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Orchid Plant Unboxing And Potting Up

Orchid Plant Unboxing And Potting Up

I just received my orchids and my self-watering planters so here is a video of my orchid plant unboxing and potting them up in semi hydroponics.

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I ordered 5 orchids and received a bonus plant making 6 which worked out well because I have 6 self-watering planters.

These orchids are small but looked very healthy. But it will probably be a year before they bloom.

Some of them were not marked for their color or were showing two different options but some were marked.

I wanted to get an assortment to try out so at this point I am not concerned about color. I just want them to live right now.

Repotting My Orchid Plants

These orchids are small, and I know that they are not flowering size orchids yet.

But they have healthy roots and the tops are a healthy green too.
There were supposed to be five different varieties here.

Luckily the orchids and the pots for them arrived within an hour or two of each other so plants didn’t have to wait long to be potted up.

They gave me some LECA with the pots which is kind of cool but it was only enough to fill one pot.

Actually, most of my plants are going to go in Growstones and this is very similar to LECA but I like it better.

LECA can roll all over the place because it is round. Growstones are more like rocks and don’t roll around near as much.

If you ever stepped on a stray piece of LECA barefoot you know it is no fun.

What makes this system work is the wicks that go through the holes in the bottom of the inner pot.

They hang inthe water in the bottom of the outer pot and then capillary action draws the water up.

Some Benefits Of Semi Hydroponics

So you don’t have to water these every day or empty and fill your containers as you do with water culture.

What this wicking system will do is keep the media moist but not real wet so root rot won’t be a problem.

Because this kind of media comes in irregular sizes it means that when they sit in the pot they create air pockets.

There’s air space between them and also they’re porous so they will hold water and they will hold nutrients

But they won’t let the grow media get too wet. So over or under watering is not a problem.

Another advantage of using LECA is that it’s not organic so you don’t have to repot as often.

They won’t break down they won’t decompose like sphagnum or bark. 

Insects won’t be as much of a problem because there’s nothing that they want in there. Bugs are attracted to decaying organic matter.

The only time you would need to repot is if they they outgrew the pot that they were in.

The idea of the clear plastic inner pot is that you can see how your roots are doing.

Potting Up

So what i did is fill these pots up mostly with grow stones. Always wash your media so it is clean and wet when you fill your pots.

New LECA pellets are very dirty so you need to rinse them well before using them.

I also have a bucket of nutrients that I mixed up and I have my Hannah test meter to check them.

Right now we’re getting a ph of 5.9 and 439 parts per million which should work really well for orchids.

What I did is pour this water through the pot until the bottom planter reservoir is full. It holds about a quart of liquid.

You know I’ve listened to some people that have used this method and they’ve had problems with the top layer being a little bit too dry.

I don’t know if that’s going to be the case here or not. I think they were using a very similar pot but I’m not sure this is the same one. 

I don’t know if all these aerial roots are supposed to be out above the media or not. I imagine as they grow they will come up some.

But you know you kind of need enough media around the plant to hold it in place.

But for now, we’ll leave them partly buried like this. I guess they can get up through this loose media if they want to.

I made sure to water everything real good so from here the planter should take care of the watering.

All I need to do is find out how long the reservoir will last.

But I will probably wash out the pot and add fresh nutrients every 2 weeks whether it needs it or not.

I have been growing stuff for years but I never got into orchids for some reason. So it’s time!

My Orchid Plant Unboxing Varieties

So, what I ended up with was these 6 orchid plants:

Rlc. Chia Lin ‘Golden Super’ x Rlc.Love Sound ‘Pachi Pachi’          Purple or Yellow 

Tolumnia Leopard

Vascosstylis Memoria Clem Crosbie x Vanda Mimi  Pink or Purple

Tolumnia Flyer Red

Dendrobium Burana Jade x Emaron Gold  Purple?

Oncidium  Mclra. Yellow Star  ‘Golden Gambol’

Growing With Semi Hydroponics

I will be growing my orchids with semi hydroponics. I am using self watering planters but I am only using LECA in one container.

Here is more information about growing semi hydroponic orchids: Semi Hydroponic Orchids How To Easily Grow Orchids – Hydroponic Orchids

The other 5 are filled with Growstones. They are very similar to LECA but they are irregular sizes and shapes and not round.

Unfortunately, they stopped making them. But it seems they are selling them again as Buddystone. I think they work better than LECA.

They are more porous and are made from recycled glass. LECA is made from clay that is strip-mined.

So Growstones are a more ecologically sound choice than LECA.  You can find them here.

Self Watering Planters

I am using self-watering planters for these orchids. These are 6.7-inch pots from Delf. You can get them from Amazon here.

They consist of a white outer pot and a clear plastic inner pot. The inner pot is slotted.

The rim of the inner pot rests on the rim of the outer pot. This should provide a high humidity environment for the roots.

There are wicks provided with these pots and they are easily fed through holes in the bottom of the inner pot.

The white outer pot serves as a reservoir and holds about a quart of water, The wicks will be in the water below.

Self-watering planters work by capillary action. Water is moved through the wick up to the growing media.

From there it moves through the media itself. Because of its irregular structure, the media provides both moisture and oxygen pockets.

So orchid roots are kept moist and roots can also breathe. This is important to keep roots healthy and prevent rot.

I have seen some people using these pots or something very similar and they were getting really good results with them.

The only complaint was that for some orchids the top layer of pebbles was a bit too dry for healthy aerial roots.

Many of the plants I saw were making healthy aerial roots in the LECA which is a great sign.

That means conditions are good and plants are doing well in semi hydroponics.

I noticed the top layer of my Growstones felt pretty dry and the LECA was also dry.

I think regular misting of the top layer can eliminate this if it becomes a problem.

Orchid Plant Unboxing Final Thoughts

This unboxing went really well, I ordered 5 assorted orchid plants and received a bonus Tolumnia orchid. These plants looked healthy.

Since they are small it will take some time before they flower and I know what the final colors of some will be.

Both my orchid plants and my self watering pots arrived within an hour or two of each other which was nice.

They did not need to wait too long to be planted and my bonus plant filled the 6th pot. So nice! 

I hope these orchid plants do well for me and look forward to seeing them bloom.

With semi hydroponics caring for orchids is greatly simplified.

If you are sitting on the fence about trying to grow orchids I hope you take the plunge. I think you will be glad you did.

Read more: Are Orchids Hard To Take Care Of? Easy Growth Formula

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