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  • 1 Post By mauraec
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Repotting a Giant Phragmipedium

This is a discussion on Repotting a Giant Phragmipedium within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; As you may or may not know, I've been busy lately putting most of my ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Maura Caffrey
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    Default Repotting a Giant Phragmipedium



    As you may or may not know, I've been busy lately putting most of my plants into semi-hydro (or S/H), with the fervent hope that they will adapt quickly and it will help to cut down on watering time and make me a more consistent waterer.

    A few says ago, I repotted my Phrag Les Dirouilles 4N (tetraploid), which is (Sorcerer's Apprentice 4N x Grande 4N). It it has an old growth with the remains of a spike and a new growth 3 times the size of that one. I thought I'd post the process in the hope that it will help someone else and/or elicit suggestions or corrections from those who have more experience.

    This is a little illustrated narrative of my repotting session:


    1. This is the plant that I just eased out of its 5" plastic green pot - with a butter knife! (Note the disposable vinyl gloves - I always use them when handling my plants.)


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    2. The first step of cleaning up - I carefully picked out the old styrofoam peanuts and shook the plant gently to loosen the compost. At this point the compost was more like potting soil (a good sign that it's time to repot. There was also a sour smell to the compost - another sign that it was decomposing:

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    3. The roots are obviously pot-bound, but still very healthy.

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    4. Next I use a large set of tweezers and the blunt other end of a bonsai tool to pick out larger bit of bark, sphagnum, rotting roots, perlite chunks, and the like before I rinse the plant.

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    Continued on next post:

    Last edited by mauraec; March 17th, 2012 at 03:25 PM. Reason: trying to fix photos

  2. #2
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Continued from 1st thread:

    5. I've chosen my largest S/H pot - 8.5" and extra tall, and start with styrofoam squiggles (they're just like peanuts) on the bottom.

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    6. Then I fill in about one layer above the styrofoam with the clay pellets - a few of them drop in between them, but I think that's okay.

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    7. These 2 small holes are punched into the side of the pot about an inch or so from the bottom. They are quite small, and they're the only holes in this pot, but when I water my plants, any water that fills the pot to over those holes will drain out, leaving a reservoir about an inch deep.



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    8. The plant has been rinsed with a strong spray of tap water, then cleaned a little further (this is when some yucky tiny caterpillar/centipede-type thins crawled out, so I picked off the ones I saw and then doused the whole plant in insecticide. After that, for good measure, I soaked it in a really diluted bath of Physan. Now it is ready to be held straight and centered in the pot, and the clay pellets put in by small handfuls evenly all around, and tap the pot lightly to settle them in place.


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  3. #3
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Finally - the S/H repotted Phrag Les Dirouilles, tagged with name and date of repotting, is ready to be put in a lightly shaded area for a week or so while it adjusts to the new medium. And then I hope and pray it will do well and spike for me some time in the next 5 years!

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  4. #4
    Naoki's Avatar
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    Maura, the plant itself and those roots look so healthy. I am sure it will take off in the S/H very soon.

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