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Compots

This is a discussion on Compots within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; After a long afternoon of repotting, my kitchen won't be winning any Good Housekeeping awards ...

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  1. #1
    Piper's Avatar
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    Default Compots

    After a long afternoon of repotting, my kitchen won't be winning any Good Housekeeping awards anytime soon, I decided to tackle the repotting of one of my two compots of Phrags.

    Compot stands for 'community pot.' Orchid seeds are sown in sterlile flasks, and as they slowly grow they'll get reflasked or replated into new sterile medium with more elbow room.

    Once the seedlings are large enough to come out of flask, they're typically potted together with many tiny seedlings in a single pot. These are referred to as 'compots.' The close crowding of seedlings gives the roots that snug sense that makes them happy. They never like to swim in a sea of potting medium.

    I wanted to push my orchid growing experiences a bit further back, earlier in the developmental life cycle. I've got a couple of Catt seed pods ready to sow into flask with ATester's expert assistance in the next two weeks, but I ordered a couple of flasks of recent Phrag crosses back in May to get more experience working with newborns...or at least seedlings coming out of flask.

    When the grower offered to compot the flasks for me, I thought, "Great! I'll do this in smaller steps so I don't screw up an entire flask at once!" Particularly one I paid a lot for! I readily agreed, and he delivered the two flasks already compotted.

    It's time for them to be repotted individually...and I attacked the first one midafternoon today...

    McJulie
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  2. #2
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    The first photo is of the second compot I have yet to attack. It's the same size as the first, so it will give you an idea of the relative size and crowding of the seedlings.

    I worked slowly and carefully, but the roots were a woven mass that were slow to untangle. Still, seedlings are very fragile and I didn't want to tug. I flushed with a lot of water and wiggled and bounced and shook the root mass until small pieces worked loose.

    By the time I finished, I had 33 seedlings awaiting potting. Umph! The second photo is the graduating class of 9/9/06!

    Now I've promised a few to friends. Nine out of the 33 seedlings. So I thought a lot about which ones to choose. My goal is to grow up most of the seedlings and document the differences between siblings from a same cross. Keeping two dozen seedlings for myself from each of two different crosses is insane no room, no room! but that's my goal.

    It's very tempting to keep the biggest seedlings with the most impressive roots. But that only insures vigor. It's flower form and color at the end of the day that matter most. And that can come from slow-growing runts. Still, I'd hate to send a slow-growing runt to a friend.

    So I decided that the third of the litter that I'd promised to others would come from the good-looking medium sized seedlings. There all I've potted, as I write this, so I'm back into the kitchen for round 17...to pot my seedlings!

    The final picture contrasts the size difference within the same compot. Quite impressive!

    McJulie
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  3. #3
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    Great documentation Julie! I sure hope that you ordered enough hooks to cover your whole cieling! Pretty soon you will have to stay in the car while the orchids rule the house for REAL!

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    Julie, I'm impressed!! And to think you managed to keep your kitchen dirt free. They all look happy, and I want to see updates!

  5. #5
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    Julie, That looks like a lot of work!
    Want to come and do that for us sometime? We have a couple of overgrown flasks that need to skip the compot stage and go directly into individual pots.

    Where are you going to grow all of those little guys?

    Cheers!
    BD

  6. #6
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    Wow, McJulie, although it appears that little green aliens are arriving in your kitchen, it is a very cool interesting project. Do you (REALLY dumb question) hav pics from the beginning of this project? Could you briefly (for us Orchids-for-Dummies folk) explain what the babies are compoted in?
    And what are the crosses, or did I miss that soma whares?
    PS - wine glass needs more wine.

  7. #7
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    Phew! The potter is pooped! I'm taking a short breather. Got 16 of 33 potted. Yikes - shouldn't have started this so late in the day...

    Thanks for the invite, Bruce, but I believe we should each live in our own self-inflicted hell!

    Tami, when I come up for air, I'll make more sense of the time line, and spell out the crosses. Might be tomorrow, might be next week. I also have some very thirsty plants. Repotting means watering doesn't get done...

    McTired

  8. #8
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    he he he just wait till they grow up what will the admission be to see Julies Jungle . Gin

  9. #9
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    HOLY VEAL!!!

    Oh dear ... McJulie's very own baby phrag jungle!

    I dun't know about this undertaking, McJulie! But GOOD LUCK! We all root for you! Hehehheeeeee ...

    Cheers. And may your baby phrags live long and prosper! Doc Spock.

  10. #10
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    And only 6 or 7 years till they bloom!!!!

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