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Old 07-04-2007, 01:18 PM
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Phragmipediums

I have acquired a Phrag.Cape Sunset and have no idea how to grow it. This is part of the 2 dozen various orchids I write about in my other post. I am having a hard time finding any information on how to care for this one. Does anyone have any experience with these or can you direct me in the right direction? The AOS culture sheets only mention that they like a lot of water but nothing else.
Andi
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:28 PM
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I have but ONE of these - thought I'd try one to see what kind of challenges they might present. I got it a year and a half ago with two flower buds. I put it in my NE office window and both buds turned brown and fell off. :-( I decided it obviously didn't like this environment so took it home and put it with my other plants under the lights. It was looking VERY good - foliage wise, but nary another bud as it was probably not getting enough light. As you have noted - everyone says lots of water - in fact many people actually grow them in a saucer of water all the time - very wet feet - evidently they live naturally in boggy areas along streams and such? Anyway, I decided to put it outside this late spring with my other light starved orchids and I promptly killed about a third of the leaves and turned the remainder a nice light colored green. Will see this winter or next spring if my change of tactics will coerce a bud out of there? If I was smart I would probably give this plant to someone who has a greenhouse with lots of humidity. Well.......we'll perhaps learn how to do this "together". Enjoy! mike
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:43 PM
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Ortho's Complete Guide to Orchids is a very good book with some pretty comprehensive culture instructions for lots of different types of orchids. It has a chapter dedicated to Phrags, as well as some pretty obscure varieties (are Stanhopea and Neofinetia obscure?).
That being said, it says Phrags like good moisture, but also good drainage, medium to high light (unlike Paphs), and intermediate temps, which according to the book are from 70-80F during the day. and 55-65F at night.
Hope this helps!
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:25 PM
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Thanks for the replies.
Mike,
It looks like this one will be a real challenge for both of us. What is yours potted in? I have several different choices in potting media but am not sure which is best. Dirt, chunky bark, fine bark, moss, water, perlite, you name it, I probably got it.

Right now it doesn't seem to have a very large root system for its size. This could possibly be due to the fact that the previous caretaker let it get dried out. The leaves are a nice light green so maybe theres hope.
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:26 PM
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M3phisto's general informaion is fine, but different hibrids have slightly different needs.The orchidweb has sevaral hybrids and specific informations for them. For Cap Sunset the recommendation is low to medium light, as you can check at this link (also a pic):

http://www.orchidweb.com/detail.aspx?ID=516

I have 3 different red Phragmipediums, which all need medium to higher light, I let them touched by the late sun.Yours, I think, can be kept in similar conditions to a Phal.

More informations on Phragmipediums:
http://www.goreorchidconservatory.com/index.html

good luck!
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:51 PM
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Mine is in a media unlike anything the rest of my orchids are in - the grower is well known in my area for being a great paph/phrag grower - looks kind of like perlite, rock, mixture - not sure what exactly it is - overall appearance is small granules of gray and white. I think when I repot I shall use small bark/perlite similar to what my paphs are in. Good luck with yours! mike
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:00 PM
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I have one in semi-hydroponic and 2 in a fine bark/charcoal/ceramic pellet mix, both seem to work well, I see a lot of white new root tips all over growing, also new growths. Whatever you choose to use, has to be a loose, well draining type.
It's important the water quality and watering technique.I'm still learning, too
Since I know that Phrags need plenty of fresh, clean water, every morning I pour a couple of cups of water from the top, sometimes I submerge the pot completely and lift repeatedly to wash the medium through.
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:03 PM
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Since it appears that this Lil' gal likes her feet pretty moist but lots of air movement I'm wondering if a bit of aquatic soil might be in order. It would be getting watered every day to flush out whatever nasty things might be in the air. The stuff looks like it would hold a lot of air spaces and not dry completely. It would also be heavy enough to keep her from falling over. This stuff looks like small pieces of fired clay.
Andi
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:55 PM
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For as much as I love Paphs, I love Phrags even more. Unfortunately they are very hard to come by here in Australia.

Phrags some from Central and South America where they grow on water-drenched cliffs and along stream beds. In the wild most varieties grow with their roots constantly bathed in water (as if trickles down the cliff or as their roots are below the waterline of a stream). They also grow in very exposed areas, meaning quite high light. When I lived in the US I grew about 70 varieties both hybrids and species. Medium to high light is recommended. All of my species and hybrids grew and bloomed well in an East window (medium light) except for my caudatum types which grew and bloomed in a south window. All of my besseae and schlimii hybrids grew and bloomed in the East window.

All of my Phrags were (and those i have here are) potted in the same moisture retentive mix I use for Paphs: medium-size bark, perilite, and charcoal, chopped sphagnum, peat, and if I have it, coarse sand and shredded oak leaves.

Because of their habitat Phrags like lots and lots of fresh water. All of my Phrags, except for the caudatum-types sit in saucers of water. i pot them in tall slender pots (some folks grow them in 2-litre plastic soda bottles with the tops cut off and holes put in the bottom) as the roots like to grow down into the water.

Phrags like intermediate temps but can tolerate as low as 55F winter nights.

One of the best websited for Phrag info is www.phragweb.info.
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:08 PM
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Hi Everyone!

I just noticed that someone had linked to my website from this thread, so I thought that I'd better come here and register at the forum

I've been growing Phrags for several years, and I grow them mostly from flask. I've found that Phrag hybrids are probably the easiest of all orchids to grow... they're practically impossible to over-water (with the exception of some of the caudatum types), and they grow nice and quickly

The most important thing with Phrags is to water them a lot! My plants that are in bark mixes or CHC mixes get water every day. The vast majority of my plants are growing in circulating water or in S/H. With constant access to water, most of my phrags grow from flask to blooming size in about a year and a half to two years.... and making sure that the plants are constantly wet protects them from leaf-tip burn from fertilizer. Phrags are much more tolerant of low quality water or salts if they never dry out.

Other than that, my Phrags seem to grow best in intermediate temperatures, but bloom best in cool temperatures (the color difference is more dramatic than you might guess).

With good air movement, most phrags can handle very bright light; many growers (such as Leo Schordje, if I'm not mistaken) recommend Cattleya light levels. I don't grow them that bright, but they do usually get as much light as I give strap-leaved, multi-floral paphs.

Anyway, I don't know if that's much help, but I thought I'd put in my $.02

Good luck!


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Old 07-04-2007, 08:29 PM
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hi Matthew

welcome to the forum

I hope that you enjoy your stay here with all of us orchidgeeks

happy chatting
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum, gore42.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:55 PM
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Matt - Welcome to this this forum. I've recommended your site since I found it very informative and interesting.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:11 PM
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Hi Matthew - aren't you located in Ft Collins? If so, is your conservatory open to the public?
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:12 AM
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone

Vivienne, I am indeed in Fort Collins! Unfortunately, I don't have any public facilities, sorry Thats a long story. Maybe I will next year, but they probably won't be in Fort Collins.

Anyway, I have lots of plants in spike, so I'm looking forward to posting photos here over the next few weeks

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Old 07-05-2007, 07:38 AM
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Matthew - that is unfortunate, but on the bright side, shipping to my house won't be too expensive. Where would your public facility be?? We have limited resources here in Colorado Springs - hint hint. LOL

I'll be sure to keep an eye on your website and here for your 'in spikes'. Having a serious Paph and/ or Phrag itch lately.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:54 AM
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Zonepusher, what a great thread! There is so much information here. Fred, perhaps we could keep this one. It seems to me that phrags are a bit of a mystery. As much as they like water and bright sun, I wonder if FL would make them happy?

Matt, welcome! I look forward to more info from you. Hope you enjoy our site as much as we are enjoying yours. Good work, Aniko.
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:15 AM
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I think Phrags would be very happy in Florida. You could probably even grow them outside for most of the year, if not all year.
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:23 AM
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Quote=chefatplay]There is so much information here. Fred, perhaps we could keep this one.

Yes I agree with that one..

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:51 PM
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Vivienne, I'm afraid that when I open public facilities, they will probably be on the West Coast, not Colorado. I've decided to build in an area with more moderate temperatures, since heating and cooling costs are such a big factor these days. But I may decide to build one in Colorado, depending on a few other factors too.... I'll keep you updated

- Matt
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:01 PM
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Matthew - thanks and good luck with your venture. I'd be thrilled with Colorado... of course!

Hey, ya know the West Coast has earthquakes. hehehe
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:21 PM
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Matthew, welcome! I was just on your site a couple of days ago. I love those vintage-looking drawings. Very cool! Good luck with everything!
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