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S/H...how often to water?

This is a discussion on S/H...how often to water? within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi all, I am giving the S/H a try--switched about 8 of my 30 or ...

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    Default S/H...how often to water?

    Hi all,

    I am giving the S/H a try--switched about 8 of my 30 or so plants over this past week. Mostly oncids, a couple phals.....

    I put them in S/H plastic pots that I ordered and it's been interesting to see how quickly the water level goes down. Should I wait until it's almost dry or to the bottom of the resevoir before I water? Or, should I top them off more frequently?

    Again...if this is important, I'm in a very low humidity area.

    Thanks!

    MtEquine

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    hi mtequine and the others forum members
    Several techniques are possible for S/H watering. Here mine : I filled the pot with approximately 2 or 3 cm. When the level drops to 0,5 cm, I gives again fertilized water in the pot. In winter, if the weather is cold, sometimes, I let dry completely but on short time. It is an example.
    Philippe

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    in addition : it also depends if the roots touch or not the bottom of the pot. If roots do not arrive at the bottom of the pot, I prefer to leave a little water at the bottom

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    for phals I prefer to let the reservoir go dry and then water a day or so afterwards. (the rock isn't dry but it is starting to dry) your typical phrags I never let them dry out. paphs somewhere in the middle.

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    That's pretty much what has been working for me, too. I like s/h so far although I'm only using it for the smaller plants that were so hard to keep watered. I think there is a reasonable margin for error since the media retains moisture for a while after the reservoir is dryed out. For me it gives about a week between watering sessions. And then sometimes I haul them to the sink for a good flushing of the media, and sometimes, if I'm pressed for time, I simply top off the reservoir. Pretty flexible.

    And one sickly phal that I had about given up on put on a new leaf right away when it went into s/h!

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    At least once in the month, I wash the substrate with large water to avoid the accumulation of salts due to fertilizer. This point is important.
    Fertilizer program is also very important in a not organic sustrat...

    Clay balls properties are very important.

    For phals : we should not choose expensive balls solden in hydroponie stores but those that retain maximum water. I buy them in France in not specialized department stores. In this case, indeed, u can fill the pot when it is empty.

    For cattleyas for example, I prefer balls which not retain a lot of water because cat roots need to be dry between tow watering.

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    Thanks for the input, everyone. I'm going to take it easy on topping off/watering the phals and have actually been noticing that my oncids in the south window (with sheer curtain) that the resevoirs go down MUCH more quickly than the phals, etc. in the east window. Interesting.

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    More sun can trigger more growth. And active growth consumes water at a higher rate.

    More sun or more air flow typically requires more frequent watering (air flow because it causes evaporation.) For plants that rest in the winter, water consumption falls way down; and for some classes of orchids, it's stopped entirely. Figure that sunlight is the stimulus for growth and that growth requires water and fert in levels to match the growth rate.

    Julie

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    The practice I use is to fill the pot to the top with my water/fertilizer solution. This will flush out old solution in the reservoir, and also flushes the pot of any salts. I use a solution of distilled water with 100-125ppm of nitrogen, and my water is a pH of 6.0. This gives me complete control of the nutrients my plants receive.

    Gregg C.

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