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Hydroponics and orchids

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PHRAG

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Has anyone here tried hydroponically growing orchids? Care to share your experiences?

I am currently growing all my plants in semi-hydroponics. This is the use of an inert media, in this case Prime Agra, and plastic pots to hold a small reservoir of water in case you didn't know. : )

I bought a top-down, drip watering system to use while I will be away from my plants for a few days. Once I get it set up, I will be growing my phrags hydroponically, if only for a few days.

Depending on how well it works, I may leave it hooked up long term.
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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To be honest...s/h IS hydroponics. There are many ways to grow hydroponically from rockwool cubes floating in a tank, an ebb and flow table, an uber 1337 rotating six chamber setup with spray nozzles that holds the plants and mists the roots on a timer, or even a pot of prime agra with a small resevoir...all hydroponics.

Dictionary.com definition:
hy?dro?pon?ics?
the cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil; soilless growth of plants.

Jon
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PHRAG

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Ok Jon, you are right.

I was trying to be less than technical, because it has been remarked to me by more than one board member, that our discussions can be too technical, bordering on nerdy. I don't want to push this thread into discussion of PPM meters and PH levels, and whether or not the density of Prime Agra provides better wicking action.:)

I also wanted to refer to Ray Barkalow's trademarked "Semi-Hydroponics" term because I know if I agree with you, that this method is actually just passive subirrigation hydroponics, he will come in here and lay the smackdown on my ass, and I buy all my supplies from him so I can't afford to piss him off. :)

I am not even going to fight your definition of hydroponics. While I find it interesting that the father of hydroponics, William Frederick Gerick, fought to have the term hydroponics define only those systems that didn't use media to support the plant, I don't believe someone who pioneered the science has the right to dictate its future. After all, anyone who grows in spaghnum is growing hydroponically by definition, right? :)

So, I am going to attempt to grow my plants in a hydroponic, top irrigation system for a few days to keep my plants alive. If it works out, I may try it long term.

Has anyone else used a hydroponics system to grow orchids? Did it work? What system would you try if you had the time and money?
 

littlefrog

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I grew a few plants in a purely aqueous solution several years ago. If I recall, I used large pickle jars. Hardest part was figuring out a way to keep the plant from sinking, but after that, it worked. Best looking phalaenopsis type dendrobium I've ever grown (I can't grow them normally). Jars grew algae like crazy, dumped them out entirely once a month or so, but otherwise just topped them off.
 

NYEric

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I consider my set-up semi hydroponic because I use regular growing mediums [bark, coconut chips, charcoal, diatomous earth, aliflor, sphagnum] but flow water continuously through the pots. A set-up is pretty cheap [$6.99 for a plastic tray, a couple of bucks worth of plastic lighting 'egg crate', $25 for a Fluval 1 aquarium filter/pump, and Voila!] The most expensive part is the set-up for R.O. water. I found out, when it got clogged, that I'm using about 5 gallons of water per day and at $1.39 + tax per gallon the R.O. filter system pays for itself in a couple of months. In my coop apartment the electricity and water are included in the maintenance so pumps and lights can be run to excess. This system was described to me by one of the judges at the GNYOS show and the roots growing into the water show the plants agree with it. E.
 

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