Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
Like Tree5Likes

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; As the inventor of the cultural method for orchids, I have moved pretty much all ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Ray Barkalow
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Island NC
    Posts
    1,274

    Default Modified Semi-Hydroponic Culture

    As the inventor of the cultural method for orchids, I have moved pretty much all of my tropical houseplants to S/H culture as well, but I have modified the approach slightly.


    Some of the plants are in the "Leni" or Luwassa", 3-component hydro pots (solid outer pot that creates the reservoir, mesh culture pot that contains the LECA and plant, and a float gauge that keeps you apprised of the water depth in the reservoir), except I have removed the gauge, replacing it with a "watering globe". I have also converted other decorative outer pots to this by merely hot-gluing a piece of PVC pipe to the inner wall before filling with medium. I have also drilled a single 1/4" hole just above my maximum water line, so I can occasionally put the pots in the sink and just run water through them for flushing.


    Not only is the watering globe a good visual indicator of the need to water, it extends the time frame between waterings significantly!



  2. #2
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Carol
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals, Catts, Onc. Alliance
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Eastern WA State, USA
    Posts
    1,503

    Default

    For some reason I'm having trouble picturing what is going on inside your decorative pot. Could you please put up a diagram or something? The idea sounds really interesting to me. Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Ray Barkalow
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Island NC
    Posts
    1,274

    Default

    The trick is to suspend the watering globe so the bottom sets the water level JUST BELOW the flushing hole. I find that the tapered sides to the stem often does that inherently, but I have also used rubber washers or binder clips on the stem to set its depth.

    Name:  Modified_SH.jpg
Views: 868
Size:  35.7 KB

  4. #4
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Carol
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals, Catts, Onc. Alliance
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Eastern WA State, USA
    Posts
    1,503

    Default

    Thank you so much for the diagram! That helps me a lot and I may have to find a way to try this... I have at least one watering globe somewhere!

    Also, does the size of the LECA affect how well tiny plants do in S/H? I have a miniature African Violet that I have trouble keeping properly watered, though I've managed to keep it alive for a couple of years, its not in ideal shape. Would I need smaller diameter pellets? Would this work with a plant with a poor root system?

  5. #5
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Ray Barkalow
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Island NC
    Posts
    1,274

    Default

    I used to carry 4-8 mm PrimeAgra, which I thought was better for small plants and seedlings than the standard 10-16 mm material, but found out that it wasn't necessary at all.

    AV's LOVE S/H!

    I'm not sure what you are specifically referring to about a "poor root system", but keep in mind that when you move a plant from one medium to another, it's going to need an "adjustment period" during which it grows new roots that are optimized for that new environment, while the old roots - not optimal in that same environment - will struggle to support the plant and will ultimately fail. A plant with "iffy" roots will have less time to spend growing those new roots, so you have to take extra measures to keep it going, such as putting a plastic bag over the plant and pot to contain the humidity, so it won't desiccate itself to death through normal transpiration. I think it also pays to treat the plant with a good root-growth stimulant like KelpMax.

    Having said that, if the plant is being moved from a poor environment like soppy sphagnum, into S/H, the plant will take to it like mad.

  6. #6
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Carol
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals, Catts, Onc. Alliance
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Eastern WA State, USA
    Posts
    1,503

    Default

    It seems that particularly my Oncidiums just dump their roots when I move them and don't really recover. I do use KelpMax and love it, but they don't seem to respond like the Phals (I have a couple of those in S/H which are doing quite well so far) or the Catts to the KelpMax. I'm not ready to give up on the Oncidiums (and their crosses) though, I love them and they are not expensive. I hadn't thought of using a plastic bag to keep humidity up - they all seem to get fungal spots and suffer from not enough water and this in my low humidity environment. I realize the "not enough water" is the root system. I guess I can use Physan on them - is that safe to spray in the house? In the kitchen? In the summer I take them outside to spray them, but its too cold for that now. I just need to figure out how to get them through the transition. They don't thrive in my regular orchid media either, or in what they come to me in.

    My Sharry Baby has thrived in S/H though, but it had half its roots out in the air (the way they came) in a too small container (all I had at the time). I moved it to a larger container and its sulking a bit, though it had a full root system in the smaller one. I have a Sharry Baby child that came to me in a bark/moss mixture that is blooming for the second time too. Some plants are just tough!

  7. #7
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Ray Barkalow
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Island NC
    Posts
    1,274

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla View Post
    It seems that particularly my Oncidiums just dump their roots when I move them and don't really recover.
    I suppose my response here is that 1) we would expect the plants to dump the old roots, and 2) that is why transplanting just as new roots are emerging from new growths is so important.

    I do use KelpMax and love it, but they don't seem to respond like the Phals (I have a couple of those in S/H which are doing quite well so far) or the Catts to the KelpMax. I'm not ready to give up on the Oncidiums (and their crosses) though, I love them and they are not expensive.
    Try soaking the plants - compete submersion - in a 1 tablespoon/gallon solution for a number of hours before potting them up, then weater with that same concentration for 2-3 waterings in a row. Then go to once/month.

    I hadn't thought of using a plastic bag to keep humidity up - they all seem to get fungal spots and suffer from not enough water and this in my low humidity environment.
    If you're seeing spotting on the leaves of oncidium-types, it may not be fungal at all. I cannot tell you the cause with any firm knowledge or confidence, but in low-RH conditions, that happens a lot around stomata (nearby areas of plasmodesmata). One of the theories is the exudation of excess minerals salts, which damages the tissues. Since I grow in a very humid greenhouse, and reduced my fertilizer concentration, I see that less and less.

  8. #8
    MICKEY's Avatar
    MICKEY is offline Member
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    EUGENE/SPRINGFIELD OREGON
    Posts
    50
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    have you tried s/h with Vandas if so how did it work

  9. #9
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Ray Barkalow
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Island NC
    Posts
    1,274

    Default

    Mickey, whether you are successful with a particular plant is not determined solely by the plant. How well the culture technique "meshes" with the rest of your growing conditions to meet the needs of the plant is what's important.

    That said, I - with more S/H experience than anyone - cannot grow vandaceous plants that way. I do have customers though, that are successful. Most of them are growing in very dry environments, and I have no way of knowing how rigidly they adhered to the technique. I have a nearby customer who wins awards for her succulents and cacti grown that way.... Who knew?

  10. #10
    MICKEY's Avatar
    MICKEY is offline Member
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    EUGENE/SPRINGFIELD OREGON
    Posts
    50
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    guess I'll just stick to a basket maybe with some lava rock in it for my newest plant a Darwinara Neofinetia

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Free AOS Webinar on Semi-Hydroponic Orchid Growing
    By raybark in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: September 29th, 2015, 06:13 AM
  2. Curious about Semi Hydroponic growing....
    By Spirytman in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: September 17th, 2014, 01:08 AM
  3. BiminiBob's Semi-Hydroponic orchid Tips
    By biminibob in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: August 11th, 2009, 03:50 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.