FAQ's - Growing Orchids in Hydropincs

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 cleaner and you get less root decay. A water gauge tells you when to water - no more over watering! When you water your plants you're actually filling a resovoir at the bottom oof the pot. Then, as you go about your busy life, the speciial clay pebbles wick the nutrient solution up to the plant gently and evenly. Learn more at Why Hydroponics?

How often should I water?

This varies with light, temperature, and of course the type of plant. (We provide instructions for all types of plants.) Most plants need watering once every 2-3 weeks.
When growing orchids in conventional potting materials, your plant gets water only when you take the time to water it. That puts you on a demanding schedule that quickly becomes time consuming as your collection grows. And "when to water" can be a real guessing game, especially for beginners. With our system a water gauge tells you when to water and how much! What could be easier!

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.

What is the difference between LECA pebbles and ordinary gravel?

The unique capillary properties LECA pebbles "wick" the nutrient solution up to the plant's roots gently and evenly. No other material has these properties - including lava rock.

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?

Just add nutrients to the water solution. The capillary propertires of the LECA pebbles delivers the nutrients safley and evenly to the roots. As with all nutrients for orchids, always remember to avoid nutrients with urea as the nitrogen source. Urea is an inexpensive form of nitrogen that works well on your lawn outside but doesn't work for orchids or houseplants. More on nutrients at www.hydro-orchids.com/nutrition.html.

What about salt buildup with this system?

Salts will not penetrate the surface of LECA pebbles. Their realtively smooth outer shell allows any salts or other impurities to be easily washed away. Throughly rinsing plants at the sink every couple of months will eliminate any salt buildup. Thia is another big advantage for hydroponics. The only way to eliminate salts from traditional potting mixes is repotting.

Does Hydroponics Work for all orchids?

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

Where is the best place to start with Hydroponics?

Our Hydroponic Starter Sets are where to begin.They have everything you'll need to transfer two plants. Start slow, using healthy plants. Learn how our system works before rejuvinating sick plans. We're confident all your orchids will benefit from our system.

When is the best time to transplant to Hydroponics?

Orchids have three seasons; grow, bloom, rest. The best time to transplant any orchid is during the rest period after the bloom cycle has finished. This is the same for transferring to hydroponics. 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!