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Help with Mystacidium braybonae culture, please

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charlie c

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Hoping someone with real world experience with Mystacidium braybonae culture will be willing to share some cultural tips.

I have a plant that I've grown for several years but can not get to bloom. Spikes form and then blast.

I give it Cattleya conditions year round with much less water in the winter. It's mounted on cork bark. It grows great roots and puts out spikes in the Spring, but then they wither and die. Plant appears healthy, so I doubt it's a disease problem.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

charlie c
 
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neo-guy

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Try giving it more humidity while it's in spike? I don't have this one, but do have M. venosum and capense. Both have flowered without blasting.
Related would be maybe not enough water? Buds can blast if the plant is stressed.
Peter.
 
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charlie c

Guest
Try giving it more humidity while it's in spike? I don't have this one, but do have M. venosum and capense. Both have flowered without blasting.
Related would be maybe not enough water? Buds can blast if the plant is stressed.
Peter.
Thanks for the reply Peter. I don't think it's humidity, it runs somewhere between 60 and 85%, depending where I am in the fertigation cycle.

It may well be a lack of water. I may be coming out of the dry Winter rest a little late. Either that or it may need more shady conditions at this point.

Was just hoping for some confirmation before I made a change. Don't want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

charlie c
 
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neo-guy

Guest
Sometimes just changing where you have the orchid can make the difference! I've heard many a story where moving it up or down or to the side does the trick!
Peter.
 
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charlie c

Guest
Sometimes just changing where you have the orchid can make the difference! I've heard many a story where moving it up or down or to the side does the trick!
Peter.
Ya Peter I absolutely agree with you about that. I was hoping for help to chose the right direction :) And I agree that this is a sign of stress. I just don't know which "brand" of stress it is.

In this incarnation of an orchid grower, energy cost being what they are, I'm growing in a smaller house (~130 sq. ft.). I'm finding it to be more difficult than a larger space. I think because there is less of a "sink" for temperature and humidity. The swings are more drastic and happen in a shorter period of time. So conditions are less "stable". If that makes any sense to you. I find it hard to put into words knowledge that is stored on the other, non-communicating, side of the brain.

Basically I've always tended to grow "hard". In this case, I guess, I just have to lower all the factors that could be stressful. Pump as much reserve as possible into the plant, and hope for the best next Spring.

charlie c
 
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I also tend to grow hard, but I wouldn't have thought to put this one in cattleya light. The leaves are kind of thin, and the roots appear to be between delicate and storing a decent amount of moisture. Mine is in short spike for the first time (there will be no profusion of blossoms from the looks of things), and I've been watering it a lot since I noticed the spike, which didn't happen till I noticed your post actually, so I have you to thank for having a shot at keeping it hydrated enough.
 
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charlie c

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I also tend to grow hard, but I wouldn't have thought to put this one in cattleya light. The leaves are kind of thin, and the roots appear to be between delicate and storing a decent amount of moisture. Mine is in short spike for the first time (there will be no profusion of blossoms from the looks of things), and I've been watering it a lot since I noticed the spike, which didn't happen till I noticed your post actually, so I have you to thank for having a shot at keeping it hydrated enough.
Robin,

Thanks for the reply. Glad I could be helpful. :) I hope you get to see yours bloom. Would love to see a pic when it happens.

The cultural advice, and the plant was given to me by friends, now in central Florida. There and here (upstate NY) are worlds apart in terms of orchid culture, I understand. They grow these, mounted, hanging on the edge of pots of B. nodosa because they both like a cool, dry winter rest.

The growing part I got knocked. It's the blooming part that has me pulling my hair out. Blasted five spikes last year, and seven spikes this year.

I don't know (yet). but, I believe it's either the temp is too low in the Spring. Or I not watering enough once the spikes starts, or it's some or all of the above. :)

Good luck with yours!! Am hoping you do well; so I can pick your brain.

charlie c
 

cnycharles

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I found someone in southern central pennsylvania who grows this species and who says he has no problem growing or flowering his plants, so I thought I'd pass along his conditions and some comments/thoughts. He grows his plants mounted on cork, with just a bit of green moss around the base of the plant, in an east window in a 4' x 4' growing case. The humidity sometimes isn't over 60%, the plants are set so that they face away from the window (very low light) and he only fertilizes using a few pellets of slow-release fertilizer in the moss a few times a year. He used to put seedling on cedar shims but noticed they didn't do much until he put them on cork with a bit of moss. Now he says that the roots grow every which way and look much happier, plants have no problems flowering. I would assume their conditions are a little sunnier than general upstate ny conditions, but from the general discussion in this thread I am figuring that hard conditions (too bright and temps/humidity that can swing too much during the day) are what is causing the problem. His growing case and having the plant facing away from east light leads me to believe that the growing conditions don't change that much during the day, and that makes life much easier for the plant. I'm guessing that if someone had one of these plants in a greenhouse, if they made a sort of enclosure of loose plastic to keep the conditions from changing rapidly and keep some of the humidity in, that might help things a lot. Also if this is typical of plants like aerangis that don't like salty water, more frequent fertilizing of plants that are allowed to dry a bit (salts build up on the buds) the salt or possibly cold water could be shocking the buds.
I have a similar problem with small chinese phal species that blast many of the buds, but I figured out that my humidity was too low, and often if a flower spike would grow into the moss the buds would try to open but fail if they were pulled out into the air. :(

hope this helps, hope to see flower pictures soon!
also trying to decide if I want to get one of these plants! :eek:
 
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charlie c

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cnycharles,

Thank you for the info you "harvested" from your friends. I appreciate it.

I coming to believe that lowering the light level is probably the answer. I don't think humidity is a problem (without monthly spraying of 1% bleach solution on the walks it rapidly turns Hans Brinkerish from the algae). Unless this one is super sensitive to salinity when in spike, I don't think that the problem either. It, and other Angraecoids, grow fine with the fertilizer schedule they're on. Although I admit that growing these is something that I've been at for a few years; retirement project.

Have moved it to Phal level light and will keep an eye on it. Next step may be lighting some candles :).

IF it ever blooms, I'll be MORE than happy to post some pix.

Thanks again.

charlie c
 
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cnycharles, I also appreciated your incite. I figured I’d take some quick shots of mine since I’m watering anyway—cedar and green moss, hanging over an open 20 gallon aquarium in an unobstructed north window with CFLs in the vicinity. In spike/bloom in the same general location are many phals, a couple of epis (I’m most excited about parkinsonianum), miniature AVs, a mini sinningia…you get the idea. I don’t mist, but just soak this guy a couple of times a week—more so since I now know it’s in spike. You can see it slowly developing in the close-up, but, as I said, I don’t think it’s going to be much of a show on its (our!) first try.



 
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charlie c

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Robin,

Thanks for the pic. Nice show for the first time out of the gate. Not that I've ever bloomed this, but the ones I've seem have always been white flowered. On my monitor this shows up pinkish, is that the true color? Really neat if it is.

charlie c
 
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No, it’s not viguieri pink. I just threw it up on my wooden drawing board which gave things a warm cast—trying to get a bunch of stuff tied up today, so I don’t think I’m doing any of it well.

Not a lot of flowers, but it wasn’t supposed to do it at all for another year, so I’ll take it!
 
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cwt

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Nice one Robin. Time to come here and see them in Nature!!! Growing in the Soutpansberg are on Boababs (adansonia digitata) close to where A stellae africa used to have a singular colony.
Charles
 

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