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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID DISCUSSIONS > Semi-Hydroponic Culture
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  #21  
Unread 06-02-2007, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Plants roots growing down is not an aversion to light, it is gravitropism - an orientation based upon gravity. Moreover, that doesn't really apply that well to orchids, as in nature the roots go in every direction, and usually contain chlorophyll, suggesting they would want to see light, not avoid it.
Actually Ray the aerial roots of my phals growing in a window in a fixed position will grow away from the light.
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  #22  
Unread 06-03-2007, 07:17 AM
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You're right, Charles. I did misunderstand your point.

Now then...I'll be a bit argumentative here, not because I "know" anyone is wrong (I certainly don't), but to expand the discussion a bit.

What makes us think the plants are growing the roots away from the window in order to avoid the light? Could it be that there are differences near the window and away from it other than light that are affecting it?

(Don't get me wrong. I grow in a greenhouse, so the light, temperature, and humidity are pretty directionally uniform, so I don't see such tendencies, and my earlier comments are based upon the functionality of the plants' structures as well as from observation in the wild.) The point I'm trying to make is that we should not grab a single explanation and consider it gospel. "Too much water causes root rot" and "high-phosphorus boosts blooming" are two examples of well-established "facts" that we know are incorrect.

Let's consider the plant near the window as an example and compare microclimate differences. Light is the obvious one - more toward the window, less away. But what else?

How about temperature and humidity? Near the window the air is heated by the light, which also lowers the relative humidity. Both of those aspects increase the drying of the plant structures, so maybe the plant is growing roots toward a cooler, more humid zone for survival - sort-of a "Maslow's heirachy" thing for plants - retaining moisture is more important than the extra photosynthsis. (Besides, in a dry environment, the velamen will stay relatively opaque most of the time, significantly limiting the roots' ability to photosynthesize anyway.)

If it was winter and I was cold, I might first have thought of "it's colder near the window, so the roots are seeking to be warmer".

My guess is that the heirarchy for orchid roots is 1) seek water and nutrition, 2) grab a strong foothold, with 3) photosynthesis, being a relatively "bonus" feature (except in the leafless ones, of course). Any environmental condition that can have a negative impact on the plant will influence how those are expressed.

Editorial comment: I just love that we can bounce these things off of each other on a friendly basis. In some forums, the conversations can degenerate to the (old SNL) "Jane, you ignorant slut" level.
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  #23  
Unread 06-03-2007, 08:41 AM
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We have disagreed ourselves right into the same camp on this. I think this is where we went wrong in our discussion...
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(I secretly believe that the plants have two kinds of roots.) Those that find warm wet spots for moisture during dry periods and those that must hang in the air.
Actually, I don't believe a plant has more than one type of root, but if you want to interpret it that way, they can have any number of different kinds of roots. Here's my logic - right or wrong:

It is a well-established fact that root cells tailor themselves to the conditions in which they grow. Based upon that, it's easy to view aerial and "submedian*" roots as being "different".

However, in the case of roots that have grown down into the reservoir of a semi-hydro pot, they are now fully submerged, so are easily a third type.

Now then, think of the last time you repotted a plant that was in soppy sphagnum. The older parts of the roots may have mostly died and shriveled up, but there is fresh, new, white growth below that! Two more "types" of roots.

So basically, one might interpret a root grown under any two different conditions as different roots - and that would conceivably even apply to seasonal variations.

* Think "subsoil" or even "subterranian", but with the generalized "medium" replacing soil. If Ben Franklin could coin words, so can we all!
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I was being humorous about the "secretly believe" part. Roots are roots, but the plants will send them into what we believe is a horrible choice. Simply due to those "irrefutable factoids" we have all come to understand, such as, dry out Vs. air movement.
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  #24  
Unread 06-03-2007, 04:20 PM
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Charles, I hope to meet you some day and share a bottle of wine or something. I'll bet we could kill an afternoon without blinking!
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  #25  
Unread 06-04-2007, 11:27 AM
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Hi Ray, Hi Ken

One saying goes "Good boys go to heaven and bad boys
go anywhere".

Seems to me that vanda roots or others are like the bad boys...

Anyway i'd like to bring one more wine bottle if ever we
could all meet... BTW did you know that the roots of
the grape vine go down up to 30 feet deep in the soil?

Cheers

JP
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  #26  
Unread 06-04-2007, 06:58 PM
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Once again Ray you have pretty much hit the nail on the head, I think the roots know (built in genetics) that they are more likely to find moisture in the shaded areas.

I think we are up to a cask of wine now.
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  #27  
Unread 08-30-2007, 10:04 PM
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Has anyone tried Vandas in s/h since this post?

Last edited by Buds!; 08-31-2007 at 03:30 AM..
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  #28  
Unread 08-30-2007, 10:10 PM
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I have a few of my smaller vandaceous family in aliflor, not actually sitting in water constantly but some of them are in saucers with no gravel at times (as it is with almost all of my 'chids). The larger ones can't be done this way but the smaller ones work well...and yes, I've had them blooming
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Vandas in semi-hydro?-asctm-ampullaceum-mr-del-rei-small-.jpg  

Last edited by cb977; 08-30-2007 at 10:15 PM..
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  #29  
Unread 08-31-2007, 03:42 AM
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Hi Susanne,
Thanks for sharing! That is one pretty orchid!
I have no vandas in my collection! I am encouraged by your result.
Now the wishlist is even longer!
Buds!
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  #30  
Unread 10-26-2007, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb977 View Post
I have a few of my smaller vandaceous family in aliflor, not actually sitting in water constantly but some of them are in saucers with no gravel at times (as it is with almost all of my 'chids). The larger ones can't be done this way but the smaller ones work well...and yes, I've had them blooming
Hi Susanne,
Is that an Aerides?
Which other small vandaceous family do you have growing in s/h?
I am really in love with the ones with perfume!
Tks!
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