How to grow a phrag that's sticking 6 inches out of the pot.

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Jason Fischer
Aug 26, 2006
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For those of you who aren't on the other slipper forum, I'm taking a poll on whether people are interested in these pots or not, enjoy!

OK, so I've seen these pots used on Asian cymbidiums because of their long root systems. The Japanese tall plastic pots are very nice, but also very expensive to bring in. I recently discovered 'tree pots' when I was in California and saw Norito Hasegawa using them for Asian cymbidiums.

Tree pots come in many sizes and shapes, and they are just the pot for those of you who have phrag. besseae and besseae hybrids that like to crawl waaay up on a long rhizome. There are a few things you can do when this happens.

A) You could just chop off the newest growth at the rhizome, discarding of the entire root system while hoping the new one develops (which it does, but it takes a while)

B) Keep the existing root system while using a tall pot, hence the tree pot.

The following are the steps I used in order, followed by pics of each step. Let me know what you think, and if you'd like to see these pots available for purchase as I have to make a pretty hefty order and only really want to do it if there is interest (I personally think this is great!).

1)The orchid, in this case Phrag. Hanne Popow flavum. You can see the long rhizome sticking up with the main root mass way below.

2)The tree pot. This is the 4" x 10" long size.

3)The drainage on these things is huge, and most bark will just fall through, so I used some sphagnum moss at the bottom for drainage. The best thing to do would be to cut screen and push it to the bottom.

4)I remove all the old growth and leave only what is on top. This may be painful for you, but these growths are just making a mess and we don't need them anymore. In truth, these areas can still produce more new growths, but this example is how to make the plant look nice and clean!

5)You can now see what I've done. The plant will end up pushing many new roots at the base of the newest growth, but only after they are in potting material (they just sit dormant until they get adequate moisture).

6)It was a perfect fit! The main root mass is at the very bottom of the pot.

7)The finished product. The plant was not stressed at all! I did this about a month ago and it just kept right on flowering without any signs of stress. So what do you think?
I think it's a great idea Jason. We have the same pots here in Australia and I'm using them for the drier growing phrags because of the better drainage - I've also been growing some of the multiflorals similarly but in converted one litre ( I suppose that's about a quart) plastic milk bottles from a particular company because the bottles are square and transparent rather than translucent.

It's the tallness I go for there as well.

This reminds me of the pots a man in Pa. or Jersey was selling a few years ago for paphs & phrags.The bottom had a stiff plastic open net affair on the bottom for lots of drainage.I still have a couple of the smaller ones left.Root systems do grow well.Never did get any of the giant ones that you have pictured:mad:

Here is the bottom view of the small pot I had left.It's about 2 1/2 x4" high but he had all sz's.He was from NJ.The other pot I have left has a ht of 5".
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Nice idea. Currently I am using 99 cent bird seed feeders filled w/ a sphagnum, coconut chip, charcoal mix. That way you can see the 12" + roots growing. Who is the supplier? E.
I've been using these pots for years. They are sold as "rose" pots or simply liners...also the "Paphperfect" pots were the ones sold by the guy in NJ...he basically took those pots and put screen at the bottom, and perforated the sides. For my really nice plants, I buy the Chinese deep pots, the Cymbidium types. For those in the NYC area, Jade Gardens on Mulberry St. in Chinatown has them for excellent prices. Take care, Eric
Heather--if you want a pot that is both long and clear, try using the tops that comes with packaged blank CDs. My besseae is climbing right out of her pot, so I just took one, dremmeled holes all around and potted her into it. I'll take a picture soon to show you what I am talking about.
adiaphane said:
Heather--if you want a pot that is both long and clear, try using the tops that comes with packaged blank CDs. My besseae is climbing right out of her pot, so I just took one, dremmeled holes all around and potted her into it. I'll take a picture soon to show you what I am talking about.

Oh that's a good idea, Tien, but a lot of CD use no?
My CD user dried up, I'm afraid. ; )
Jade Gardens is the best. The only place I know that sells orchids, that aren't sold when the flowers die off, for discount. WOOHOO!!! For my bigger plants I use the clear large size soup containers from the chinese restaurant w/ holes cut into the sides and bottoms. It's like an ant farm for orchids. E.
Okay, I did this tonight in an S/H pot. Crazy plant seems to want to grow a stalk. I hope it is potted deep enough, I'm not sure it is though. Upon looking at the photo, I think it could be an inch or so deeper, but I don't have a tall enough pot for that! Hrm...How tall are those pots, exactly, Jason?



(Please 'scuse my messy kitchen! Boiling/soaking Prime Agra.)
OMG,. that is really messy. Sorry!
Jon in SW Ohio said:
Messy? I can see my reflection in that pot!
Does look like you could go a bit deeper though.


If I do, the root mass will be at the bottom of the S/H pot, but there is a new root growing an inch up from where the prime agra ends in that photo. Also, here is the remains of an old growth, entirely below the media. It wasn't looking so good upon arrival, so I tried to dry it out today and then cut it back to live tissue and cinnamon'd it, and potted. But it is pretty far down there.
I'm a little concerned about it.
Actually, now that you mention it Heather, I've noticed the same thing. I have a 4N besseae too and it doesn't do this but all my 2N besseaes do.

Those pots are available in 6", 8" and 10" depth, which is PLENTY deep for that plant. I'll probably order them when I clear up my storage space. They have a rather large minimum order! The pots themselves aren't too expensive. I think somebody asked who makes these, it is a family business called Anderson Co.

By the way, usually besseae and schlimii hybrids grow on these long rhizomes. When Jon suggested 4N, he was obviously drunk :poke: