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Switched to semi hydro. When should I check roots.

This is a discussion on Switched to semi hydro. When should I check roots. within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by raybark Leslieann79 - In answer to the first question: I don't unpot/check/trim ...

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  1. #11
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    Leslieann79 - In answer to the first question: I don't unpot/check/trim at all. As the old roots fail, they release nutrients into the environment, and decompose into little bits that are washed out of the pot. It helps to water frequently while this is happening to flush things out thoroughly.

    Coeruleo - that is not unique to the changeover to S/H culture. As roots grow, they tailor themselves on a cellular level to function optimally in that environment, and once they have grown, they cannot change. Move those roots into a different environment, and the existing roots will not be optimal for that new environment, and will fail. How rapidly they fail is determined by the condition of the plant and by how dissimilar the new- and old conditions are.

    That is why, for the best success, it is important to start with an healthy plant that has brand new roots just emerging from its base (not new growth on existing roots - those new parts might be fine, but when the older parts fail, they'll be cut off from the plant). Those new roots will support the plant, and the old ones can go their merry way without consequence.

    but semi hydro has a higher rate of losing the roots? i'm used to having a bit of old dead roots when i repot, attached to older bulbs. but i don't notice a whole lot of old roots dying off. they don't look as nice, but they don't all just rot away and die. SH must be a pretty harsh change.

  2. #12
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleo View Post
    SH must be a pretty harsh change.
    From what conditions?

    Take a phalaenopsis growing in straight sphagnum and move it into S/H culture, and it's a major step up for the plant, as it's just as moist, but much airier. Move a plant that has been grown dry in coarse bark, and that IS a major change.

    The simple fact is that the conditions in a pot of fresh bark and that in a pot of the same bark that's been in use for a year are different. Roots that grew more recently in the old bark will fail sooner than the ones that grow in the fresh bark. Fact of life; just a matter of degree.

  3. #13
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    I am going to start with 7 orchids I have identified in my home now. Mostly paphs and phals, with an oncidium thrown in to start.

    I don't think catts are right for s/h or am I wrong?

    I have moved all my hybrid catts. + few species to S/H and they seem to ok with it. some species did not like it that much and moved them to CHC+charcoal.

  4. #14
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    Expanding upon that last comment: "some species did not like it that much" when combined with the rest of your specific growing conditions.

    Like many, I used to think that there are just some plants that won't take to S/H culture, but the more I'm exposed to others using the method, the more and more I see plants grown well that I thought were out of the question.

    I have come to the conclusion, therefore, that ANY plant can be grown in S/H culture IF the conditions within the pot and the rest of your cultural conditions work together to provide what the plant needs.

    One of the simplest examples is phalaenopsis - in a warm environment, they thrive in anything. Keep them in a dry home in the winter, and turn down the thermostat at night, and those growing in drier, bark-based mixes will tolerate the conditions. Those in S/H culture will hate it, because the evaporative cooling from the medium is great enough to chill the root system. (Warm up the roots on a heat mat, and all is well.)

    I have a local customer who wins all sorts of awards for her S/H-grown cacti and succulents. (Are you KIDDIN' me?!?!!?)

  5. #15
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    In my personal conditions, my Catts are thriving in S/H. My Oncidiums seem to be more iffy, some like it, some don't. I haven't tried my Phals, due to what Ray said there, I don't think it would be a good condition for them in my home. My Phals are happy as can be in open bark with some sphagnum moss, no reason to change them.

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    cannot agree more with you ray. some of my catt. species were probably not growing state and could have been because of that. I recently moved C.maxima and C.intermedia to S/H when they were growing new roots and they seem to be liking S/H. I have moved all my Onc. as well to S/H and they too seem to like them too.

  7. #17
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    I am soaking my leca right now. By tomorrow I will be ready to repot some into the mix.

    Of my paphs, they are all growing new leaves but I haven't seen new roots on them. Do their new roots look like the new roots on the other types of orchids?

  8. #18
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    All the very best harvey. fingers crossed for you. Paph roos are different from other orchids as they are more hairy and thin. I not seen new roots growing in my paphs yet but the paphs have put out new leaves and seem to do be doing ok.

  9. #19
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    I just wanted to update and say switching was a very good thing for me. I had orchids that showed no signs of life that are now throwing out new roots. I have one plant that is now growing new roots 2 spikes and a new leaf. Its been wild new leaves and roots everywhere! My catts, my dens and phals everything is growing like crazy in semi hydro.

  10. #20
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    If your goal is like mine - find a way to keep all my plants happy under my "equal opportunity abuse" (i.e., they all get treated the same), you're going to end up with plants in all sorts of different pots, media, mounted, etc., because they simply don't all need the same overall culture.

    My schedule and my personal tendencies push me to choose my watering as the factor that I must keep simple, so by modifying the substrate, I can turn on the old fire hose without worry, as - in the end -0 the plants get what they need.

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