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  #1  
Old 02-13-2018, 08:20 AM
bogdan bogdan is offline
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Picking through a bag of LECA Male
Default Picking through a bag of LECA

Would one have a better chance at growing in s/h if the LECA particles are to be sorted by size? I have a huge bag of 8-16 mm but many of them are more 8 mm than 16 mm, so quite a water-retentive medium. I used this before and at some point the roots would rather grow in open air than going down into the pot, even though I flushed regularly. I am thinking that the air-water ratio was imbalanced due to particle size.
So basically the oncidium intergenerics would get the smaller ones and cattleya the bigger particles.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:17 AM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Smile Sorting LECA by size

Well, no one is giving thoughts yet, so here's my

The short answer is no, it wouldn't improve your ability to grow something in S/H by sorting out 8 vs 16 mm. That's an insignificant difference, measurement-wise.

And it isn't bad to have larger vs smaller media in the same pot... it just means smaller and larger voids in the media. Kind of like mixing small and medium bark together, then adding bits of sphagnum, LECA, or stones or what-have-you to the mix.

I'm no S/H expert, but I have numerous different genera of orchids growing/blooming in non-sorted LECA for around eight or so years.

You may be over-thinking on that one. No offense intended. Growing something successfully in S/H has more to do with your own particular care/culture.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:45 PM
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Arguably, I have more experience with S/H culture than anyone, and I agree that it is a waste of time to sort sizes or get rid of broken pellets.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:02 PM
bogdan bogdan is offline
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Thank you for the replies. It's not about my abilities to grow, which don't lack, but the overall well-being of plants. It is also not the first time that someone is complaining about roots not going into the s/h media, therefore I thought it's worth to ask.

I will not sieve or do anything about it
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:05 PM
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Roots not growing down into the LECA is, more often than not, due to it being too dry.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:12 AM
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Default Aerial roots in S/H

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdan View Post
Thank you for the replies. It's not about my abilities to grow, which don't lack, but the overall well-being of plants. It is also not the first time that someone is complaining about roots not going into the s/h media, therefore I thought it's worth to ask.

I will not sieve or do anything about it
Oh, wasn't questioning your ability to grow. Was saying it depends on one's own micro-climate and growing style. For example, in my home in winter I can't keep humidity up high enough for my mounted orchids to do well unless I have them in my basement.

Ones I have in S/H do okay in the sunroom, but the dry line rapidly falls too far down. But many of those in S/H are more warmth loving. So that gives me the option of having upstairs and vigilantly watching the dry line, or keeping in basement and trying to tweak up their temp.

As Ray, the S/H guru says, I find more issue with aerial roots when my ambient humidity is lower, i.e., LECA dries out faster. After growing a particular orchid in MY conditions, it becomes apparent after awhile how much I want to fuss with either a S/H approach, mount approach, bark based media, or something modified in between them.

If you have lots of aerial roots in S/H, it's very possible you just need to tweak it, if you want a particular plant in that culture. Some folks use a layer of sphagnum on top, or a clear "lid" over top of LECA. Not sure how to explain that one, but elsewhere on the forum someone does a great job explaining.

Mostly I'm just darned excited to have Ray agree with me.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:09 AM
DerekE DerekE is offline
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Picking through a bag of LECA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Roots not growing down into the LECA is, more often than not, due to it being too dry.
Hi Ray,

If it is too dry, would't a uniform size be able to wick water better (in a dry climate)? I imagine that huge gaps from uneven size may cause these dry spots.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:40 AM
bogdan bogdan is offline
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I tend to agree that the smaller particles will fill the gaps and aid in wicking (more surface area contact). At the same time it may cut a bit from the air supply, and that is why I asked. Perhaps the bigger spaces will allow the thick Cattleyas' roots to bury themselves into the reservoir easier.

I am trying two different LECA brands and they do indeed wick differently.

Last edited by bogdan; 03-06-2018 at 07:42 AM..
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