S/H in oyama planters?

Aggie2(10a)November 9, 2013

Hi All,

I was wondering if any S/H hoya growers used oyama planters?
I'm constantly struggling with eriostemas; 2-3 times a year need to restart from cutting, and they newer get big enough to bloom. :(
This spring planted all rooted cuttings in hydroton, in not glazed clay with cache pot holding water. Watering once a week, with some water standing in cache pot (1in), so they would be semi dry before next watering. They did good until root bound, then I guess, feeder roots got too dry. Had to crack pots to get them out to pot up, as all small roots attached to the clay, but it was to late. Plants are dehydrated and stems are yellowing at the "soil" level. Will be cutting them up again this weekend and starting over, for the last time. If they decline again, it's time for a compost pile. I tried, clear plastic containers with drilled holes before, but got tons of green algae growing, thus switched to clay.
Now while looking for african violets pots found oyamas, and was wondering if these would be better solution.
Any suggestions will be appreciated! :)

Happy growing!

PS. Is there any way to recycle hydroton? It's harder to find it, so I would like to reuse! Clorox soaking helps a little, but there are pieces of the roots left attached to it.

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I grow different Hoyas in S/H, and it doesn't seem like you actually were doing S/H.

First, most importantly you cannot water with just water and be successful long term. It has to be a dilute fertilizer solution in order for this method to work properly.

Secondly, the pots cannot get dry regularly. Thirdly using S/H in clay can backfire badly. Because with the water and evaporative effect of clay, and especially in low humidity areas, the root zone can get too cool for warm growing plants, which Eriostemmas are. And if you use the fertilizer suggestion, again with the evaporative effect, you will build up toxic levels of salts over time.

I used to just clean my Hydroton in a strong bleach solution, letting it set in it for days, but I no longer do that.

As for finding more Hydroton, it is difficult as Hydroton is a trade name by a specific manufacturer who stopped producing a couple years ago. But there are other manufacturers of LECA ( lightweight expanded clay aggregate). If you live near a city, hydroponic stores usually stock at least one brand. And apparently Mother Earth is now using the name Hydroton too, cause I just bought three bags of it a couple weeks ago.

I am a big believer in S/H for Hoyas as I've had plants do amazingly in them, but the basic "rules" have to be followed in order for it to work long term.

If you are interested, check out the website, it is from the guy that invented this method, and although it is for orchids, it still applies. There is a ton of info there. (I tried to put the link in, but the gardenweb is blocking me, so email me if you are interested) and click on the free info page.

With all that said though, I don't have my Eriostemmas in S/H, as they just get to big for me to handle in that method.

As for the planters you mentioned, I'm not sure as I've never used them.

Hope this is helpful,


    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 7:24AM
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Thanks Renee,

I know about fertilizer, flushing to avoid fertilizer build up etc. Tried real S/H in plastic jars with holes on the side, but algae grew like crazy in these. Also I have problem of over heating not over cooling, this is what actually caused clay idea! I live in Miami, there is no cold here, period! I have all plants (in the sun) in cache pots, otherwise roots just get cooked! All my Adeniums are over potted, as they grow large to protect roots from heat, they grow in full sun in clay pots standing on concrete, and pots get really hot!
There is no barefoot walking in the summer, and one must be careful when using hose to water garden or playing with a dog, its hot!
With hydrotone, I used to get it from the nursery selling orchid supplies, now they are out all the time and I'm not paying shipping for it; it's bad enough that I need to mail order all plants! Will look for other place to get it! :)
What mix you use for eriostemmas? And do these ever branch? I have 10-15 feet of vine, all single stick with no branching, and because I usually forget to chop up my cutting, I end up with 2 vines growing to the roof, and then they die from the roots.

thanks, Aggie

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 7:31PM
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Aggie I pot mine in a plastic pot, with Turface and Perlite mix. Algae doesn't bother me, I just ignore it.

And mine do branch quite a bit, all 4 Eriostemmas do this.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:24PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I use a few aquarium grade charcoal bits in my Hydro set ups & water rooting setups. I don't mind the algae either, but a few bits of this charcoal avoids the problem.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 3:04AM
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Thanks Renee and PG!

Will try mix of turface perlite, and some charcoal! It cant hurt to try again!
Getting oyama pots for African violets, so will order couple larger ones for experiments with hoyas!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 7:50PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Maybe try a variety of pot sizes, as Hoyas don't necessarily want big pots. Many of us keep 'em in the smaller pots. They seem to do better. Depends on the Hoyas, but am guessing Eriostemas get big, huh?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Aggie, you don't necessarily have to use the Turface mix, I use it because I only use inorganic growing media. And it is a good for me for moisture retention, but good draining.

Some thing to think about, my Eriostemmas will drop leaves if I let them dry out too long, could that be a cause? Although I've never lost one of these to dead roots so maybe not?

If you do decide to use Turface, make sure you get the proper grade, there are a few different ones. It is called Turface MVP, or at the John Deere store it is called Turface All Sport. ( private labeling for John Deere)

Also the comment about pot size is good too, even though mine seem do do well at evenly moist, there is a difference from that to stale wetness.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 6:55AM
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