Monday, August 24, 2009

Appeasing the Orchids

My poor orchid plants have not been doing well as I would like. I can't figure out how much to or not to water them. So, I'm trying semi-hydro. I bought and soaked fired clay pellets. I found good clear-ish containers to turn in to semi-hydro.

I cut off the tops of the bottles I was using, filled with pellets, placed in the orchid plant (I soaked them in water to try to remove as much of the old potting mix as possible), added more pellets.

I poked several holes in the pots about one inch up. This is the water reservoir and overflow. The big orchid is my newish Sharry Baby. It is what I am most concerned about.

It has two bloom spikes and I can't wait for the blooms!!! I put these in my bathroom, they get perfect light there. And now, hopefully, perfect water. We.will.see.

From Garden Web:
s/h and semi-hydro are shortened terms for semi-hydroponics, a method of growing plants using a non-organic medium. Because it is not an ebb and flow method, it isn't true hydroponics. Common materials used as a growing medium are LECA (clay pellets), Aliflor, Primeagra, and sponge rock.

Probably the most common material is the clay pellets. The plant is planted in a container which has a reservoir, usually a plastic pot with holes approximately 1" up from the bottom of the pot on the side, or Misco or Misco-type self-watering pots. The clay pellets wick the moisture up so that the roots of the plant receive constant moisture without drowning it.

In preparation, the pellets are soaked prior to potting up. Some pellets are placed in a pot, tamped down by shaking the pot. The plant is then held over the pot with the roots about 1/3 to 1/2 down the pot. More pellets are placed in the pot. The plant is then watered. When the reservoir is emptied, the plant is watered again. Once a month the pot is flushed by running water through it to rid the pot of excess salts/fertilizers.


Darla said...

This is interesting...curious to see how it works for you.

Gail said...

I see your green thumb glowing.

Zaroga said...

That is so interesting. Always nice to learn new things.

Have a great day, Carla.

Nola said...

Haven't had time to read blogs in almost 2 weeks; am catching up today.
I love this idea, I've never seen those clay pellets. What a neat concept!

Dianna said...

Whoa. I'm so impressed! You must really have a green thumb. I'm completely intimidated by orchids.