just bloomed an Aspasia and a maxillaria. for the first time this year, which is exciting. I could go on, but don't want to run out of room!
    Glad you responded. It was nice sharing with you!

  5. #15
    Callie in Toled is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Hi again Kenner,
    Thought of another that is so easy to grow and flowers for me 3-4 times per year, and as a bonus - it keikis A LOT!
    It's a mini - phal equestris. My mom gave it to me after a surgery. It was blooming and she thought it would be nice if that was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. It's a giver, that's for sure!!
    Have you ever been to Taylor's in Monroe, Mich? It's worth a trip, especially if you're getting started.
    If I ever get to meet you somewhere, someday, I will bring you a well rooted, good growing keiki from my Phal Equestris. You will love it!

  6. #16
    dosal is offline Member
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    South Carolina
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    Default

    Callie, I have about 400 plants in S/H, started converting 2,5 years ago.
    Here are my experiences. Phals, Cattleyas, Oncidium alliance, even Angraecum and Asconcendas do fine in S/H, so do Dendrobiums, but in the case of Dendros I made the mistake with two plants to transfer when new roots were not growing. One died, the other is developing keikis.
    It is a myth that plants in S/H can't get rootrot. They can and do.Make sure you wash those pellets till the water remains clear. (6 washings, plus) Another disadvantage is algae buildup in those clear pots. I have painted all of mine black.
    If you have more than 20 plants to transfer consider buying from CropKing. http://carefreegarden.com/htmlos/00170.1.11565063916
    This is the cheapest you will be able to get PrimeAgra. I have found that ordering from them is cheaper than getting it from a local hydropinics store even if I add shipping to the price.

    Doris

  7. #17
    Kenner is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Callie

    Thanks a lot for your input. I have a couple encyclia on my list, and one is cochleata. That sounds like a good place to start. I have a lot of southern exposure to the sun, but the overhang on my roof, prevents much direct sunlight in the summer. Outside, I will have to deal with the squirrels. Do they love orchids, too? I'll have to find out.! In the mean time I think I'll try experimenting with fluorescent light gardening.

    You have an orchidarium. Is that similar to a greenhouse?

    What is this Taylor's in Monroe? I have never been there. It's not the Taylor in the Growing Guides, is it?

    Thanks again, Kenner

  8. #18
    Callie in Toled is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Kenner,
    Taylor Orchids is on Steward Rd. in Monroe Michigan and yes, it probably is the one in the growing guides. It's a real treat to visit and worth the trip. You'll enjoy it. We also have a private paph grower in Rising Sun, just off the turnpike. He seems to be "by invite only", and I'm happy to say I've been invited, but haven't visited yet. One of these days...I'll get over there!
    Haven't had any experiences with squirrels and orchids, so can't share there.
    If you go up to Taylor's, Ron will usually have encyclia cochleata for purchase. Let me know if you visit him. Have fun!

  9. #19
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    Windowsill
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    paphs, phrags, catts, vandas
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    Default

    I've been using s/h for maybe 8 or 9 months for paphs & phrags. I started with Geolite (similar to hydroton), but recently found a local source for PrimeAgra and moved them all into PA. With the exception of the long-petalled phrag species (i.e. caudatum, wallisii), the phrags I have went nuts over s/h. Roots everywhere. Phrag. besseae took to s/h as well as any other phrag (keeps the roots cool, I think). The long-petalled phrags are OK with it, but haven't gone crazy. The paphs are a mixed bag. A few lost all their roots, but the vast majority of the healthy ones did fine with s/h and rooted well enough. For a paph at least. I am not having success with the brachypetalums; others might, but mine really do not seem to like s/h at all. I would also caution against using s/h for those plants that do not have healthy root systems. It might work for those with a GH, but I can assure you that on a windowsill, for me, s/h is the kiss of death for those plants without good root systems.

    I'd warn against putting certain catts into s/h. I tried with C. walkeriana, since I was in s/h mode with my paphs and, at the time, it was my solitary catt. It absolutely despised it. I think minicatts would be a better choice for s/h than the big floofy catts. JMHO.

    I've used s/h for a standard cymbidium backbulb. It loves it. I don't know about mature cyms, but I'd imagine that they'd be fine with it. Although you'd probably have to dump 10 bucks worth of pellets into the pot...

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