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Mounting Phrag. besseae

This is a discussion on Mounting Phrag. besseae within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Well, I decided to take one of my best plants of Phragmipedium besseae and mount ...

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  1. #1
    Mahon's Avatar
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    Default Mounting Phrag. besseae

    Well, I decided to take one of my best plants of Phragmipedium besseae and mount it on wood. In nature, the species is primarily a vertical lithophyte, not a terrestrial nor an epiphyte.

    This mounting project took over 5 hours yesterday, the longest orchid mounting yet. Personally, I think it was worth it, despite the fact Phrag. besseae doesn't grow on trees. A bit of time was taken to study the water retainability on the mount, in order to actually allow this species to grow and thrive. The rest of the time was fixing the mount up to look "natural".

    Well, here is my mount, and another Phrag. besseae of mine in bloom (which I haven't posted yet)...





    And another picture which shows a little more detail...



    -PM

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    beautiful mount! It does look very natural, good job. I hope it grows well like this.

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    Let us know how often you find you have to water it.

    Looks good!

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    Hi Pat,

    I didn't realize Phrag besseae wasn't a terrestrial. Could you explain your reasons for choosing to mount it, your choice of mount, and how your moss, mount and culture will best reproduce the water, air and nutrient requirements it gets in its native habitat?

    Thanks! Great info!

    Julie

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    Handsome mount Pat. Elegantly done. Hope Bess loves it!

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    Very nice work Pat! It sure looks like it is happy on that mount. I am interested in the same questions McJulie asked above. I have a really nice piece of wood I am planning to turn into an orchid tree. I have been thinking of interesting plants to mount and never thought about doing a phrag or slipper for that matter. Really cool idea. So please fill us in on the details...

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    I didn't realize Phrag besseae wasn't a terrestrial. Could you explain your reasons for choosing to mount it, your choice of mount, and how your moss, mount and culture will best reproduce the water, air and nutrient requirements it gets in its native habitat?
    Phrag. besseae normally grow on vertical cliffs as a rambling lithophyte. Phrag. dalessandroi, on the other hand, tends to be a terrestrial/semi-terrestrial, prefering a more horizontal orientation... it can also be found on cliffs, but typically horizontally oriented in humus.

    I decided to mount this primarily because of its preference to vertical positioningnand the attractiveness it can have being mounted. Also, I haven't heard of Phrag. besseae being mounted in cultivation, so why not give it a try? As for mount material, I picked a hardwood (oak, with no bark), primarily because of its durability and the ability to mount a plant and cultivate moss upon. It also retains some moisture in the top layer of the wood, which can be utilized by the moss and the plant.

    As for the moss, mount, and culture playing a part in reproduction of natural preferences, I think it is unlike in situ plants of this species. Typically, Phrag. besseae will ramble as a lithophyte, while this mount is preffered by a high-elevation epiphyte. But if a Phrag. besseae can live in Sphagnum moss, why can't it live in tropical mosses mounted? This is a "test-run", but I think it will turn out to be a successful method of cultivating this species.

    I also had to study what live mosses retained the most water for the longest time. With three moss species hanging vertically in a shaded area, they were dampened. I needed a jeweler's loop to see the moisture they held. The moss that retained the most water would go around the roots of the Phrag. besseae on the mount. Two of the mosses dried within 20 minutes, while the other didn't even dry (after an hour checking back with it once in a while; I got uber bored ).

    The pictures don't even compare to the plant in person. I had a question today from a nieghbor who came to visit... "What's that? How was this cut off a tree, that's amazing!"... :

    -Pat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer View Post
    I have a really nice piece of wood I am planning to turn into an orchid tree. I have been thinking of interesting plants to mount and never thought about doing a phrag or slipper for that matter. Really cool idea. So please fill us in on the details...
    I personally wouldn't suggest mounting a Paphiopedilum, unless it was Paph. villosum... I personally have no other input in mounting slippers, because I haven't heard of mounting them... Keep us updated on your orchid tree!

    -Pat

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    I remember I read a short sentence somewhere that stated with proper culture paphs can even be mounted, so I'm assuming that someone did it before, but the author didn't elaborate unfortunately.

    I have never seen a mounted slipper and this is the first one I've seen. Those phrag roots are really grasping the mount nicely...I can't stop looking at it

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    What a great experiment, Pat! Good luck with it and certainly keep us posted.

    It's stunning to look at!

    McJulie

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