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Trying an experiment

2 years ago

I tried growing my hoyas in 4" net pots, placed inside a ceramic cache pot. The root systems grew huge! They were fed every other week, and because they're outside in a small hobby GH where the temps are above 90 every day, I watered them twice a day. Once around 7am, sprayed / misted several times during the day, and again around 5pm or so. They loved it but the time it took was consuming all my free time. Additionally, if I missed a watering, they really let me know it, and whenever I removed the net pot from the cache pot, I would destroy countless roots because they adhered to the sides of the cache pot. Sometimes I had to get a screwdriver in there in order to break free the net pot. Clearly this worked, but even so, it wasn't a good idea. So I tried something different.

I bought a few 7" plastic pots, then removed the net pots from the cache pot and placed them inside, in the center, of the 7" pots. I then filled in the surround space with a chunky mix of orchid bark, pearlite, cactus soil, charcoal and whatever else is in some of the orchid bark mixes. I watered everything really well, soaked it in fact. Now, after a few days in the heat, the mix is still slightly damp which I found the plants prefer (at least now in the summer. come winter the watering will be cut back drastically). I realize everyone says the plants like to be root bound, but now they can wander throughout the pot without fear of being broken every time I check on them. A larger root system will also make for more areas to pick up nutrients and hopefully result in a healthier plant. One Australis clipping (only a couple of roots on it when I initially placed it in the center of the 10" pot) which I planted in an 10" hanging basket and threw under a tree, has pushed out two vines maybe four feet long since late April! It's now attached itself to the tree it was hanging from, so removing the roots from the tree bark is going to be a chore to say the least. The point is, it's a huge basket, always moist, and the plant loves it.

Below are two pictures of the potting arrangement. Both plants are NOIDs, and I have no idea what they are. Their root systems prior to the move were massive. Since they weren't disturbed in the move (except the ones I broke removing them from their cache pot), I'm hoping to see some new vines soon as well as peduncles forming.

I've also attached for your viewing pleasure, a picture of my basjoo banana plant. This guy I've had for 20 years. He's cut down to ground level every fall, covered with some leaves as protection, and regrows in the spring. Basjoos are winter hardy. One year it flowered, but the season isn't long enough for it to bear fruit. It grows maybe 25-30 feet in a season! It also takes a tremendous amount of water since some of those leaves are 8-10 feet long!


It receives sun from about 8am to 8pm every day.

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