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  #1  
Old 01-17-2017, 06:58 PM
smokinjoe1952 smokinjoe1952 is offline
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Overwatering issues with s/h? Male
Default Overwatering issues with s/h?

I am using the Leni 2 pot system with water gauges. I un-potted one of my Phals that was not looking too good, and saw what you see in the attached pic. This Phal was re-potted into s/h in June of 2016.

I water to the "OPTIMUM" level on the gauges about every 2-4 days, so the water usually does not drop to the MIN. level.

Wanting to obviously solve this problem (looks like it is happening on a couple other Phals) I selected a 4" pot and measured the pot height at 4 5/8". The water level at MIN., OPT., and MAX., is 1/2", 1 1/2" and 2" respectively.

This means that at the OPTIMUM level on the gauge, the water fills the pot 1/3 of total pot height.

That seems like WAY too much water, and am now thinking that "can't over water" using s/h really only applies to the pots where the holes are no more that 1" up from the bottom.


Grow chamber Stats:

Temp range 68N - 78D
Rel. Hum. 55% - 65%
LED lighting for 12 hours/day
Jacks fertilizer every watering at recommended dosage.
Rays discontinued SOLO once per month at recommended dosage. (No Jacks when using SOLO)

I am looking for opinions on this, and what watering regimen others use for the 2 pot system with gauge.

Is there anything else that could cause this?

Thanks,

Smokinjoe
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2017, 12:42 AM
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My best guess is the lower roots are dying as expected after moving to S/H, and the rest of the roots aren't getting enough water.

A little more information please... Has the plant made any new roots since you put it into that pot? When you say you water to the "optimum" level, does that mean you completely fill the pot to the brim then let it drain down, or does that mean you add just enough water so it reaches the "optimum" level?

I might guess the dark and slippery roots are the old ones it had when you repotted, and the ones nearer the leaves are newer? It's normal and expected for all the old roots to die eventually after moving to S/H.

If you're not filling the entire pot to the brim and letting it drain down, and the water doesn't wick all the way up to the surface, the roots at the top might not every get watered. This might lead to dessicated leaves.

I don't think Phal roots would generally do well in the reservoir, but if they decide to grow into there, they might.
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Old 01-18-2017, 01:39 AM
smokinjoe1952 smokinjoe1952 is offline
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ES,

1. It has made a number of air roots, but I don't think any new roots in the LECA. MAYBE the green ones you see are new since last June.

2. Not sure what you mean by "drain down" in this system. There is the inner pot with the gauge, and the outer pot reservoir. Nothing "drains down" with this system. The water gauge tells you how much water to add.

3. I do empty and clean the outer pot and thoroughly flush the inner pot and LECA with luke warm tap water every month.

4. The roots should look MUCH better after being in s/h since June...right?
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Old 01-18-2017, 01:48 AM
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I suspect the roots near the top are getting next to no water, and that is why your plant is suffering. Can you tell whether the upper layers of your LECA are damp some days after watering?

The traditional method of growing in S/H involves completely filling the entire pot, to the rim, at each watering, then letting the water run out the holes, leaving some in the reservoir at the bottom of the pot. All the LECA becomes wet with each watering.

After watering, the wet-dry interface gradually falls in the pot unless ambient humidity is very high. The upper layers of LECA are relatively dry, and the only roots obtaining water are deeper in the pot. In lower humidity it is a good idea to water more often, so roots in the upper layers of LECA get wet more often.

In humid conditions water continues to wick up to reach all the roots, but in drier conditions this may not happen. If you are not soaking all the LECA at each watering, the top layers are not getting any water from wicking in your relatively low humidity.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2017, 02:35 AM
smokinjoe1952 smokinjoe1952 is offline
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Not sure about how far down the leca is damp. I thought the single pot and 2 pot systems were, from a successful growing perspective, quite similar. I have read everything on the single pot system, but chose the 2 pot system for third party care of the plants when we are away.

Still, the bottom line as far as I can tell, is that in the single pot system the water level NEVER gets as high as the OPTIMUM water gauge level in the 2 pot system. My assumption is that this is too much water, exacerbated by my filling it back up every 2-3 days. I am going to start filling to half-way between MIN and OPT and let the system almost dry down before re-watering. Don't know what else to try at this point.

Do any you readers know anybody using the 2 pot system that I am using? I thought it was WAY more popular than it seems to be. It would be great to get in contact with someone successfully using it.

-Smokinjoe
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:43 AM
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SJ: you are correct that with the pots of my design, you cannot overwater, as there is an upper limit to the liquid level. Personally, I dislike the inner/outer pots primarily because of the ability to overfill them, drowning the roots, and the fact that they encourage simply "topping up" the liquid level, rather than replacing it at each watering.

The levels on the gauge are meaningless. If you have chosen the pot correctly, and potted the plant appropriately , the "best" liquid level is about 1/4" below the deepest roots, whatever the gauge may say.
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Old 01-18-2017, 11:47 AM
smokinjoe1952 smokinjoe1952 is offline
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Thanks Ray for the feedback. I gather what you are saying is:

1. YES - Looks like your Phal was over-watered.

2. A reduction in the fill level is warranted. And probably letting the water level fall more between waterings.

3. Water 1" inch below the lowest roots is ideal, but there is no way to judge that regardless of the 1 pot or 2 pot system.

I am not sure how you tell when to water in the 1 opaque pot method.

-Smokinjoe
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Old 01-18-2017, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinjoe1952 View Post
?...Water 1" inch below the lowest roots is ideal, but there is no way to judge that regardless of the 1 pot or 2 pot system.



I am not sure how you tell when to water in the 1 opaque pot method.



-Smokinjoe

I don't know that 1" is "ideal," but that would be fine.

The point is that you should never pot the plant up with its roots submerged, as they will drown. If you pot up the plant with the lowest roots above the reservoir, and they subsequently grow down into it, that's fine. In fact, I expect it to happen. Roots that grow into the reservoir will grow optimally for that submerged environment.

With the pots of my design, if you potted it properly, and the plant has gotten its "S/H roots," you can water it whenever you please. If you see the plant is wrinkling, and you're not growing it too cool, start watering it more often.
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Old 01-18-2017, 07:43 PM
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Pictures or diagram of the pot in question will help the rest of us understand better.

For a quicker fix, just pot up using a Ray-style pot. They are easy to make.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:41 PM
smokinjoe1952 smokinjoe1952 is offline
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Pic attached.

Other than differences in maintenance, both 1 and 2 pot systems are plants in LECA sitting in water. I am trying to determine if my water levels might be too high, and not allowing it to fall much before re-watering is causing my Phals to suffer.

It would be easy enough to only fill my pots with 1" of water, and empty the reservoir before watering again as I don't have that many plants. (16-18)

SJ

BTW - I am the old SMOKINJOE52. I forgot my password, and reset it, but never got the email with my new password. Tried several times. I was stuck for several days, so opened a new account.
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