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Old 10-23-2012, 04:48 PM
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Switching to S/H

Hi. I think I'm ready to switch some of my orchids to S/H. I already put my Maxillaria tenuifolia into S/H about 5 days ago (I have two so it's a safe test), and it seems to be doing fine. I was thinking about switching my Dendrobiums and Oncidiums but holding off on the Phals.

I found some pots, and I have a bag of hydroton laying around. I soaked some in KLN for 36 hours. Then I was reading more about s/h and people say they should be actively growing before switching to s/h. It's fall, and I'm thinking I might be better off waiting until spring to make the switch. I could get a heat mat if that would help. They are in a sunny but shaded south facing window (I have my porch blocked off with 50% shade cloth for the Cymbidiums and the orchids are in the window behind that). What do you guys think?
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:49 AM
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The ideal time to make the switch is right when new roots are just beginning to grow (not new growth on existing roots only). The new root tissues will 'tailor" themselves to that environment; the old ones, being sub-optimal for the new conditions, will eventually fail (how long being related to the degree of dissimilarity of the two conditions).

The idea behind the heat mat is to use the increased temperature of the root zone to stimulate the metabolism, accelerating the growth of roots, as opposed to heating the whole plant, leading to the plant expending its resources for general growth..
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:27 PM
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Sounds promising although I wouldn't use a 5 day test to confirm it. Tests like this take time. I think you are picking the right genera for the change and I look forward to hearing how things turn out.

One question though, what prompted the change? Were they not growing in the previous medium?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bolero View Post
Sounds promising although I wouldn't use a 5 day test to confirm it.

Ideally you want a full season to be confident of a new growing technique or at least a couple of new growths made.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:04 AM
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I had a terrible time with my Maxillaria tenuifolia in bark it just kept dying away, so I switched it to S/H and it loves it and is growing up like a weed! I also have some Oncidium in it and plan to switch the rest as they love it also.
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