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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; I know we've touched on this before, but I am looking for some sort of ...

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  1. #1
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Default Phrags with Wet Feet

    I know we've touched on this before, but I am looking for some sort of fairly definitive list of the water loving phrags. Of course I know that other culture variables will vary ones conditions, but is there some way to tell, based on parentage, etc. who wants more water and who wants less? Like, general guidelines such as "if bess is in the parentage, water = x" ? Just an example...

    Part of my recent confusion has to do with the fact that at the greenhouse, my latest aquisition was grown sitting in water. So, after a couple days, and watching the mix dry out very very fast, I put it back in a dish of water, figuring it was closer to the way it was raised. I've had some trouble w/ underwatering my St. Peter and Barbara LeAnn, and now water more frequently, but I *still* seem to be a day late and a dollar short on the St. Peter, which makes me wonder about the others! I could always tell by the bloom on that one, and now it is out of bloom so I'm back to wondering again about this stuff. I water the Mtn. Maid with the other two, reliably and it seems happy.

    I would imagine I am going to get some contradictory responses here. I'm not interested in switching over to S/H, but I do have the diatomite/CHC mix that the Penn's Creek Cascade (the one sitting in a dish of water) came in. I notice that this mix dries really quickly in other plants that are not sitting in water. So, any thoughts? Concerns? Chastising?

    Thanks!

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    Ohhh chastising sounds fun!

    Well, I have seen Phrags grown in all sorts of conditions well. I have seen some dry out and do well and the same clone stay wet. As a general rule, caudatum, lindenii and wallisii are technically not grown as wet as they can be found more prominently in trees and on volcanic rock. But that still means they like damp conditions but could have problems with "wet feet". Schlimii is another I personally have found to not like the "wet feet" method but a buddy of mine does well with his sitting in a saucer of water. Go figure. I think water quality and fertilizer are bigger issues to well grown Phrags.

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    This is probably a question but...If the phrag sits in a dish of water, what keeps its roots from turning to mush? Wouldn't they rot? Or like S/H do you keep the roots above the water level?

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer

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    Good question. This is what I have been told and have noticed about roots. it's not the water that cause the roots to rot. It's lack of exchange of gases that the roots give off. This builds up carbonic acid and that causes the root rot. This is why many orchids can be successfully grown in water culture. If the water is change weekly then the exchange of gases happens. Now, I have also been told that roots if given lots of moisture or water during growth will adapt to the conditions ,with good exchange of gas. Same if given the lack of water while developing. I would assume, this is why some roots die right away from being put from wet conditions to dry conditions or vice/versa.

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    If the water is change weekly then the exchange of gases happens. Now, I have also been told that roots if given lots of moisture or water during growth will adapt to the conditions ,with good exchange of gas.
    I,ve been wondering about this for awhile.My Phrag"Sorcerers Apprentice" grows in a shallow bowl of water after about a week or so tiny bubbles can be seen rising from the water.I guess that this is carbon dioxide which should be beneficial to gas exchange in the same way as in water culture.
    Good or bad

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    Wow, kewl! I just thought the moisture was the cause of the rot. That is really interesting. Thanks for the information!

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer

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    I have no clue about the water culture. I have no experience in it and all I know is from what I have read. I really should try a few Phrags in it just for kicks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer
    This is probably a question but...If the phrag sits in a dish of water, what keeps its roots from turning to mush? Wouldn't they rot? Or like S/H do you keep the roots above the water level?

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer
    I don't know why the roots don't rot, but in most phrags, the roots will go into the bottom of the pot and actually grow into the reservoir (I use regular pots for s/h and sit them in trays of water that act as the reservoir). A few paphs do that too, but it's not nearly the response that the phrags give.

    Heather, don't sit caudatum, wallisii, warscewiczianum, lindenii in trays. Pretty much everything else, including hybrids of the above like Grande, can sit in water. (At least most plants of these hybrids will do fine, since the other parent is usually a terrestrial and water-loving).

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    Ok, well this is wallisii x Grande 4N, right? a hybrid, grown sitting in a dish of water, but what I am noticing is that after a day, only a *day* the small amount of water in the dish is gone, so I refill it. Only about a centimeter. There are a lot of holes in the bottom of the pot, but none in the sides, since I've not repotted - not messing w/ *this* one until it is out of bloom at least, too in *love* , yes, I am fawning!

    So what about the besseae and hybrids? They are flipping me out a little. They just seem to like more h2o than I am giving them...maybe.... I water every 2-3 days! and they still look like they are wilting, particularly that St. Pete. bloom, which perked up as soon as I watered it. Sorry to be a pest, just trying to figure this out.

    Since the next to go out of bloom and need repotting is the Mtn. Maid, I wonder if putting it in the diatomite/chc mix and sitting it in a tray of water might be an interesting experiment...any thoughts/opinions/chastizations (is that a word?) in regards to that?

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    besseae loves water. good clean pure low-salt water. it is very prone to overfertilization. i have grown a grand total of two besseae seedlings, and both developed brown spots on the leaf tip (the precursor to leaf tip dieback) almost every time i fertilized them. one grew to maturity and is much less sensitive to it; the other is a recently-acquired seedling and it gets plain water all the time now.

    besseae hybrids also love water.

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