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  • 1 Post By King Kjeldz

Bulb. Facetum - growing in a straight line - how to pot

This is a discussion on Bulb. Facetum - growing in a straight line - how to pot within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello, This past spring I purchased myself a little bulb. facetum. (I even like the ...

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  1. #1
    hrw115 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Bulb. Facetum - growing in a straight line - how to pot

    Hello,

    This past spring I purchased myself a little bulb. facetum. (I even like the smell of the bloom despite people saying it smells like something is rotting!) The plant is happy, sending up new growth, etc. - but it is growing in an absolute straight line. In itself it isn't a large plant, maybe only 6 pseudobulbs "long", and maybe, just maybe, the plant is an inch wide. At the moment, that equates to it living in a 6" diameter pot and of course, a lot of wasted space and the new psuedobulb is growing right against the side of the pot. If the plant continues on its straight line growth habit, I will have to keep repotting it in larger and larger pots and pretty soon it will be in the same size pot that my Christmas cactus is in! I looked around a bit for a rectangular pot or basket that I might be able to grow it in that would save space, but didn't have any luck.

    I was curious about two things:

    1) Is this "straight line" growth pretty typical of the bulb. facetum? (This is my first bulb.)
    2) Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/creative ideas on how I might be able to pot this thing in a smarter manner?

    Thanks much!!

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    You could try mounting this bulbo orchid. (See this Bulbo facetum post). I've had the best luck with potting my bulbo orchids in wooden baskets. The main thing is to make sure the pseudobulbs touch the medium so that the roots go into the medium and you don't end up with lots of air roots. You sometimes need to use rhizome clips to hold the plant to the medium for this purpose. I recorded a video on repotting a bulbo orchid (though a different one from the one you are growing).



    cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    hrw115 is offline Junior Member
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    Hello BD,

    I actually found and watched your video on youtube before posting this. You'll be happy to know that it is one of the only videos on bulbs on the interweb.

    I thought a bit about mounting the plant, as I am aware that it is pretty common for this species, but I am not sure that I would have much success with that method of growing. Because I grow my plants indoors and I don't have any fancy humidifying equipment, I would worry that I wouldn't be able to keep the plant from suffering from some sort of dehydration stress. I live in Central PA - and in the winter we tend to heat our house with a wood burning stove which certainly keep the house warm, but at the cost of drying everything out. I am still trying to master appropriate growing mediums and watering schedules to keep the plants happy year round because of these environmental changes. Long-term, something like an orchidarium would be awesome for me, but I haven't had the financial resources to buy one or the time to research putting one together myself.

    I liked the way that you potted the bulb in the wooden basket in the video. I might have to see if I can find one that is rectangular.

    In your video I couldn't help but notice that you put down a bit of metal screen in the bottom of the wooden basket, but I don't think that there were any on the sides. I currently have my bulb planted in some reasonably fine medium to hold moisture (I think it might be the same stuff I have my oncidium in - the pieces are probably 1/4" in diameter). I imagine that I would probably either need to get different medium or figure out a way to hold such medium into a wooden box - otherwise every time I watered it, it would probably all just run out. Is there a trick to that? I am aware of the medium mix that you used. Historically I have just bought premixed stuff from placed like ---- vendor information removed -see faqs on posting---- - mostly because I have so few orchids that I haven't reached the critical mass point where I could justify buying raw materials to create my own mixes. Perhaps there is a good premix out there that I just need to find.

    Thank you again for taking the time to respond. As always - it is a big help.

    Sincerely,
    --
    hrw

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yes, use wire or net if your mix is so small that it would fall out the sides of the basket. Usually the only place I have to worry about is the base of the baskets though.

    cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    hrw115 is offline Junior Member
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    My apologies, but one last question......

    Do you have any experience with the method described in Bill Thoms' book "Bulbophyllums, the Incomplete Guide From A to Why"? I found a blurb that described the method as follows:
    "What you are trying to build is a sphagnum moss 'sandwich'. The bottom of the pot is lined with something that'll keep the moss from falling through the basket. Thom's uses 'sheet moss', I use plastic net bags like what onions come in at the grocery store. I have also used coconut fiber, like what gardeners line hanging flower baskets with. Then you put a layer of sphagnem moss, a mound of white styrofoam indesctructable packing peanuts and top that with moss. The peanuts allow air to the roots and for them not to get soggy.

    You take your creeping mat of a plant out of its pot, clean off all the old medium, lay it over the sphagnum 'sandwich', and secure it into place using plastic ties or telephone wire or anything that'll keep it from shifting around (plants won't root if they are shakey in the pot). Yes this part is a dexterity lesson. Try to tie the rhizomes through the 'sandwich' to the wood at the bottom of the basket. I was only able to tie it in 2 places, but it seemed secure, so I went with that. "

    That individual apparently made their "bulbo. sandwhich" in the same type of wooden box as you had described. Here is also a picture from their post: A repotted bulbo | Flickr - Photo Sharing! It is just like what you did, though with different medium.

    Do you think that the usage of packing peanuts and sphagnum moss in a drier environment might work? I know that the roots on my bulbo. are very short (an inch or so in length, but lots of them) - so part of me thinks that they might enjoy this planting methodology.

    Thank you also for the link to this forum which contains photos of someone's lovely bulbo. facetum. Mine was blooming when I bought it and my hope is that I will have luck in getting it to bloom again, though I doubt it will ever look as natural as the one in the link you sent.

    Thanks again!
    --
    hrw

  6. #6
    King Kjeldz is offline Senior Member
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    all this potting and scientific approaches at ingenuity....why not be simple...i use tree fern mounts from Ofe or coconut husks and the bulbos take off...grandiflora,daisy chain,medusae...the alll like it...and tree fern and coconut husk retain a little tiny bit of moisture that suits the plants fine

  7. #7
    hrw115 is offline Junior Member
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    King Kjeldz - It is a really great question/comment. Certainly I don't desire to make life more complicated with Macgyver-like growing schemes. I don't think that anyone does. But I also realize that I am currently growing plants in ways that others may not simply because I am more or less compensating for the fact that I have a less than ideal growing environment and am honestly struggling to get my plants into a groove where they seem like they are reasonably happy year round. : /

    I did spend some time over the weekend looking at mounts. My bulbo. is certainly small enough that I could give something like that a try.

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