Tolumnia in Net Pots with DRY Leca
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  #1  
Old 04-22-2024, 12:05 PM
Grawski Grawski is offline
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Tolumnia in Net Pots with DRY Leca
Default Tolumnia in Net Pots with DRY Leca

After much research on the Tolumnia environmental prefereces, I have decided to experiment potting my Tolumnias with Dry Leca in a net pot. If I used saturated Leca, I believe the pots might not dry out fast enough to suit the plant's needs. The net pots are 2-3/4" (7 cm) diameter at the top. The Leca is very small, averaging 3/8" (1 cm). I watered all the bare root plants this morning, and will not wet the Leca until tomorrow morning. I have not decided on the watering technique. I could submerge the bottom half of the pot, or I could pour from above. I'd like to attempt not wetting the crown. I'm open to comments. I'm sure they'll be interesting. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2024, 12:24 PM
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I've seen this used. It works if your humidity is fairly high. It's OK to completely soak the entire plant and pot at the same time. Don't worry about getting water in the crown. It will evaporate quickly.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2024, 12:33 PM
Grawski Grawski is offline
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Thanks for the comment. My initial thought was that the pots might stay too wet, but Leca balls really absorb anything they touch. I might have gone too far in the "dry quickly" direction. My humidity is NOT high, and I run small fans constantly. The plants are indoors year round.
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Old 04-22-2024, 01:25 PM
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In their natural habitat, they live on thin twigs of shrubs on the windward side of Caribbean islands. They experience frequent rains and are almost immediately blown dry by gentle, warm breezes.

The closer you can get to that, the better.
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Old 04-22-2024, 01:30 PM
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It's hard to grow Tolumnias without high humidity. The people I know who succeeded with this method had a humid greenhouse. Another friend with humidity in the 40% range didn't succeed with this method. He couldn't keep them hydrated because the LECA sucks away the moisture. Consider getting a humidifer.
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Old 04-22-2024, 02:15 PM
FranningtonBear FranningtonBear is offline
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Pictured is how I grow my (only) Tolumnia. I maintain humidity by soaking the outer basket weekly and misting the bare roots daily. This plant lives on a west facing windowsill with supplemental grow lights.

Last edited by FranningtonBear; 04-22-2024 at 02:18 PM.. Reason: Can’t post pictures!!
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Old 04-22-2024, 02:59 PM
Grawski Grawski is offline
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Thanks everybody, for you insightful comments. It appears that my challenge will be providing higher humidity and, all the while, not keeping them wet. Was Leca the wrong choice? I thought it was suitable due to it's fast drying, but it will probably dessicate these delicate plants. I'm not opposed to switching media. Would coarse perlite be a better option than Leca? It may sound like I'm grasping at straws here, but this is the gallery of experienced growers. The internet is a poor theater in which to learn about these issues.
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Old 04-22-2024, 03:25 PM
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The problem is low humidity, not medium. I don't know whether you've read this before:
Darryl Venables on Tolumnia - DVOS September 2018
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Old 04-22-2024, 03:43 PM
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I was only able to successfully grow these mounted on cork. The humidity was always high and watered daily in the summer.
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Old 04-24-2024, 02:56 AM
dbarron dbarron is offline
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I have success in at least that they live and bloom in successive years. I grow them in net pots with no media and water them daily with a brief immersion. However, my house is typically around 50-60% rh from all the plants in it (I assume).
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