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  • 2 Post By maria1971
  • 2 Post By catttan

Grammatophyllum speciosum...or, the Plant that Ate Maria

This is a discussion on Grammatophyllum speciosum...or, the Plant that Ate Maria within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So I got this plant on Monday. It's huge! Ummmm. Really huge. Anyway, as soon ...

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  1. #1
    maria1971 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Grammatophyllum speciosum...or, the Plant that Ate Maria

    So I got this plant on Monday. It's huge! Ummmm. Really huge. Anyway, as soon as I wrestled it out of the box (with some minor injuries) I noticed that the previous owner had done somewhat of a questionable potting job: the plant was potted in a huge bulb pot using coconut husk fiber and then the rest of the humongous root ball was in a wire basket with coconut husk fiber.

    I tried to work it out of the wire basket but no go. So, I took it outside to see just whether the root ball would drain well (in light of the fact that it had basically covered the wire basket. I figured, if it drained well, I would just plop the entire thing into a clay pot with rocks.

    UGH....NO GO. After I muscled it to my yard, I soaked and soaked with a hose and basically the root ball was a huge sopping sponge. It was barely releasing the water. Big problem in Miami--since I have killed anything that I have ever grown in CHC. So what to do? I cut off the bulb pot. The thing was rootbound and I could tell even that part was potted in CHC.

    So, I put it back inside, and let it sit. I wanted to see how long it took for it to get dry. Today is Thursday and the root ball was still wet. This was NOT good news.

    So, I decided that my original plan of just putting the root ball encased in the wire basket inside a clay pot with rocks was not going to work. I bought 1) a bolt cutter 2) a saw and 3) a big clay pot.

    I came home, cut the wire basket from the root ball (tore my jeans), and sawed about 1/2 of the root ball (which was still wet). I don't think I can work out the CHC because the roots have basically consumed it, so I'm going to let it go like that. I didn't touch any of the roots that make up the "basket".

    I'm going to spray it with cinnamon spray and pot it up on Saturday. I've been reading online, and the people who own a speciosum pot it using rocks. They also throw clumps of manure and/or compost, which I'm also going to do.

    This has been harder than I thought

  2. #2
    Teena's Avatar
    Teena is offline Senior Member
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    Ah Maria, good luck with this and please a picture of this monster size plant when you've finally repotted it. - martha

  3. #3
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    This is a plant that is endemic to our country. Don't worry - it's impossible to kill it. However blooming it is another matter. In the 8 or more years I had it (collected it myself from the jungle, just 3 miles from my house) it never bloomed but grew into a humongous clump. I divided it and gave the divisions to quite a few people. No reports of flowering from any of them. An aunt who got a division had to beg the garbage man to cart hers away (nearly 10 years without blooms). However, another grower who had a different clone, had the most spectacular show from his clump, grown in the centre of his lawn, on the ground, in the middle of our fierce tropical sun. Once he had 8 spikes all at once, some to 6 feet tall! Good luck with yours and may it find Florida the place to show off.

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Good luck with it. Sees like it is a pretty contented plant if it is that large and has been growing that way for some time. It might be fine in Miami as is. Just pay attention to when you water it so that it can dry out over time.

    cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
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    angela is offline Senior Member
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    Maria, I do not have Gramm. speciosum (wish I did). I have 2 Gramm. scriptum var. citrum one of them is quite a monstrous mass, and the other, a division from the original plant is also going in that direction as well. Both plants are originally potted in wire baskets (for hanging) with 3-4 quartered coconut shells. I can no longer see the shells in either basket now. The larger plant gave me 8 spikes earlier this month, last year I had 6 spikes. Needs some direst sun in order to bloom.
    If you decide to leave the plant as is, do not water from the TOP. water from the bottom, around the root ball.
    good luck. Let us know how it progresses.

  6. #6
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    Miller is offline Senior Member
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    I want one! I keep telling myself to get one but once it gets large may be hard to bring in during the coldest winter months. Maybe I should bite the bullet like you did! Good luck with it!

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