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African Violets and Gesneriads: semi hydro doing great!

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 8, 2011
6:11 PM

Post #8841247

Here are some pictures I took yesterday. The Semi Hydro is so nice.

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 8, 2011
6:12 PM

Post #8841248

Here is Sunkissed Rose

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 8, 2011
6:13 PM

Post #8841252

And Amy Lyn that has a diff. bloom than I have seen online. HUM. Any ideas about what it might be?

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imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 9, 2011
7:20 AM

Post #8841845

Sally, as usual, your plants and pictures are beautiful!!!!
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2011
8:29 AM

Post #8841924

I'll second that!
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 10, 2011
12:20 PM

Post #8843655

Sally, I don't know if it's been asked yet, but what are you using for semi-hydro? I have two hoya in a gritty mix and I don't think they are doing so well. Do you wick your violets? And have them on mats or grate?
Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 14, 2011
7:50 PM

Post #8849348

It is the medium sold by First Ray's online. The stuff looks like little balls. It naturally wicks, you do not have to put in a wick. These are ceramic I think. I LOVE it. My plants are thriving. I just got a shipment from Rob's violets and I forgot how messy the "soil" is, ha. I will repot in the medium I use soon. We also got a big heavy box of new medium today also.
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 15, 2011
7:36 AM

Post #8849702

Thanks Sally. The medium here is called hydroton. I have some hoya rooting it it, but I thought it may be too large for African violets. I'll try one plant and see how it likes it.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 16, 2011
6:38 PM

Post #8851694

The kind I use it not tiny. Half inch maybe.
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 17, 2011
7:44 AM

Post #8852365

Oh good. That's the size I have. I found a hydroponics store not too far that sells it in small or larger bags.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 19, 2011
11:22 AM

Post #8855666

Keep me informed! I just more pictures!
Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 19, 2011
11:58 AM

Post #8855714

More pictures from semi hydro.

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 19, 2011
12:01 PM

Post #8855719

The above pic is still in soil, I just got my new box of s/hydro ceramic medium so it will be in there soon, ha. I forgot... Anyway, this Silverglade Apples has done great in the semi hydro.

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

October 26, 2011
12:01 PM

Post #8864618

I added a new photo of my Rumba Red. I think it doubled in size last week when I was gone. I love how it is safe to leave them with the semi hydo medium.

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

November 4, 2011
10:00 AM

Post #8876256

I can't believe how much better my plants grow now. I have some new plants to repot into the medium soon. I wish I had found out about this years ago.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

November 4, 2011
10:06 AM

Post #8876267

It's certainly working!
Sallysblooms
South, TX

November 8, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8881587

I was just changing out the bowls under each plant earlier. One had roots coming to the bottom and out of the pot already! WOW. It is actually the Silverglade Apple, in a picture above. My hubby has even commented about how they are all looking so nice.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

November 18, 2011
7:40 AM

Post #8895435

Hi Sally, I haven't been doing the s/h for years with the african violets. Just started again and it really does work great. Don't have to worry about overwatering. I am finding that I have to keep them in bags with humidity and heat for at least a month to re-establish the roots. Just love the s/h. I have about 100 plants in it, mostly succulents and caudiciforms. Have been using it for about 10 years and just love it.

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

November 18, 2011
7:15 PM

Post #8896298

I learned if from YOU! I have not needed bags, I was surprised. I never knew it would be so easy and work so well! I am glad you told us about it months ago. Your picture is so pretty!
Sally0
Yardley, PA

November 19, 2011
8:16 AM

Post #8896797

I only bagged my first batch for a week and all 7 promptly died on me. I just finished bagging 7 more for a month and that has worked. You are so lucky you don't have to bag! You must have great conditions.
The african violets are just so rewarding. I could never grow them before the s/h.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

December 17, 2011
6:08 AM

Post #8932905

Bought a bunch of miniature and semi mini's basically for space reasons. My first one has bloomed "Rob's' Bad Bunny" and it is so cute. Just love the variegated leaves, too.

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imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 17, 2011
10:22 AM

Post #8933189

Sally, "Rob's' Bad Bunny" is adorable. I just added it to my list. Love the variegation in the leaves.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

December 19, 2011
3:30 PM

Post #8935997

Aw, you have it in semi hydro. It is so pretty. Are you using it again?
Sally0
Yardley, PA

December 19, 2011
5:21 PM

Post #8936154

Yes, they are in semi hydro. It is the only way I can grow AV's! I have about 15 going now. I forgot how pretty AV's really are.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

December 19, 2011
9:01 PM

Post #8936456

They sure are pretty! I agree. Hope you post more pictures soon.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

January 4, 2012
9:16 AM

Post #8954196

Some of my plants are starting to bloom. This is Rob's Sarsparilla semiminature

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

January 4, 2012
9:17 AM

Post #8954199

Here is Rob's Antique Rose

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

January 4, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #8954205

I got the next 2 from Home Depot and they are blooming like crazy.

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

January 4, 2012
9:20 AM

Post #8954206

NOID but what a bloomer

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lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2012
2:42 PM

Post #8954535

Beautiful Sallyo!
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 4, 2012
4:15 PM

Post #8954634

very pretty. I love the first NOID. It is gorgeous. Also the pink ruffled NOID is too!!! I think they are Optimara. They have some new varieties in the big box stores this year.
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2012
6:18 PM

Post #8954755

They are, indeed, pretty!

I just can't wrap my head around why Optimara won't put any catalogue numbers on their little "popsicle-sticks"... Just the other day, I found an old Optimara-stick with no number on it from a Violet that I bought at Lowe's a few years back.

I know that the average customer won't mind but it's not exactly helpful anyway...
Sallysblooms
South, TX

January 4, 2012
7:19 PM

Post #8954859

They are so pretty SallyO.. I just put more new violets into the hydro pellets last weekend.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

January 5, 2012
6:42 AM

Post #8955151

Sally, I have about 15 in s/h now. How many do you have? You are all right in that they are Optimara's. I remember the tags now. I also wish they had the numbers or names on them. It just makes it a little more interesting.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

January 5, 2012
7:51 PM

Post #8956165

I will have to count, ha.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 1, 2012
8:06 AM

Post #8990619

This is Rob's Antique Rose. Have a bunch that are all coming into bloom. So nice to have flowers this time of year.

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 1, 2012
8:09 AM

Post #8990623

Rob's Sarsparilla. These are all semiminiature or minis

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 1, 2012
8:11 AM

Post #8990625

Just starting to bloom. Love the red color of this one. Rob's Love Bite

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 1, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #8990627

Rob's Loose Noodle.

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imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 1, 2012
8:42 AM

Post #8990661

Sally0, they are all so pretty. I have a baby starter of Rob's Loose Noodle, and after seeing yours, I can't wait for mine to bloom.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 1, 2012
1:41 PM

Post #8991017

SallyO, your pictures are so pretty. Just beautiful! I am really enjoying semi hydro!
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 1, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #8991076

Sally I agree with you. I could never grown AV's before. This is just a piece of cake.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 2, 2012
12:03 PM

Post #8992255

I love not having to repot, deal with the AV soil and mess. I had to clean my shelves all the time before, but now the shelves are always clean. Having CFS, it is heaven, so much easier and going out of town is easy now too. So glad I learned about it from you.
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 2, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #8992354

I have a question for both Sally's. How do you water your violets that are in semi-hydro?. Do you have dishes under them with water in the dish. Sally0, some of yours are sitting a a tray. Do you keep water in the tray. My violets are all wicked and sitting on grates over water. I think I would probably save a little room by just sitting them in the tray without the grates, but I have too many, and then I would have to hand water each one.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 2, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #8992753

I keep little bowls under mine. I just water them and keep water there so they can absorb it.
Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

February 3, 2012
6:53 AM

Post #8993124

After reading this thread, I potted several of my violets, orchids and one begonia using semi-hydro. So far, they are in shock and look wilted, but hoping they will pop back.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 3, 2012
11:41 AM

Post #8993382

Debsroots, I put my african violets in a plastic bag to give it humidity until they adapt. I usually keep them in the bag for a month or until I see new growth.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 3, 2012
12:38 PM

Post #8993453

Yes, you can try a bad. I have never done that and had no problem, but Sally O has used bags and that might be good if they are wilting. Good luck! It is so easy. I just watered mine. Need to take some pictures.
Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

February 3, 2012
8:05 PM

Post #8993993

Yes, pictures would be nice.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 4, 2012
9:26 AM

Post #8994414

I don't know what Sallysblooms secret is but I have to use bags for about a month. I also put mine on heat and have under lights. I tried without and my AV's promptly died.

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Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 6, 2012
7:37 PM

Post #8997393

I know, it is surprising. It is certainly not humid in my home, ha.I can't stand humidity or heat. Lucky I guess.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 10, 2012
8:28 AM

Post #9001697

So far, this is what I have in the s/h. They are all doing really well. Just love AV's and so glad I can grow them now.

Thumbnail by Sally0
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aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 10, 2012
8:45 AM

Post #9001725

WOW!! Nice growing :) I think one of you two Sallys (or both) need to start a S/H 101 thread. Lots of members would benefit from it!! What are the plants growing toward the center back?

Connie
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 11, 2012
11:37 AM

Post #9002998

The plants in the back of the picture are some succulent/cactus cristata and montrose forms. I just love how weird they are.
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 11, 2012
1:25 PM

Post #9003103

One looks like a crested Opuntia microdasys albispina. But I digress... LOL

All your plants look fantastic! What a difference a well aerated root system makes!!!

What I was curious about is this: When I lived in Germany years ago, a "puffed clay" product with the brand name "Seramis" was all the rage. The granules are about the size of medium Perlite but are made of clay. They are kind of terracotta colored.

I seem to remember that they wick better than the regular "hydroponics granules".

I wonder if this or a similar product is available here in the US.

Also, do they sell the regular clay granules in different grades?

Olaf
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 11, 2012
7:09 PM

Post #9003506

Olaf, Sallysblooms and Sally0 use the hydroton. I was looking for stuff to make a gritty mix for some of my cactus and came across a recipie for Al's Gritty Mix on the Cactus Forum on GardenWeb. The mix I used called for Turface and two other ingredients. I couldn't find Turface locally but found Espoma Soil perfector. which is hard baked clay. I bought a bag at Ace Hardware. Plants are doing great and I'll probablly put the rest in the mix as soon as spring comes. I haven't used the hydroton yet for gessies, but maybe I'll try the Espoma clay with one or two gessie and see how it wicks. If it works out then I'll try a few more. I'll work on a few this week and will post how it works out. I just want to make sure it wicks well.

This message was edited Feb 11, 2012 10:19 PM
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 11, 2012
7:18 PM

Post #9003513

Here is a pic of the gritty mix I use. My cactus plants that are potted in this mix are not wicked. They are watered weekly during winter months when it is cooler. When the temps are up I water every few days. I haven't tried wicking any yet.

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Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 12, 2012
7:57 AM

Post #9003885

With the semi-hydroponics there are 2 sizes. I use the larger size for the AV's. I just seem to do better with them. Actually, what I use is similar to hydroton but is a little more porous. I do not know about the hydroponics granules.
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 12, 2012
8:21 AM

Post #9003919

Thanks for th info!

Hydroton actually is the hydroponics medium that i was talking about. I just couldn't think of the name for the life of me...

The finer grade is normally used to start cuttings in a hydroponics setting. They normally use little 2" plastic "basket" pots and once the cutting is rooted, it goes into the larger grade granules - pot and all.

The large ones will provide for extremely well aerated roots and that's mostly the reason for plants doing so well in this medium. Well, also root-rot usually doesn't stand a chance...

I've seen people grow anything from Orchids to succulents of all kinds in this stuff - both hydro and S/H.

The only thing that can be a bit tricky is fertilization but it's usually not too hard to get it right.

Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 12, 2012
9:25 AM

Post #9003988

As far as fertilizing, I fertilize every time I water. I do occasionally rinse it out when I see a lot of salt accumulating on the outside of the cup.
aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 12, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9003997

Those plants in the center back do have a "weird" shape to them which catches your eye. Pretty cool plants, Sally!!! I would not have thought they would do so well in s/h. VERY interesting :) Where do you get your s/h material for growing??

Connie
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 12, 2012
12:06 PM

Post #9004155

50 kilograms of that stuff go for 30 to almost a hundred bucks if you buy direct. I have ABSOLUTELY no idea ho much shipping is going to be... Just checked: Shipping is 31 bucks...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/50L-EXPANDED-CLAY-PEBBLES-HYDROPONIC-GROW-ROCK-HYDROTON-/400081996429?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d26beca8d
aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 12, 2012
2:03 PM

Post #9004243

GULP!! When I clicked on it, it showed $41.00 for shipping to my location. You are a little closer to them than me, Olaf but...WOW!!

Connie
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 12, 2012
3:25 PM

Post #9004312

I know, right? I wonder if one of the big box stores carries it...
aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 12, 2012
3:44 PM

Post #9004338

I am sure you could find some in your neck of the woods. Even if it cost a little more for a bag you would save some money. Now my area is a different story. I am lucky to find perlite and poor Sister Lynn mailed me a bag of vermiculite because I couldn't find any here. That's pretty sad lol.

Connie
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 12, 2012
3:54 PM

Post #9004346

Oh, I know how that is. I grew up in a village of 250 in the middle of the country. I always had to spend a fortune and jump through all kinds of hoops just to get a small bag of Perlite, let alone Vermiculite...

The thing is, though, that I wouldn't be surprised if I had to go forty miles plus into the suburbs to get anything like that. Out there are the larger and the specialty nurseries.
aspenjocop
Northeast, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 12, 2012
3:58 PM

Post #9004350

I have to drive that to get to a grocery store with more than 5 isles LMBO!!!!

Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 19, 2012
7:59 PM

Post #9012669

I get my medium at FirstRays.com. He is really nice! Yes, I use the larger size too. Ray said there is not a lot of difference. I just put three more violets in the semi hydro today.

This message was edited Feb 19, 2012 10:01 PM
Sally0
Yardley, PA

February 21, 2012
6:51 AM

Post #9014455

Sallysblooms do you rinse all of the dirt off of the roots? I am trying to figure out what you do so you don't have to bag your plants.
franknjim
Peoria, IL
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2012
7:15 AM

Post #9014474

When starting new plants from leaf cuttings, at what plant size do you switch over to semi hydro?
Sallysblooms
South, TX

February 21, 2012
6:31 PM

Post #9015233

Sally0, I do rinse my roots to get all the soil off that I can.

Frnknim. I wait until it is a small plant, five leaves maybe? I like to have roots ready. You could try rooting in water and then change, I have not done that yet.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 12, 2012
6:58 PM

Post #9040275

I took some new photos today while watering.

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
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jannich
Andalusia, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 12, 2012
7:01 PM

Post #9040278

Beautiful as always Sally.

Jan

Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 12, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9040299

Sunkissed Rose today.

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Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

March 12, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9040336

Just beautiful...the semi hydro really works for you. I am trying it on some of my A.V.'s and orchids and begonias and in hopes it will turn out for me as well.
jannich
Andalusia, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2012
5:29 AM

Post #9040698

Another beautiful AV Sally

I'm trying the poor woman's version of semi hydo.LOL.I read about it on another form,it's stuff called Turface.Looks like little rocks.I'll see how it goes.

Jan
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2012
6:25 AM

Post #9040774

Sally, as usuall, your pictures and plants are beautful. Keep posting them. I keep adding to my list, when I see your violets. LOL
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 15, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9043547

Oh boy I am getting addicted again. Just ordered 4 more from Robs. Can't help but fall in love with them when they start blooming.

Thumbnail by Sally0
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lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

March 15, 2012
12:20 PM

Post #9043854

What a beautiful display SallyO!

Jan,let us know how the Turface works for you.I have heard pros and cons.
Lynn
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 15, 2012
1:22 PM

Post #9043901

I have used the primeagra for years. I have about 100 plants in it including succulents and cactus. I had grown the AV's in the primeagra for a number of years then I ended up getting a divorce. I stopped growing the AV's for a few years and have just started up again. It is actually the only way I can grow AV's and most plants as I tend to over mother everything and kill them. You can really overwater with the primeagra which is great for me. Now I have the bug again and I am up to over 20 AV's and counting. I had promised myself I would only get a few. Like potato chips. lol
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 15, 2012
9:05 PM

Post #9044484

SallyO, beautiful picture! I think you mean't "can't" really over water. :)

Yes, it works so well for me when we go out of town for sure!!!! I got so tired of repotting and was too sick to do that all the time and it is so CLEAN on my shelves!

Post more of your potato chips, Sally O!
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 16, 2012
8:07 AM

Post #9044811

You are right Sally that I meant you cannot overwater. Your right about the repotting. So much less with s/h
imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2012
7:23 AM

Post #9045929

Sally, when you go out of town, how do you set them up? Do you put more water in container? Are they wicked? Sorry if I asked before, but I'm curious. Still hesitating to move over to hydroton.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 17, 2012
4:39 PM

Post #9046455

We were just out of town for a week and I just left them and they were fine. I just filled the container the night before we left and there was still some water in them when I came back.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 17, 2012
4:52 PM

Post #9046470

Yes, I water well, fill my bowls that are under them since I mostly use reg. violet pots and they do great. No worries.

If you start, just do a few at first. I was SO afraid they would die! But I really had no choice, made it easier to decide, ha. I never bag but SallyO bags, you might try that also. I am actually shocked at how easy it has been.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 22, 2012
5:25 PM

Post #9053267

Sally when you prepare your plants to go into s/h, do you clean the roots real well or just rinse the roots off? I am trying to figure out what you do that I don't. I really rough up the roots trying to get rid of as much dirt as possible. Thanks. Sally
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 23, 2012
6:18 PM

Post #9054533

Yes, I clean them pretty well but a little soil left is not a problem. I just potted up four more. One was potted a week ago and it has GROWN! They love it! I need to get pictures of them while they are little to compare later with dates/measurements.

It is so simple, amazing. I am not saying I never lose any. I just lost one from being too wet in the special container. I dont like the containers made for the pellets. I like using the regular violet pots. I don't keep them really wet with the water high in the little bowl below unless we leave town. They get to be less wet usually. I like to go in every couple of days and give them a little bit of water on the roots and then it drains off to the bottom. They like that. I have very few that die now.

Orchids do fine in the special container. Also, my chiritas are fine. Just the violets. Maybe just coincidence.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 24, 2012
5:06 AM

Post #9054870

I just bought 9 more! I am out of control but they are so darn pretty! Alright, I am going to try to not be as rough with the roots and see what that does.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 24, 2012
9:36 AM

Post #9055167

I was also sent some leaves so I am trying them in the s/h. I think I did this years ago but I can't remember. Another adventure.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 28, 2012
11:01 AM

Post #9060497

I hope your leaves work, I haven't tried that yet in the S/hydro.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 28, 2012
11:03 AM

Post #9060502

I just took a photo of Ruffles 'n Lace.

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
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imadigger
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 29, 2012
7:20 AM

Post #9061642

Sally, love the Ruffles n lace. awesome bloom!
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 29, 2012
9:24 AM

Post #9061836

Beautiful Sallyblooms! I just ordered 9 more AV's and think I know what I was doing wrong with the transfer to s/h. I was being too rough with the roots. I was really working the dirt off. I was much more gentle and left dirt on if it was attached and they seem to be doing much better. So on that note, I ordered 5 more AV's. Out of control for sure. lol. Love it.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 29, 2012
9:30 AM

Post #9061849

Jolly Jubileee just started blooming for me.

Thumbnail by Sally0
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2012
10:37 AM

Post #9061964

Wow! This couldn't be any more adorable if you tried! So cute and beautifully grown!
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

March 29, 2012
12:12 PM

Post #9062072

I looove that one Sallyo!

Lynn
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 29, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9062093

Sally0, I am not to rough I guess, I leave some soil on. Doesn't hurt. Your Jolly Jubilee is so great! I can't wait to see more plants. I love how easy it is.
Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 31, 2012
1:26 PM

Post #9064462

I have a few more blooming. Rob's Kitten Caboodle and Rob's Sarsparilla

Thumbnail by Sally0   Thumbnail by Sally0
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Sally0
Yardley, PA

March 31, 2012
1:38 PM

Post #9064473

This is an Optimara noid that is just bursting with blooms

Thumbnail by Sally0
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

March 31, 2012
3:54 PM

Post #9064661

Beautiful and they all have so many blooms.
Lynn
Sallysblooms
South, TX

March 31, 2012
6:38 PM

Post #9064841

WOW, Sally0, the last one looks like a silk plant. They are all SO beautiful! BLOOM happy!!!!!
Sallysblooms
South, TX

April 17, 2012
5:25 PM

Post #9086719

This is a BIG plant, hard to tell. I love FRILLY leaves and blooms! You can see the ceramic planting medium in this one.

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sally0
Yardley, PA

April 18, 2012
5:59 AM

Post #9087228

Very pretty Sally! I also have another one blooming. Rob's Chilly Willy

Thumbnail by Sally0
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sallysblooms
South, TX

April 18, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9087710

So pretty Sally 0. That is a real cutie!

Here is another I took yesterday. Just got four new Optimara's in the mail today also. Time to take off the "soil!."

This message was edited Apr 18, 2012 1:24 PM

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sally0
Yardley, PA

April 18, 2012
4:21 PM

Post #9088033

Very pretty Sally I love the Optimara's, they tend to be bloom machines.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

April 18, 2012
5:20 PM

Post #9088097

Yes, three came in a gorgeous arrangement from my hubby for Valentine's Day. I just thought they were not as good as other violets, but WOW they are strong. Blooms are huge and they are happy plants!
Sallysblooms
South, TX

April 19, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9089091

Two of my Optimara's from Valentine's day. They have loved the semi hydro. They keep blooming and growing so large. The blooms are really big.

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sally0
Yardley, PA

April 20, 2012
5:42 AM

Post #9089869

They are just doing beautifully Sally! They look really big.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

April 20, 2012
1:21 PM

Post #9090527

They are!
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 11, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9161295

Sally -

Just wanted to let you know I finally broke down last week and got a small bag of hydroton. After letting it sit on my table for a week, I just now got done putting my first plant into it - Frozen in Time. I hope it was ok to leave a little of the soil mixed in the roots (I did rinse and scrub as much off as I could) . . . oh, yeah, I left some roots . . . hope that was ok too. We shall see.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 12, 2012
7:09 PM

Post #9162876

I don't take all of the soil out, impossible on some plants. Yes, leave all roots. If it looks sad, cover in plastic. I have had good luck not having to, but it helps people to cover in plastic sometimes.

Good luck! Don't over water. I love it, no soil spilling.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2012
7:58 PM

Post #9162952

Do you leave the pots sitting in water all of the time?
Lynn
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 13, 2012
8:31 PM

Post #9164367

No, for me, that made them too wet. If I go out of town, I put in some water. They seem to like it when I just add water from the top every few days.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2012
1:14 AM

Post #9164479

Okay,sounds good.Thank you.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 14, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9164932

You can see how it works for you.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2012
2:17 PM

Post #9166595

Sally and Sallyo,(and anyone else)

Several of us are experimenting with clay rocks.Have you ever grown Gesneriads that need less water,like Primulina and Streps or Hoyas. in these rocks? I saw some Cacti and Succulents in the pictures above.Does everybody just water from the top and let a little water sit in the bottom of of the tray or do you need to water some plants differently? Do you use anything for PH?

Lynn
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 15, 2012
4:17 PM

Post #9166751

My Charita's LOVE it. I use the special containers from First Ray's for them. I fill it up and they do great. They sure are EASY. I wish A. Violets were that easy!

We grow orchids in them also.
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

June 15, 2012
8:49 PM

Post #9167120

A lot of cacti and other succulents grow on almost humus free, pure mineral substrates in nature. A lot of them are difficult or impossible to keep alive in your average mixes but throw the same plants into "pop-clay" and suddenly, they become pretty easy growers.

"Desert Roses" (Adenium) can be notoriously difficult to keep alive because their roots are very prone to rot in regular mix and that's why they used to be sold almost exclusively pruned onto Oleander (Nerium). However, if you give them s/h, they thrive almost instantly.

The same is true for a lot of the truly root-fussy Aizoaceae and Stapeliads.

The list goes on and on...

Well, and with Gesneriads, it's no surprise that the ones that plants like Violets thrive in s/h as they grow in rock crevices with not much humus in nature.

I probably wouldn't put a Kohleria or an Achimenes on s/h, as they really like a somewhat heavier, humus rich mix but anything like Petrocosmea, Saintpaulia, the alpine genera like Ramonda, (at least some) Sinningia, Primulina/Chirita, Episcia, epiphytes like Nematanthus, Codonanthe or Aeschynanthus should do well.

I prefer to grow Gesneriads in mix but that's just a personal thing. I have grown succulents in s/h in the past and if I were to grow them again, it would be in s/h.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 16, 2012
6:49 PM

Post #9168068

I should move my Desert Rose into it. But it is doing great now. I will maybe move it at some point.
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 16, 2012
8:12 PM

Post #9168170

Once I finish downing this 3L bottle of diet coke, I am going to put one of my episcia in it, with the hydroton for medium . . .
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 17, 2012
5:32 PM

Post #9169254

Good luck! I miss cola...:(
Sally0
Yardley, PA

June 25, 2012
10:14 AM

Post #9180133

Hi Sally, I have 5 dessert roses in the s/h and have for many years. They love it. I haven't lost any to rot ever since I did.
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 25, 2012
12:21 PM

Post #9180349

Nice, SallyO. I love my desert rose. I should repot it this fall. I talked to the owner of First Rays today. He is such a great help for semi hydro!
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

June 25, 2012
7:29 PM

Post #9181017

I would love to know more about it.Any help is appreciated.

Lynn
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 26, 2012
5:53 PM

Post #9182596

The owner of First Rays today talked about adding magnesium. I have it in my fert, but I think I will add more.

Ira, what do you want to know?
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

June 27, 2012
12:06 PM

Post #9183581

I would love to know anything you can tell me about preparing the rocks,whether to let them stand in water or not,adjusting PH,and so on.
Lynn
Sallysblooms
South, TX

June 27, 2012
7:17 PM

Post #9184072

My husband soaked them in Epsom salts. He followed the directions on our pellets from First Rays. No idea about ph, ha. Maybe SallyO knows.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

June 27, 2012
7:55 PM

Post #9184153

Thank you!

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