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Switching to Semi-Hydro: a repotting pictorial

This is a discussion on Switching to Semi-Hydro: a repotting pictorial within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Louis, those are the results that got me all excited about S/H growing. All my ...

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  1. #31
    dosal is offline Member
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    Louis, those are the results that got me all excited about S/H growing. All my plants grew fantastically for a year and a half. Then the rotten roots started to develop. I had roots filling every gap in the pot. I suspect that no air could get to the roots at this stage and that they started to rot. Nasty stuff too, some turned black and stinky.Not everyone is having my problems, but some do. It may just be my growing conditions. I am still growing in pellets, but have normal drainage in the bottom now. I will report in about a year what the results are. Of course I should take all 300 + plants out of their pots and trim the rotten roots back, but that's just not going to happen. I will have to get to this as I have time.

  2. #32
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    Steve, the epsom is worth a shot. Should green things up if that's the problem. I'll do that this week and post results back as soon as I see any.

    Doris, no air getting to the roots would make total sense if they grew too thickly in the reservoir. It seems that, with S/H growing, the prudent thing to do then would be to unpot every six months to check things out and clean things up, then up-pot to make sure the roots aren't getting too crowded in there and have a chance to keep getting oxygen.

    That must have been an incredible let-down after things were going so well. Three hundred plants--I can feel that pain!

  3. #33
    pretty_bug01 is offline Senior Member
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    Did the plant bloom yet? It would be exciting to see how that little guy is doing compared to its "brothers" that were potted in bark and are approximately the same age.

  4. #34
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    Hi Jennifer--you're back again!

    Yep, plant is in bloom now--a really nice orange. Unfortunately there are no siblings in bark I can compare with, but I still have to say, even though the roots on this guy look great, I think it would have done better for me in traditional media. That probably has more to do with my inexperience growing in S/H than it does S/H growing per se; I'm just more comfortable with other mixes since I can "read" them better, and my other Phals in bark mixes right beside this one look a lot more vigorous, green, and healthy.

    When I'm not feeling so crappy (I have a bad cold) I'll post some pics of the flowers.

  5. #35
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    Well, today (May 2, 2006) I took the camera out to the GH and found this guy in bloom again! It is really grown since it was put into SH. Here are a couple of shots. The first is of the entire plant with bloom, the second is a close up of the bloom. (I think this one is a bit blury, sorry)

    Anyhoo, for those keeping track...

    Name:  sh_phal1.jpg
Views: 1054
Size:  251.4 KB I pulled it off of the bench and put it on the work table to get a shot. I hope to get a better one (glamor shot) later.

    Name:  sh_phalbloom.jpg
Views: 1008
Size:  139.9 KB

    Cheers!
    BD

  6. #36
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    That is very pretty & does seem happy.
    Through experience over the last 2 years i have found that overpotting is not really a major issue with s/h with Phals.So mine tend to go in larger pots than what i would use for bark.Also i use taller pots than with bark & this seems to be a winning point for Phrags.
    I killed a Phrag besseae & Phrag Tara in s/h , they just kept loosing leaves until they just dissappeared.I bought a new Phrag Tara & tried the same size pot as some of my larger Phrags & it has kicked out 2 new growths & is growing really strongly.
    What i use is a 6" clear pot & a 4" clear pot.
    I cut the base out of the 6" pot & sit this in the 4" pot , a little tape keeps them together.I then sit this in a !" deep saucer as a res.
    I was going to try 1 off the first plants i bought in the taller pots(Phal Cool Breeze) but it has decided to spike through the centre of the crown so i,m probably going to lose the plant.
    This Phal has been in the same pot for 2 years & has not been repotted.The roots are so numerous i have to tape the supporting sticks to the outside of the pot.This flowering it has 2 spikes with 3 side branches each(about 30 buds/flowers).I would take a piccie but my sister pinched it when i was semi-comatose after a heavy night on the tiles.
    I bought a Phal Everspring King"Lee" from a private collection & it turned out to be a basal keike(original mother plant was just a dried nub) but i paid very little for it.It was in quite a sad state root wise.The medium was like sludge @ the bottom of the pot & had only 1 good root.
    So into s/h it went.The pot is 6 1/2" high(1" res) x 5 1/2" dia.Plant has a leafspan of 6".

    Massively overpotted but look @ the root growth & the new leaf.I,ve had the plant since the beginning of Feb this year so i have high hopes for it doing well.
    Phal gigantea is known as a tricky plant to get growing well.Mine is in a 8" plastic pot & when i put in s/h this time last year the leaves did not reach the outside of the pot.

    Even though temps in my growroom do go below 60f during the winter it is growing leaves really quickly.
    s/h the wonder medium ?
    Not a chance !
    But it is worth a little experimentation.Not all my plants are in s/h(i have 1 paph out of 25 or so in s/h).
    Oh yes medium is Hydroleca , it is used for topping benches.

  7. #37
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    Thank you so much for keeping this thread going; it is invaluable to new growers like myself! It's so great to read way back through old posts and discover some of the cool experimental pictorials you guys have done through the years. It's even more fun to have one resurface with new information!

    Mehera

  8. #38
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    Default ***Attention, BD!!!***

    This is my first vote for our FAQ forum!

    Julie

  9. #39
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    Louis,

    From the pics of repotting the plant, it looks like the roots have grown down to the resevoir, is that correct ? If it did, how did it survive soaking in the water ???

    How does one manage to keep the roots from growing into the resevoir ??? I am at a lost when I hear that a phal has been in s/h for 2yrs without being repotted.

    Someone please explain!

    Trung

  10. #40
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    The roots adapt to their environment. It is not water that kills them, but lack of oxygen from decaying potting medium. The beauty of S/H is the ceramic medium allows for air circulation to the roots. Re-potting is also easy because the roots hold the medium in place; just get a bigger pot and add more medium.

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