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TheLorax

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I am beginning to notice that a tremendous number of people are choosing to grow their phrags in 100% hydroton or similar.

Why 100% hydroton? What are the perceived or realized benefits of growing phrags in this as opposed to more conventional mixes?

Are there any cons to using 100% hydroton for phrags?
 

Candace

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Are you talking about s/h? There are quite a few threads about it that you can search. Personally, for me they loved, loved, loved growing in spagnum moss. When kept wet they had tremendous root growth. Unfortunately, the moss breaks down while being kept so wet(so do other organic mixes-they simply break down). And they needed repotting after about 8 mos. and would start declining if I didn't do it. Since I have probably over 150 phrags, this became a problem. I switched them all over to hydroton about 4-5 mos. ago. So, I guess the main benefit is the media will never break down and cause the plants any stress.

A negative would be that hydroton doesn't wick water really well and it may take time for plants to adjust.


These were the last of the plants in my collection to transfer over to s/h. Now they're all in it. One big happy jungle.
 

Ron-NY

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I grow many of my Phrags in hydroton. using S/H culture. They do fine but for seedlings, it is to course. It is the only LECA that I can find locally. I also use it as a medium for some Catts
 

philoserenus

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it is the only leca i can find locally too, and so in that case, if we want maintain a good even moisture, would it be good to get the smaller hydrotons and mix it with chc or coconut coir? or if i use t straight and the top appears dry, is that ok? but he cool toronto winters, wouldnt that cause problems? cold and damp?
 

phrag guy

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I use good moss for for most of my phrags,the long petal types I use a mix.
I live a few hours from you and have no problem in the winter. I have hundreds in moss and they love it. It is true the moss does break down. By than they probally should be repotted .
 

NYEric

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there are tons of posts here about the pro's/con's of growing S/H. Personally 90% of the phrags I've received that had problems [fungal/leaf tip burn/root damage, etc] were in S/H. I grow my phrags [besseae hybrids] in mixed media and in water. I dont think plants only have one media in the wild so why should they like one media in cultivation.
 

TheLorax

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I dont think plants only have one media in the wild so why should they like one media in cultivation.
To a certain degree, you just summarized my thoughts. Time restraints? There are a lot of people here who grow considerably more phrags than me. While I may have the time to fiddle around with mediums and re-potting when the medium is spent, others may not.

My biggest concern was for the phrags that tend to like to be kept constantly moist. I kept looking at the hydroton and kept thinking that there was no way that would wick up to my satisfaction and I didn't want to be watering every single day. Candace pretty much confirmed what I was thinking.
 

Candace

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If you're not going to grow them in s/h style with hydroton, I'd highly recommend you put a couple in spag. moss to see how they do. I bet they thrive for you.. Just be prepared to repot often and ignore an ugly algae top layer that forms.
 

TheLorax

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I was pretty set on what to pot them up in and had actually started re-potting them in the mix described at the thread below but began second guessing my original decision to do so when I saw how many people were quite successfully growing their phrags in 100% hydroton.

http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5046
The mix I came up with for most phrags was 1/3 bark, 1/3 hydroton, 1/3 NZ LFS, with a dash of charcoal. I'm leaning toward trying SlipperFan's mix of diatomite, coconut husk chips, and a little sponge rock for the wallisii and the caudatum but going 100% hydroton on them seems logical.

I do intend to let them sit in trays of water though even if it is only 1/4".

I'd like to know how Rick gets live moss to grow on his hydroton?
 

TheLorax

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I'm leaning toward trying SlipperFan's mix of diatomite, coconut husk chips, and a little sponge rock for the wallisii and the caudatum
Yes or no to this gameplan for the caudatum and the wallisii? They evidently don't like to sit in water so my thoughts were to go with a mix that would retain more water??? Is this line of thought incorrect?
 

NYEric

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The hydroton/leca would not retain water, for those that do not like water, this would be OK, the mix you quoted holds water and might drown the roots. [i.e. not god for caudatum] In My Opinion. S/H is supposed to work, as I figure it, by constantly having a reservoir of water, that's why the drain holes are so high in the pot.
 

TheLorax

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I understand hydroton will not retain water. Thoughts were to increase watering on those plants or go with SlipperFan's mix, water less, and don't leave them in a tray of water.
 

SlipperFan

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The nice thing about "my" mix is that you can vary the proportions of diatomite to coconut chips. Wetter loving plants have more coconut chips, and caudatum types have more diatomite. Although diatomite holds water, it never is soggy like bark and chc when they are really wet and start to break down. With diatomite (medium size), the mix is very "chunky" and so lets lots of air get to the roots.

Although I don't use this mix in s/h pots, I don't mind if the pots stand in a little water so it wicks back up into the pot gradually over a day or two. I make sure the trays have been dry for a day or two before I water again.
 
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