I was looking at buying specialized hydroponic pots for growing orchids “semi hydroponic” (not immersed). I realized IKEA had the ODLA pellets (growing media) much cheaper than my local garden center.
Then, I saw the VACKERT containers and realized they could replace the specialized pots if they were placed in an attractive bowl.
This orchid semi hydroponic hack lets me grow them the way I want, in a very attractive manner. It makes the orchids easier to care for since watering is done less often. Also since our humidity is often lower than is good for the orchids, the large surface area of the bowl give it lots of evaporation around the orchids.
IKEA items used:
- VACKERT decorative votive holder
- TIDVATTEN bowl
- ODLA grow media
Other materials and tools:
Semi hydroponic orchid pot hack instructions:
Wash ODLA grow media in a strainer to remove dust.
Remove all dirt, moss, etc from your orchid’s roots. It is easier if you soak the roots briefly.
Place enough ODLA media into the VACKERT container until you reach the second set of holes. You want the roots to be above the water line, so you will immerse the VACKERT between the first and second set of holes.
Related: The easy way to start a hydroponic garden
Hold the orchid so its base is just above the rim of the VACKERT container and the roots are dangling above the ODLA media. Begin to add ODLA media into the spaces around the roots until you’ve filled the spaces up to the base of the plant. You might have to shake it to help the ODLA settle into place. You should leave any air roots outside the VACKERT container.
Set the potted orchids into the TIDVATTEN bowl and fill the bowl with water until it reaches just above the first set of holes in the VACKERT.
Water will keep the ODLA media wet through capillary action.
Add water as it evaporates to keep the level the same.
Every 2 weeks or so take the potted orchids to the sink and runs some room temp water down through the ODLA media to remove any accumulated salts. This is also a good time to wash out the TIDVATTEN bowl and refill with fresh water. Before placing the orchids back in the bowl, water them with some weak orchid fertilizer and let them drain briefly.
Related: How to grow food at home with an IKEA hydroponic system
Place them back in the TIDVATTEN bowl and check the water level.
How long and how much did it cost?
About $20 for a bowl and three containers. It only took about 20 minutes.
What to pay special attention to?
Don’t let the orchid roots touch the water. They may grow down into the water but they will have acclimated to that by then.
~ by Andy