Semi Hydro is working !!

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Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2006
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North East Tennessee, Z6 , Sunroom, flourecent lig
Paph Michael Koopowitz reaching for the reservoir !

Paph spicerianum in the reservoir !!

These have been in SH for a little over a month...hydroton is the medium.
wow, that's great, and so quickly. My michael koopowitz seems to be liking semi-hydro as well.
Questions, do the pots you are using have any holes in them or are the intact like a cup??? If they are a cup, how often do you check the water level? If there are holes ( in base???) what water level do you keep in the tray they are in please.
Roy said:
Questions, do the pots you are using have any holes in them or are the intact like a cup??? If they are a cup, how often do you check the water level? If there are holes ( in base???) what water level do you keep in the tray they are in please.
Yes, the cups have 2 holes like most semi hydro growers use...the holes are a little over an inch from the bottom....I check my orchids way too often...:rollhappy: but the "rocks" seem to be staying moist for about a week in this size. If I see it getting low I add more...I don't let them go dry .I am sure as it gets hotter I will see a change.
Now if MK will just bloom !!:wink:
Do you think the same results will be achieve by just using normal pots in a tray of water.? I have a Phrag in Hydroton in a squat pot in a saucer of water that seems very happy.
Roy said:
Sorry Gilda, meant to ask, are the cups for Hydroponics with the holes or something different and you put the holes in.
A lot of people grow with their pots sitting in water ,and they do great so I sure yours will succeed. For my conditions that is not feasible, I do not want that much mositure in my house...I have to run a dehumidifer in the winter or my windows drip after I water !!
My cups are deli cups..plastic drinking cups..anything can be used that you can get the holes in..I have seen plastic paint buckets, dishpans etc etc used ...

I will add my 2 cents worth.

I use either hydroton or prim-agra. Some people prefer prim-agra but I can get hydroton locally. I don't like to pay to ship rocks. When I need to repot, I boil the old medium, using a bit of physan 20, to make sure they are safe to reuse. I have even used regular bleach. After it is clean, I let them dry and then just dump them into a plastic container. When I want to reuse it, I soak it for several hours or overnight with KLN. I have both paphs and phrags in it and they do just great. The phrags especially love the S/H method. I do have a handful of other orchids in it also. I have been using this method for almost 2 years.

The very large pots (8 inch) I buy from First Ray but the smaller ones I make myself. I use either the plastic cups I get at Costco or what I find at a store that sells the 1 quart deli containers. In a pinch I have asked for a couple from the deli in the grocery store. They always sell me a few at a cheap price. I try to find the clear plastic cups that rather thick.

I use an electric drill to put the holes in. I found a bit which makes perfectly round holes at Lowes , but that really isn't necessary, a regualr bit works also. I just like my holes to be round......I'm just a fussy old lady I guess.

Some of my in bloom slippers are pictured in the thread 'Orchid Jungle'. You can see that they bloom well for me in S/H.

Please enlighten this dull person...what is KLN? :confused:

What size hydroton do you both use? I read it comes in small, medium and large. I can find a source for large (20 mm) this too large?
Back during my s/h experimenting days, I used to make the pots by unfurling a paper clip and heating the end of the wire until it was red hot and then just melt/cut a hole in the plastic.
I use a dremel with a 1/4 hole attachment. Makes perfect holes everytime. And no fumes.

I only have 3 plants in S/H, but they are doing really well. I think I should try more this summer.

Hmmmm....I'm still not impressed with SH, even though I now top off only with fertilizer change from when I just topped off with plain water. I have also noticed that the plants that are doing well with SH, seem to mainly just grow roots. My Phal schilleriana, which has made the best root growth of any SH plant, has not actually produced any new leaves at all in the entire time its been in SH....Take care, Eric
Thanks Gilda, the pots shouldn't be a problem but PrimeAgra is, we don't have it here. The Hydroton is available and one wholesalers has it in 3 sizes,
4-8mm, 8-16mm & larger. The one that is closest for pick has one size 8-16mm. They sell to Commercial growers and Hydroponic shops, 40 bags
( one pallet) minimum order. I could probably use a fair amount of those 40 bags in a repotting but the cost might bend the wallet too much. Reason, over 1000 Paphs & Phrags to do.
Thanks Gilda. I'm happy to get a source for the larger 64 oz container. I expect to order some. Thanks again.

I had never had anything in S/H until I bought a phrag like that last year, and it is so happy in there. I'm definitely switching over the rest of my phrags. :)