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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; ok have an idea... noticed that people were having issues with roots getting into the ...

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  1. #51
    WolfinKW's Avatar
    WolfinKW is offline Wolf - I bite but only when asked.
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    ok have an idea... noticed that people were having issues with roots getting into the reservoir of water and rotting... Was thinking screen. Buy some cheap nylon window screen material permeable to water but way to small of holes for roots. Cut a piece the same shape of pot just slightly larger... put in pebbles etc to level of drain holes, screen so that it folds up the sides of pot (maybe even tape it down with say duct tape strips) medium and plant go in above this. Not only would this prevent roots from clogging the drain holes and getting into the water, BUT it would also prevent the breaking down medium from clogging the drain holes as well.

    P.S. I have found that in the desert it's best to keep plants in plastic pots as opposed to the expensive clay pots with special holes and stuff. So have been considering going to S/H for a while just too CS to do it.

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    Since I have found this thread very informative and the fact that I am considering S&H, I am bumping this thread up so that newbies might enjoy it.

    Katie

  3. #53
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    Great, I was just wondering myself if others were still reading this!!

    I am trying to switch to s/h myself right now and had a couple of questions...

    a) where to do you find the pots (though probably the least likely to be able to help me here, since I live somewhere totally different)

    b) related to a - do the pots have to be see through? I thought I read something about phal roots needing light, but now I can't find it again

    c) maybe a little paranoid of me, but how can you tell if it is working correctly? wicking the water up the way it should?


    I started my first attempt this past weekend and was a little worried about the top layer being too dry for the first couple of days I poured some water in the top. But since then I have stopped, especially since I started seeing some fuzz around the pellets.....I think I have mentioned that literally everything molds here...

    Anyway, now I am stuck because I can't find any more pots!

  4. #54
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    A. Well, the easiest thing to do is to create your own pots if you cannot find a place online to order them. People have posted lots of different methods and containers. I think it is easy if you want to just build some. LJA posted photos in this thread on how he built our semi-hydro pot using a food storage container and a drill. Others have reported using hot melt glue guns and melting holes into plastic containers. (Soda bottles, food containers, etc...) Give it a try.

    About roots and light -I am not so sure that the roots need light. I think you could use solid (opaque) containers, but you might have trouble seeing if the roots were getting water. With clear, you can see what is happening inside the pot.

    As for C. If the plant seems to be getting enough water and is continuing to grow as expected, then it must be working. I suppose the only 'correct' answer to this part of your question would be: time will tell. If you use a medium that is designed for this task, then it should work just as expected.

    Cheers,
    BD

    BTW: I reposted the s/h potting pictorial in the orchid article library for easy access. Here is the url: Semi-Hydro Repotting Pictorial for your Orchid

  5. #55
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    Pots - well, I did make my own out of some plastic food container. I just can't find anymore in the right size and shape. Nothing besides normal plastic plant pots at the hardware store and I keep looking for tupperware-like containers everywhere I go and so far nothing in the pot-shaped category, especially since it needs to be deeper than the roots are long...

    And the person who gave me the first pot - it had leftovers in it - doesn't remember what originally came in it! frustrating! I never thought the pot would be the hard part!

    And yes, I LOVE checking out my roots. I think all orchids should come in see through pots - makes guessing about the contents a LOT easier.

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    Or guessing on how bad the media really is - especially on new purchases. I think I saw a few clear pots in the local nursery store. They were a little more expensive than the opaque green ones, but I think I might grab a few next time I'm out there, just because I'm finding it so much easier to check the root health and the status of the bark media. Especially since things tend to rot from the bottom or middle out. By the time you see the problem at the top, your poor plant is already suffering.

    Not sure if I'm ready for S/H I seem to rot things just fine in course bark! :P Maybe once I've learned to kick that habit... or once I get some duplicate orchids, I'll mess with S/H. All the same, thanks for the bump!

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    See, I am hoping to rot things LESS with s/h....maybe that is a crazy misconception of mine though...

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    Hehe. I know what you mean. I figure that bark seems to be one of the more commonly used mediums, however. So I'm working on mastering bark before I move on to something inorganic. Also playing with sphag mixed with the bark... I think I'm getting better at it! Maybe next year or the one after I'll mess with S/H? Till then, I'll be happy reading everyone else's results!

  9. #59
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    Well, I think I would really like to give up on bark myself - it never dries in the middle and then it rots - lately I have even been weighing pots to try and "see" into the pot and gauge how wet it still is. Sphag is pure death to my roots!

    But, I did finally find a suitable tupperware pot yesterday, so.....I now have two plants in s/h - wish them the best!

    Oh, and I had originally planned to drill the holes, but since I then discovered that our drill had been loaned out to someone across town and I didn't want to lose my momentum, I opted for melting. It was surprisingly easy! Found a screw driver with about the right width for the holes, heated it in the flame of a lighter and it melted everything like butter!

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    Good luck! I know you've said you've got a wickedly high humidity problem out there, so S/H might end up being the way to go.

    Now that I think about it, my original catt's were originally in a porous lava rock medium when we got them. And they were really happy in it. Not quite S/H but definitely an unrottable material.... Hmm....

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