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Modified Semi-Hydroponic Culture

This is a discussion on Modified Semi-Hydroponic Culture within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I think succulents would like S/H a lot - they need well drained soil and ...

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  1. #11
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    I think succulents would like S/H a lot - they need well drained soil and not a lot of food. I put my Queen's Tears bromeliad in S/H recently, we'll see how she does! I am also currently trying two Phals in S/H and they seem to like it quite a lot. Must suit my conditions for them... it is quite dry here and I do tend to underwater. It's easy to see when my Phals start to dry out too much with the semi transparent containers. Now I need to find a local source for larger containers that are suitable, most of my orchids are a bit large for the 6" S/H containers and I may want to try more Phals as I see how these do. A lot of my Phals are older plants that no longer fit in 8" pots, I need to find something they'll grow in!

  2. #12
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    Carol - Something to consider about using S/H culture in very dry environments, particularly when it comes to phals:

    Phalaenopsis, for the most part, are "hot" growers, never seeing temperatures below about 70-75F, and frequently seeing triple-digits. Fortunately, for us, they are reasonably tolerant of the somewhat lower temperatures we prefer, making them pretty good house plants.

    Now, fast-forward to winter. It's cold and dry, the ambient humidity is low, so when we heat our homes, it plummets. Looking at the inner workings of a semi-hydro pot, we see a very open and airy medium, with lots of surface area, and lots of moisture spread around due to the good wicking. Ideal for evaporation, which brings evaporative cooling along with it.

    If, like many, you lower the household thermostats at night to save on energy, then the evaporative cooling, enhanced by the low relative humidity, can lower the temperature of the root zone well below the plants' acceptable range, and that can lead to root death.

    There are ways to combat that: raise the humidity to decrease that cooling effect, or raise the pot temperature by putting them on heat mats.

  3. #13
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    At this time, we have my 90 year old Mother in Law living with us. The thermostat doesn't go below 72, she chills easily. Perhaps that helps. I've never been able to raise the humidity of the house as a whole, though I have used a humidifier in one small room to be able to incubate my duck eggs. So far the two test Phals are thriving - they were cheap Craig's List buys which I've never even seen flowering, so I thought they'd be a good test. Their new growth is very happy. I thought I'd give them a year or so to see how it works out before I try others, its been since spring I think (I have a notebook that lists all those things if I want to check, plus each one has a tag that includes the date it was repotted last). I keep trying to be more organized, though I'm getting behind. I need to print pictures of the ones that have bloomed and include them in the notebook with the care information, as well as the references to the tag. Something to do on slow winter days, though right now I'm raising a litter of 7 collie puppies that keeps me going!

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    purple basket1.JPG here is a picture of the purple heart basket I made yesterdayk

  5. #15
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    Ray,
    What is the advantage of placing the plant in a basket? It seems to me that would create a problem down the line with the roots growing out of the slats in the basket when transplanting....

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    if you're talking semi-hydroponics, never use baskets, as the evaporation through the mesh would completely negate the wicking of the LECA.

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    In the modified S/H you mentioned a mesh culture pot. I thought you must have meant a basket but "mesh pot" obviously is something else...what is it?

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    I'm sorry. I didn't clearly understand the context of your question.

    There is a style of "hydroponic system" that originates in Europe (sold under the trade names Leni and Luwassa, among others) that consists of a 3-piece pot - a decorative outer pot that serves as the reservoir, a mesh, net, or slatted inner "culture pot" that contains the LECA and plant, and a gauge, so you don't overfill it. The space between the inner- and outer pots is minimal, so that limits the evaporation.

    In my original modification, I just removed the gauge and replaced it with the watering globe.

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