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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; My 2 cents. I have been growing Semi hydro for at least 6 years. I ...

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  1. #31
    Persistence's Avatar
    Persistence is offline Senior Member
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    My 2 cents. I have been growing Semi hydro for at least 6 years. I have tried over 30 genera in them and have found only the real hardy genera do the best. Catt, Onc, Phal and a few misc species like Gongora and Miltoniopsis.

    From years of using many types of media I don't feel one has out done the other. I had similar plants and all in a different medium growing side by side and really hadn't noticed on medium outperforming.

    What I have noticed from my experience and others that I know personally and through online is that certain mediums are suited better for certain genera as well as growing conditions.

    I feel the benefits of this style of growing are not in obtaining faster growth than another medium but should be used for those that tend to overwater, like to fertilize with every watering and/or prefer to pot less often and reuse the LECA.

    One of the theories that I bought into with this type of growing was that the cells of the plant root would be open more often to process fertilizer more effeciently than a plant that had roots that would dry and then get wet.

    I don't want to come off as a disliker of this style of growing but I do want people to know that this style is really a preference and should be based on your style of growing orchids.

  2. #32
    WEA
    WEA is offline Junior Member
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    Default Two Style Change Overs to S/H

    It sounds like most of the people on the forum growing in S/H are growing plants inside, and the main reason for going to S/H is to facilitate watering. Are there people out there growing in green house conditions that have placed some of there collection in LECA under S/H conditions?

    I have switched about 1/2 my plants to S/H (50). Most are Cats, Dendrobs & Encyclias. The only problem so far was repotting when I wanted to rather than when the plants were ready based on S/H protocol. Some bad timing resulted in a years lag in growth and several casualties. First Year - The Cats initially repotted in LECA (Hydroton and PrimeAgri) and clay orchid pots sitting in individual shallow plastic pans are doing spectacular so far as new roots and new growth. In fact if there are problem(s) brewing it is an embarrassment of new leads that are out of control i.e. making training difficult ans later repotting a night mare, and prolific root growth that may soon over run the pot and cause a reduction in air exchange just do to the increased root mass alone. There appears to be a build up of salt residues, but so far no sign of it affecting the roots. The other 25% of the collection went into LECA and plastic S/H pots some time afterwards. The verdict is still out on them. Some slow starters, but again it might be just bad timing.

    One lesson learned the hard way; follow root length protocol.

  3. #33
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    Default :)

    I am. I have 4 plants in s/h and plan on moving more. My oldest plant has been in s/h for about 3 years now and looks great.

    Cochleanthes amazonica grows like gangbusters in s/h.

  4. #34
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    I am considering S/H for my paphs as I am really struggling to keep them moist enough as they are drying out far too much.

  5. #35
    GiovannaD is offline Senior Member
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    I noticed that there is an *amazing* difference when you go s/h all the way. I started using hydroton but used my old clear plastic pots with holes at the bottom so that I wouldn't strain the root system with constant moisture suddenly. The plants seemed to react well (aka didn't die), so one month later I clogged the bottom holes with silicone and drilled 2 holes about an inch from the bottom.
    I see roots growing all over the place, nice plump ones with velamen and active root tips, which I have never seen in 2 years' orchid culture. While in bark, I had managed to keep the green plump roots alive and not healthy, but they were not growing at all...
    Here are some before/after pix:
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  6. #36
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    jowben1 is offline Senior Member
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    I now have over 100 chids, and all but the new ones that are spiking or blooming have been switched. I haven't lost one to the change yet. When the newbies are finished blooming, my plan is to convert them also.The only losses i"ve experienced, were with seedlings out of flask, and I probably should have put them in sphag. until they were a little larger.(My wfe keeps wondering why every week there is another box with clay pellets on the stove boiling away)....

  7. #37
    blrnut is offline Senior Member
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    I have started an experiment with S/H with a paph and a phal. The phal has long roots and was wondering how to go about S/H since the roots might end up sitting in the water reservoir at the bottom of the pot. Any suggestions on how others are managing phals or other orchids with long roots?

  8. #38
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    jowben1 is offline Senior Member
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    From what I've read, the roots should not reach the water, but it's ok if they grow down to it on their own.

  9. #39
    jowben1's Avatar
    jowben1 is offline Senior Member
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    Talking How many in SH

    You made me go count. 108 in SH, 13 that are not. 1 mount, 2 in baskets,(1 of those, a vanda is in PA pellets), the others are in bud or bloom, and will get switched when they start new growth, I put any new plant I get in SH, as soon as I get it, unless it is close to flowering. So far, the only things I've lost, are seedlings, or ones that were in poor shape to start with.

  10. #40
    Mike Davis's Avatar
    Mike Davis is offline Junior Member
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    I am starting my first S/H orchid this weekend. I have a Phrag. Bowdenii that i plan on starting with, just waiting to get the Hydroton. I have an autoclave...can i autoclave the hydroton? will it crack and/or explode? seems to be better than boiling.

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