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Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed.
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2017, 08:45 AM
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empiref empiref is offline
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Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed. Male
Default Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed.

Hello all,

I hope you and your orchids are doing well.

I started growing orchids around 7 years ago, and quickly got introduced to the S/H medium using hydroton.

I have 11 cymbidiums and 10 phalaenopsis growing in S/H. the cyms are growing really well and some of them have 18 to 20 spikes on them.

This year we had a very cold winter, and I noticed that some of my phals are not doing well (all of them date more than 3 years in S/H), I unpotted them all and noticed that on average I have 60% root loss, and some up to 75% root loss and two had 100% root loss.

Don't know if the evaporative cooling caused this or because the hydroton isn't allowing enough oxygen to reach the roots, the pots were big and housed two phals each.

I never had any luck growing in bark; so after some reading and googling, I saw a lot of people growing their phals in full water culture (FWC) - {only 1/4th of the root mass sits in plain water}; so I decided to move all my phals in FWC in order to save them.

My questions are the following:

1- do I keep fertilizing the same way I did when I grew them in S/H? because some people on youtube are say that they soak the orchids in a fertilized mixture for about 15 minutes and then move them back to fresh water after that.
Water Culture

2- has anyone experimented with phals in FWC on this forum and has any advice to give?

3- Isn't full water culture same as S/H but without the Leca, thereby allowing more air to reach the roots

4- for the rootless phals should I use less water in the jars once the roots start forming, meaning the longer the roots, the less the ater?

Thank you all in advance.

















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Old 03-23-2017, 01:57 PM
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Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed. Male
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I haven't used this, but two members of our orchid society do it with success. Your plants, the jars and the water depth look like their plants.

I personally wouldn't try to root a rootless Phal in water like that. I would try to keep it in a warm and humid environment with no water, just humidity. People here have written threads on the "sphag and bag" method of rerooting orchids. You can find them with the Search function in the top maroon menu.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:06 PM
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Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed. Female
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Good afternoon! I have been growing my phals in FWC for about 3 months. I too was having issues with bark in my climate. The best advice I can give you is to give it time. You will have to experiment with the water level to see how they do with it. I put about half of my roots in water and let it evaporate down about an inch then I empty and refill the container. Everything I have read and watched on youtube says that the water level should only be a quarter of your roots, but mine seem to like a lil more.

You may lose some more roots, but they should come back fairly quickly. Also, I use super thrive for my orchids and I use it every time I water/refill the container (at half its recommended dosage)

I hope this helps some! Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:20 PM
Mocres Mocres is offline
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Hi!
All my phals have been in FWC for more than a year. In my climate, bark doesn't work well, it remains wet for too long, and I tried FWC as a desperate measure trying to save a mini-phal with only a tiny root. It was a success, and little by little I passed all my plants to this method, and they are happily growing; the first bloom of the season opened this week, and all the rest have spikes.
For your rootless phal, I'd use less water; it shouldn't touch the base of the plant. Humidity should be enough for it to produce roots.
My approach to fertilizer is different to those people in YouTube. I have a very weak orchid fertilizer (2-2-2) and I use a tiny amount in the water (about two mm in the cap of the bottle, diluted in 1,5 l water) every time I change the water. I leave the orchids in this water, I don't change it. Now and then I use just water. With this regime, I've never had any problems, no roots have "burned" (although some rot when you first put them in water culture), and I get lots of spikes and buds.
The downside is that I get lots of algae growing in the water. It might be because of the fertiliser, or because my phals receive direct sun in the morning (except in summer, when I change them to a different place so that they won't burn). The algae doesn't hurt the plants, it's just ugly to see; I just wash the pots every week or so and change the water.
A final piece of advise, if you use a cane to keep the spike straight, it has to be on the outside of the pot, or it will rot.
Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:22 AM
Joshaeus Joshaeus is offline
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Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed. Male
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I am very pleased I found this post...I was wondering if phals could grow bare root in water. I had been considering putting such a bare root phal in a small fishtank in a west window, so that the roots (or part of them, from reading this thread) are in water but the rest of the plant is not. Probably wouldn't be fertilizing because this IS a fish tank (and most plant fertilizers will kill aquatic life in short order).
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:11 PM
chiirioz chiirioz is offline
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Shift from S/H to full water culture after (FWC), advice needed. Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocres View Post
Hi!
All my phals have been in FWC for more than a year. In my climate, bark doesn't work well, it remains wet for too long, and I tried FWC as a desperate measure trying to save a mini-phal with only a tiny root. It was a success, and little by little I passed all my plants to this method, and they are happily growing; the first bloom of the season opened this week, and all the rest have spikes.


A final piece of advise, if you use a cane to keep the spike straight, it has to be on the outside of the pot, or it will rot.
Good luck!
Hi Mocres, glad to hear that your phals are doing well in FWC. Aesthetically, I love this concept and my 2 fellow admins and I received orchids as an Admins Day gift. Since they are "cheap" mass-market phals, I am doing some experimentation with mine by seeing if it can survive in the office (still in bloom so still going strong). My coworker's dropped all its blooms in a week and she was going to toss it today but I stopped her and took it home.

Removed the moss, snipped and hydrogen peroxide-d the rotting roots and old spike, soaked in kelp/fert for 30 mins and its roots are now submerged a quarter of the way in water.

Any tips on what to expect next or what my next steps should be?

Here's a photo... LINK

Second question - what about a metal stake? A couple of mine are already rusting on the uncoated bottom but would that lead to rust?

Last edited by chiirioz; 05-16-2017 at 08:26 PM..
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