Hydroponics and Orchids

Hydroponics and Orchids

Growing and caring for orchids is a very pleasurable experience for any enthusiast. There is however an alternative to growing orchids the traditional way and that is with hydroponics. Hydroponics allows you to grow crops and plants without soil or compost as the roots of the plants are placed in a mineral nutrient solution.

The Babylonians and Aztecs cultures grew plants without soil so technically they were using a form of hydroponics. Our technology and scientific knowledge has improved dramatically since the times of the Babylonians and Aztecs as well as our understanding of the benefits

In their natural environment, plants absorb mineral nutrients from soil when these nutrients dissolve in water. The level of our understanding of the required nutrients has enabled us to artificially introduce them into the plants water supply and as a result the soil is no longer required.

Please be aware that there is a difference between hydroponics and a soilless culture. Hydroponics is a type of soilless culture but other soilless cultures include sand and gravel.

There are many advantages using hydroponics which can be applied to the care of orchids.

  • No soil – It should be obvious that you don’t need to purchase any soil. No soil means that soil borne diseases are no longer an issue which reduces the need for pesticides.
  • No weeding required
  • Watering – It is very difficult to under water an orchid but over watering is a very common problem. Hydroponics removes this headache and at the same time saves water.
  • Space – Less space is required with hydroponics.
  • Light – More of the plant is exposed to sunlight. Also, as more of the plant is exposed it is possible to see the roots so identification on any problems is easier.
  • It’s easy – The system is very easy to set up and once set up it requires very little maintenance.
  • Growth – The orchid is given the correct nutrients in the correct quantities which means more beautiful and healthy orchids can be grown.

There are obviously many advantages which hydroponics provides. It won’t however solve all the problems faced by the orchid enthusiast. Greater flower yield isn’t always guaranteed and the costs can sometimes be higher than when grown in soil.

Orchid enthusiasts should make an effort to at grow at least a few orchids using this method. They will be surprised at the ease of using hydroponics and it will only increase their knowledge and experience in the care of orchids.