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Goodyera pubescens

This is a discussion on Goodyera pubescens within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So yesterday I went to the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show. Our society had a ...

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  1. #1
    jfrizz743 is offline Senior Member
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    Unhappy Goodyera pubescens

    So yesterday I went to the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show. Our society had a small display there. Well, the people that landscaped our backyard were there, and they were actually selling plants, which was a bit of a surprise, because while the owner of the company has his own greenhouse at home, I wasn't aware of him selling plants commercially. Anyway, he had probably 30-50 different Hostas, and other perennials and wildflowers. One of the wildflowers was Goodyera pubescens, common name Downy Rattlesnake Plantain or the Rattlesnake Orchid. So I looked it up on the internet to see if it was an actual orchid or if it was just called that, and, lo and behold, it is. I've been wishing I could plant orchids outside for a while, but living in Arkansas most that are relatively easy to find will not tolerate our cold. I haven't been able to find a nursery that raises the native Arkansas Cypripediums, so I kinda thought it was a pipe dream. But then they had these. So, I bought 3 pots, each pot had two plants in it.

    The thing is, I'm not exactly experienced in planting things outdoors. I've become pretty knowledgeable about orchids, but not terrestrial species. I've googled it and found some info about soil preferences, but it's not very detailed. All I've been able to find out is that it prefers a slightly sandy, acidic soil. The people that sold them told me not to let dead leaves or mulch accumulate on top of it. My real question is, can anybody help me figure out how to plant them? I want to plant them in the ground, not in a pot. I have no problem buying soil to plant them in, I just don't know what type to buy, and I have no idea what the soil in my yard is like. So, if anyine has any suggestions, they would be really welcome. I will post a picture of the plants in this thread when I get home from school today.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    First you need to take a soil sample to your local Extension agent. After you get the results, then we can help you from there. Call them and they'll tell you exactly what you have to do to retrieve the soil for them to test. Make sure you take it from the area that you're going to plant the ground orchids in ok?

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    ok, so here are the pictures...

    Goodyera pubescens
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    Good Luck! Can't wait to see pics when they bloom.
    Connie

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    I helped a friend rescue a lot of them in Mich. , here is an article he wrote about them . Gin


    Cultural information for:

    * Goodyera pubescens and its hybrids

    Soil media: a mix of one fourth garden compost and one fourth milled sphagnum, one half course builders sand. Mulch with decayed wood chips. Good drainage is the most important aspect to remember. Soil PH: should be slightly acid. (Seedling size fir bark is also an acceptable media. - CEW)

    Light conditions: filtered light for all species. They cannot tolerate direct sun light as this burns the leaves.

    Moisture requirements: keep the plants evenly moist during the active growing season from midspring thru late fall.

    Fertilizing: use one quarter strength 30-10-10 twice a year in early spring and again in late summer.

    Planting: prepare a planting site preferably under hardwood trees. Dig out the existing soil 8-12" deep add the above soil preparation. place the rhizome just below the surface with the crown of the plant slightly resting on the top of the surface. In the fall cover with hardwood leaves 1/2"-1" deep. they will come out from under the leaf cover on their own in the spring.

    Hardiness: these plants are very hardy and adapt themselves to pot culture quite easily. They do need a cool rest of at least two months with temperatures between thirty-five and forty-five degrees.

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    Thanks very much everyone, that is extremely helpful. I'll post pics once I actually figure out exactly where I want them and get them in the ground...

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    Growing many of the FL native terrestrials, I do agree with the culture provided by Gin for growing outdoors, thanks!

    Unfortunately, though, those Goodyera pubescens are wild collected, and dug improperly (quite visible by the rhizome and exposed roots). These are not as dependent on mycorrhizal fungi as other terrestrials, but do have some symbiosis with them. The only suggestion I have is keep it in full shade, and try and find a leafy, protected area for them to grow. They don't culture well in small pots, but a large, flat pot (such as 16"+ diameter by 4" deep, like a bowl) works great for keeping them in cultivation and thriving. Also, try and keep the area damp for a while during spring (if it's still not frosting and cold).

    I do question, were these rescued plants, or just some randomly dug up plants?

    -Pat

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    jfrizz743 is offline Senior Member
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    Well, now, of course I could be wrong, but I don't believe these were wild collected. I made a comment to his wife about how I wouldn't collect orchids from the wild and she gave me this huge handshake as if I was the only one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrizz743 View Post
    Well, now, of course I could be wrong, but I don't believe these were wild collected. I made a comment to his wife about how I wouldn't collect orchids from the wild and she gave me this huge handshake as if I was the only one...
    Not trying to be rude, but the reason it is visible the plants are wild collected is that the roots and rhizome are exposed (thus promoting a deadly drying out), the different vegetation habits between the plants (some have longer leaves due to growing obstructions and differed light levels), and the medium is an incorrect substrate for this species. Also, the plants look to be freshly stuck in the loose substrate. Those plants could not have been growing that way for over a month...

    For this species to be artificially propagated isn't the hardest task, but to keep it in cultivation may prove to be the most difficult. As far as I know, there are two other private growers who artificially propagate this species besides me. I am sure there are others who have had sporadic results with the 'sprinklem' method, as this is a vigorous species in the correct, somewhat acidic substrates.

    Good luck on the growing, and keep us updated!
    -Pat

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    It could also be the seller of the plants was growing them in beds in their yard , and not just digging them up someplace . gin

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