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  • Compotting Brassavola cuculatta


    This is my first attempt at compotting plants from flask. I received the "flask" on April 3, 2007.

    This is how the plants are sent from the vendor: deflasked and in an inflated Whirly bag. It looks like they traveled well in this way, certainly much better than tumbled and tossed in a large glass or plastic container. It also gives him the opportunity to considrably reduce the cost by dividing up the spoils and on shipping. OK all you experts, how many are in there?

    The set up

    Here are some of the things I used to accomplish the task. The colander has the sphag in it waiting to be wetted. There is a bowl of RO water and some special fertilizer I got for cuttings. I put it in the water at about 1/2 strength with the measuring spoons.

    I added a couple of items once I got started: a chop stick, a pair of plastic tweezers and some sharp, pointy bonsai shears.

    On the left is the bowl I plan on using to do the compot. It is a small bonsai bowl and will allow the sphag to dry out quickly. The purpose of this is to help reduce the chances of damping off.

    At this point I am wondering if the container will be big enough considering the mass of plants in the bag!

    HOLY MOLY!!!!

    Now I am SERIOUSLY considering where I am going to put all these babies! I was promised a quantity of at least 25 plants: 1... 2... 3... oh forget it.

    As they were uncerimoniously dumped into the bowl
    After some gentle teasing and separating

    Any clues on quantity yet? I know I have given up trying to figure it out!!!

    Let the sorting begin...

    Here is how I sorted the plants, at least a few of the larger ones. I got a tray and lined it with a paper towel and then wetted the towel to keep the roots humid while working with them. Oh, the colander is in the sink with the sphag soaking now.

    A few of the plants ready to be potted up

    PAY DIRT!!

    Here are the first TWO compots that I put together. I totally forgot to count as I was placing them. I was working as fast as I could. I was not sure how dense to place them in the containers. I did not want to croud them and I did not want to under do it either. Some of the plants were pretty well developed both above and below the crown. One even had a leaf well enough developed that I could easily see the crease down the center of the leaf!!!

    The first compot completed
    The second one (but NOT the last!)

    Did I mention there are a LOT of plants? There are at least thirty in each of these dishes.

    What to do with the chaff...

    I did not know what to call it, so chaff will have to do. I was NOT going to give up on them. I could still see decent leaves and roots in there.

    Itty, bitty babies
    Pot the suckers up!!! I used a slightly thinner layer of sphag, placed the plants and then lightly covered them with a layer of sphag dust. I then did a fairly aggressive spray down to wet the dust and to rince it off of the little darlings.

    What do you think? Is there a chance some will make it?

    Oh, and a little vented lid to help keep them a little more humid for a short while, a week or two maybe? Then it is out into the cold, dry world with them.

    The little ones all tucked in
    in the first image. AND ----- A little protection for them with a lid.

    Post Care

    I used Phyton 27 in the water for the first misting. I noticed that the media in the covered container was not drying out very quickly so it was removed after 3 days. This was recommended by those more knowledgeable than I am. For watering I have been letting the media dry out or nearly so between mistings. Periodically (once a week or so) I thoroughly soke the media. I have been keeping them in the same area as my phal seedlings. I plan on moving them to increased light at about the 6-8 week point.

    Things have been going quite well so far and I have not noticed any serious die off in any of the pots.

    murdomac and Phimax like this.
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