Saving a Troubled Philodendron with Semi-Hydroponics

You will need a respirator because you don’t want to breathe in the glass dust when you drill the holes, a plant that needs replanted, some plant scissors, sanitary wipes to wipe the plant scissors with, a dremel or dremel type tool, some gloves, a glass bottle you want to recycle, some leca or expanded clay ball rocks, a special dremel bit, and some dremel oil.

This are the expanded clay rocks that I use, I like them better than the regular leca because they are not round so if you drop them they don’t roll around on the floor.

Viastone Expanded Clay Rocks, 10-Liter

The best bit I found to get through glass and also put holes in the bottom of pots. I bought it on Amazon and it is:

Dremel 663DR 1/4-Inch Glass Drilling Bit

I also used some glass cutting oil to help the bit last longer and to avoid breakage.

CRL Professional Glass Cutter Oil – 4 Ounce is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

I drilled holes about an inch from the bottom of the jar on opposite sides in order to create a reservoir in the bottom for water. This will provide humidity and additional water for the roots to seek out. I have done this multiple times including with snake plants and succulents and the roots do grow down to the reservoir. I have never over watered a plant in semi-hydroponics even when they are left out in the rain with no protection during a rainy spring. It is also harder to underwater a plant using semi-hydro because the water is available to the plant if you forget to water. Propagating plants including hoyas and philodendrons is also very easy using semi-hydroponics. One thing to remember is that the plant doesn’t get nutrients from the leca or viastones so if you want your plant to thrive then you will need to fertilize during the growing season.

I just uploaded a step by step video on youtube for you to follow. Please check it out:

I wanted to include an old picture of my hoyas that I had growing on my deck in semi-hydro and they absolutely loved it. This was in 2011, I was in nursing school and working night shift at Target. I was so broke at that time that I couldn’t afford nice ceramic pots so I bought cheap plastic cups and drilled holes into them. I used to drink Mountain Dew at Target in order to stay awake while I worked so I would save those green bottles and use them as semi-hydro pots. I found this photo on my old blogspot blog that I used to have back then.