Going from soil to hydroton?

Diana_Gale(6a-7b)July 10, 2013

My question is whether one can take an established, large plant out of soil into hydroton semi-hydro condition?


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I usually start my Hoyas in S/H, but the answer is maybe? I would think if you do try, at least keep the existing roots above the water line.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:05AM
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I have changed all my hoyas to S/H over the the last few years and now only grow S/H.
This what I do,I wash all the dirt off the roots and then you can transfer to what ever container you plan on using.
I must say the only hoyas that seem to not do well after the transfer are the EA hoyas. They almost always die.
If the hoya is newly brought then I would let it get used to your home for awhile and then do the change.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 12:30PM
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I made some self-watering containers from 2-liter pop bottles. We'll see how they work!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Diana what do you mean self-watering?
I use small and med size plastic cups from the dollar store and then drill holes about an inch up from the bottom.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:20PM
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I cut off the top half of the bottle and turned it upside down inside the bottom half of the bottle.

There is already a hole (the mouth of the bottle), which down into the water, so it's self-rising/limiting - high enough to keep the Hydroton wet and wicking.

This should work with large piece chips or hydroton, not smaller rocks or chips.

I also learned just now that I need to make the bottom half taller so the opening doesn't sit on the bottom and unbalance the top half.

This post was edited by Diana_Gale on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 21:23

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:29PM
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This sounds very interesting and I would think it would work. I think I may even give it a try. I have previously only used the drilled pots like cpawl uses. But I like the coke bottle idea because you could possibly use pots with no drilled holes for the bottom and simply put the coke bottle down in the pot. Thanks for the idea!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:19PM
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yep... I like recycling and not paying for things if I don't have to! I got the idea from a Youtube pop-bottle garden videos.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:27PM
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I got my Hydroton in the mail and potted up the KQ Hoya that had a small root ball.

Right away the Hydroton dried out and continues to dry out every few hours. I thought it would constantly 'wick' the water that covers the bottom 1/4 of the container, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

Am I doing something wrong?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 8:37PM
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These pages explain the issues pretty clearly!

(I got a pop up that the page could not be mentioned here, so I won't)

"....during the first weeks following potting up the plant, either "the medium doesn't wick well", or "the reservoir empties really quickly". They are actually both symptoms of the same thing - the medium trying to become fully saturated because it was not presoaked sufficiently before use."

I soaked the rocks for about 4.5 hours. Probably not long enough.

So I have filled the entire thing with water and will leave it for a while. I doubt it will hurt the Hoya. I will also poke a few more holes at the bottom.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:20PM
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I did repot that KQ in the same config, but used half the hydroton. The plant is now sitting well down inside the plastic surround, which I believe will protect and keep it humid!

We'll see...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:49PM
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I grow a few in hydroton, but I find it a real pain to check the water level without the water gauges that come with the pots specifically made for this. I like the premade culture pots and they're not terribly expensive - it's the decorative outer pots and the gauges that get pricey. I like the idea of using a clear "pot" (like the 2 liter bottles) with a culture pot so you can see the water level. Then I wouldn't have to buy the water guages...

I start a lot of little ones in semi-hydro using a net pot sitting inside of a coffee mug. It works really slick.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:30AM
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I improved the KQ semi-hydro setup by using few balls... and now the hydroton is staying wet all the way to the top.

The plant sits further down into the container, which I think will help it act somewhat as a mini greenhouse environment.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:49PM
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It may help the humidity. I grow Episcia in Glass jars that are very large and they Love the extra humidity! Let us know how this is working for you.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Some people don't like growing in clear containers because of green growth in the water.

I always thought this would give nutrients to the plant!

I'm thinking of putting the clear containers into plastic or clay pots.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 2:56PM
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