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How to best grow Phrags, and do they come in small sizes?

This is a discussion on How to best grow Phrags, and do they come in small sizes? within the Paphiopedilum & Phragmipedium Info. forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; I was reading that Phrags like to have thier pots placed in a dish of ...

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    Default How to best grow Phrags, and do they come in small sizes?

    I was reading that Phrags like to have thier pots placed in a dish of water??? I hope I didnt misread that. Does this mean that they like their substrate continually moist? If so, then I have just the place!
    Oh, and they like lots of light, how much is lots of light? Sunlight or are some "sunglo" flourescents ok?
    One last question, are there any pretty little phrags? I would say where the the flower grows no higher than 1 foot?
    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindomul1of9
    I was reading that Phrags like to have thier pots placed in a dish of water??? I hope I didnt misread that. Does this mean that they like their substrate continually moist? If so, then I have just the place!
    Oh, and they like lots of light, how much is lots of light? Sunlight or are some "sunglo" flourescents ok?
    One last question, are there any pretty little phrags? I would say where the the flower grows no higher than 1 foot?
    Thanks.
    Some phrags like having their 'feet wet', but not all. I don't have any of mine in saucers, although most of my collection of phrags are the dry type.

    I grow mine under full spectrum flourescent lights.

    Please define "pretty" - - I like all mine, some people think they look bizarre. There are some bessae hybrids that are quite cute.

    I don't think I've seen any that are less than 1 foot tall.

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    Tindo,

    Any Phrag that has caduatum in its background wants to be moist, but not "feet wet." Grande is the most common cadudatum cross you'll find. All the others are happily set in water. I give my phrags full light. And bessae, schlimii, and fischeri are all smaller species. Xerophyticum is tiny, but is rarer and usually pretty expensive.

    Check out pics at: http://www.orchidspecies.com/indexph-pk.htm

    Julie

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    the majority of phrag species and most of the hybrids will appreciate sitting in water to maximize their potential, but that is not a requirement if you can water them enough. in nature they grow in tufts of grasses or mosses near riverbanks & waterfalls, so the roots are always wet and prone to flooding as well.

    most phrags appreciate high light levels--some will thrive growing side by side with standard catts (except with much more water, of course). most of them will also tolerate lower light, although their leaves are larger under low light conditions and they may bloom once a year instead of twice or three times.

    some of the besseae hybrids are very compact, with leafspans in the 10-15" range and spikes no more than 1-1.5 feet tall.

    some representative phrags at:
    http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jlc314/

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    Thanks, the besseae hybrids seem to be exactly what Im looking for.
    My reason for asking is because I wanted to try my hand at growing them in a terrarium. Terrariums often have a layer of soil, or potting mix, and under that a 3-5 inch layer of gravel and or leca balls. There is always a good 1 to 2 inches of water at the bottom, that keeps wicking up and keeps the sustrate moist, but not wet. So I was thinking that maybe Phrags were good for these conditions.
    Actually I was planning on building a 75 gallon all glass terrarium, the same king that are used for fish tanks, but this one would be modified to stand up straight, vertically. I was planning to put only orchids and mosses, and maybe one type of fern in there. Then let tiny frogs call it a home. Right now Im researching what kind of orchid would do well.
    I know many epiphytes would do well, especially since they would all be mounted on the background that would be contructed for them, in the 75 gallon tank.
    Thanks all.

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    phrag hybrids will likely do fine planted on the bottom. if you're looking to "go natural" some compact terrestrial species include ecuadorense, pearcei, the compact forms of longifolium (var. gracile), among others. it's too bad I didn't know earlier because I just gave away a very compact growing richteri...

    If you get this up and running I have a couple of phrag hybrid seedlings that you can have...they will get large over time though.

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    Thanks!,I appreciate the offer, but the plan is to is to get the Vivarium plant ready in about 2 years from now. Im gonna take my time with this one so it can look spectacular when its done!

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    Tindo, don't forget that Phrag roots also need air. Make sure that wherever you place them in your terr/vivarium, that they're potted in something that allows air as well as moisture. I'd suggest sphag, but that's because it's what I grow them in.

    Julie

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    Sphag is a popular substrate in vivariums, so it is completely possible to use this. I was actually afraid of using pinetree chips, as these might not be safe for amphibians, but I wasnt sure.
    Thanks for the hint!

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