Let’s talk transitioning from soil to Semi-Hydro. This is the same for any type of hydroponics set up with any plant - Whether you’re going for our Semi-Hydro blend, Clay Pebbles or any hydro substrate, we figured it would be a great idea to give you some pointers on converting your soil grown plants to semi hydro.
The first step is to select one of your lovely green babes for this process (a very important part). Once you're happy with the chosen plant, its time to take it out of the nursery pot and get rid of the loose soil.
The next part is super important! Remove as much of the soil from the roots as possible by washing the roots with lukewarm water. Washing your roots can be a bit of a task, sometimes peat based substrates really cling on and refuse to come off even with gentle rubbing in the shower.
So here are some tips and tricks that you can try to get the soil off a little easier;
- Soak the roots in slightly warm water for an hour or two to help loosen that suck on soil.
- Use a soft bristled brush to slowly push down on the affected areas, forcibly dislodging it!
- Slowly and very carefully run the roots between your fingers under the shower, gently massaging the excess soil off.
When removing soil from roots it's very common to break or detach finer, secondary roots - this is totally normal. In most cases those secondary roots are replaced with all new ones in semi hydro very soon after establishing.
If you pull your plant out of soil and see it's suffering from some root rot, we absolutely recommend a treatment of Hydrogen Peroxide for 5-10 minutes (5% Hydrogen peroxide to 95% water). This will help kill any bad pathogens growing on the rot as well as cauterise affected root areas from the rot continuing to spread. If all the plants roots have completely rotted away, just chop off any remaining roots and regrow with your favourite propagating method until you're ready to pop it into Semi-Hydro at a later date.
Okay, so you have clean roots (if all went well) and you're ready to pot it up in a beautiful little self watering planter, at this point we need to turn to our Semi Hydro mix. Soaking the mix in a big bowl or flooding the bag with a hole at the bottom is a great way to clear any built up dust and sediment from transit and storage. This will ensure that all the porous materials are free to do their job fantastically when you add them to the pot!
Once you've got a clear solution after rinsing and soaking, fill your insert pot 1/3 of the way up with clean Semi Hydro mix. At this point, start positioning your plant, ensuring it's roots all fit in the pot and the stem is centred! Then back fill with semi hydro around it (pro tip: shaking the pot a little as you back fill will get the aggregate into those delicate root gaps without applying pressure onto the roots!).
Once you've potted it up, you can add some of our complete Slow Release Fertiliser if you chose this fertiliser! We absolutely recommended never exceeding more than 2% of the pots substrate volume and less is absolutely more of this powerful fertiliser We will have a super helpful chart for recommended fertiliser doses based on individual plants very shortly!
Now you can sprinkle the fertiliser into the mix at different layers or just around the top, either way the nutrients will be slowly wicked and buffed towards the hungry roots!
If you choose to go down the liquid fertilsier route, we recommend waiting about a month before fertilising so the plant can start its new root growth! We always recommend Liquid Gold Leaf as a complete liquid fertiliser.
Now, water through, make sure your reservoir is full and place your newly converted botanical babe in a place with good light and enjoy a much easier approach to indoor growing! Check out our Complete Guide for more information on our Semi-Hydro blend.