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Question on S/H media

This is a discussion on Question on S/H media within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have two plants that I recently switched to S/H. The only media I could ...

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  1. #1
    MiddleAgesMan is offline New to this
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    Default Question on S/H media

    I have two plants that I recently switched to S/H. The only media I could find locally was lava rock so that's what they're in and they are doing great.

    It occurs to me that the roots might like being surrounded by something a little smoother than the fairly rough lava. The first thing that comes to mind is round river rock, the kind you can find in the landscaping sections of the boxstores and Lowe's.

    Does anyone see a problem with smooth river rock in S/H? I know they won't be as porous as lava and clay pellets, but is high porosity a necessity? Maybe I could just put the holes an inch or so higher to keep the water closer to the roots....?

  2. #2
    uncasteeb's Avatar
    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    You need the porosity so the water will wick up the pot.
    Why not mix the 2 !.
    I,ve seen some great plants grown in lava rock & they didn,t seem to mind the sharpness.

  3. #3
    WolfinKW's Avatar
    WolfinKW is offline Wolf - I bite but only when asked.
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    Hmmm, maybe to smoth them a tinsy bit buy a cheep rock tumbler at a hobby store and tumble them for a few.

  4. #4
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    JOHNnDC is offline Senior Member
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    My only concern is whether the river rock is porous or not. I've been using lava rock, only for about 8 months now, in semi-hydro and m plants like it. Even an onc with finer roots. I do sometimes mix it with the leca clay pellets (the cheap ones, not ray's), but both of those are still porous. The thing is, you don't want to be doing semi hydro with a REAL rock that doesn't soak up water, or it won't wick the water up your pot. That's why lava rock is good, it's got holes :-)

  5. #5
    Orchidzrule's Avatar
    Orchidzrule is offline Senior Member
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    I don't think the sharpness of the lava rock is a problem for the roots unless there is massive disturbance to the media. I definitely would not use river rock for s/h for the reason already stated--essentially no wicking action in non-porous stone.

    Cheers,

    Rob

  6. #6
    MiddleAgesMan is offline New to this
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    You convinced me.

    Thanks, guys.

  7. #7
    WEA
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    Not to be argumentative but, the last orchid I purchased was $35, the one before that $15, and before that $65. It doesn't take many to amount to hundreds of dollars of precious plants. I say precious because if they weren't precious to you, then you probably wouldn't lay out cold hard cash. If you're going to experiment with cheap easily available media, use cheap NOIDs. If you're serious about growing precious plant successfully, then use a tried and true process and associated media as a foundation and experiment from there. Prime Agra, Hydroton, Aeroflora are main stays in real semi hydro culture. I've played with others, including lava rock of various sizes. Lava rock doesn't wick worth a d__n. I may be good for adding weight and structure for Vanda baskets or if you use it for the same reason with Cats etc, in clay pots and are like I am, and then you can just water every time they look dry. Lava rock is great for people like myself who love to putz and tend to over water. As for river rock, it holds little to no water, so you could literally water and fertilize weakly every day ... as long as you occasionally flush. My advice is to stay with the main stream S/H medias so there are lots of people to help you when you have problems. If you have several hundred dollars of precious plants, why think cheap with what they grow in?
    Last edited by WEA; June 25th, 2007 at 10:37 PM. Reason: typo, addition last sentence.

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    agolley is offline Junior Member
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    Smile How to start a post

    Have been unable to figure out how to start a new post without replying to someone else's post that is probably not at all related to mine. Anybody help? Thanks in advance
    Andy

  9. #9
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    At the top of this page you'll see the words, RVO Orchid Talk Forum, click on it. The next page that opens in the middle of the page are the words Enter Orchid Talk Forum. Click on it and there you have it. Click on New thread and you're all set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ischel1 View Post
    At the top of this page you'll see the words, RVO Orchid Talk Forum, click on it. The next page that opens in the middle of the page are the words Enter Orchid Talk Forum. Click on it and there you have it. Click on New thread and you're all set.
    Actually I think there is one more step: You need to be in one of the forums and not just at the main forum page to start a new thread.

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