40 thoughts on “Properly Cleaning Growing Media: Semi-Hydroponics”

  • Мая Илиева says:

    Why are you going true the trouble to boil your clay, if in the end you are washing it with tap water, kinda makes no sense.

  • Thank you Michael , I enjoyed 👍🏾 I have 9 Orchids all n bark , 4 r sick🧐 should I use beads ?? They r Paphiopedelum .

  • @Michael's Orchids, I have been a subscriber for a short time (just found you a bit ago), and I am in the process of transferring my orchids from their pots into a semi-hydroponic system. My question regarding this video is about storage: After I have cleaned and sanitized the beads and after they appear dry to the touch, can I lay them flat on a baking sheet and dry them further on a very low heat for a few hours to completely dry them? The deal is, I am ridiculously afraid of bugs, roaches, vermin, etc. and the idea of leaving any opportunity for them to crawl up into my stored beads makes me -well I don't think I could do that and want to place them in a completely sealed container… which yes, humidity from the beads, yada yada. I live in the Mojave Desert (we live about 45 minutes from Gubler Orchids –, so things are already fairly dry, but still, people have grass, and other plants where bugs love to hide and it's a constant battle. Help!!!

  • Hi Michael. Your leca beads don't look anything like mine. Yours seem to be about the same size and they have uniform color. The ones I ordered look very different, and I am rather unhappy with them. Would you be so kind as to post the brand or the company where you buy yours? Also, Please feel free to share any advice concerning this. Thanks so much. I'm really enjoying your videos!

  • Anne Vickers says:

    First of all, I think you are fantastic! I am a little confused about the pros and cons of semihydro (sp). If you have to boil the beads to clean them, how is that any different than changing the medium every couple of years? I have learned so much from you, and I so appreciate your knowledge.

  • Michael, I am new to your methods regarding orchids. Do you have a video of the beads and their qualities for an orchid?

  • Angie Holstein says:

    New to orchids and your videos what drill bit do you use to drill your pots or is there a video of that… thanks in advance

  • Hi Michael, I recently got a C.leopoldiii ceorulea that as you know does not like to be reported. I am considering moving it from bark to LECA, to ease the future reporting.
    Let me know your thoughts about it and recommendations. What can I expect from the plant as it adapts to LECA?

  • Jessica Araya says:

    Hi Michael,
    Very helpful videos. Thanks
    Whee do you buy laca bead and what's the brand of laca beads you used?

  • Kristie Mamelli says:

    It's a simple procedure that can easily be missed or even done incorrectly. You fill a void here! Thanks!

  • Kabloona Kelly says:

    …..I'm pretty sure I'm an idiot. Over a month ago I jumped into Leca bead use by repotting a dozen of my least favorite phals. in them. Now I learn they…….(beads not orchids) should have been washed and "cooked" first. …Thank god I have no interest in sky diving! haha. The phals. seem to be ok, though I did put one oncidium(sp) in Leca and it is not happy at all. Thanks for the info. and well done video. Mr. Kelly


    Hi Michael – wish I had seen your video before I transplanted my orchids from Seramis to Lyca beads. I did soak them but never boiled. Question please let me know why you use glass containers rather than plastic clear ones – I melted my own holes and previously I had them in clay pots but had to water constantly.. Am going to be gone for 3 weeks and don't have a clue how my orchids are going to survive here in southern AZ Love your videos and just found this by mistake – to my great benefit of course!!! THANKS

  • Aprille Thomas says:

    I do have some leca beads but am running low. Mine are various sizes. Yours seem to be of a more similar size, Would you mind sharing where you buy your Leca beads? I'll wait with baited breath……..

  • Lillian Nishimura says:

    I bought some leca beads and they're not completely round (some more pieces than ball shaped)will these work just as well? Also, how long do you boil them for? I boiled mine for 20 minutes is that long enough?

  • Judith Sarcochilus says:

    Thanks, just one question, I thought I had read that it is best to use wet leca when repotting, but it seems you do it with dry clean leca. Have you ant thoughts on this?

  • Renee Jolley says:

    Would like to give this a try! Have a woman in our Orchid Society that grows semi-hydro, but never have had the chance to ask her – her orchids are always beautiful when she brings one in!
    Did just get some Lecas & plastic pots & am thinking of trying one of my encyclias that is in serious need of a re-pot.. also thinking of one of my bulbos – I like Bill Thoms' 'wetter longer' approach, and this may be good without the stuff that tends to form on top of the sphagum…
    Thanks for a great video!

  • Libby's Little Garden says:

    thank you this was very informative as a matter of fact I really enjoyed it thank you Michael I am new to your Channel and I will be keeping in touch I am about to order some lack of beads and lucky you are able to make holes in glass tried it broke them not doing it again😞😄👵

  • Just discovered your channel and I am hooked! Where do you get your leca? I tried semi hydro before but couldn't get my leca to wick the water up. Maybe it's the brand I'm using? I purchased mine from Repotme.

  • Angie McCain says:

    Hi, I was wondering how long to boil the Leca, or is it enough to get it to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat? Thanks!

  • Todd's Tropicals says:

    I have been seeing quite bit of this semi hydro culture for orchids but I doubt it will work for me because I grow outdoors here in Florida and have too many different plant species I grow. I'm also way too clumsy for all that glass, but none the less I still think it's interesting so I subscribed.
    Thanks for sharing & happy growing
    Cheers from Florida!

  • OrchidudeBcn says:

    Hey Michael, yeah I find boiling the leca the most efficient way to clean and sanitize it too. If you add some calcium nitrate or some Epsom salts to the water, it helps leech out the bad stuff from the leca even faster! 😉

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