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  #1  
Old 12-06-2020, 02:53 AM
brukavina brukavina is offline
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What orchids can thrive in water culture?
Default What orchids can thrive in water culture?

I rehabbed a phal in water culture with great success and now that I have a bigger collection of orchids, I'm wondering what other types of orchids could benefit from or thrive in water culture.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:06 AM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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What orchids can thrive in water culture?
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A few people on here grow some or all of their orchids in FWC. I think that the general rule is, if you acclimate the plant and make sure that you don’t kill all the roots right away, once it grows new roots, they will adapt to the environment you provide and thrive.


I know that people do it with phals and vandas so I assume the fleshy roots are bette than the thin ones but that is a crazy anecdotal observation and I would call it next to worthless.



Good luck
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:55 AM
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Welcome to the Orchid Board!

I have read some orchids survive in water culture, but I don't think many do well long term. This is based on reading what other people report. I tried keeping Vandas in vases with water constantly at the roots, but that didn't work. They do OK if the vase is empty most of the time.
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:54 AM
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bruka ----- the orchid is a system, just as our body is a system. They need conditions both inside them and outside them to be 'suitable' (satisfactory) and kept suitable (satisfactory) in order for the system to function. This includes keeping conditions satisfactory so that all parts (components) remain in workable condition. And the conditions need to be suitable for components to work together satisfactorily - for the orchid to grow properly.

If conditions fall outside 'satisfactory' or suitable -- such as the water temperature of FWC becomes too cold, or if the water becomes spoiled or contaminated, or the water oxygen level becomes too low, or if something unwanted and harmful just so-happens to begin living or thriving in the water ------ then unwanted things can happen.

So - FWC or any other culture. Ok ----- as long as we make sure that we keep everything under control.

Some other methods of orchid growing (including media, and watering method, etc) may require less effort in terms of keeping things under control when compared with FWC. Less things can go 'wrong' - maybe. It probably just depends on whether we can keep conditions under control. That's the main thing.

And also consider the number of orchids that need to be maintained. And for how long we need to maintain them for ---- such as over many decades.
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Old 12-07-2020, 09:58 AM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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I don't think Full Water Culture provides optimal conditions and I have not seen anyone continue it for more than 3 years. This leads me to believe it is not beneficial for any of my orchids.
Watering and drying between has provided best results for me but it is most effort.
Water culture is the least effort. It is not the most beneficial for the orchid imo.

I have achieved better results by providing the exact moisture level required (or at least as close to what I would consider a good moisture level) that ensures the plant never dries out completely but doesn't stay too wet.

One thing I have learnt which is crucial to succeeding long term (not just a few months) is to make sure orchid roots don't get suffocated. The airier the roots are kept without drying them the better results will be - this is why bareroot and mounted are such popular methods to use.


Full water culture provides no balance between air and water ratio to the roots.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:35 AM
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Welcome to Orchid Board!

Just my ... I don't think any orchid can "thrive" or "benefit" from being in FWC. It's not even close to the way orchids grow in the wild.

Can they "survive?" Sure, some of them can. For awhile. I've seen a lot of hybrid Phals in FWC that have survived... but that's a tough as nails orchid to begin with. As is mentioned, there's not enough air exchange for long term health. Kind of like seeing a Peace Lily in FWC with a betta swimming around... both will survive for awhile. Thrive? Not so much.

Experimenting with FWC? Sure, why not if you want to do so. But why attempt to grow in a way that's far outside the realm of the way they're intended to grow?

Sorry for such a negative response to a new member, but just answering the question you posed.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:06 AM
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bruka ----- note that 'FWC' is a general term. The most advanced 'FWC' system is probably along the lines of 'hydroponics'. And the best 'hydroponics' systems require money and machines etc to maintain ....... maintain reliably that is. Maybe circulated filtered weak nutrient water ------ temperature control of the environment and roots, and systems and procedures for keeping the hydroponics system and plants clean and free of pathogens ...... etc.

But then ----- even for a hydroponics system ----- just like regular 'vase' FWC ----- we got to think about the way that the orchids grow. Their roots extend, and orchids get larger and larger. So we also have to think about the mounting of orchids for 'FWC' and hydroponics.

That is ----- in the long run, will the changing dimensions of orchids (roots, and size of plant) become an issue for FWC or hydroponics mounting?

Just for regular 'FWC' in a vase. One question is ----- is it convenient or inconvenient to set up an orchid having dimensions and mass that will keep getting larger, and changing? And is it convenient or inconvenient to keep on needing to move the orchid and vase in order to clean the vase and to replace to replenish the old water with new water, and for adding nutrients (fertiliser and mag-cal etc)?

I'm thinking that it's not so convenient to get those requirements done for very long periods of time, and for cases where somebody wants to grow lots of orchids.

This doesn't mean to say that FWC is not capable of keeping an orchid healthy for very long periods of time. It probably can ------- but the question will be ------ is the effort worth it when there are other methods that avoid the possible complications associated with regular vase 'FWC'.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:18 AM
brukavina brukavina is offline
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What orchids can thrive in water culture?
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If I want to rehab orchids in water culture to rehydrate and monitor their roots, can a variety of orchids grow like that for a short time? As I'm getting used to the needs of different orchids' needs, it may be beneficial. Bareroot is tempting but tricky since I'm in the desert and watering would be a bear with so many orchids at the frequency necessary in my climate.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:31 PM
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Roots of orchids (like most plants) need enough oxygen for their cells to stay alive. There are regular orchid roots -------- which are the 'regular' kind that aren't adapted to very watery (and usually relatively lower oxygen concentration environments).

And then there are the 'adapted' roots - which are roots having cells that are adapted ---- somehow configured - to handle lower oxygen or watery environments. The adapted roots are generally ones that actually grow into the very watery media. Those cells somehow have features that allow them to survive in that sort of media.

And - so far - it seems that roots from watery media can possibly transition to regular media. But regular roots probably have a hard time or impossible time in transitioning to very wet lower oxygen media.

One issue is that people that make FWC youtube videos sometimes don't give the full rundown about what to expect when trying to get an orchid having regular roots to transition into 'FWC'. They may not tell growers that regular roots will die off, and new roots that come out of the stem will handle the new watery medium.

Also - rehabing orchids don't require FWC. Humidity boxes having suitable set-ups can be used for rehab ------- or life support/recovery.
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:06 PM
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I have rehabbed orchids by leaving water in a vase, below roots, and soaking two or three times a week for a half hour or so, then pouring water out to back below roots depth. Keeps humidity up. Also have rehabbed orchids by putting a cloche over them and placing on damp sphagnum moss. Same with an old aquarium.

I can't give advice on using FWC to rehab orchids, because I've never done it. If you're going to rehab an orchid, decide ahead of time how you'll grow it once it's rehabbed. Using one way to rehab then potting up in a totally different way just leads to having to rehab over and over again. New roots grow and structure themselves to uptake water, nutrients, etc, based on the environment they're already growing in.
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