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my result of semi hydro orchid growing

This is a discussion on my result of semi hydro orchid growing within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'll be using Vital Earth Brand Vermi-liquid from recommendations I've read on gardening blogs. However, ...

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  1. #11
    bumpman is offline Member
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    I'll be using Vital Earth Brand Vermi-liquid from recommendations I've read on gardening blogs. However, there are many products available - from worm tea bags to products to make your own worm compost and tea. I used to grow worm compost and its actually not difficult or yucky. I'll eventually start another worm colony, but in the meantime I'm just being lazy and buying the prepared product.

  2. #12
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    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpman View Post
    I'll be using Vital Earth Brand Vermi-liquid from recommendations I've read on gardening blogs. However, there are many products available - from worm tea bags to products to make your own worm compost and tea. I used to grow worm compost and its actually not difficult or yucky. I'll eventually start another worm colony, but in the meantime I'm just being lazy and buying the prepared product.
    Okay - the worm "tea" sounds doable. Is it really effective enough to add one more step to my orchid routine? Also, how many orchids do you have, and what system do you use for flushing them? I'm afraid mine are only going to get fully flush once a month - I have about 100 and they grow in my apartment living room, so no automated water tanks, no hoses, even, just humans, lugging water and plants back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. I AM going to downsize, I think.

  3. #13
    siaogu is offline Bulbolific bulbolicious
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Okay - the worm "tea" sounds doable. Is it really effective enough to add one more step to my orchid routine? Also, how many orchids do you have, and what system do you use for flushing them? I'm afraid mine are only going to get fully flush once a month - I have about 100 and they grow in my apartment living room, so no automated water tanks, no hoses, even, just humans, lugging water and plants back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. I AM going to downsize, I think.
    downsize? haha....it never happens

    anyway, i also gave up SH long long ago...i have better results with standard potting

    Cheers
    Vincent

  4. #14
    bumpman is offline Member
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    Hi Mauraec, I guess with that many orchids you can only do as much as is practical. I have far fewer than that in s/h. Downsizing is sometimes a good idea so then you can later upsize again with the chids you really want or new ones to try

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpman View Post
    Hi Mauraec, I guess with that many orchids you can only do as much as is practical. I have far fewer than that in s/h. Downsizing is sometimes a good idea so then you can later upsize again with the chids you really want or new ones to try
    Thanks for the gentle push, Denis. I've been thinking the same thing, and starting to separate out some plants to go on the raffle table at our next orchid society meeting. I'm still trying to figure out which orchids I can grow well under my circumstances - to some extent that depends on how well they limp towards summering outside in a month or two.

    By the way, whereabouts in Maine are you? I'm a native New Englander - Boston, then the south coast of Maine until 5 years ago. I still go back at least once a year to visit family and walk the beach. I love Atlanta, but get homesick a good bit. Welcome to OT!

  6. #16
    bumpman is offline Member
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    Before this year I summered in Bayside Village of Northport ME, but after this school year I will be a permanent retiree there - then plenty of time and space to go orchid crazy.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpman View Post
    Before this year I summered in Bayside Village of Northport ME, but after this school year I will be a permanent retiree there - then plenty of time and space to go orchid crazy.
    I'll be envying you sometime in mid-May! 7-month winters drove me south, finally, although I miss my lilacs, peonies, and lilies of the valley - among many other things, when spring finally arrives. I lived on the beach in York County, then several years in Kennebunk - have never ventured further north than Boothbay, I think. A very beautiful state....

  8. #18
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    A well-accepted theory is that any plant would grow better if one factor ( the limiting factor) can be removed. This means that maybe the plant needs it warmer, or more light, or less light or more Nitrogen or less, etc etc. Probably the same factor applies to all your plants whatever it may be. The trick is finding out which factor. If you change anything else, likely it will give worse growth.
    Unless you have been in the rain forest (etc) it is difficult to understand just how much water orchids get in their growth season – like for example, three inches of rain a day, every day, for some months ( cymbidiums , in the monsoon in the Himalayas). S/H can work miracles in giving the equivalent.
    But the plants need appropriate roots to do this, and as these grow they adapt to the compost ; if you can get to look at stained cross-sections of roots under about 100-200x magnification, you can pick out the root which grew in rockwool, from the one in bark and so on. So new roots growing into water will be different from old roots, and you need a full set of the new ones for the plant to give its best.This means that the results only come from S/H when they have a full set of new roots grown in that system which can take three years …
    Likewise it is difficult to understand just how little rain they get at other times – like 6 months without any rain at all ( but probably nightly misting) in some places. That kind of orchid won’t do well in S/H unless you use it for the growing season only. Others – like oncidiums coming from places where it is usually damp or wet most of the year will do well in it.
    And orchids coming from situations where they naturally dry out quite strongly, even if they are wet again within a couple of days – many phal species for example – are unlikely to do well in it all.
    If you go for it – and I have used it on and off for some or even all my orchids for about 15 years now,- I recommend that you always add some plant disinfectant to the water – Physan is great – 1:5000 is quite enough . It will keep the water sweet, and cut down on rot.

  9. #19
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    Thanks, Geoff - extremely helpful, as usual. Happy to say, according to earlier posts where you advised it, I already use Physan, in very, very dilute strengths about every third time I water. So far, my paphs, phrags, 3 or 4 catts, 3 phal hybrids, and 5 oncid/brassia hybrids are in S/H - have been for about 3 weeks now, and no signs of distress yet, although I understand completely that transition deterioration is probably inevitable. Everything I have transferred so far had already begun new active growth. I am hoping to move the rest of my catts, oncidinae, 2 zygos and, perhaps my Lycaste (also a hybrid, of skinneri and macrophylla) into s/h as they show signs of new growth - unless there is some reason I'm not aware of not to do it.

    The tap water here is very low in minerals - salt, copper, iron, chlorine, nitrates, nitrites, etc, but the pH is a little over 7.0. I have yet to measure what it is when I add nutrients to it - I am guessing that I will need to add something acidic (vinegar?) to lower the alkalinity closer to 6. This is getting into a very scientific-sounding area for me, especially if you add EC, mS and all that other conductivity information to it. I have to take these things in small steps.

    How often do the plants in s/h need to be flushed completely? And how soon after that should regularly scheduled watering w/nutrients take place? And how much time do you give a plant to transition before declaring it needs to be back in bark? Questions, questions, questions.... I've an endless supply of them.

  10. #20
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    Ditto to Cathy, I never had the guts to try it, I seen failed results and amazing results too.
    Alex

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