I have thought about experimenting with growing my plants in semi hydroponics for a while now. It’s supposed to work well with Hoyas, but I recently changed their soil and didn’t want to stress them too much, so I went with the next best thing – my Adenium arabicum. This one have always had a bit of trouble growing new feeder roots after a heavy handed repot. Maybe the new, fine roots couldn’t find their way through the fresh soil and they just decided to not grow at all. This makes it a good candidate for semi hydroponics. Apparently, even caudiciforms, like Adenium, like to grow freely in Leca and water instead of soil. Semi hydroponics is basically water therapy for plants. The roots grow straight down into a reservoir of water with nutrients and you never let it dry completely.
How I’m doing it.
The first thing I did was to clean the roots. It took a while to remove every single piece of soil and clay, even with most of the roots gone from the last repotting session, but I think I got it all in the end. If I accidentally leave a piece of dirt in there, it may end up causing root rot.
I decided to use a plastic nursery pot and a transparent glass reservoir, so I know how high the water level is inside the plastic pot. I decided to keep the water level low at first, because Leca will act as a wick and transport water to the roots. Right now I don’t know how well my setup works. I just want to avoid causing harm to the roots before they get used to growing in Leca and water instead of soil.
I decided to order a set with 3 different kinds of fertilizer, specifically made for a semi hydroponic setup. I think they’re called Micro, Grow and Bloom. Leca doesn’t have any nutrients in it, so I’ll have to carefully monitor how much to add and when to do so. All of this is basically an exciting experiment for me. I’ve never done anything like this before.
I’ll make sure to keep you updated on my new project. Maybe it will end up being a huge project with different types of plants. Or maybe it will kill my Adenium. Only time will tell.