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This is a discussion on Phals/Vandas in LECA within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hey everyone! Has anyone had success growing phals/vandas in plastic pots filled with LECA? Not ...
Has anyone had success growing phals/vandas in plastic pots filled with LECA?
Not semi-hydro, but just watering when dry?
Cody, I DID try my phals. in the LECA, but they didn't seem to be happy. Soooooooo...I took them out of the LECA & mounted them. I DO still have a small vanda in a basket, it is in LECA, but is not very happy. As you can tell, I love to experiment! Let me know "what" your experience has been with the LECA... Thanks, Betty
I note that you are located in Louisiana, I am not sure of the growing conditions there. I am in Barbados where we get 8-9 hrs of sunshine and the temperature range is 86-78 Fahrenheit. During the wet season July to Oct, When it rains ,it rains, and unless one has a rainproof shade house, this can spell disaster. Because of this, many growers will pot just about any orchid in Aliflor (Sme as LECA) mixed with charcoal in plastic /clay pots. Of course we also use mounts as well. Since the Aliflor does dry out quickly close attention has to be paid to watering. The good side is, particularly with Phals, there is less of a problem with root rot and fungus.
This works pretty well for me.
Good luck with whichever method you decide to use.
Leca is my favorite medium for cattleyas but it didn't work well for me with my phals. I tried it for almost a year with some phals and they never took well to it. I finally switched them out of the leca.
Does anyone know what this LECA stuff is called in NZ? And if there are any vendors of it in NZ? Please PM me with any names....
Thanks for the replies everyone.
So far I've moved three phals (schilleriana, Hans Christiansen (gigantea x lindenii), and amboinensis), three Neofinetia falcata, a Vandachostylis Colmarie, and a NOID Dendrobium that I don't think I could kill if I tried.
The phals seemed to need lighter mediums and the vandas needed more moisture around the roots so hopefully this accomplishes both goals!
I'll update with pics!
Kiwiorchids, Leca (lightweight, expanded clay aggregate) is a fired clay product. Several brands are Hydroton, Aliflor and Prime Agra. The properties are a lot like red lava rock but Leca is more round and smooth.
I grow 99% of my collection in 100% LECA. Most are catt alliance but I have some vandas in it. They love it. I also break old clay pots and add the shards. They seem to like that too.
I've gotten good results with Neostylis in a small plastic hanging basket with Hydroton. It gets dunk watered weekly in a weak fert solution or heavily pump sprayed daily. It's blooming right now. I also just moved a Laelia (Cattleya) purpurata into "dry" Hydroton in which I will dunk water it once or twice a week.