I thought semi-hyroponic was the eco-friendly answer to all this fir bark problem, but alas...my Paph. Green Glory was telling me another story! The poor guy is on the brink of death with no roots and barely any green top. As I looked at all my other plants that are going through the same symptoms I decided to transplant all my slipper orchids back into bark. The problem was finding enough pots since I have pretty much recycled all the pots that I had collected over the years thinking I would not need them again! Boy was I wrong! I did manage...there are a few plant (4?) that I haven't done or missed. It was quite tiring sterilizing and repotting all these plants. I still need to sterilize all those clay pebbles, but I need buckets and strainers!
Many were losing roots once I had unpotted them. Glad that I had caught them in time that they still had some live roots to grow with though and I repotted the ones that had been in the SH the longest. Those were generally the worst off. The pic above is of a Phrag. bessae X. It has a TON of roots as you can see, but there are only 3 main roots that are attached to the plant! Another Phrag. bessae X that I had bought as the same time as this one only had 2 main roots, but the same thing...massive amount of roots from those two. Only problem was that while I was cleaning off the dead leaves from the plant I accidentally broke off the WHOLE root system!!!! :( :( :(
I am quite disappointed that SH did not work out the way I had hoped it would. It was keeping the plants way too wet. So it looks like back to bark it is! Some plants do well in it though, but not all!