For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

Conversion from conventional culture to passive hydroponics

Medium is rinsed and soaked overnight. The plant is removed from the old pot and old medium is thoroughly removed from the roots. Rotten roots are cut away and overlong roots are trimmed. All the roots are thoroughly washed in lukewarm water. Some new medium is arranged at the bottom of the new container. The plant is accommodated and more new medium is put around, the pot is gently shaken, more media is put in, more shaking and so on. The pot is flushed with tepid water. The Orchid is placed in the shade with no fertilizer for the following month.

Hydroponics Guide

Which orchids can be grown?

Most popular orchids will more or less thrive in hydroponic culture: Paphiopedilums, Phragmipediums, Masdevallias, Phalaenopsis, Cattleyas, Cymbidiums, Oncidiums, Dendrobiums, Epidendrums, Miltoniopsis, Pleurothallids and Zygopetalums.
Exceptions would be very big or "thirsty" plants or those whose roots must dry sometimes completely and even those that require dry rest like Dendrobium nobile.

Advantages of Passive Hydroponics

Its simplicity and effectiveness. No guessing about watering and fertilizing, no media decomposition, practically no root rot, healthy plants, fine blooming, no moving parts, low cost, reusable media. In hot and dry environments, passive hydroponics may help, since the roots stay in a high humidity chamber with some air flow.


The main disadvantage can sometimes be the need of more frequent watering, especially when plants begin to fill their pots, are big or otherwise demand lots of water. Obviously, a bigger water pot/reservoir may help (or side holes higher up on the pot). If the sides of the translucent containers receive enough light exposure then algae will grow on the outer layer of the potting media. This is mainly an aesthetic concern and not a big problem indoors. If the medium consists of small expanded clay pebbles and the plant is newly established then tipping it over may cause the spilling of said medium and plant. Build up of salts (fertilizer) which are not easily removed from clay substrates and "reservoir" (lower section below drainage holes). If chemicals are used for pest and/or disease control excess is retained.


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