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 Post subject: Hydroton clay pebbles.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:36 pm 
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Dear Orchid friend,

Has anyone got experience with hydroton clay pebbles.
Can we use for Phals, Oncidiums and dendrobiums.

I am new to orchid growing.
Hope someone will be able to share their experiences.
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:25 am 
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Yes they work perfect.
Just make a semi hydroponic pot.

Some of the roots will rot away when you start, but new roots will form.
Then you will have more and faster growth then you would in normal pots.

Beware of the temperature in winter time. When the water in the pot evaporates it lowers the temperature around the roots.
If they get to cool they can rot. A window sill can be to cool in the winter.



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:35 pm 
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Thank you Olea for the information.
That was of great help.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Couldn't live without them.

Everything I have is in them now. There are a small number of plants that I'm thinking about moving back into 'regular' mixes but that won't, if ever, be until spring next year.
Paphs, Pleione, Cyps, Cymbs, Odonts, Mazdies and a lot of Catts - all in Hydroton clay pebbles (or cat litter).

I'm particularly pleased with the Catts this year (switched them last year). So much 'honey' on the new growth that I could spread it on my toast. That has to be a good sign.

The only problem I have found is with semi-hydro. In Winter the pots began to smell of rancid water so now they are all in 'regular' pots sitting in a tray of water over the growing season. Come Winter they will just get watered as any other plant (away from the tray system).

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Anyone got a bit of Rhynchostele (Amparoa, Lemboglossum, Odontoglossum ...??) cervantesii that needs a new home?



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Thank you HUD357. I have changed few of my phals, oncidiums and dens three wks ago.
I am pleased with root growth. I am using clear glass vase without holes.
so I am keeping an close eye on each.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:44 pm 
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I visited wilko yesterday, could not resist the mini phals in offer, £1 each. got 7 of them. I am very happy, used hydroten media. All looking healthy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:00 pm 
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HUD357 wrote:
all in Hydroton clay pebbles (or cat litter)


Do you use cat litter? Doesn't it clump together when wet?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:01 pm 
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No, I use Aqua clay pebbles - got it from Amazon.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:34 pm 
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hihihi, I was asking HUD357



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:25 am 
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Hi i tried this stuff a few years ago with disastrous results.It not only absorbs water but salts from feed build up in it and they are difficult to wash out.You will find they go whitish after a while and the root tips of the orchid go black.Clay pebbles are fine on the humidity bench under the plants but i would be careful about potting plants in it.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:34 pm 
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I agree with orchidbaz. I used to grow cattleyas in semi-hydro with hydroleca. Worked like a dream for a year or so then they went quickly downhill which I put down to the accumulation of salts from the fert.

Ed



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:11 pm 
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This is interesting as last year i put my one and only Phrag in hydroton and all the issues with black tipped leaves dissapeared, still using the same tap water. Now however i'm wondering if long term its the right thing to do... we also put several hanging vandas into hydroton as the added humidity around the roots was helping hugely.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:53 pm 
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Thank you all for all these info. I got interested in hydroton after watching few YouTube videos. It was difficult for me to use the right media for each types of orchids. So I thought it will be easy if i could use one media for phal, oncidium and dens.
It has been one month now, my dens and phal are doing well. I may have to wait for the out come.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:09 pm 
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The white frosty things that can appear on top of the pebbles are not salts or minerals. These things appears because you used pebbles that have not been soak in water for 24 hours before use. A normal terracotta pot also get this on the outside if not soaked in water for 24 hours before use.

This is what Ray Barkalow say about black roots

Quote:
As roots grow, the cells take on a physical form that is tailored to the conditions. Once they have grown, they cannot change. Changing the conditions they are in, whether that is a move to S/H or just old bark to new bark, render those existing roots less effective, so they will ultimately die and the plant will rely on new roots - grown in that new environment - to support it.

The blackening roots are on the way out. If you want new roots to grow quickly and give the plants the best chance to survive, I'd recommend the following:

Remove the flower spikes - they sap too much from the plant.
put the plant on a heat mat to warm the root zone, accelerating root growth.
keep the plant shady and humid.

In a few weeks, new roots will be growing and the plant should be good to go.
Ray Barkalow

Orchid Iconoclast


Ray Barkalow is the guy who "invented" semi hydroponics for orchids.
He is an icon for orchid growers in America.
You can read more on his forum http://firstrays.com/forum/index.php



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:23 pm 
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Ther's a difference though in having this stuff with constant water as in hydrophonics and the usual water,dry water dry method we usually use for orchid culture.Water dripping through for instance flushes salts out wheras the other method causes dangerouse build up of salts as they soak into the pebbles,dry and concentrate.In the old days clay pots were used with osmunda fibre which had all the nutrients present without extra feed,therefore no white deposits in the clay.Clay pots are rarely used today because salts also build up in these with the modern fertilizers.



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:13 pm 
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Ray Barkalow is the guy who "invented" semi hydroponics for orchids.
He is an icon for orchid growers in America.
You can read more on his forum http://firstrays.com/forum/index.php[/quote]






very interesting forum. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:56 pm 
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Olea wrote:
HUD357 wrote:
all in Hydroton clay pebbles (or cat litter)


Do you use cat litter? Doesn't it clump together when wet?


I use the cat litter for Cyps not 'indoor' Orchids. There are a couple of brands/types that don't clump, they are more like Seramis.

... http://www.terraforums.com/forums/pitch ... ost1043752

There are other brands that you can find using google and eg "cat litter growing media". People use it for all sorts of plants so don't just look at Orchids.

_________________
Anyone got a bit of Rhynchostele (Amparoa, Lemboglossum, Odontoglossum ...??) cervantesii that needs a new home?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:44 pm 
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I've found hydroton usefull as a general growing media, especially for lithophytes and some epiphytes. Nothing to do with semi-hydro, just normal growing media. Clay pots have similar advantages. The clay holds moisture long enough that the roots get enough moisture, yet doesn't stay wet in the same way that even large bark can and its much harder for roots to rot as they get plenty of oxygen.

The other great advantage is i can pick up a big 40l bag for only 14 quid from the local marjuana growing equipment (i.e. hydroponics) shop.



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:23 pm 
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I agree about clay pots. Once plants need more than a 4 inch pot my overriding preference is for terracotta and I use those wherever I can. I do make sure that new ones are well soaked in a bleach solution before use and also when cleaning after repot.
Richard



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:54 am 
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SilverShaded wrote:
I've found hydroton usefull as a general growing media. Nothing to do with semi-hydro, just normal growing media.
The other great advantage is i can pick up a big 40l bag for only 14 quid from the local marjuana growing equipment (i.e. hydroponics) shop.

I think you must use the same Hydroponics shop as me ?
Some of the customers & staff are very suspect looking that sometimes I feel quite out of place ! :?
Talking to one of the staff, I was asked "What are orchids?" :wtf:

I agree with hydroton as a general growing media, I've used it before with phals but am now quite happy to expand that.
I wrote about my Paph. bellatulum recently discovering most of its roots had rotted away, I re-potted it in a hydroton mix and can see a huge new root through the clear pot, its now not as loose in its pot either as it was before when practically rootless.
I love the idea of the stuff as a growng media, I can also see good root growth in other hydroton mix re-pots.

Steve



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