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Change needed for S/H potted plant?

This is a discussion on Change needed for S/H potted plant? within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Have had this plant in S/H for almost a year. The plant does not appear ...

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  1. #1
    moniluhum is offline Senior Member
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    Default Change needed for S/H potted plant?

    Have had this plant in S/H for almost a year. The plant does not appear to have made main roots and the roots on top of the plant are dark green. It did grow a stem which would have bloomed but the bud suddenly turned brown and died. Wondering if I should repot it in S/H or try traditional medium. Anyone have this experience or have an idea of what to do.Name:  IMG_1752.jpg
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  2. #2
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    i had a cattleya like this where the pseudobulbs were on the top of the hydroton and did not grow new roots at all. i buried the pseudobulbs an in inch it in hydroton and after that it picked up. i am not sure if this is the right thing though.

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    moniluhum is offline Senior Member
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    so your saying you in a sense repotted so plant is more within the S/H pot?
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    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    yes not fully but just an inch or so. don't bury it too deep

  5. #5
    Missanna is offline Cattleya lover
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    It looks like you have crusty white mineral deposits on some of the roots (there are some cut ends in the foreground with what looks like very thick layers of hard water. These kill existing roots and new roots will die when they begin to touch the surface of the new medium. If you are using tap water, it's probably insanely high in tds to get deposits that thick in only one year. I used to have the same problem. An inexpensive RO unit will cost the same as 4 blooming cattleyas ($100 ) but once you repot and start using pure water, you'll see amazing results. I used to have the worst root problems- wimpy root systems and roots dying when they touched the mix, stunted growths, etc. after I started using pure water, my orchids rewarded me with immense root systems. I think the first rule of orchid growing should not be how much water, but how pure? Even if you water perfectly on schedule, if the water is so hard it is killing the roots, there is no point to anything else you do. Pure water is the "secret ingredient"

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    moniluhum is offline Senior Member
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    I have since changed to RO and lowered dilution of fertilizer. have noticed the plant doing better. However, with much of the plant on top I am wondering if at some point I should repot the plant lower.
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  7. #7
    Missanna is offline Cattleya lover
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    The most important thing is to get rid of the old medium that is salty. It can even be too salty when you personally don't see any minerals. You could try soaking it for half an hour in pure water and then flushing the crap out of it, but that may not get rid of the deposits.
    You could try removing the surface medium only and then replacing it with fresh. I personally would pull the plant, shake off what you can, and refill with fresh trying to disturb the existing roots as little as possible or just tip it out and shake out a bunch and then replace.

    but the answer to your question is yes:
    I think this one looks like it's a bit far away from the medium. I can't tell how deep it is in the pot, but after removing the old medium, I would make the level of the medium higher.

    Anyway, I would take these out of the pots just to see what's going on. If you are worried, then take it out, take a photo, and post it here before "messing" with it. It's really hard to advise someone without seeing what's going on in the root zone.

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