Quantcast

My luck with S/H and Phrag. besseae

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

P

PHRAG

Guest
I repotted all of my Phrag. besseae species and hybrids in prime agra, S/H pots, and have been using the S/H growing techniques for about five months.

Today, I unpotted a few of the plants that I wasn't sure were liking the method. Here are my results. Out of 30 besseae species and hybrids...

7 are sending up new growths, but show no signs of new root growth.
8 have new roots growing into the reservoir, but show no new growths.
11 have new roots and new growths, and are not just surviving, but thriving.
4 show no progress at all, but one of these was questionably healthy at purchase.

I also have 5 seedlings temporarily spagged and bagged to promote root growth.

None of the plants above are losing roots to rot, so I guess it is just taking some longer than others to really take hold.

The Phrags that seem to be doing the best for me in S/H are my besseae species and the Jason Fischers.
 

SlipperFan

Addicted
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
43,287
Reaction score
16
Location
Michigan, USA
Interesting. My Phrags seems to do well for a couple of years -- at least most of them. But then they started to deteriorate. Lesson learned? Don't assume that because they are in an inert material, the roots won't rot. So check them at least yearly.
 
P

PHRAG

Guest
SlipperFan said:
Interesting. My Phrags seems to do well for a couple of years -- at least most of them. But then they started to deteriorate. Lesson learned? Don't assume that because they are in an inert material, the roots won't rot. So check them at least yearly.
So do you think the trouble you had was caused by the media not being changed?

My plan is to pull them and repot them every year in freshly rinsed prime agra and clean the pots or replace them entirely.
 
J

Jmoney

Guest
PHRAG said:
So do you think the trouble you had was caused by the media not being changed?

My plan is to pull them and repot them every year in freshly rinsed prime agra and clean the pots or replace them entirely.
I've been repotting annually to remove the dead roots, scrub off the algae, etc. They seem to appreciate the shuffling.
 

Marco

Slipperless member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,002
Reaction score
18
Location
Great Neck - New York
Jmoney said:
I've been repotting annually to remove the dead roots, scrub off the algae, etc. They seem to appreciate the shuffling.
Jason - how long have you been using s/h on your phrags? Also, what media do you use and do you do anything to them during your annual shuffling?
 

Heather

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
10,484
Reaction score
16
Location
Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
PHRAG said:
The Phrags that seem to be doing the best for me in S/H are my besseae species and the Jason Fischers.
Interesting, John. Thanks.
I was going to ask if your besseaes sulked but mine look so crappy and sulky right now I guess it really doesn't matter. :(

Jason - ditto on Marco's questions.
 

SlipperFan

Addicted
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
43,287
Reaction score
16
Location
Michigan, USA
PHRAG said:
So do you think the trouble you had was caused by the media not being changed?

My plan is to pull them and repot them every year in freshly rinsed prime agra and clean the pots or replace them entirely.
I don't know if that was the cause or not. The ones that were doing well went back into S/H, but the ones whose roots seemed to not like being wet all the time went into a chunky, drier mix. The hybrids with long-petalled parents mostly didn't do well, but some of the besseae-type hybrids also were with rotting roots. A couple of the besseaes were doing well, but a couple weren't. Go figure... It just pays to check periodically.
 

Marco

Slipperless member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,002
Reaction score
18
Location
Great Neck - New York
Heather said:
Interesting, John. Thanks.
I was going to ask if your besseaes sulked but mine look so crappy and sulky right now I guess it really doesn't matter. :(
Is the sulking permanent or do they recover? If they do recove does it take long?
 

Heather

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
10,484
Reaction score
16
Location
Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
They recover. I have to say I have had less sulking since I learned to grow them. ;) Just make sure to water enough after repotting. I think that was my biggest mistake (speaking of a traditional bark seedling mix here).
 

Ray

Orchid Iconoclast
Staff member
Moderator
ST Supporter
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
3,356
Reaction score
281
Location
Oak Island NC
Interesting observations, but quite different from mine, which suggests that how well the plants grow in S/H may not be due to semi-hydroponics, per se, but to some other aspect of how we're doing S/H. It is also possible that the results are totaly unrelated to S/H - who's to say what the results would have been had the identical plants been grown more traditionally, or if they had been grown in S/H but with some of the other cultural parameters being different?

I have noticed that some plants jump into high-gear growth upon being repotted, whether into S/H or otherwise. Maybe that's some sort of natural response to being disturbed and wanting to get reestablished???

Likewise, some plants really do like to fill the pots with roots before putting on new vegetative growth.

Semi-hydroponics is merely the use of a constant reservoir of nutrient solution and an inert medium. There are a helluva lot of other parameters that affect plant growth - water quality, temperature, humidity, light, nutrient chemistry and the stability of that chemistry, but to name a few - and slippers tend to be fussier about them than a lot of other plants.

I've been at the S/H game a lot lnger than anyone else, and I still have issues growing plants in it that others find to be like falling off of a log. Why? Because S/H is not magic, it's just an alternative culture method. For me, slippers are "no-brainers". Stick 'em in the pot and walk away.

Oh yeah... Roots die and decompose under any culture. They're living tissue and they will naturally die and be replaced. As they decompose, they provide nutrition to the plant, and in my experience, in S/H culture, the non-soluble components will wash out with proper watering.
 
J

Jmoney

Guest
I used a modified s/h method in which I put regular pots into small trays of water. multiple plants in each tray. yes it is a risk for disease but if you quarantine/screen new acquisitions appropriately it is less of an issue. the wicking mechanism is similar but the reservoir is not in individual pots but in the tray itself.

I use prime-agra and mix in around 20% charcoal. why? I don't know, I've always thrown some charcoal into my mixes. once a year I clean house, shaking most of the media off the roots, and scrubbing the pots. the old media is semi-sterilized. for most plants there is some amount of dead material (roots) that is removed, and since I use clear pots there can be a considerable amount of algae (which I think is detrimental to the roots if it grows into thick mats).

have been using this method for phrags for 4 years. I have a bunch of besseae hybrids, Eric Young, Don Wimber, Hanne Popow, Jason Fischer, etc that root like mad. Ditto with some long-petalled hybrids, Grande, Nitidissimum, Paul Eugene Conroy. I heard some people don't have much success with s/h & phrags, but they go nuts for me and it would take a lot for me to switch to anything else.
 

Heather

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
10,484
Reaction score
16
Location
Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
Jmoney said:
Ditto with some long-petalled hybrids, Grande, Nitidissimum, Paul Eugene Conroy...
Hmmm, I wonder if that might be an option for me and my long petaled species Phrags - to grow them as Jon in SW Ohio does - in Prime Agra but in a regular aircone pot instead of an S/H pot with a resevoir. I really need to repot those guys, it has been two years and they have filled the pots w/ roots. Once the lindenii is done blooming, I need to make a decision and be ready to move on it.

If I am going to go with S/H for everything else, I'd at least be happier if they all used the same media.
 

bwester

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
1,238
Reaction score
0
What if you made your own s/h pot and made the resevoir at the bottom a whole lot smaller. Then you could let it dry out a bit more and still not be watering every other day.
 
C

couscous74

Guest
I've done that with plants that I want to dry out faster. I melt* the holes a little lower in the pot so the reservoir holds less water. Just a few millimeters can make quite a difference.
Heather, I find dumping out works too, but if you are looking for ease-of-watering than adjusting the holes is the better way to go in the long run. If you have 20 pots to adjust, it would take too long. This way, you can just pour away into the pots and let the humidity trays catch your waste water.

*I use a soldering iron that I picked up from Home Depot for $8-9 because a decent drill set woulda cost me about 10 times that.
 

SlipperFan

Addicted
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
43,287
Reaction score
16
Location
Michigan, USA
Ray said:
Interesting observations, but quite different from mine, which suggests that how well the plants grow in S/H may not be due to semi-hydroponics, ... in S/H culture, the non-soluble components will wash out with proper watering.
Very interesting, Ray B. What do you mean by "proper watering." I don't have a greenhouse, so no hose to fill up the pots to the top, nor floor to catch the overflow. I just water until it comes out of the holes.
 

Marco

Slipperless member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,002
Reaction score
18
Location
Great Neck - New York
Jmoney said:
the old media is semi-sterilized.
Hey Jason thanks for the great info. I have one more question,if thats ok with you of course.

How do you sterilize and what do you use?
 
J

Jmoney

Guest
Marco said:
Hey Jason thanks for the great info. I have one more question,if thats ok with you of course.

How do you sterilize and what do you use?
ask away! (as long as you realize I am NOT a s/h expert but rather just some mofo who uses a form of s/h).

I just run scalding hot water through the media and scrub off any obvious algae deposits, and then run enough water through to rinse off the assorted debris. I doubt that is a "real" sterilization though. My large bag of prime-agra came with instructions for sterilization that involved a bleach solution and many rinses afterwards--don't have the concentration offhand though...
 
D

Dee

Guest
SlipperFan said:
Very interesting, Ray B. What do you mean by "proper watering." I don't have a greenhouse, so no hose to fill up the pots to the top, nor floor to catch the overflow. I just water until it comes out of the holes.
I think he means to fill the whole pot up with water and let it flush out. This way the media on the top part gets moistened too. It helps with the wicking process. Place the plant over a bucket with a rack on it, place your finger over the holes on the lower side, fill up the pot, then remove your finger from the holes. At least that how I have to do it growing indoors also.
 
Top