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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; Hi y'all. I switched most of my plants over to semi-hydro last week. I used ...

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  1. #1
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    Question Switched to semi hydro. When should I check roots.

    Hi y'all. I switched most of my plants over to semi-hydro last week. I used clear plastic cups with two holes punched about an inch to two inches up. I've done a lot of reading about semi-hydro, but there is still one thing I have a question about. The orchids I switched all are growing new roots. Some are growing new roots and leaves. I know that the current roots will probably rot so I wonder when I should check for the rotting roots so I can cut them off? A week or two or longer? Tia.

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    I usually wait until the new roots have grown long enough to reach the level of the reservoir before removing any mushy roots.

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    Thanks Steve.

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    I'll be switching many over soon myself. I can't wait!

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    I was excited too, but worried at the same time. I do like it so far because it is very easy to see when to water. I just hope the plants adapt. I have a plant with two spikes and I've never seen it bloom so I'm hoping the semi hydro wont set it back too far. It is also growing new roots so I hope that will help.

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    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?

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    I have two catts that I switched over. I read somewhere that it was ok for catts. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will pipe in! From what I understand your current roots are adapted to their old media so they MAY rot when transferred to the semi-hydro environment. Which is why you want to transfer plants that are actively grown. I've read that some people's plants did not skip a beat and others had a time of adjustment.

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    wait, when you transfer them to semi-hydro all the old roots die? why is this? i have not noticed people saying that before? i don't like risking having all the roots die.

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    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.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Ray. Its good to know that I don't have to disturb the plants. I was hoping you would answer!

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