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  • 1 Post By raybark

Hydroponically grow phals?

This is a discussion on Hydroponically grow phals? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So I was doing some thinking while attempting to replant a few phal orchids, and ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Hydroponically grow phals?

    So I was doing some thinking while attempting to replant a few phal orchids, and was wondering if I could grow them in a clay pebble medium. Then just water them as the pebbles dry out like I would with a wood chip medium. Any thoughts? I tried searching for the thread I thought I saw a while back of someone else in the OrchidTalk community that I though was experimenting with this, but couldn't find the thread. So if someone has the link it would be greatly appreciated. Also what thoughts do you all have about hydroponically growing orchids?

    Thank you for your assistance in advance.


    -Steve

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    May be you was talking about this.i'm also one of S/h grower but before you jump to it.you can try one by one and see how it grow in this culture.the most important the plant need to have active grow.http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...emi-hydro.html

  3. #3
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    I have heard that Phals tend to sulk if their roots are too cool and the S/H has evaporative cooling from the pellets. It was recommended to me not to grow Phals S/H. On the other hand, your situation might be different, it might work great for you, as it does for some others. I bought some medium and have been experimenting, still learning what works for me. Google "Semi Hydroponics", there's some great websites out there with tons of information.

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    As the developer of the "semi-hydroponic" technique, I am probably in a pretty good position to offer some insight:

    Basically, any change in the root zone environment will require the plant to grow new roots that are "tailored" on a cellular level to function optimally. The old roots will be sub-optimal, and will eventually succumb. The move to S/H culture from almost any other environment is very extreme, so that applies even more. Hence Kitti's good recommendation about the importance of active growth of new roots.

    Also, please understand that "semi-hydroponics" does not fully describe all aspects of orchid culture, but merely addresses (eliminates) decomposition and compacting of the medium, and enhances the delivery of moisture. How well plants do in it is affected by those AND ALL OTHER aspects - temperature, light, humidity, air movement, etc.- and how well they, combined, meet the requirements of the plant.

    Carol's comment is a good example. Phalaenopsis are truly "Hot-growing" plants that would normally never see cooler than the mid-70's, but are pretty tolernat of the somewhat cooler temperatures we prefer in our homes. Constantly moist LECA will have more surface area open to the atmosphere that pretty much any other medium, so we can expect a lot of evaporation. If your air is dry, and you push your thermostats down to save on energy, that cooling effect may push the root zone temperature below the acceptable limit for the plant - phals HATE cold and wet roots, with bellina being really touchy. In my moist greenhouse (min 65°), it's no issue, but in the average person's home, winters might be. That can be remedied by placing the pots on a heat mat, if you still want to go that way.

  5. #5
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    In reading your post, I'm not sure if you are asking for advice growing your plants semi-hydroponically OR just using clay pebbles as a medium and growing/watering them normally otherwise. I have done both.

    I currently have two Phals in S/H. My hybrid Phal likes the medium (but then it likes pretty much anything). My Species Phal is much more picky and after several months I'm STILL not sure if he's happy. In general, I love S/H and most (but not all) of my orchids do too. Ray is a great resource if you are interested in growing your plants in S/H and his advice above is great.

    If you are asking about growing your Phal by using clay pebbles as a medium instead of bark chips or moss this is also possible. Different mediums will hold water differently, and I found I had to water my orchid more frequently as the LECA dried out more quickly then bark would have. I tried this approach with a Den and it LOVED the drier periods. I gave up on this approach only because I got tired of having to water it so often during hot periods.

    I grow my orchids in whatever culture that works best for my needs and my environment, don't be afraid to give something a try and see if it works for you. If you DO decide to put your Phal in a new medium however, note what Ray said above. An orchid will have to replace its current root system to tailor to the new environment. Repot when your plant is actively growing and know it may set your bloom schedule back as your plant pushes for new roots.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    i like to mix the pellets in with treefern, moss etc, but by themselves i found them to not be very good. i have not tried true semi-hydro, just as a regular medium. they dried to quickly for socal weather. they also tend to spill all over the place very easily. i still want to try s/h, but would not consider using them alone without a semi-hydro type pot.

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