Anybody ever tried growing bromeliad houseplants in clay aggregate? I was thinking of transferring a little Neoregelia, but I don't know if it will take to it well. Thanks!
I wouldn't guess you'd run into problems doing that, I've grown pineapples in a similar way. I had it in a homemade basket pot made from a plastic bucket with holes melted through around the bottom and up the sides and set into a couple inches of water.
How are you planning on setting it up?
Oh good, if you had success with a pineapple, I think I can make this happen.
I've got a pup that I brought over from a gorgeous neoregelia. The pup is small, in a four inch pot but will probably not need a bigger one for years. Since the root system is pretty small and tidy, I thought I'd just try what worked with my aglaeonema; rinsing out the root ball and repotting in clean aggregate. I have a four inch hydroculture basket.
What do you think?
I haven't tried Neoregelia, but I have five or six Cryptanthus in hydroculture right now that are doing fine, and my two mini-Neos are stubborn enough that I think they could make it if I wanted to take them that way. (They're growing under lights at 25-30% humidity and showing no signs of upset, which is pretty good for any non-succulent tropical, if you ask me.)
My big suggestion would be, make sure to keep its vase topped off for the first few weeks, while the old roots rot out and the new roots grow in. You may also need to prop it up with something until the new roots have anchored in the LECA. (Otherwise the water in the vase might overbalance and tip it over, tearing off any young roots.)
Come back and post if it works, I might have to give it a try with mine too... :)
You could also try using short lengths of 100% synthetic yarn (color of your choice) mixed in the LECA to act as wicks to increase the humidity and water content near the upper portion of the pot. It won't make much of a difference once the transition is done but it can help a lot when first set up. Don't use a lot of yarn because it can get mold a place to grow but a few pieces are fine. You can also use long fiber sphagnum moss which doesn't have much of a mold problem.
cool, thanks to both of you!