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watering with S/H culture?

This is a discussion on watering with S/H culture? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I am new to this forum , new to using the S/H method of growing ...

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  1. #1
    SME
    SME is offline Junior Member
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    Default watering with S/H culture?

    I am new to this forum, new to using the S/H method of growing orchids and new to orchids in general. I llove fragrant flowers and only this year learned that orchids have some varieties that are fragrant...yippee! I have been told to run the water through the S/H planting medium several times when I water. I mixed up a gallon of water with fertilizer and used that water over and over with all my orchid plants. To my knowledge (it is very limited at this time) my plants are all healthy but I am wondering if, by using the water that has drained through the medium of one plant and then using that water for the next plant, I am running the risk of spreading infection to all my plants. Thanks for any information you can give me.
    SME

  2. #2
    uncasteeb's Avatar
    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum.
    I don,t re-use run off fert/water because as you flush the pots the built up salts will gradually increase.
    Run normal water through the pots first , empty the res(tip the pot) & then use the fert/water.
    Flushing the pots should only need to be done once a month , doing more won,t do any harm .
    Remember to fert very lightly in s/h , if you use 1/2 strength for bark mixes then use 1/4 to 1/8 strength for s/h.

  3. #3
    SME
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    Default Watering ? with S/H

    Thanks for the input. So... when you water, you first fill the pot with plain water and let it completely drain out. Then you fill it again one time only with the fertilizer/water and let that drain out leaving the reservoir full. Does the Prime Agra Ceramic Medium get wet enough with just flushing the two times or is it really the wicking action from the reservoir that keeps the medium wet enough?
    I killed one orchid from overwatering and a couple of my current orchids' leaves suggest I have been underwatering. They are dull and kind of wrinkled so I have switched to the semi-hydroponic method in hopes that the plants will get the proper amount of water.
    SME

  4. #4
    uncasteeb's Avatar
    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    As long as you water before the res is completely empty then the wicking action will ensure the PA is wet.It may appear dry towards the top of the medium but it will just be the outside.
    If your establishing plants in s/h then it,s best to leave the fert out for a month or so.I water from the top every couple of days with newly potted plants(in the morning only).A drop of Superthrive seems to do no harm & may help.
    If Phals are actively growing then they seem to change over to s/h seemlessly , i,ve changed over to s/h & had spikes within 4 to 5 weeks.If they,re not actively growing then it can take a couple of months for them to adapt.
    I have family & friends that i,ve given Phals in s/h , some of them can,t grow weeds.All the plants are still alive & some have even re-spiked for them.

  5. #5
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    I use a modified s/h system where I have plants in regular pots sitting in "communal" trays of water. I mix up a batch of dilute fertilizer and water them all with it. I don't discard the water after each pot, but only if it starts to look nasty with the various organic crud that comes out of the pots.

    This does represent a risk of infection from bugs and/or viruses, if present. I just don't have the time (or money) to mix up enough fertilizer to use individually. I have not seen a problem with this because 1. the plants I have are presumably disease and pest-free, and 2. I use dilute fertilizer to begin with and don't really have a problem with salt build-up. If you re-use the water, quarantining new acquisitions will be very important.

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