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This is a discussion on My first Phragmipedium and it is blooming! within the Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium, Cypripedium IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Hi Katie, Phrags are the exception to the orchid rule that pots shouldn't sit in ...
Phrags are the exception to the orchid rule that pots shouldn't sit in water. Phrags are Central and South American slipper orchids that grow along stream beds with their roots dangling in fresh running water. They thrive in wet conditions. Set the pot in a saucer of water, and keep the saucer topped off (which we refer to as "feet wet.") Make sure the water is good quality, and clean the saucer and pot so slime and crud doesn't develop. That should make your Phrags smile!
That makes Phrags well suited for S/H, where they can wick up the water they want. But I don't grow S/H, so I won't advise on that.
The long petal species, Phrag caudatum, prefers things a little less wet, and so isn't normally grown feet wet. But when the medium drys out they're really set back. I've decided to put all my Phargs feet wet, even though I have some caudatum crosses. I figure the moisture will upset them less than the dry out, which does happen before I can get to rewatering.
these phrags love s/h in my experience, but that's not a requirement. many people put them in saucers of water since they weren't getting enough water to the plants, but that's also not a requirement. relatively pure water and lots of it is the goal.