FAQ's - Transplanting Orchids into Hydroponics

Do all orchids grow in this Hydroponic System?

Any orchid that grows in a pot will grow in our system.

Technically, orchids can be clasified into two groups; terrestrial (orchids that grow in leaves and debri on the forest floor), and epiphytic (orchids that hang from trees and grow in the open air with their roots exposed). Terrestrial orchids, those that grow in the ground, are commonly grown in pots. These types of orchids do very well in our hydroponic system. Epiphytic orchids, the ones that grow in the air, are usually mounted on wood slabs or grown in slated baskets without potting media. Because these plants are not adapted to growing in pots (of any kind) they are not suited for hydroponics.

How does one system work for all orchids?

The capillary properties or wicking action of the LECA pebbles works the same with any plant. That means you can have confidence in your watering schedule because you know exactly what's going on inside the pot at the roots.

Some orchids prefer dry periods between waterings (Cattleya, Dendrobium, etc.), For these plants simply adjust your watering schedule and wait a little longer between waterings, for maximum air flow at the roots.

Once your plant adapts to hydroponics, the system is very forgiving. And the water gauge eliminates the guesswork, so watering becomes much easier.  

When is the best time for transplanting?

The best time for tranplanting is after the blooms have faded. Don't try transplanting when the orchid is blooming. Enjoy the flowers and transplant after the blooms have faded. If your plant needs help and hasn't bloomed as it should - the best time for transplanting to hydroponics might be tomorrow!

What supplies do I need to transfer my orchids to hydroponics?

Our Hydroponic Starter Sets are where to begin. They have everything you'll need (including instructions) for transfering two plants to hydroponics. After you gain some experience with our system, we have a complete line of individual components to choose from for all your plants.

How do LECA pebbles work?

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, giving them excellent capillary properties.

To water your plant, pour the nutrient solution over the pebbles until the water guage tells you to stop. The capillary properties of the pebbles wicks the nutrient solution up to the plant gently and evenly. More at: LECA pebbles

What size pot should I use?

Pot size is important with orchids because you want to establish a good wet/dry cycle. If the pot is too big the roots stay wet too long. When transplanting into hydroponics we suggest using a pot the same size or slightly smaller than the existing pot. Orchids don't like wet feet.

Another guide is the size of the plant's root system after all the bad roots have been pruned away. The remaining healthy roots should fit snuggley in the new pot.

Do transplanting techniques vary with different orchids?

The transplanting process is similar for all orchids. Remove all existing  potting materials, trim away bad roots, and plant into system.

Orchid care after transplanting is different however. It's important to know what type of orchid you're working with. Some orchids require long dry periods between waterings (Cattleya, Dendrobium, etc.). Others need more constant moisture (Paphiopedilum, Phaleanopsis, etc.). Don't worry, we have instructions to help guide you through.

How will I know if my new transplant is doing well?

Always look for new growth. Many times the older, more mature leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Don't worry, your plant is busy  generating new roots for future growth.
Another good indicator is how quickly the system dries out. Active plants will usually need water every two weeks. If you're new to orchids, have patience. Orchids move slowly - don't try force them.

When I removed the orchid from its old pot it didn't have many roots. Will it still grow?

Unlike houseplants, orchids don't need many roots to stay alive. So if your new transplant doesn't have many healthy roots, don't worry. Remove all the bad roots and be careful with the water and your new transplant should be fine.

My hydroponic orchid is outgrowing its how do I move it to a larger pot?

Moving a hydroponic orchid to a larger pot is easy. Carefully remove it from the existing pot (cut pot if necessary). Give the roots a thorough leaching. Leave existing LECA pebbles intact and repot into a larger container.

My orchids never bloom! Will hydroponics make them flower?

No. Light and temperature initiate the flowering cycle on all orchids. Without adequate light and proper temperature variations, your plant won't bloom no matter what you do!

Learn more about growing orchids in our hydroponic system at:

FAQ's - Hydroponics for Growing Orchids

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