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Phrags with Wet Feet

This is a discussion on Phrags with Wet Feet within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Thanks Jason!...

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  1. #11
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Thanks Jason!

  2. #12
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    Heather, I personally don't like growing the "water loving" Phrag species in standing water. In nature, they never grow in stale standing water. During rainy seasons, some species are actually flooded/submerged underwater for a few months with clean water continously flowing through their roots. The same goes for besseae but since they grow on slopes, clean water trickles down and goes through their roots but never standing in stale water.

    I know a few professional growers who like growing their "water loving" Phrags in water but they are always changing the water almost everyday because stale water attracts all kinds of problem over a long period of time. Hope this helps, Slippah Sistah!!!

  3. #13
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Thanks Pete!
    I think what really got me to wondering was this new mix, which, with the Penn's is really wicking up the water right away, seems to need replacing on a daily basis. I admit, I only put a very small amount of water in the dish, because I am concerned about any standing stale water. But it got me to thinking about the besseae hybrids I have and how they always seem to be thirsty. Maybe when I repot the Mtn. Maid (not for a while yet) I will experiment with it. Also, I have that besseae division from Jason which is in this same mix, so I may try it with that and see how it goes. Jason mentioned having trouble keeping his besseae's roots cool, so this might be a good one to try with.

  4. #14
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    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    I used to have a mental block to growing any orchid in water, but saw people from beginner to professional have tremendous success with sitting their phrags in water. Now I grow in s/h, where everything sits in water, go figure. The water gets replaced about once a week. Sometimes even less frequently if I'm busy. I can tell you that all phrags except the long-petalled species *love* s/h and most of them have roots growing directly into the reservoir. That includes besseae and its hybrids. They love water.

    It's not "natural" to keep them in purportedly stale water, and Peter is correct in that many of the species grow in constantly-flowing water, be it a river bank or on a cliff with constant water seepage. But keeping orchids in pots is not natural either, nor I suppose is the concept of growing phragmipediums anywhere except South America. But I think the greatest wrong one can do a phrag is to let it dry out.

  5. #15
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Well, then, that *said* I hope you don't mind if I use your "cool root lovin'" besseae as an "in water" experiment...it seems a good one to try on, Jason, but if you disagree, gosh, let me know! I don't want to kill
    *anything*!!!!!

  6. #16
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    I don't think it will mind at all, as long as the water is low in salts. CHC is prone to retaining salts, and you can probably get away without fertilizing besseae at all. Unless you use something like RO or distilled. Someone once told me, "you have to sneak it in" with regards to fertilizer and besseae. The water may help keep the roots cool even. It does at least with a pure s/h method.

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