Growing Orchids with Hydroponics

FAQ's -

How does Hydroponics for orchids work?

Our hydroponic system is a new and exciting way to grow orchids. Special clay pebbles replace all other media. They're clean, easy to use and never decay or decompose. 
A water gauge tells you when to water - no more over watering! When you water your plants you're actually filling a reservoir at the bottom of the pot. Then, as you go about your busy life, the capillary properties of the clay pebbles (called LECA)  wicks the nutrient solution up to the plant gently and evenly. Air passes through the pebbles promoting the ideal air/water mixture for healthy roots. Learn more at: Hydroponics for Orchids!

What are LECA pebbles made of?

The term "LECA" means Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate. LECA pebbles are made by heating small clay pellets to 2600F. At these temperatures the clay expands, developing tiny air spaces at the core and an extremely hard outer shell, creating a media that's ideal for growing orchids. Learn more at: LECA pebbles

What's the difference between LECA pebbles and ordinary gravel?

LECA pebbles are completely different form ordinary gravel because of their capillary properties. LECA pebbles actually "wick" the nutrient solution up to the plant's roots gently and evenly. No other material has these properties - including lava rock. Learn more at: LECA pebbles.

How often should I water?

Most plants need watering once every 2-3 weeks. Of course watering varies with light, temperature, and of course the type of plant. (We provide instructions for all types of plants.) 

With conventional potting materials, "when to water" can be a real guessing game. The only chance your plant has to get water is when you take the time to water it. That puts you on a demanding schedule that quickly becomes time consuming as your collection grows.

With our system, apply water - a  water gauge tells you how much - and the wicking action of the LECA pebbles delivers the water (and nutrients) to the plant gently and evenly. What could be easier!

Won't my orchids be too wet with Hydroponics?

Your plants should not be standing in water all the time. The system needs dry out completely between waterings - allowing air flow through the root system. 
Air moves between LECA pebbles as the nutrient solution is delivered to the plant. Because these pebbles are ceramic, they will never compact or decompose, preserving the air spaces (and air flow) to the roots.

What about nutrients?

Simply add your nutrients to the water. With hydroponics, nutrients go directly to the plant without the growing media getting in the way. The capillary propertires of the LECA pebbles will deliver the nutrients safley and evenly to the roots.  More at: Plant Food for Orchids

What about salt buildup with this system? 

Salts will not penetrate the surface of LECA pebbles. Their relatively smooth outer shell allows salts (and any other impurities) to be easily washed away. Simply leach your plants at the sink every couple of months and all impurities will be washed away. 

This is big advantage for hydroponics. The only way to eliminate salt buidup with traditional growing methods is to repot the plant -replacing the old media with new.

Does Hydroponics work for all orchids?

Any orchid that grows in a pot will benefit from hydroponics. Orchids that grow in the open air without pots (called epiphites) are not suited for hydroponics however (such as vandas).

Where is the best place to start with Hydroponics?

Start slow, using only healthy plants. Get aquianted with how our system works before attempting to rejuvenate sick plans. Our Hydroponic Starter Sets are where to begin. They have everything you'll need to transfer two plants. Then, after you (and your plants) are comfortable with hydroponics, move on to the rest of your collection. We're confident all your orchids will benefit from our system.

When is the best time to transplant to Hydroponics?

The best time to transplant any orchid is during the rest period after the bloom cycle has finished. So, if your orchid is blooming, wait until the flowers have faded away before transplanting. If your is not doing well and hasn't bloomed as it should - the best time to transplant to hydroponics might be tomorrow!

Go to FAQ's - Repotting Orchids into Hydroponics for more.

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