New to semi-hydro - my experience so far
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New to semi-hydro - my experience so far
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:24 PM
snowflake311 snowflake311 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by Tindomul View Post
Ohhhh!!! This explains the damage to my Phal after I moved it to S/H. I am so thick sometimes. Thanks Ray!

Excellent post!

Stupid phals. I have had a few that just die when I take them home. I have this one I tried to kill one summer 3 years ago. Well it has recovered thanks to S/H and I have a spike. I fell your pain on the lack of roots on phal I think my home is just too cold for them too.

I have been growing in SH for almost a year now. I like it it's easy and clean. I still have a few in bark mix. With orchids nothing comes fast. It takes time. With time SH works great.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:53 AM
flowerpower flowerpower is offline
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New to semi-hydro - my experience so far

Hi everyone. I just wanted to update my experience thread.

I have had good results with oncidiums, including the once rootless and pitiful yellow dancing lady oncidium. The new growth is well on the way.

Roots look happy and it feels sturdy in the LECA now - which doesn't really move around like it used to. There are roots skimming the top and also roots going down into the LECA. They know what to do and the tips don't dry out or anything.

I have also had success with the Cattleya. Standard cattleya advice is to allow the dry period, however, they seem to have a high amount of adaptability with the new water roots. This is the update on my back division. You can see one root poking out halfway down.

There is also another root growing here and they look like they are holding their own in the wet environment and I'm looking forward to seeing how it reacts to the reservoir. However, I would say old roots can die very quickly so I wouldn't keep any root that is questionable or broken (I find old cattleya roots pretty temperamental in general).

I have also put a Brassia, several more phals and 2 further cattleyas into it but I won't post pictures as there is not much happening.

For sympodials, this method has been a huge success as they produce all their roots in one big flush and it's easy to predict and time the transfer. I am struggling with my phals though, they are going limp and dropping leaves. I'm keeping them warm but I think the switch from just bark on its own to S/H has been a shock for them. I intend to give them another 3 months and see if things pick up.

Does everyone else manage their algae or do you just leave it? I am starting to get some but it doesn't bother me hugely.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:45 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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One thing that jumps out is that the plants appear to be potted too deeply. You want the bases of the plants right at the medium surface, not below it.

At this point, you may safely grasp the plant, and while jostling the pot a bit, pull up gently on the plants to the proper position.

You may find that the plants will be a bit wobbly (precisely why most folks plant too deeply), so stake the plants until they "lock in" with their root system.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:18 AM
flowerpower flowerpower is offline
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New to semi-hydro - my experience so far

Oops. After my repotting sessions I think I have been mindlessly scattering leftover washed clay pellets into the other pots rather than putting them back in the bag. I will remove a layer or lift plants where possible. Thanks for pointing this out.

With the phals, is it worth putting a plastic bag over the sick ones to buy them some time? I don't want to invite mould or rot but I would like to try to help. There are 8 phals currently in S/H including a few rootless ones with nothing to lose. If I lose any plants I will specify whether they were rescues or converted properly. However, I am interested to see if S/H can assist in recovering a phalaenopsis in this state by providing a continually moist and humid environment as it seems water culture can.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:14 AM
Lilsuzi Lilsuzi is offline
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New to semi-hydro - my experience so far

Hi FlowerPower. I´ve really enjoyed reading through your posts. I used to live in England, where I only ever tried one orchid, and that died. I lived in Brazil for years, and had loads of orchids in my trees, very easy. Now I´m in Portugal, and it´s more of a challenge. I´ve been thinking about s/h for my orchids, but decided against, due to the possibility of chilling the roots on the leca, so then I was playing with the idea of fwc, (the roots dry very quickly here, swc isn´t enough, nor is mounting which I also tried). But now I think I will try s/h after reading about your success so far. Thanks. And thanks to Ray and Estación Seca, too, for extra explanations.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:47 PM
PaphLover PaphLover is offline
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Hi flowerpower,
Enjoyed reading your thread.

I live in a similar cool, wet wintery climate as you and have transferred the majority of my plants to semi-hydro and gone through winter with great success (oh boy, it's hard to write that for fear of jinxing myself).

I have phals (including very warm growers like bellina), phrags, paphs (from multi-floral to parvi), oncidiums, angraecums all in semi. They have all grown the loveliest roots and it's such a pleasure to see them dipping and growing down into the water reservoir. One of my phals has roots growing in a circle around the bottom of its reservoir.

I was nervous, too, about repotting them in semi, but all the plants have done so well, I only have a handful not in the media. I read all Ray's articles on the subject at his website and followed his instructions (sometimes to the 't', sometimes not [some plants went directly under lights without a dark period because they were in active growth]). All were started on heat mats, which is something I'd like to recommend to you. I think heat mats in your winter environment would be very beneficial and would speed up new roots growing. It keeps the reservoir water warm and seems to trick the plant into thinking it's spring and time to put out new roots.

One thing I've also done is add lava rock to the top of the LECA. The LECA I can get is always different and some of it floats like crazy (which makes watering a pain). The heavier lava rock helps hold the LECA and the plant in place (quite often so well that skewers are not necessary) and allows new roots to grow without the plant wobbling around in the media.

Good luck!

Last edited by PaphLover; 02-19-2017 at 02:55 PM..
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:54 PM
ButterflyJak ButterflyJak is offline
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Flowerpower where did you buy your leca from? I'm in the UK too and haven't seen it anywhere.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:45 PM
flowerpower flowerpower is offline
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New to semi-hydro - my experience so far

I got it from a hydroponics store, it's very cheap and they always have it in stock. Hydroponics stores are also a good source of hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting roots. The brand I used is called Canna.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:29 AM
chantrelle chantrelle is offline

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New to semi-hydro - my experience so far Female

Thank you so much for taking the time to share you experience with so much details and pictures.

I'm new the Orchids world. I only have two NOID Phal and a Wilsonara Kolibri that I just got when I visited an Orchids nursery last week.

Before, I got my Wilsonara I had read about S/H and I felt I wanted to start with this type of culture for the sympodial orchids. I actually bought it not flowering and growing a new bulb just to try this. (I'll buy flowering Orchids when I go at the Montreal expo this week-end, Phal and hybrids from the Oncidium alliance.)

But when I got home I kind of got to scared to experiment with the S/H and changed my mind. But your post got me back on track I should try this with my Wilsonara.

Most of what I read so far about S/H was on French web site. Is there a specific " How to do S/H " here that you know of ?

Thanks again
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:47 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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The best and most detailed exposition of semi-hydroponic culture is on the First Rays Web site.
It's a dry heat.
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