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What is your luck with S/H?

This is a discussion on What is your luck with S/H? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm a fairly new orchid grower, with a variety of orchids (paphs, phrags, phals, dends, ...

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  1. #1
    thistle is offline Junior Member
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    Default What is your luck with S/H?

    I'm a fairly new orchid grower, with a variety of orchids (paphs, phrags, phals, dends, & catt w/ a few oddballs), I have been trying to keep the plants I've purchased growing for the last 6 months, mostly successfully, w/ a few failures-1 paph (& one that is very sickly)& 1 phal. My plants are in a variety of media-bark, lava rock, sphag, & my own homemade mix-CHC/charcoal/perlite/pebbles. I don't know that I'm entirely satisfied with any of them, (although,as you may have guessed, certain varieties do better in certain media-i.e. phrags seem to like lave rock (for me))-I would like to try to switch some of these over to S/H (prime Agra), my dendrobiums have done well with this outdoors w/ watering between 1-4 days. I know this may be a bad idea, but I want to move the plants that DON'T look like they're doing well in what they're currently growing in to S/H, (I relaize it's best to move plants w/ recent root growth, but I hesitate when I think I may mess up a plant that's already thriving, & would rather try to save something that's challenged.) Any tips, other then to watch the light & humidity?

  2. #2
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Hey Thistle,
    Poorly growing/dying plants are the ones I am trying in SH..so far so good. I am actually seeing improvements in these plants. I have phrag seedlings, a couple of paphs and one phal bellina ..probably would have tried more but I ran out of "rock". I don't know the kind of rock I had either. It was in a bunch of supplies that was given to me. Somewhere on RVO is a picture of the first ones I did...A friend that is a SH nut says struggling plants do better than established ones.. Good Luck !

  3. #3
    thistle is offline Junior Member
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    The phal that died in my care (notice that I didn't say I killed it) was a phal violacea & it was beautiful, it was in sphag & I think I just got it too wet. The dends are all in generic 'clay potting pebbles', which my local nursery doesn't carry anymore, I've just gotten some PrimeAgra media from FirstRays, which is very similar ( a little more irregular). Since I have a heavy hand at watering, I'm thinking a switch to an inorganic media might be helpful-I don't seem to have fungal or insect problems-except for crickets! out in the sunroom, making lots of noise....

  4. #4
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    I have all my Dends. and Catts. in the Hydro. pellets but not in s/h . I did have Phals. in s/h . when I repotted them or rather moved them up some had a lot of roots and some had stinky rotted hanging on in the bottom roots , they are now in just the pellets .
    All I can say is if the plant is thriving in something else don't fix what ain't broke Gin

  5. #5
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    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    My Phals grow like weeds in s/h , most of the species Phals love it too.
    Phrags go gangbusters.
    Paphs , well some seem to really like it others don,t.
    Onc's generally adore it.
    Dens go nuts.
    S/h suits me & my conditions but i do grow more plants in bark mixes than i did earlier in the year.
    Some plants just don,t seem to like it for whatever reason.I had a Miltassia in s/h , i swpped it over as a new growth was starting & it grew to the size of a bean(very small) , so i,ve swapped it back to bark.
    I have a Oncidium maculatum that is going back into bark & also a Zygo.
    A different LECA may give better results.

  6. #6
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gin
    I have all my Dends. and Catts. in the Hydro. pellets but not in s/h . I did have Phals. in s/h . when I repotted them or rather moved them up some had a lot of roots and some had stinky rotted hanging on in the bottom roots , they are now in just the pellets .
    All I can say is if the plant is thriving in something else don't fix what ain't broke Gin
    Gin,
    Do you have them sitting in water or how often do you water the ones just in pellets ?

  7. #7
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    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, The ones in just pellets are not in saucers no water in the bottom of the pot . They are in the greenhouse the humidity is about 60% sometimes higher , The Phals are watered approx. 3 times a week also in straight pellets ,if it is warm and sunny , if not 2 times a week , the pellets look dry on the top but if you dump one they are damp in the middle . The Catts.and Dends . depending on the pot size are closer to 2 times a week , I water with a submersable pump and drown them .
    Some of the other plants are in bark , species Phals . in Spag.
    The reason I like straight pellets ,it is hard to over water and easy to repot . debris washes out . In low humidity , hot ,I don't think they would work very well alone. Gin

  8. #8
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    Interesting. I would guess that the pellets are similar to growing in lava rock? I have some Catts in lava rock and they love it. Water twice a week...

  9. #9
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    I LOVE S/H and use that brand also. I am not sure if you saw there is S/H support on his site as well as here. Most of my plants thrive in S/H, only a few had a hard time with the switch.

  10. #10
    Ladybug is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    My dends, oncids and brassia crosses that are in sh are doing really well. The phals had a rough time of it...could've been my fault for not cleaning the roots well enough and also repotting at the wrong time? I love the idea of sh...I just haven't had raving success with it. I'll continue to use it for the ones that might do well. For the others, I'm gradually changing over to just pellets or just diatomite....time will tell if it works or not.

    I'm going on a trip for a week and I'm worried about those in pellets/diatomite getting too dry since I grow indoors. I can sit the pots in saucers but that will block the "air"/drain holes and that gives me cause for concern. But other than that, they all seem happy enough.

    I think if you put plants in sh, you should go back in 6mos and unpot, check the roots and clean off any dying roots. It sure helped my phals after I did that.

    Good luck with yours!
    Maggie

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