Orchids – Gentle and beautiful tropical plants, in nature growing in a warm wet climate. To create similar conditions in ordinary city apartments, a substrate is required that can constantly hold heat, moisture and air at the location of the root system. Foam glass is a relatively new substrate, but already well proven itself. In the article, we will tell about his advantages and minuses, explain how to prepare and plant an orchid with his help, how to care for her.
According to the peculiarities of the roots of orchids are divided into 2 groups:
- epiphytes – with air root system;
- Geophytes – With the stay of the roots in the soil.
For the first group, light ventilation substrates are needed not only to hold moisture and air, but also to secure the milled roots in space. For terrestrial species growing in conventional soil, substrates should be heavier and more moisture.
Epiphyts grow perfectly in a foam glass without adding other components even in a very dry apartment climate.
For geophytes, foam glass is used as a drainage layer or mixed with other heavy components of the soil.
Material is made of silicate glass, literally foaming at 1200 °. It turns out the cellular material of high strength, airiness, which retains constant heat and does not let water. In this form it is used for construction purposes.
For the needs of the flower products, the product formula has been changed, and the foam glass gained extra ability: absorb moisture. It turned out a highly efficient product that improves the structure of the soil increases its productivity. The material does not crumble, easily mixed with other components. Therefore, the cultivation of colors does not apply a foam glass of construction purposes, but only a specialized substrate GrowPlant. The value of the foam glass as a material that contributes to the cultivation of orchids is its characteristics.
- The product has excellent water absorption. Foamed glass (GROWPLANT) when irrigation is instantly dried with water, unlike wood bark, which you have to soak by clock. The substrate absorbs up to 70% of fluid based on its own weight. The location of porous cells (micro and macropores) allows to keep the horizontal spread of the water balance, which contributes to a uniform dosage of moisture supply to each root.
- Along with water, minerals (calcium, sodium) are entered, present in the substrate itself, partial nutrition of the plant occurs.
- Due to the porosity of the material in a flower pot, aeration is maintained, gas exchanges are carried out, the necessary colors. It prevents the mooring of the soil and helps to exclude the root.
- The versatility of the foam glass lies in a wide range of applications. It can be used as an independent filler and as a drainage. It is well combined with various substrates, filled with both water and nutrient fluid. For example, for small orchids, a mixture of foam glass with a clay is suitable, and for large to the same composition you can add more moss sphagnum and oak or pine bark.
- The material is distinguished by durability, it does not destroy from moisture, time, chemicals, does not appear, does not fit. It can be used repeatedly.
- Foam glass do not affect the fungus and the pathological microflora, it does not like insects and rodents.
- The substrate is environmentally friendly, does not contain harmful impurities, toxic substances, volatile evaporation.
- The mixture of foam glass with soil does not lead to its grasp or salinization.
- The material is not a deficit and is available to any flower.
- The substrate looks aesthetic, forming a single composition with orchid.
As you can see, pluses the substrate a lot, but it’s time to talk about the minuses.
- Granules do not have a smooth surface, their roughness can disrupt the veladen layer of the roots.
- The substrate itself contains little mineral elements.
- In the conditions of dry and warm apartments, the foamwood will often have often.
- Small and large cells of the granules are not related to each other, so there is no common capillary message.
- Orchid may not immediately perceive the material of artificial origin, she will need time for adaptation.
- Foam glass weighs relatively much.
- There is a product expensive due to their high qualities.
The substrate is produced in unequal fractions from 5 to 30 mm. For orchids use a mixture of components of different sizes.
The product may be in the form of granules, rubble or gravel. Packaging with foam glass GROWPLANT should be stored in a closed form in a dry place. Storage period is not limited.
How to prepare a substrate?
Orchids put on the wet substrate foam glass. The material is well absorbed fluid, but there is a way to further increase its moisture. For this, crushed stone is boiled, and then sharply cooled, placing it in cold water. This makes it possible to fully free yourself from the presence of air and so much as possible moisture.
If the foam glass does not boil, the granules still have to rinse with flowing hot water to free up from too small fractions. Cleaning the substrate, it should be left for a day without attention, and only then continue the preparatory work.
To plan orchids, it is better to purchase a pot of transparent plastic, then it will be easier to distribute the substrate among the roots and it is more convenient to observe their development and growth.
To prevent the appearance of fungal and bacterial diseases in orchids, you need to use the liquid preparation “Phytosporin-M”, dilute it with warm water. In the resulting liquid, it is necessary to soak foam glass during the day. You can go to another way: to hold the roots of the plant in the phytosporin-M solution 2 hours, and then plant the substrate into a boiled moisture.
It would not be superfluous before planting a flower check the hydrogen index of the liquid (pH). To do this, go stock test stripes. The normal indicator is 5.8 units of pH. Upon increasing the indicator, it is necessary to make a food soda at the rate of 1 st. L. on 1 L. After a day, re-analyze pH.
How to plant?
When the foam was treated with “phytoosporin”, and then put on moisture, it’s time to transplant. Transplant orchid can be in a certain way.
- The flower needs to be carefully removed from the old pot or organic substrate, rinse the roots and carefully inspect them.
- Dry and damaged parts remove with a secaterator.
- Sections of sections can be treated with activated carbon.
- For a few hours, lower the plant into a solution “Phytosporin” or other antiseptic.
- The bottom of the pot needs to lay out in small gravel, the baby is less forms emptiness.
- Orchid omitted into the container for transplant and holding it on weight, evenly distribute roots throughout the volume of the pot.
- Then it is necessary to gently fill the space of the medium-sized foam glass, trying not to damage the roots. So that the material is compacted, you need to slightly tapping on the walls of the capacity.
- In conclusion, the top of the flower pot is better to put a layer of large rubble.
- Air roots can perform above the surface and plant a magic plant.
How to care?
In the care of orchids, the main thing is not to cut roots. Water can be watered in different ways.
- In conventional irrigation, the extra liquid is collected in the pallet, the pot is immersed in it by 2-3 cm. Substressing, the substrate pulls into the evaporating water and supports the roots of the plant in a wet state. With this method, the next irrigation is carried out only when liquid ends in the pallet.
- The second method provides for immersion of a capacity with orchid for two thirds in warm water. It is necessary to hold the pot of just a few seconds, and this will be enough to impregnate the substrate moisture.
- Watering can also be done by hydroponics. Still at the stage of bookmarks in the pot of the substrate in it, the wick is installed. The wick tip should always be in the water, which rises above, constantly maintains moisture in foam glass granules.
Attention should be paid to the air roots of orchids. If they start silver, it means that the plant lacks moisture, and it’s time to fow the substrate.