kovachii specie seedlings

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Jun 26, 2006
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Puerto Maldonado, Peru
SlipperFan said:
Lance, your seedlings are growing beautifully. Would you be willing to share with us your growing conditions? How much light, day/night temps, watering schecule, etc.?

Any tips from the two of you would be most appreciated.
Here is how we are growing the kovachii and a description of our conditions and basic environment:

Light: Light is from T8 tubes at a distance of 7 inches above the leaf which I yields approx. 1000 foot-candles. 14 hours per day. The plants do not receive any direct sunlight although they are in a bright location and get perhaps 20 foot-candles of ambient sunlight during daylight hours.

Temperature: For the first 3 weeks out of flask the day temperature peaked at about 78F. By midnight the night temperature lowered to about 70F. Temperature tapered off to a minimum of 68F. After the initial 3 week period we lowered the day temps to about 75F and the nights drop to a low of about 63F. On the average most hours of the daytime temperatures are 73F - 78F +/- and nights temps. are in the 67-70F range.

Humidity: Daytime RH runs at approx. 65% in the atmosphere on the outside of the plant rack. Night time RH jumps up to about 75% as the temperatures drop.The RH immediately around the plants range are slightly higher.

Water: RO water at a clean rate of 15ppm.

Fertilizer: Fertilizer is a MSU formula of 13-3-15-8Ca-2Mg with trace elements. Irrigation water has fertilizer at approx. 400ppm total, which I beleive is approx. 100ppm N.

Outside environment: We are located about 400 meters inland from the ocean. Air is very clean without pollution. Altitude is 15 meters above sea level.

Inside environment: Plants are located in our living space. We have not used any artificial heating or cooling during the time we have had kovachii. During most days a ceiling fan runs in the room where the plant racks are kept. Doors and windows are opened during warm days to provide for cooling air flow and ventilation.

Growing environment: Plants are located on tiered racks with T8 lighting 8 inches above the pot rim. Each shelf is fitted with a Plexiglas plant tray. Each tray is designed with a pump circulating water over a raised rear wall to provide a waterfall effect which maintains humidity and creates a subtle air movement within the shelf tray environment day and night. The water in each tray is maintained at a 1 inch depth and has a constant current. During the day the shelf receives additional ventilation from a 4 inch fan.

Method of potting: Pots are 3 inch diameter x 4 inch tall plastic cups with side drainage holes 1 inch above the bottom as for S/H. The plants growing in S/H (PrimeAgra) were selected because they had unbroken healthy roots more than 1 inch long. Smaller plants with smaller roots were put into NZ Sphagnum.

I do not use compots but rather plant each plant individually. Except in the case where plants are stuck together, to avoid root damage, I plant them in clumps. Moss is pre wetted with most of the water squeezed out. In the bottom one third of the pot I drop sphag moss in very loosely. Around each plant I form a ball of moss and then force the mass into the pot. This compacts the moss in the root area but leaves the lower moss in the pot loose with air space. I make a point to plant the plantlets deep so that moss loosely covers the stem. After potting, a small amount of water is poured on the plant to saturate the root area but not enough to saturate all the moss. Plants planted in PrimeAgra are done as any other plant, but with extreme care not to crack the roots and making sure the base of the plant is slightly below the media surface (very important).

Growing technique:

Care after planting: Plants are placed directly on the grow rack shelves. During the day the plants are misted (fine) with RO water frequently. Basically I like to see visible water on the leaves at all time during the day. Leaves should be dry within 2 hours before lights out. After a couple days the palnts are watered well with fertilizer mix.

After about one week the plants are watered more often. Generally the plants in sphag are watered with fertilizer 2 times per week. Plants in PrimeAgra are watered almost everyday with fertilizer. Plants are misted with RO water throughout the day several times, everyday.

MOST IMPORTANT.... the surface of the media must be moist to encourage and support new basal roots. We literally keep the surface of the media wet. The trick is to be able to do this without water logging the substrate. With PrimeAgra this in no problem. With moss it is more of a problem. The loose moss in the water reservoir of each pot acts as a wick and helps pull the excess water downward from the root zone. Frequent mistings keep the surface of the moss wet, but not over satuated. Because the pots are clear it is easy to monitor the water content in the moss.

I really believe the seedlings like it wet. Especially they like it wet on the leaves and the surface of the media. Below the surface we just need a humid and well drained environment. This is where PrimeAgra really works well. But we need good roots to go direct from flask to PrimeAgra. Most of the seedlings I received had roots still too small to risk so I went with sphag, but only as a stepping stone. As soon as the plants have active roots an inch long I'll move them to the PrimeAgra.

There you have the basics. If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer.

I hope others will add their kovachii growing techniques to this forum thread, good or bad all information is helpful.

Here is a new kovachii root tip growing fast in wet PrimeAgra.


Slipperless member
Jun 9, 2006
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Great Neck - New York
Thanks Lance :) great post. I don't own any kovachii cause they're mainly too expensive for me at this moment.And my grow area gets really really warm, peaks 85-90. In the near future when prices go down and when I can get a portion of my grow area more towards intermediate conditions I will definately be picking one up. :)

As for the "misting the plant regularly" I think I'm gonna do that with a couple of my bigger paphs every morning for a couple of months to see how it goes. :) I need to go buy more distilled water though cause I wanna avoid mineral build up. I normally use tap for everything cept for my lone phrag.


Jun 10, 2006
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Michigan, USA
Lance, thanks for the great information! Especially helpful are your comments about moisture on the plants and at the surface of the media.

Much thanks!


Just me!
Jun 8, 2006
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Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the info. I get my seedling in a few months and any information will be saved for future reference.


Re: Deflasking...

Has anyone tried leaving the Agar on method? Pros? Cons?


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