Question for bonsai or orchid growers: Any crossover tips & tricks for hydro?


Hi folks,

I’ve been curious for a while now about growth substrates that are less problematic to maintain at a suitable pH and nutrient mix compared to DWC hydro. Coco coir in self watering pots (e.g. Window Garden Aquaphoric brand) seems to work fairly well for houseplants, but the coco coir stays maybe a bit too damp.

I’ve seen stuff about growing orchids in water with clay pellets to support the roots, but I’ve never tried it. @Webb.Peter introduced me to the idea of using arcillite (Turface brand, Bonsai Jack Monto Clay, etc.) in combination with Nutricote slow release fertilizer pellets. I think that sort of combination may be common for growing bonsai trees. I haven’t tried that either, but it sounds interesting.

So, my question is, are there any bonsai or orchid growers out there watching the forum who would like to talk about your experience with substrates? I’m wondering if there are techniques for orchids and bonsai that might transfer well to growing vegetables. I’m particularly curious about tips and tricks for reducing the labor involved with maintaining stable, long-term pH, nutrient, and moisture levels.