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Barkeria culture?

This is a discussion on Barkeria culture? within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi guys, DH is getting into minis and just got this nice little Barkeria (Mabel ...

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  1. #1
    Ladybug is offline Senior Member
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    Default Barkeria culture?

    Hi guys,

    DH is getting into minis and just got this nice little Barkeria (Mabel Marsh x Rebecca Marsh) bare root. We can't seem to find much in the way of culture information other than to say it shouldn't be potted (or if it is, it should be in large, fast draining media). He got these from an individual who's closing out their collection for health reasons and the person wasn't all that helpful. What he needs to know is temps, watering, fert. and lighting. Any suggestions? Oh, I forgot to mention, he's going to be growing the minis in a terrarium setup.

    Thanks.
    Maggie

  2. #2
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    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Maggie, sorry I didn't get to this sooner.....

    I've never grown these myself, but several grower friends of mine do, and they all grow them the same way. If you pot them up, the large, fast-draining media is correct. Make sure you *don't* use any kind of small-sized medium that will compact around the roots. Use large chunks of bark, CHC, or volcanic rock that will be completely free-draining and leave plenty of good-sized air spaces--similar to the way you might pot up a young vanda. Otherwise, just mount them on something they can wrap their roots around.

    They have a winter dormant period that needs to be respected, when they shed all of their leaves. Keep them cool and only water very lightly. When they're in active growth on the other hand, they should get lots of water but their roots have got to dry off between waterings.

    Give them bright, bright light too; at our latitude, definitely sun in the morning, and very good air movement--that's really important.

    That's about all I know--the large media is crucial otherwise the roots will rot really quickly, so no sphag or anything.

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    Ladybug is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the information! This one sounds a little particular. So, do you think medium sized prime agra in clay pot (standard culture, not sh) would be too wet? I find my dends seem to like it okay.

    Maggie

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    I've never used prime agra so don't know the sizes or texture of that (I'm being a lot of help here, huh?) but each chunk of the media I was talking about is about 1-1/2 - 2 inches, irregularly shaped, and basically rough textured. In summer, under air movement, it might hold water for about 8 - 10 hours.

    You might try putting your prime agra in the pot you intend to use--minus the plant--and watering it. Stick a q-tip down inside about ten hours later. If it comes up wet, I would say the stuff is going to keep the roots too wet for what these guys need.

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    I'll try that little test today and see how it goes. Thanks, again.

    Maggie

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    I would grow it like a Vanda , with no media , if V is going to grow it in his new Terr. it might stay to wet . Or mount it on a neat piece of wood . How much humidity will he be using in the Terr. \/ bet that icon won't work lol . Gin

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    Thanks Gin! I don't really know what the humidity will be since the units not here yet. Good advice though...it's coming out of the pot right now.

    Maggie

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    I am friends with Robert Marsh, who made these crosses and is a barkeria god. Anyway, I grow paphs and I'll tell you, they don't grow with paphs. Water them only once every two weeks, and mount them in the air like a vanda. You can go up down to watering once every couple months. They will drop their leaves in winter but everything comes back and so do new growths. NEVER EVER EVER WATER THEM MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK! Less is more with them, and consider they live in the trees in mexico. Best of luck with them!

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    Steve, I/we can't thank you enough for offering that great information! Wow! You have some cool friends!

    Since I posted this thread, the unit he'd ordered has been cancelled. (Due to some mfg. hang up and his patience was wearing thin.) Anyway, he took a two shelf, portable gh thing and put them all in there along with a waterfall/fogger and exernally located cf's. A fan runs inside it for 24/7.

    The Barkeria is at the lighted end and I guess you'd say it's sort of pot-mounted? (It's sitting in a net pot with styrofoam with only a few nickel-sized clay pellets.) Right now it's growing some nice looking new roots! It's in a south location just at the edge of the sun line. Thanks to a storm yesterday, a huge tree blocking my east window has been downed so we'll take advantage of that and move it.

    He's been watering it daily...guess he should cut back? The humidity is now at about 60% but can easily be raised. What would be optimal...80%??? Do these like reg. fert?

    I realize most of DH's plants have low light needs and we plan to pull those out of this set up. He also has a Den. senile and a Notylia barkerii...will these be happy with the same conditions for the Barkeria?

    Thanks again...can't tell you how much we appreciate the information!

    Maggie

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    I personally can't answer if the fit the cultural conditions of the others, but consider the media. Your media is just as important as your watering schedule, and the two depend on each other. I can grow my paphs in pure rocks, and water them many times a day. Or i can grow them in sphagnum and water them once every 10 days. You can almost surely grow the barkerias with the others, just make sure you accommodate the moisture requirements. If the dendrobiums need constant moisture at their roots, use live or bulky sphagnum. If they need to be only slightly damp, coconut husk chips or bark work well.

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