Cypripedium acaule - watch with me

Discussion in 'Cypripedium' started by xiphius, Apr 8, 2019.

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  1. Apr 18, 2019 #21

    Phred

    Phred

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    FF80A555-733B-4C26-8DBC-98766E1AA49D.jpeg 908DBA41-42A2-4CA2-B071-E6F8048CD6F4.jpeg I had a bed outside when I lived on Cape Cod. I had 4” of gravel with a commercial weed barrier like the ones nurseries put their pots on on top of that. I had 4-5” of a 50% peat and 50% fine ground pine bark mix. I mulched every fall with 4” of pine needles. I never watered it and it only got rain. Plants were in full sun 1/2 day.
     
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  2. Apr 19, 2019 #22

    TrueNorth

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    I have seen them growing here in Canada next to a sand quarry in soil that was 90% sand covered in pine needles.
     
  3. Apr 19, 2019 #23

    BrucherT

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    Love to see your pots, what size? Do you water with tap or rain? What grade is the coconut coir? I've only seen C. acaule rarely, and always in deep pine duff, so acidic, so I'm surprised by your turface mixture and would like to hear more. Thank you!
     
  4. Apr 19, 2019 #24

    BrucherT

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    Absolutely stunning.
     
  5. Apr 22, 2019 #25

    xiphius

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    That is a gorgeous bed of acaule! Well done. My grandfather had a house on Cape Cod and had a couple acaule that used to come up in his yard every year (unplanned). Guess they are pretty common out there. To him they were more of an annoyance because he had to try and avoid them with the lawnmower. I think he tried to move them once (unsuccessfully) and a few years later they ended up coming back up in about the same spot :p.
     
  6. Apr 22, 2019 #26

    Phred

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    3D4B2AB2-79B1-4B29-9E08-4960EE2415BA.jpeg 6C51D7DF-FC1F-4285-8176-1601A48FAA3C.jpeg
    Sorry for the delay in responding. The acaule I’ve had the longest are in 7” clay bulb pans. I’ve had five in these pots for five years... no repotting. The first three years they stayed the same or got a little smaller the next year. Two summers ago I started to add 1/8 tsp Dyna-Gro orchid fertilizer (no urea) to a gallon of my rain water. The first year (2017) I fertilized this way once a month. The next year (2018) the plants looked bigger and greener so I fertilized every time I had to water. This year (2019) the plants are at least twice as big as they were last year and one looks like it’s going to have at least 5 leaves... very unusual. This year I started out fertilizing with the Dyna-Gro but am going to switch to a very small dose of ammonium sulfate. I haven’t checked the pH after mixing but will next time I check the fertigation water for my ‘in the house’ orchid collection.
     
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  7. Apr 23, 2019 #27

    xiphius

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    Beautiful plants Phred! Clearly you have "the touch" when it comes to growing these.

    Time for another update!

    Things are coming along nicely in the colony. Even more plants coming up. Some of the early buds are already open flowers!

    Same plant from the first picture of my previous update. Now fully open!
    [​IMG]

    Same plant from the fourth picture of my previous update. Also fully open.
    [​IMG]

    Some of the plants and flowers are incredibly tiny. Before seeing this, I wouldn't have even said that this plant was "flowering size." The plant itself is no bigger than a couple inches. The flower not much bigger than an inch or so. By far the smallest acaule I have ever seen.
    [​IMG]

    Patch with old seedpod, as before:
    [​IMG]

    Bud opening:
    [​IMG]

    Coming up. Won't be long now (hopefully) until there is a sea of blooms! Gonna have my work cut out for me as far as pollination is concerned :p.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Apr 23, 2019 #28

    Phred

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    That is a very nice colony Xiphius. Very nice flowers and some big plants also.
     
  9. Apr 28, 2019 #29

    GuRu

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    Your C. acaule look absolutely stunning and so is your culture. I don't grow C. acaule because the experts here in Europe say, its culture was very difficult, almost impossible because it needs acid soil. The sand it grows in in sitiu has a ph value of about 3.5 - 4.0 and they water from time to time with vinegar water to keep the ph value low. You dodn't water at all, if I read your posts correctly, and you didn't do anything else to keep the ph level low. Very impressive!
     
  10. Apr 28, 2019 #30

    Phred

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    Hello GuRu
    When I grew in the ground I did not water. For the last few years I’ve been growing in pots which I do water with rainwater. I add 3 oz of apple cider vinegar to each gallon. The last two years and this spring I have been working on the best feeding program. Most recommendations are not to feed. They must be eating something in nature. In my experience in pots, even when watering with acidified water, they stay the same or get smaller from year to year. I fertilized 2017 and 2018 and my potted acaule are bigger this year than they ever have been. Not sure what I’m doing is the best option... maybe amino acids or a few foliar feedings with ammonium sulfate might be good. I’ll keep you informed with results as the season progresses
     
  11. Apr 28, 2019 #31

    Phred

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  12. Apr 28, 2019 #32

    Phred

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    Growing fast now
     
  13. Apr 30, 2019 #33

    Phred

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    Welcome Cheoah
    Couldn’t open your picture but look forward to seeing your plants as they develop
     
  14. Apr 30, 2019 #34

    Cheoah

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    Thanks Phred, requested mod delete above when photo would not render. Will try another time.
     
  15. Apr 30, 2019 #35

    xiphius

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    Nice! Lookin' good Phred! I also look forward to seeing yours Cheoah.
     
  16. May 1, 2019 #36

    xiphius

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    Yep... found a bigger clump in a gully further down the hill. Some of these plants look to be 3-4 growths and quite old, so this is probably near the center. The ones I found last year were probably seeded off from this colony. Blooming in earnest now!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've pollinated a couple dozen so far. Some of the earlier ones already have a pod swelling. There are at least two that are extremely extremely pale, almost white... but not quite. Still, I figure they may carry some of the recessive genes for the alba form, so I selfed those.

    No way I will get to all of them before they start to fade though! :p
     
  17. May 2, 2019 #37

    GuRu

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    Xiphius, what a great sight. I'm deeply impressed.

    And you are playing pollinator. What a nice activity in these surroundings.

    I presume, the rest will be done by insects
     
  18. May 2, 2019 #38

    xiphius

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    Some will, but most won't. Pollination rates for acaule are extremely low (something like 1-2%). I'm trying to even the odds a bit :p.
     
  19. May 2, 2019 #39

    Phred

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    On hand pollinating wild populations of acaule... I found this interesting article titled:

    Cost of reproduction in the pink lady's slipper orchid (Cypripedium acaule, Orchidaceae): an eleven-year experimental study of three populations.

    I had trouble coping the link but you can find it by searching the title in your browser. I’ve had similar experiences breading young Paphiopedilum or breeding every time a Paphiopedilum flowers. You can lose the plant... or at least greatly reduce its vigor. Same seems to apply to acaule.
     
  20. May 3, 2019 #40

    xiphius

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    Thanks for the link Phred! I actually already read that. Yes, I am being careful to avoid pollinating extremely young plants with very small flowers. Also, if a mature plant has more than one flower, I am only pollinating a single flower (to avoid undue stress from trying to develop more than one pod in the same year).
     

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