Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Results 1 to 5 of 5

Perlite for semi-hydro

This is a discussion on Perlite for semi-hydro within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi, I'm trying to experiment semi-hydro with one of my phals. However, the only potting ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    blrnut is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Satish
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Vanda, Dendrobium, Aerid, Phal
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Bangalore, India
    Posts
    904
    Member's Country Flag

    Question Perlite for semi-hydro

    Hi,

    I'm trying to experiment semi-hydro with one of my phals. However, the only potting media that I'm able to get locally is perlite. The medium is not very coarse either The vendor mentioned that they are between 2mm to 5mm (~0.2 inch) in diameter. Are they too small for my experiment? I read in one of the articles that if the media was not coarse enough, the roots might rot. I was a little curious as there are quite a few orchids that folks try out in water-culture. So what exactly makes these roots rot.

    Satish..

  2. #2
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Cindi
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catts
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    1,766
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Water makes the roots rot out. If you put one of your phals WITH GOOD ROOTS into water, those roots eventually rot off and the plant grows roots adapted to water. I would think Perlite would be a poor choice for S/H. It floats! How can it wick water when it floats on top? I have never triedto use perlite for my orchids, though. Has anyone else used it? What were the results? Satish, can you order Light-weight Expanded Clay Pellots (known as LECA) over the internet? I believe one brand -Ali-flor- is manufactured in the Netherlands. Is that a possibility for you?

  3. #3
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    5,363
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Satish, I am successfully using perlite for my orchids for over 3 years now, never tried Semihydro with perlite though because as Cindi mentions it floats. LECA pellets are available in India in 3 different brands, One is Hydroton (very costly) Alifor and another local brand. PM me if you need to know the vendor from Pune.

  4. #4
    Undergrounder is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default

    This is an old post but for the record,

    Satish, yes perlite works fine as a S/H Medium, the water level in S/H is so low the perlite doesn't float. There are advantages and disadvantages for perlite over LECA:

    1. Perlite is cheaper and much lighter to post.
    2. It is well suited for finer root orchids and for seedlings IMO.
    3. The particle size is small, which means it wicks water far better than LECA - The top stays wet, always, unlike LECA.
    4. Water distribution through the pot is far more even than in LECA.

    BUT..

    5. Because perlite S/H is wetter than LECA, you get more algal growth, and the growth shows up more because perlite is white.
    6. Perlite 'dust' is slightly annoying in fresh perlite. don't breath it in, but just wash it off before use.
    7. Wet perlite 'sticks' together more, making repotting take longer. LECA 'rolls' making repotting faster.
    8. Perlite is harsher on plants that are not used to S/H.
    9. DRY pertlite can dessicate orchid roots if it stays dry for too long.. 100% perlite mix should only be used in a S/H setup, because if the mix dries out completely, it can injure the roots.

    I use perlite on all of me S/H seedlings and a few of my larger plants. I've done so for about two years and results have been very good. It's now my
    'go-to' media for sensitive plants. Still, most of my large plants are in LECA because LECA is an easier medium to handle at repotting time, and as far as growth goes, i've found little difference between the two media.

  5. #5
    blrnut is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Satish
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Vanda, Dendrobium, Aerid, Phal
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Bangalore, India
    Posts
    904
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Thanks for the detailed comparison, Undergrounder! I started S/H with LECA as a trial with 4 plants and been 2 months. 1 phal died due to crown rot as the water stayed for too long the others have been doing OK, except for a paph, which has not been able to put on new roots. Will wait for couple more months as the weather has started to warm up now, and the orchids should get into growth cycle.

Similar Threads

  1. New to semi-hydro
    By dawn_green in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: April 8th, 2014, 02:59 PM
  2. Fuzzy Semi Hydro
    By Phyrex in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: April 15th, 2008, 10:19 PM
  3. newbie to semi hydro
    By nikilafa in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: November 16th, 2007, 08:36 PM
  4. a word on semi hydro
    By Orchidilerium in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: July 20th, 2006, 01:42 AM
  5. Help with semi-hydro repots
    By Orchidfetish82 in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 5th, 2006, 12:36 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.