Growers have put into practice an affordable method for growing epiphytic plants in indoor conditions, because orchids in expanded clay are no longer rare.
- Which expanded clay is suitable for orchids
- Advantages of expanded clay
- Disadvantages of expanded clay
- How to plant an orchid in expanded clay
- The best time of year for planting
- Features of cultivation
- Conclusion <
There are both supporters and opponents of this method of cultivation, for example, drainage expanded clay is filled with metal salts harmful to the roots of the plant, with accordingly, it is not suitable for use as a substrate.
Which expanded clay is suitable for an orchid
Expanded clay suitable for planting orchids is also called expanded clay substrate. It is prepared according to the method using environmentally friendly clay, which is baked in the oven.
The granules are obtained with a diameter of 8 to 16 mm. Before packing, they are well washed.
Products of the Dutch company Plagron Euro pebbles are very popular among people growing orchids on expanded clay substrate.
Advantages of expanded clay
Expanded clay has the following advantages:
- holds water in all layers and at any depth;
- chemically neutral;
- has excellent air permeability;
- does not contain pests;
- leads to infrequent irrigation, as a result of overflows practically does not happen;
- simplifies maintenance, including soil treatment;
- is used for a longer time, because it does not decay and does not decompose;
- has a low specific weight.
The use of expanded clay allows less frequent transplantation ku of plants.
Disadvantages of expanded clay
The disadvantages of expanded clay include the following:
- it is not suitable for growing large plants, because makes the pot heavier;
- it is used for growing orchids at home, but it is not suitable for greenhouses;
- with a small roll of the pot, part of the granules spills out;
- in expanded clay it is difficult to firmly fix the supporting support for the orchid.
The expanded clay orchid looks organic. It gradually replaces the usual pine bark.
Methods for planting orchids in expanded clay
In expanded clay, different orchids are grown:
- Phragmipedium hybrid;
The resuscitation of plants with affected roots is especially good. For example, Phalaenopsis, growing in expanded clay, quickly forms new roots that continue to develop well.
A synthetic transparent pot is suitable for planting an orchid. Through its walls, it is easy to track the state of the root system at any stage of plant growth and development. Unlike the traditional substrate, when filling the claydite pot, you do not need to make ventilation holes in the bottom, there are enough holes in the walls.
For pots with a volume of 300-500 ml of perforation, to drain excess irrigation water should be located in a row at a height of 1 cm from the bottom. The larger the volume of the pot, the higher the holes should be from the bottom. So, for containers with a volume of 500-1000 ml, they should be approximately 1.5 cm high, and if the volume is 1.5-2 l – 2 cm from the bottom.
This kind of orchid, like Wanda, requires more aeration for the roots, so additional holes are made around the entire circumference of the pot.
The diameter of the expanded clay granules is selected, depending on the thickness of the roots. For flowers with thick roots, material with large fractions is selected, and for plants with thin roots fragments of a substrate of small diameter are more suitable.
The best time of year for planting
Orchids are planted in the spring, when the processes of its growth and development are activated. Before planting, expanded clay granules are soaked for 24 hours in water with phytohormones, after which they allow the liquid to drain. The roots should be located in the upper layers of the substrate.
Then it remains to apply fertilizers and maintain the required temperature regime. The height of the water layer is determined by the level of the side holes made in the pot.
Features of growing
Sometimes, when growing orchids in expanded clay, the granules tightly grow into the roots of the plant. It’s not scary, it’s permissible to transplant the flower into a larger pot when the time comes, along with adherent particles of the substrate.
Sometimes, with prolonged use of expanded clay substrate, its salinization occurs. To fix the problem, it is washed with distilled or running water.
It is equally important to select the correct diameter of the holes in the walls of the pot. It should correspond to the size of the pot and the diameter of the granules. If the holes are too small, orchids in search of oxygen will direct the root growth not down, but up.
Expanded clay substrate is chosen both for continuous use and for use only during the resuscitation of orchids that have root problems.