At one point in my career I traveled extensively, averaging 13 flights a week for 3.5 years. It is very difficult to care for your plants when you’re not there…. Stuff wouldn’t get watered when it was blisteringly hot, and would stay saturated when it was cold and gray, and nothing got repotted in time. That’s when I started experimenting with what I called “semi-hydroponics”.
A Paph was the first plant I tried, and it took off like a rocket, so that encouraged me to try others. All of my plants now - mostly paphs and phrags - are in inorganic media, whether that be LECA in S/H culture, or a mix of LECA and rock wool cubes in more traditional culture.
There are a few caveats
, but you can learn more about it at my website.
Yes, there is a reservoir, so that water can be wicked up in the medium.
There will be some evaporative cooling from the moist, open LECA, so if your temperatures are marginal for warm growers, their root systems may be too cold in S/H.
S/H culture is NOT a good idea for weak plants. Any time you change the potting medium, there will be stress on the plant, and if that “new” is a great deal different from the “old”, the stress is greater.