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Help me get happy about this Phrag. Besseae var flavum purchase

This is a discussion on Help me get happy about this Phrag. Besseae var flavum purchase within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    Howard A Guest's Avatar
    Howard A Guest is offline Certified Paph. and Phrag. Addict
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    Default Help me get happy about this Phrag. Besseae var flavum purchase

    It is all about this Phrag. besseae var flavum ('Rising Sun' AM/AOS x 'FVG' AM/AOS) that I purchased a month ago via mail order. It is does not appear to be happy. It only had two leaves when I received it and the remains of several leaves with a third new leaf on the way. Now the youngest leaf is coming in and the oldest is dying just as fast. It looks as if it has been growing like this for a while now.

    I am now noticing that there are several dates penciled on the label that go back to April 2002 ( I assume they are repot dates), if this plant is now four years out of compost shouldn’t it be more developed than this?

    I am concerned for this plant. I really want a happy besseae var flavum, and with my purchase since spending $107 for a single plant is a big step for me, but I felt confident since I have made several great purchases with this vendor, and all of the phrags I have are doing very well for me.

    So now I am curious: is there something unique about this variety that is different than other Phrag besseae’s that make it require different growing conditions than the grower or I have not been giving it?, or is it just a uniquely picky plant? , or is this really a runt and I should be asking for another replacement plant? Is two leaves normal for this plant and I making it loose its oldest leaf? I am currious what everyone thinks of this.
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  2. #2
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    for many species, the strange forms (i.e. alba/flavum etc.) tend to grow less vigorously. it would be interesting to speculate why; no doubt a great deal is from the inbreeding required to maintain that specific trait, but from what I hear the original wild-collected plants aren't quite as vigorous either. but I digress.

    the grapevine mentions that your average besseae flavum is of course not as vigorous as regular besseae. I have one that is growing slowly, but that is a sample size of one. but from what you're telling me you might very well have a runt that is not destined for good things. personally I would take it up with the vendor since 107 is nothing to sneeze at, and oughta be able to guarantee a vigorous plant.

    I would also suggest using NZ sphagnum in a clay pot. I tried bark mixes, CHC, even s/h but went running back to this setup for my besseae. it is the ONLY way I can keep the roots cool enough during the dog days of summer here in the northeast.

  3. #3
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    I don't have flavum experience, but I do have a blooming size besseae that has four leaves. It's not large, but it is healthy and has had no leaf trouble. I got it about six weeks ago, and have given it normal Phrag culture and it's very happy.

    I'd definitely take it up with the vendor. Jason's right - any $100+ orchid purchase is serious money and you have the right to expect a healthy plant.

    Good luck to you and the patient!

    Julie

  4. #4
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    I agree with Jason , it also applies to birds albino Cockatiels ect , definatly contact the vendor. Gin

  5. #5
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    Default Phrag besseae var flavum

    Hello Howard A Guest:
    This variety of Phrag besseae var flavum is a very poor grower and I had purchased one many years ago for $250.00. The plant only had two leaf at a time and never more. I had the same problem that you have. It eventually died and the leaves got smaller and smaller. I grew the plant in coconut husk is a big mistake as it has lots of salt and the plant is very sensitive to salts. I would suggest a mixture of sphagnum moss and large perlite #4 grown in a clay pot with a sauce of water. Water quality is very important for this variety as it is very sensitive and prone to leaf tip burns. Make sure you change the saucer of water every few to keep it fresh. I hope you have better luck than I did. I think the info I provided should avoid a lot of the problems I had.

    Paphman910

  6. #6
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    I tend to kill phrags too. I don't mean too but they eventually look like yours and then they die. I think I've been letting them get too dry and hot and this is one where it is definately better to not get water on the leaves.... especially the crown. I find phrags are hard for me to grow but I'm deep south so I think it is too hot here. Good luck with yours. I'm going to up the watering on the ones I have left and bring them in for the summer as we are already having record high heat days.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by maegg
    I tend to kill phrags too. I don't mean too but they eventually look like yours and then they die. I think I've been letting them get too dry and hot and this is one where it is definately better to not get water on the leaves.... especially the crown. I find phrags are hard for me to grow but I'm deep south so I think it is too hot here. Good luck with yours. I'm going to up the watering on the ones I have left and bring them in for the summer as we are already having record high heat days.
    it's not so much the heat that kills them (although besseae does NOT like hot summer days) than the lack of water. the simplest thing is to sit the hybrids in water if you're not watering enough. you will see a difference quickly.

  8. #8
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    For a seedling in growth, any sign of lack of water should be visible in the wrinkling of the leaves which I do not see. Just take the plant out and inspect the roots. It's tough for a phrag to get root rot but when it does, it's usually pretty bad because the way we water them (almost on a daily basis). I've heard that Besseaes are prone to rot so not to sit them in water.

    Either exchange this plant or repot it going through the whole root treatment regiment treating them for (bacterial/fungal) activities.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    most besseae do not mind sitting in water and in fact appreciate constant moisture. I tried s/h with besseae and the roots grew vigorously until the summer heat set in, and the plant suffered because the roots weren't cool enough.

    I was suggesting to maegg to put phrags in water if they get too dry.

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