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Habenaria radiata 2008!!!

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Sirius

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I wanted to let all of you terrestrial and/or Japanese orchid buffs know that Habenaria radiata just went up for sale at Von Bourgondien for the Spring 2008 growing season! If you want to know more about them, you can check out my growing thread from last year.

http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=612&highlight=habenaria

They are limited in supply, and slightly expensive, but Von Bourgondien is having a sale right now so you can take advantage of that if you choose. You get $25 off every order of $50 or more just by clicking the link on the homepage... www.dutchbulbs.com

Also, for you folks across the pond, I found this link... http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/search...1:07:37:573&tBrand=ESTOnline&tCategory=search

Interesting tidbits about the plant and a possible source for purchase.

Happy growing.

 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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I've never had luck with those plants. I ordered H. radiata (actually, Pecteilis radiata...I think) from Van Bourgondian...and they were dead as doornails. They sent replacements, which didn't grow. I think I have a credit somewhere...which I could apply....I got them with last year's sale. But all told, I am not very impressed with their plants. All I ever got that survived was a tree peony. Take care, Eric.
 

Sirius

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Sorry for the crappy experience you had, Eric. All I have ever ordered from them is these Habenaria tubers, and they arrived in dormant form.
 

swamprad

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Enjoyed reading the thread from 2006, Phrag. How about an update since that time? Did you winter the pot in the frig, and if so, how did it do? Do you still believe that primeagra in the bottom of a s/h pot with African Violet soil on top is the best method? I've been interested in these orchids for years, but have never tried them. I'm planning on taking advantage of the Van Bourgondian sale, thanks for letting us know...
 

KyushuCalanthe

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Another source of these is The Wild Orchid Company. This is a reliable nursery with good stuff. Not cheap, mind you ($20 for 2 bulbs).

This species is commonly grown here in Japan and is available every year in just about any garden shop. They typically bloom in August. The trick to growing them in my experience is ample sunshine (but avoid getting the pot hot), lots of water while in growth, and light fertilizer every few weeks. These are open bog plants, so they want sun. In the fall (around November) they go dormant. At that time I remove them completely from their soil and store the bulbs in slightly damp vermiculite in a freezer bag in the fridge (NOT the freezer!). In April they are planted out again. Not overly difficult to grow, but not easy either...
 

Heather

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I don't know - would anyone be interested in a going in on purchasing with me? We could save $25 if we went for it. I was thinking maybe 10 bulbs to split around. I would probably want to try 4, they are $45.90 for 10 plus shipping so I could break that out....

John, how many did you order? What is the rate of return?
 

Sirius

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What follows is my own personal experience with these plants. I want to state that these are my opinions. Personal experiences vary greatly when you are talking about orchids. :)

Believe it or not, these plants were easy to grow once I figured out how to water them. I went through a trial and error process my first two times growing them.

The first time I tried to grow them, I used straight spag. moss. The plants sprouted, but failed to thrive. That is when I learned that they are marsh plants, and are happiest when they are soaking wet. Not just damp, WET! I am tempted to try and grow one tuber submerged in water, but it would just be an experiment on an expensive tuber.

After the plants started to wilt in the fall, I cut the tops off the plant and stored the tubers still wrapped in spag. in a baggie in the fridge. I pulled them out in February if memory serves and placed them in a wet paper towel until plants started to sprout out of the top of the tuber. I then planted them in African violet potting soil that I purchased in a small bag at Home Depot. I read somewhere that these plants like acidic soil, and African Violet mix is slightly acidic and contains peat so I know it holds moisture really well. Planting the sprouting tubers in soil worked great. I experimented with placing some plants in an S/H pot that had a reservoir in the bottom, but to be honest, I saw no difference between the plants that grew in that pot and my other tubers.

So, how did they perform last year? I don't know. I sold the tubers I had to a forum member here. If they want to share their success or failure, that would be great. One other thing about these plants; they multiply, just like other bulbs. After the tubers sprout, and the plant grows and flowers, new tubers form below the soil. These baby tubers can sprout the next year.

Again, these are my experiences. This year, I am planting the tubers I ordered in a shallow flower pot with fresh African Violet soil mix. I am going to water the pot as soon as the top of the soil shows a hint of drying out. Just like last year, I will try to expose the plants to some full sun. I will have to watch them closely though, because the sun tends to dry the pot out fast. As fast as just a few hours here.

So that is what I have to share. Your mileage may vary, but trust me when I tell you that seeing one of these things bloom is a beautiful experience. Those frilly wings will melt your heart and you just might find yourself hooked on Japanese orchids. Have I started a thread about Neofinetia yet? :)
 

Sirius

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I bought six tubers the first year, and six tubers the second year. All twelve bloomed out the second year, so my return was 100%. I sold them after that, so I can't speak about the third year success. But if you are unsure start with one package. That is two tubers and costs $12. That is the safe play I think.

I am not going to share how many I ordered. Let's just say, if they all bloom I am going to have one hell of a photo to share with you all. :)
 
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I've wanted to paint this guy for some time. I'd go in with you Heather if I had property, but for now I'm looking for a big enough pile of good references to compile a composition I like for a painting...detail is a must so I can pick through it and get the gist of the plant structures without being too anal-retentive about it. If anyone wants to donate, please let me know. It's a beautiful orchid--best of luck with your tubers!
 

SlipperFan

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That was I who purchased Phrag's radiatas. They did indeed make more tubers. I have them in two pots, growing semi-hydroponically in a soil-coir mix (if I remember correctly). They bloomed last Summer and went dormant in the Fall. I put them in my basement under lights when I brought all my orchids in in the Fall. Now they have sprouted and are growing well -- I don't know if it's good or bad that they are growing now. I am growing them wet, as Phrag noted. This Summer, I may try to plant some outdoors near our pond -- I'm concerned about doing this though, 'cause we have lots of critters that like to eat plants.
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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I did have luck with radiata's, but many years ago. I bought them (I think from Gurney's, one of the crappiest companies in the business...yet these lived), and planted them in my Long Island bog garden (since overgrown and totally shaded, and full of tree roots...). They survived a year or maybe 2, and did bloom. The VB tubers were totally dead on the first order...like mush. The replacement order were seemingly god, but they didn't grow. Take care, Eric
 

Sirius

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Dot, I am so happy that you are having luck with them!

I wouldn't worry too much about them sprouting early. In fact, I am tempted to buy some extra tubers and hold them in dormancy until next fall when the others stop blooming, and then bring them out to bloom inside my grow-booth for the winter. Though, I might get tired of them after a while, so maybe I should just stick to growing them once a year.
 

Sirius

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Eric,

Maybe they had a bad run of them when you ordered? You say they sent replacements, and also gave you store credit? At least they have some customer service skills.

I can't say what I will recieve this time, but the previous two times I ordered things worked out. I will let everyone know what I receive this time, and if the tubers don't sprout after some time in a wet paper towel, I will let everyone know.

If they were more commonly sold here in the states, I would buy from multiple sources and report the results. But there are only two vendors that I know of that sell them, and both have been mentioned in this thread. I can't see paying twice as much for the tubers from the other vendor though, when they are already expensive from Von Bourgondien.
 

Sirius

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That is my photo. We had the same camera discussion half-way through the original thread. :)
 

KyushuCalanthe

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Hey Phrag, I agree that you need to pay attention to your own experience and use advice from others as a secondary resource. BTW, I had no intention of high-jacking your thread, I just wanted to give more information and a different perspective. In that vein, here is a little bit more about this species.

This plant grows from bulbs that last exactly one season and then rot away. Here is a shot of an old bulb (to the right and dark) and a couple new bulbs looking plump and golden brown.



Usually I average about two new bulbs per old bulb each year. In spring 2004 I started with under 10 bulbs and each year since they have more or less doubled in number (minus a handful I gave away). This fall they went dormant late due to warm conditions, around mid-November. Here is the new crop after being cleaned; somewhere around 80 of them:



Some plants produce only one replacement bulb, others up to three or more. You can tell which ones to save by the color (new ones are light brown vs dark), the old bulbs are soft while the new ones are firm, and finally the dormant growth is directly attached to the old bulbs. New bulbs are produced at the end of stolon-like shoots that can be up to 3 inches long.

The first two years I grew them under typical bog plant conditions and I had a lot of trouble with rot. This year I had them in a fully draining medium and they grew with no difficulty at all, in fact they flourished. If kept in a bog garden throughout the year they seem to run into difficulty and eventually disappear (as others have noted). That is the reason I store them "dry" each winter.
 

Sirius

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Hey Phrag, I agree that you need to pay attention to your own experience and use advice from others as a secondary resource. BTW, I had no intention of high-jacking your thread, I just wanted to give more information and a different perspective. In that vein, here is a little bit more about this species.
No harm, you didn't thread-jack. I just wanted to make sure people understood that I was detailing my own personal experience. I would feel bad if I convinced someone to buy a plant because I said it was easy to grow, and then have it die on them. It happens with orchids, that's just the nature of the hobby sometimes.

This plant grows from bulbs that last exactly one season and then rot away. Here is a shot of an old bulb (to the right and dark) and a couple new bulbs looking plump and golden brown.
That is awesome to learn! I have seen the mushy tubers before, but I always thought it was a new tuber that aborted somehow. The mushy ones always had one or two tubers near them, so I just assumed incorrectly that it was a newbie that died.

The first two years I grew them under typical bog plant conditions and I had a lot of trouble with rot. This year I had them in a fully draining medium and they grew with no difficulty at all, in fact they flourished. If kept in a bog garden throughout the year they seem to run into difficulty and eventually disappear (as others have noted). That is the reason I store them "dry" each winter.
I haven't, in the past, gone to the trouble of digging them up. I just put the whole pot with slightly damp soil inside a plastic bag and stored them in the back corner of the refrigerator. This year though, I may take your advice because I am going to have a large number of them.

I am newly returned to the forum Kyushu, and I don't know many of the new names around here. You are living in Japan I gather, so I have about 485 questions I would love to ask you about plants over there. I was bitten by the Neofinetia falcata bug early in my orchid growing life, and though I have branched out into other orchids a bit since then, I still have quite a few varieties.
 

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