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Phragmipedilums: treading into unknown waters

This is a discussion on Phragmipedilums: treading into unknown waters within the Paphiopedilum & Phragmipedium Info. forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hi all, I finally got myself 3 Phrags, 1) Grande, 2) Sedenii and 3) Schroderae, ...

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  1. #1
    Halloamey's Avatar
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    Default Phragmipedilums: treading into unknown waters

    Hi all, I finally got myself 3 Phrags, 1) Grande, 2) Sedenii and 3) Schroderae, All 3 blooming size plants but just 2 crowns and a new growth each, so I think it will be some years before I see any flowers. From what I have read on the net and Orchidwiz, all of these will take cool to warm temperatures, but not very bright light, but I am confused here, they all seem to have very light green leaves so I think they need more light. At my office I have North- Northeast window with about 500-1000 foot candles, but at my home I have a east window with direct morning sunlight. What do you think. Maura and other Phrag. experts please help me here.
    What I am certain is that they will go into SH set ups soon, they already look a bit dehydrated to me. Any more pointers to the culture are welcome. Attached find their photos from the vendor.

    Phrag. Grande
    Name:  KGrHqFjkE9V6EWpBP6t6E2m60_1.JPG
Views: 14041
Size:  28.5 KB

    Phrag. Schroederae
    Name:  KGrHqNisE69HkPinzBP68io7Kw60_1.JPG
Views: 531
Size:  20.3 KB

    Phrag. Sedenii
    Name:  KGrHqNjUE9IGgYRHBPVljER3w60_1.JPG
Views: 618
Size:  33.0 KB
    Last edited by Halloamey; March 29th, 2012 at 08:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Amey - I am seriously no expert on slippers - paphs or phrags - everything I know comes from just a little experience, and a lot of reliance on the real experts - Geoff Hands is my go-to man on this one - and I read the books to the trade (i.e., slipper orchids manuals by well-known authorities/breeders), and have known one truly gifted hybridizer personally. Anyway, I can tell you what I've learned to do. First, I do repot my slippers in S/H as soon as I can - they are particularly suited to it. They live in front of my south-facing window, but it has an overhang above it that shades them more in the summer than in the winter. Phrags get brighter light than the paphs, but somewhat less than catts, (and green-leafed paphs get more light than the mottled-green ones, if that helps at all. Oh, and my paphs seem to do fine under grow lights, but I keep the phrags much closer to the natural light. When I see a particularly large plant, I always check for old spikes, so that I know this particular plant at least has bloomed before. Sometimes a large plant with no signs of blooms can mean it is going to be a reluctant, or lazy, bloomer - and if it shows no signs of having been recently repotted, I usually find that it has become seriously pot-bound and many of the new roots have already suffocated and started to rot - which means that much longer to recover from a good, thorough cleanup.

    I suspect that a north/east window will not be bright enough, but I honestly can't say for sure. Repotting, especially in S/H should help correct the dehydration- one thing I can say is that all my phrags have very healthy new growth. The crucial thing for me to do is remember to water them, because they take such good charge of themselves. Oh, and I have all my slippers near the humidifiers, where the humidity is about 80%, and near the fans, where they get constant air movement. They stay around 68-74 degrees, give or take a few, because I can't manipulate their environment beyond placing them where they are, and misting them every day for goo measure. Last year I made the mistake of putting my paphs outside in the shade - too hot, too much light, too dry, etc - not a good result.

    I know you have far more knowledge and experience than I do, so I feel a little funny about even trying to explain why I do what I do - within a very short amount of time, you'll have figured it all out for yourself.

    (Oh, one last thing - phrags are very sensitive to water quality - rain water or reverse osmosis is best if your tap water isn't pH-balanced, and relatively pure.)

  3. #3
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    Amey,

    I am pretty sure yours won't get enough light in your N-NE window. Phrags like higher light than do paphs...from what I have read fairly high light, 2000-3000 ft. candles, generally (not all). Mine grow next to my oncidiums, and seem quite happy...of course, I haven't owned them a full year yet, but so far so good!
    Last edited by Kmac; April 2nd, 2012 at 03:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    Most phrags do best in cattleya light but there are a few that like a bit less light. Both the Sedenii and Schroderae love water and I mean lots of water. Grande will like it a bit less dryer but don't ever let it dry at all. I have all 3 of this orchids and I put a cutting of the Sedenii in water and by the looks of it, it's doing better then the rest.
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    Thanks a lot for your valuable response Maura, Kathi and Byron, it is exactly the kind of advise I was looking for FIRSTHAND ! I will be moving the plants to my house soon with the east window, if cannot manage to convince the gardeners at the Uni Giessen Greenhouse to give me some place for my plants thanks a tonne !

  6. #6
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    Hall:

    Grande = caudatum x longifolium
    Sedenii = longifolium x schlimii
    Schroderae = caudatum x Sedenii

    Three sections involved, Section Phragmipedium (Phrag. caudatum), Section Platypetalum (Phrag. longifolium) and section micropethalum (Phrag, schlimii).
    All of them grow as terrestrial or lithophytes associated with moss. Some (longifolium) grow at the edges of streams were sometimes they get covered in water.
    My experience is: bright light, no direct sunlight; loose media; diluted fertilizer (1/2 strenght) every 2-3 months, never dry out media (moist but not soggy), all my plants are on shallow plates with water CONSTANTLY, some kind of calcium supplement (I steal my mother the thing they use for birds). Hope it helps.
    Jose

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose R. Nieves View Post
    Hall:

    Grande = caudatum x longifolium
    Sedenii = longifolium x schlimii
    Schroderae = caudatum x Sedenii

    Three sections involved, Section Phragmipedium (Phrag. caudatum), Section Platypetalum (Phrag. longifolium) and section micropethalum (Phrag, schlimii).
    All of them grow as terrestrial or lithophytes associated with moss. Some (longifolium) grow at the edges of streams were sometimes they get covered in water.
    My experience is: bright light, no direct sunlight; loose media; diluted fertilizer (1/2 strenght) every 2-3 months, never dry out media (moist but not soggy), all my plants are on shallow plates with water CONSTANTLY, some kind of calcium supplement (I steal my mother the thing they use for birds). Hope it helps.
    Jose
    What he said....

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    Bravo Amey. Thanks everyone for the advice as I'm also looking for Phrags to grow.

  9. #9
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    Thanks a lot Jose. I am thinking of using MSU fertilizer for the Phrags. and I think I am getting some place at the Uni Greenhouse so nice bright light yeah !!

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Jose...good info!

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