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  RE: Aroids growing better in water?
From: Ron McHatton rmchatton at photocircuits.com> on 2002.05.28 at 21:24:02(8912)
It is indeed possible to grow Phalaenopsis (as well as virtually any other
orchid for that matter) hydroponically. The key is "hydroponically."
Plants grown in that manner are not grown in water but rather in an inert
medium which can be flushed regularly with water or they are grown in pots
which allow the roots to grow down into a water reservoir similar to the
growing situation described by Julius for some emergent aroids. In this
situation, the Phalaenopsis roots grow down through the potting mix,
through the gravel at the bottom of the pot and into the container of
water. The roots appear to change structure (they will be fatter and fewer
in number) and they will adapt to growing under water. The only time this
becomes deadly is if the entire root system is kept under water. In that
case, the plants will die rapidly. Many Phragmipedium growers use a
technique similar to Julius' using tall pots standing in an inch or two of
water. Southeast Asian Vanda growers routinely suspend their plants in
baskets with no potting medium, allowing the long roots to grow down into a
trough of manure tea. The plants get constant moisture and fertilizer
uptake through the submerged roots, the exposed portion of the root mass
apparently handles oxygen uptake and the plants grow at a tremendous rate.

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