Semi-Hydroponics, how to

alotofplants(6b)September 20, 2007

That other thread was getting pretty long, so I thought I would start another.

I am going to try to show you how I do the s/h.

I will soak the s/h overnight (ideally.) Many times I will just put the dry PrimeAgra in the pot and just rinse.

It is dusty.

This is the plant I am going to repot. The top is looking much better since I stop giving so much fertilizer.

This is the pot I am going to transplant the AV to. I will put the Primeagra on the bottom of the new pot.

I will slowly dump the plant into a larger pan.

I wanted to show you the whole root system and let you see that the bottom 1" of the root system is sitting directly in water. I do not disturb the root ball when I move it.

I set the plant into the new container and fill the sides to the top.

I will then rinse the pot with water by filling it to the top a few times and letting it drain out.

I am showing these 2 plants so you can see the holes about 1" up the side of the pot. I rewater the AV's when the water is almost gonewith 1/8 tsp of fertilizer. Around l time per week.

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Verrrrrrry interesting! What is the longest period of time you have had an African violet planted and growing this way?


    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 4:58PM
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I started with AV's around 2 years ago and now I have 80.
There are a lot of pictures of them on the other semi-hydro. thread.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 5:02PM
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This is a great explanation with pictures. I find it more easy to understand with the pictures.

Keep it up. I like your AVs bloom so well.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:32PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Thanks Sally!

For those who are transplanting from soil, I'm putting a link with instructions below. I can't stress enough how important it is to get all of the soil off of the roots. It's a pain, but the roots will rot and the plant will die otherwise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Transplanting from soil

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 8:29PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Thanks, Sally, great pictures.

When I grew on wicks, it was common for my AVs to send roots crawling down the wick into the reservoir; it never seemed to bother them, so I just let them do it.


ÂThe first rule of aliens  always assume they bite. ~Cpt. Jack Harkness

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 5:25PM
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Hi Sally, I have 2 questions about semi-hydroponics for AVs, firstly what fertilizer do you use with this method (with AVs)? and second is it easy to groom the plants while they're in such big pots, it looks like it would be difficult to get at dead leaves. Actually I guess I have 3 questions...Could I use the smaller (3 1/2" I believe) pots from Ray's site for small standards, I think they would look better in a smaller pot. I'm going to reread the huge thread again, looking at your pictures sure is inspiring! I've been reading Ray's site and am very gung ho to get my orchids (and possibly AVs) started on S/H. Thanks! ~Becky~

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 3:18PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Um, Sally, I just had a brainstorm. Would you consider writing an article about this for African Violet Magazine? They're always looking for new content, and I'm sure they'd jump at something new like this (well, new to us).

Just a thought.


PS I just mangled a Ceropegia woodii and wondered if it mightn't have been easier just to cut the roots off the tubers and let it grow new ones. Or would it just die?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 6:49PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Korina, I've successfully rooted a bunch of different plants in hydroton since Sally first started posting. I'm sure the tubers would grow new roots if you wanted to cut them off.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 7:39PM
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Mom - I use regular fertilizer and the same amounts. I have been using 1/8 tsp. because I had over fertilized for awhile. I will just rinse the pots out with regular water once in awhile.
As far as grooming, I find it easier since you can just move the pellets or even dump them. If I have a sucker, I can just dump the whole plant and it won't disturb the roots. Now if I just don't cut the tops off anymore I will be happy.
I don't think the small pots will work. They need room for the roots to grow and you will be amazed at the root systems that form quickly. One thing I will experiment with is when they outgrow the 5" pot, I will try to cut the roots back and see if I can do that rather than going to a bigger pot. I just use the small pots for starting leaves and for starter plants.
The article sounds like a neat idea. I will have to try and put something together.
Violetta is right. I would definitely just put the ceropegia stem in the pellets for rooting. On the Streptocarpella, I just cut the top off the plant, cut back some leaves and put it in the pot. It rooted very quickly. I have wonderful luck with rooting AV leaves. Sally

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 9:59PM
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Mom - By the way, I started this with my orchids, moved to my succulents and caudiciforms and then to AV's. Didn't have any AV's because I couldn't grow them. My husband gave me one for my birthday (he regrets that now) and the experimenting began. I now have 80 AV's and am so in love with them. Also, what is really neat is that they do not have to be potbound to flower with s/h. It doesn't matter if they are over potted. It won't bother them in this culture. I have many now that are pot bound and I am experimenting on what to do. Blazing new frontiers. That is why I am so glad others are doing this now because I am not a very scientific person and I am sure someone can do better than me.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:08AM
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Thanks for the info Sally, I printed out the huge thread that you contributed a load of info to and reread it (highlighting what I needed to remember) ,it's a lot of info!! I think my main issue with the "big pots" is it's been so ingrained in out AV lovin' heads that the pot should be 1/3 the width of the leaf spread, it's hard to get out of that mindset. Maybe with your potbound AV's you could take them out and cut down the roots and plop it back in the same size pot, though I wouldn't bother doing it until flowering is inhibited as AVs are well known for loving being potbound.

I think the article idea is wonderful!!! Go for it!!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:58AM
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