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Cypripediums grown in pots

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greenthumbguru

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Hello everyone. I've got a quick question. I've grown my Cyps in pots and have had pretty good luck. Recently however, my Cyp. Reginae has failed to bloom the last two seasons. I'm thinking my Winters here in the South are just too mild and they prefer a longer, cooler stratification period than what nature is providing here. So I want to remove the plants from their pots and place them on a shelf in my refrigerator. What would be the best medium for me to place them in? Should I just use the inorganic mix I have them presently planted in or should I perhaps use a mix of 50/25/25 of peat, perlite and sand?
I'd love to hear of any other ideas from other growers who prefer growing their Cyps in pots!

West
 

Linus_Cello

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My suggestion would be to do what would disturb the plant the least. So maybe put the entire pot in to a 3 gallon breathable freezer bag and then put it in the refrigerator.

My other recommendation would to try Ulla Silkens instead of reginae.
 

greenthumbguru

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My suggestion would be to do what would disturb the plant the least. So maybe put the entire pot in to a 3 gallon breathable freezer bag and then put it in the refrigerator.

My other recommendation would to try Ulla Silkens instead of reginae.
Hi Linus_Cello, thanks for your reply!
Yes, I thought about putting the entire pot in the refrigerator but the mere size of it prevents me from doing that. The pot is ceramic and stands a little over 12 inches (30cm) tall and equally as wide at the top. As with most pots it tapers down so the base isn't as wide, but still that will take up way too much room in my refrigerator.
Removing the clump, encasing it in a moist media of some sort and placing it in a breathable container in a corner of my fridge seems much more feasible.
 

monocotman

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If you put the reginae in a plastic bag after repotting it, the plant will be set back when it grow next year. Cyps really hate root disturbance and take a year to recover,
David
 

Phred

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If refrigerated they need to in a ziplock... not a breathable bag as fruits and some vegetables give off gas that can prevent blooming the next year which would defeat you're purpose... this is a well known bit of info among people that keep bulbs in the fridge.
IMHO I would bury the pot in the ground on the shady side of the house/garage. Once the ground cools the pot will stay cooler over time than it would if it was not buried and exposed to wide swings in air temps. Mulching it after it gets cold will help even more.
 

greenthumbguru

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If refrigerated they need to in a ziplock... not a breathable bag as fruits and some vegetables give off gas that can prevent blooming the next year which would defeat you're purpose... this is a well known bit of info among people that keep bulbs in the fridge.
IMHO I would bury the pot in the ground on the shady side of the house/garage. Once the ground cools the pot will stay cooler over time than it would if it was not buried and exposed to wide swings in air temps. Mulching it after it gets cold will help even more.
Hey Phred! Good to hear from you!
Yea, I do bury the entire pot. I had it "buried" in mulched leaves up to the rim of the pot all summer to keep the soil at a constant (and cooler) temperature than the ambient air around it. Here in the South it gets pretty hot and humid. The mulch helps Keep the roots from fluctuating temperatures all summer. My thoughts as to why they haven't been blooming the last couple of yeas is because our Winters here are so mild that they really don't get the extended stratification they need to instigate the blooming cycle. The only way I can see to mimic the process is to refrigerate it the time necessary to do so. The entire month of November temperatures here were all over the place, but never under 40*. Up the East Coast and into Canada where Cyp. Reginae naturally grow, they're already under a blanket of snow (or at least temperatures in the 30's) by November. That stratification period typically lasts until mid March and April up there. Last March our Dogwood and Cherry trees were already blooming!
I'll may get a dorm fridge and put the entire pot in it. At least it won't be in the way of leftover lasagna!
 

Phred

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That's a great idea. I've got one for starting Polygonatum seeds which take two cold seasons to produce a leaf.
Love that leftover lasagna...
 

Ray

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FWIW, my cyps-in-pots in PA were done using straight LECA in unglazed clay pots, sitting in a tray of water. I figured the evaporative cooling of the root system would help.

I acquired mature clumps and they grew and bloomed nicely. Over the winter, I unpotted them (simply dumping the unattached pellets), put them into zip-lock bags and into the crisper drawer in the fridge. The following spring they went back into the same setup and grew and bloomed again.

The following winter was not so good. My wife saw the baggies, thought they were some vegetable that got old and sprouted, so threw them away, which I did not discover until I went to repot them in the spring....
 

greenthumbguru

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H
FWIW, my cyps-in-pots in PA were done using straight LECA in unglazed clay pots, sitting in a tray of water. I figured the evaporative cooling of the root system would help.

I acquired mature clumps and they grew and bloomed nicely. Over the winter, I unpotted them (simply dumping the unattached pellets), put them into zip-lock bags and into the crisper drawer in the fridge. The following spring they went back into the same setup and grew and bloomed again.

The following winter was not so good. My wife saw the baggies, thought they were some vegetable that got old and sprouted, so threw them away, which I did not discover until I went to repot them in the spring....
Hello Ray!,
Thanks for the information! I've got LECA and have used that along with Turface, MVP, Perlite, Lava Rock, Pumice, crushed granite and several other potting medias. Since you have done this in the past and it worked, I think I'll give it a go.
Sorry to hear about the miss-hap - I guess for future reference always label your zip lock bags!
 

Duck Slipper

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What Ray said...if you have been already burying them, then try what some of the retailers are doing, putting them in the fridge!
 
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