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Survey of S/H Growers - Repotting

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How often do you repot your plants in S/H?

  • Once a year

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15

Heather

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I was thinking the other day that in May (I know, a ways off) it will be a year since many of my plants were moved over to S/H.

Other than a fair amount of algae in some of the pots, though root growth in many has been very good, I wouldn't say a lot of the plants necessarily will *need* repotting for that reason. Is it a good idea to remove the plants, clean the media and the pots and repot back into the same, or do most people just leave well enough alone?

I have found that, growing in other media, my plants have always seemed to enjoy repotting, so I wonder if that's another reason to repot or if it might be different in S/H.

So, I'd like to know how often our S/H growers repot, and their primary reason for doing so.

Thanks!
 

NYEric

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I don't know if my unothodox hydro. method counts but I plan on repotting when the plants get so big or when the media breaks down. A lot of my Phrags are seedlings so I will do a bunch of them as they grow [soon]. Then, unfortunately, I'll have space issuesdue to bigger pots and lots o' plants! The Paphs I will repot soon, as I just got my order from Kelly's Korner [shameless plug], and have a couple of nights free per week. I think for typical s/h method it wouldn't hurt to freshen the media as long as you don't break the roots. Cheers!
 
C

Cinderella

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For me personally I repot if I see any decline, that is obvious. Otherwise if things are moving along, I don't repot Phrags and Paphs that often but I do check every 2 years because I just want to see what is going on down there. I also wash off the media in case there are any accumulated salts, altho flushing is supposed to get rid of that, get rid of the algae too while I'm at it.

However in Phals especially I think it is important to repot much sooner because a lot of the roots rot and I like to clean them up. I try to repot after about 6 months but it doesn't always happen.

I was going to ask this question too, Heather, about Paphs since they don't like to be disturbed.
 

Ron-NY

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I only repot my S/H plants when the pot size warrants it. I don't use clear pots to avoid an algae problem. I find it is totally impossible to remove the medium, without damaging roots, due to the amount of root growth and some genera attach thier roots to the pellets. Being it is an inorganic medium, it never breaks down. Repotting and removal of the medium breaks roots and slows down the plant.
 
P

Park Bear

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I the same as most above, I repot only when I have to. I usually flush the clay in a bucket of water or under a hose outside and then repot.
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
I have found that, growing in other media, my plants have always seemed to enjoy repotting, so I wonder if that's another reason to repot or if it might be different in S/H.
The reason they enjoy repotting is because the new fresh mix is an improvement over the old decayed mix. With leca you don't have that situation. Since you use clear pots there is no reason to repot unless you see a problem starting. One future problem you might foresee is that the pot is getting really full of roots, then you may want to repot into a larger pot so the root mass does not fill up all of the air space between the pebbles. Maintaining the open space in the media is important with the wet S/H culture.
 

Leo Schordje

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I am not sold on semi-hydro results so far are no better than my results in a bark mix. I need to repot just as often, if not more often due to algae growth. Roots seem short lived. Nice roots grow, then die, rot, and new roots take their place. Curious.
 
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Cinderella

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Maybe Leo because you have really good conditions and grow lots of healthy roots. Then, as Lance said, there is insufficient air because the abundance of roots creates insufficient air flow. This is just a kooky theory. I guess moving up to a larger container would take care of that issue? Maybe someone more experienced w/ s/h can weigh in.
 

Heather

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This has been an interesting thread. What I was thinking I would (not repot across the board) has been confirmed. Thanks, but keep the answers coming if there are more of you.

Does anyone else add anything to their water to help control algae? I'm always reticent, though I see it suggested occasionally.
 

gonewild

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Leo Schordje said:
I am not sold on semi-hydro results so far are no better than my results in a bark mix. I need to repot just as often, if not more often due to algae growth. Roots seem short lived. Nice roots grow, then die, rot, and new roots take their place. Curious.
Maybe this process of short lived roots is taking place in regular media as well. Just that the decaying roots are not as visible in the regular media as in the S/H? Do you notice if the decayed roots from your s/h pots have been down in the water reservoir?

I don't think the S/H method of growing will be any better than growing in regular media if you are managing regular media properly. I do think the S/H method makes it easier to manage fertilizer and water requirements.

I actually think the best use of the leca media would be in regular drainage pots as opposed to using the water reservoir. Then you could water the plants a couple times per day. But that would require a lot of attention and care :)
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
This has been an interesting thread. What I was thinking I would (not repot across the board) has been confirmed. Thanks, but keep the answers coming if there are more of you.

Does anyone else add anything to their water to help control algae? I'm always reticent, though I see it suggested occasionally.
I would not add any chemical to control algae on a regular basis. Such additives could easily lead to disaster.

What harm is the algae is doing in the pots?
 
J

johnndc

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With no proof at all to back me up, I'm one of those who thinks the algae is a sign of life in my pots. My best semi-hydro plants, with tons of roots, are the messiest in terms of algae. I have a catt that's going on a good 18 months now, and it has FILLED the pot with roots, down into the reservoir, and they're not dying. I will probably have to repot that one soon, the roots have fllled it. Otherwise, as someone else noted, I only repot when I notice something wrong with the plant - or if it's a plant that I'm not convinced is taking to semi-hydro, then I unpot to have a peek (and so far, have been pleasantly surprised with most since I got my lights). But I could imagine the algae becoming a problem if it REALLY got thick. Then again, as I said, I have roots underwater and it's not like they get a lot of air :)
 

gonewild

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johnndc said:
With no proof at all to back me up, I'm one of those who thinks the algae is a sign of life in my pots. My best semi-hydro plants, with tons of roots, are the messiest in terms of algae. I have a catt that's going on a good 18 months now, and it has FILLED the pot with roots, down into the reservoir, and they're not dying. I will probably have to repot that one soon, the roots have fllled it. Otherwise, as someone else noted, I only repot when I notice something wrong with the plant - or if it's a plant that I'm not convinced is taking to semi-hydro, then I unpot to have a peek (and so far, have been pleasantly surprised with most since I got my lights). But I could imagine the algae becoming a problem if it REALLY got thick. Then again, as I said, I have roots underwater and it's not like they get a lot of air :)
You do have proof to back you up! Your stated observation "My best semi-hydro plants, with tons of roots, are the messiest in terms of algae."

I agree with you about algae. I'm not even sure thick algae would be a problem. After all algae produces oxygen so it is actually adding oxygen to the root area, is it not?

I would like to know if there is a valid reason to eliminate it.
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
My biggest. only? Issue with algae is it blocks the drainage holes and I have to pluck it out.

Other than that I am concerned it precludes me from seeing good root growth.
Blocking the drainage holes is a good concern. Does it actually block the holes to the point where the water won't drain or just slow down the flow?
Even so I think it would be better to pluck it out than use an algaecide. just chalk it up to "Quality Family Time".

When you have so much algae growing that you can't see the root growth do you often find bad roots?

Is there a correlation between algae growth and root quality?
 

Tony

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gonewild said:
I actually think the best use of the leca media would be in regular drainage pots as opposed to using the water reservoir. Then you could water the plants a couple times per day. But that would require a lot of attention and care :)
That is how I grow mine, LECA in clear aircone pots. Results have been good so far, and I have found that watering every 2-3 days is sufficient. The best part of it is that I no longer have to worry about root rot during the times that we get daily rain.

I have noticed some algae growth in a few pots, but it's too soon to say if it has any effect on the plants, good or bad. I remember reading that algae releases nutriens as it grows, and of course also releases oxygen, so I doubt it would cause any harm.
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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Its too soon for me to participate in the survey, as none of my SH plants have grown enough to even consider repotting...but I have yet to find any algae in my pots or on the rocks....Take care, Eric
 
J

johnndc

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Catt transplated into semi-hydro, July 2005.



Same catt, today. Lots of algae, yet roots not dying - at least not the roots on the outside.




 
J

johnndc

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Well, I wasn't thinking that it mattered for slippers in s/h vs. other roots, but then again, catt roots might be hardier :) Otherwise, I was just trying to illustrate the point that lots of goo in semi-hydro doesn't per se mean bad roots. :)
 

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