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Just out of curiousity, how many of you are s/h'ing?

This is a discussion on Just out of curiousity, how many of you are s/h'ing? within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have 85% S/H, and have found that my Dens hated it, so I went ...

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  1. #11
    maxciocc is offline Junior Member
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    I have 85% S/H, and have found that my Dens hated it, so I went back to a coir based medium. However, my Catts, Phrags, Paphs, Milts, and Oncidium alliance plants love it. I have some Onc intergenerics that are almost busting out of their pots with new growths and new roots and bloom prolifically. The best thing of all is not worrying about medium decaying, plus when repotting, the rootball is intact, just place in a bigger S/H pot and pour new medium around the rootball.

  2. #12
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Rebecca Luce
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    I'm digging this post back up again because I wanted to ask everyone how their S/H plants are doing. I'm seriously considering it for my orchids, and I wanted to poll everyone again to see what they thought of S/H: is it easier to care for than regular bark media? More dependable? Less watering? Better growth?

    I'll be honest: I had a serious freak-out this morning when I was trying to get out the door for work- I needed to water my orchids with only 10 minutes to spare! I realized I needed to find a better way to take care of all my plants that didn't require me moving 18 orchids all the way to the kitchen to soak and then bringing them back to my bedroom windowsill again.

    Am I being silly in thinking that S/H will help me take better care of all these plants? Honestly, they dry out SO fast on my windowsill, and I was hoping that S&H might help with that....as well as with my lack-of-humidity problem.

    Also...one other question: I've noticed that in most S/H related posts (here and elsewhere), people talk endlessly about "improved root growth", but not much else. Is S/H a reliable planting method to actually help the plant ITSELF to grow and thrive, aside from roots?


    HELP!!! :-)

  3. #13
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Becky,

    Good questions you have. I need to update our S/H experiment plant. Once I get settled back into the grove of classes again, I will take some additional photos of the one we put in S/H several months ago. Until then, I too look forward to hearing what folks believe about this...

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #14
    GiovannaD is offline Senior Member
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    I am conducting an experiment on s/h, I have taken lots of before and after pictures, but one month is not enough to say for sure. At least my phals haven't died (4 in total) but I still haven't seen signs of new growth. They seem to have survived the first shock of total medium removal.
    However one was blooming its last bud on a spike (at least 6 months old) and it shrivelled almost 1 day after repotting, one was in spike and blossoming and did not loose any of its flowers (6 in total), until they died of "natural causes, as they where first opened in December, and the third is still growing the spike it had before, and it seems that 5 buds have formed on it.

  5. #15
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    I put a bunch of things into s/h a few years back for flexibility. starting residency and had to water things on _my_ time, not theirs. so I went with a modified s/h method in which the pots are regular plastic pots with extra holes in the side. trays of water serve as the reservoir--multiple pots in one tray, theoretically a disease risk but haven't noticed any more transmission than you would get just from plants being side by side. this system is flexible in the sense that I didn't have time to water, I could always top off the reservoirs and water a few days later.

    a few generalizations:
    phrag hybrids LOVE this stuff. even hybrids like Grande that are half caudatum usually grow tremendous roots. not much success with the caudatum group species though. tried besseae in it, rooted well but the heat of the NY summer and its effects made me switch back to clay/sphag (which cools the root zone, and is exclusively how I grow besseae).

    paphs were mixed. it seems that in any group there were plants that did well, and others that did poorly. and strangely, plants that did well during the summer would occasionally just go south (usually during the winter, when the reservoir water was very cold). in general, brachys/parvis did NOT do well for me, and sit in a CHC-based mix for me. multiflorals and complex hybrids (I only grow the white ones, but am generalizing towards all complex) did very well as a rule. maudiae-types were mostly good, but occasionally I would have again the well-rooted plant suddenly losing many roots. (I suspect that I am not letting the plants dry out sufficiently in the winter.)

    phals did surprisingly well, although I try more consciously to let them dry out a tad between waterings.

    would not try cattleyas although I suppose minicatts might appreciate it. maybe also the big species/hybrids during the growing season only? (been meaning to try that--removing the reservoir during the rest periods).

  6. #16
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    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    I was really just thinking of putting my largest phals into S/H (they're in 6" pots right now and could go larger). To be honest, I want to put them into S/H simply because its such a pain to move all 5 to my kitchen constantly for watering- I think that if I watch them carefully for any unusual root loss, they should be okay. I have mini's too, but I'm not going to put them into S/H because watering them is fairly simple- I just pile them 3 on a plate and carry them to my kitchen sink :-)

    Do you find that the S/H media gets really hot in the sun? That is something else I was wondering about....I don't want to cook my plants! They do get good full sun from about 8:40am until about noon everyday in the summer...

  7. #17
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    I don't think s/h gets any hotter than a regular mix. I haven't measured it but if anything I would imagine the temps are slightly lower given the wicking from the reservoir (which would be likely cooler than air temps during the day). in fact, I think that the cold temps of the water reservoir during the winter is detrimental to some plants. since phals aren't given high light anyway, I would think that root temps wouldn't be too much of an issue, regardless of medium.

    I would definitely let the reservoir run dry for a couple days before re-watering a phal. (as opposed to a phrag, which I never let dry out)

  8. #18
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    Default Becky..

    - just a thought - but if you are not sure about the SH method, but struggle with moving the plants, I take a plants only washing up bowl around with me and my watering can from room to room, and water where they are over and in the bowl. When bowl too full, it gets emptied and I stat again back in with the plants.

    As I do not have a huge and / or expensive collection, I am not worried about disease currently and do not mind them being together.

  9. #19
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    I actually did try that for a while...the only problem was that my orchids are in my bedroom, and the bed is about 2 feet away from the windowsill where the orchids are. I kept splashing stuff all over and generally making a mess, and my poor fiance got really upset and grossed out...he's a little sensitive about stuff like that :-(

    So, they all make the trek to the kitchen sink about 2x a week currently...its not so bad; I think I've worked out a system...I do the mini's first, and let them soak, and while they're soaking in bowls, I grab the bigger phals and put them all in the sink for a bath party They seem to like it.

  10. #20
    jtlqh's Avatar
    jtlqh is offline Senior Member
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    My s/h experiment with phal were a total failure. They were going good in the first 6 months, but after the winter, all roots got brown and started to rot. My den (hybrid nobil type) were doing really good in the first 2 years, then I had to force them into dry rest in the winter for flowering and I couldn't resume s/h again since old roots died and cause problem in the constant wet s/h pot unless I repot and clean up the bad roots. I am given up s/h on most of my plants except oncies. They are water hogs and even with s/h, the reservoi dried up in 2 days. I am using clay pot with sphag for my phals now, they were doing really great, a lot of healthy roots, I only have to water them every 3 days. But if I switch to plastic pots, I think I can go with 5 days/watering.

    Qing

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