Most of the orchids we grow using semi hydroponics system. Or in other words hydroponics on stand. We prefer the term semi-hydro. Here article about this method.
The substrate must have a whole set of properties. They are described here, and in this article, we describe how we prepare it for use in hydroponics.
Substrate that we use is Hydroton expanded clay pellets.
In hydroponic systems use fairly thin and adjusted solutions, and everything else must be chemically neutral.
Pellets make the factory method. It is clear that they are not clean. Oil machine where it is shed, dirt, dust will stick. So the substrate to be cleaned before use.
This is necessary.
But past the mud there are several reasons:
- Dust and small particles. Sand. – They clog the pores and reduce the quality of the capillary.
- Organics, bacteria, fungi – a real risk of further life of your orchid.
- PH. The presence of cement dust and limestone can affect the acidity of the substrate.
- Wash pellets in large quantities of running water. The easiest way to do this through a colander. Wash in the shower, while flowing water is clear.
- Soak the pellets in the course of three days, changing the water every day. From time to time is to mix with a wooden spoon.
- On the third day measure PH of water, which wets the substrate. As a rule, PH is 8. A lot. It should be 7. Therefore cheaper and easiest way to fill the substrate 5% vinegar. Vinegar should be food and transparent. Preferably the artificial, but not wine. From time to time is to mix with a wooden spoon. Keep in vinegar until the bubbles come out of the substrate. This is the reaction of acid with limestone.
- Again wash substrate in a colander.
- Fill with clean water for another night. Check PH. If still high – repeat the procedure with vinegar.
- We spread pellets on a baking oven and roast at 200 degrees for an hour.
- When it’s cool – you’re done.
- Keep the substrate in a clean container.
Substrate in our store.
To check the PH recommend Diagnostic Tool PH