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My Mexipedium is *still* blooming, but I repotted it anyway...

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Heather

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I've been itching to repot my Mexipedium xerophyticum, having bought a nice pot for it a few weeks ago. My mom lives right near Bonsai West, which is a really beautiful place to shop if you are ever in Massachusetts. When she was sick a few weeks ago, it seemed like a good way to kill some time. I had actually never been there before, and their bonsai collection is really quite phenomenal. All of the azaelias were in bloom but the Japanese maples were my favorites. You think orchids are pricey!

But this isn't a post about bonsai!

I've been rather terrified of what I'd find when I unpotted the Mex. I've had it over a year and was afraid of messing with the culture since it was doing so well, but I was pleasantly surprised. The roots were pretty nice, not unlike a Paph. or Phrag. Mine has been growing in a 5.5" round pot, and the stolons were pretty well contained and I was able to hold the whole thing with one hand, carefully, while cleaning off the older media. The roots weren't terribly brittle and I was able to deal with the whole job without dividing the plant (which I really didn't want to do!)

I have always heard they are fairly shallow growers - hence my decision to try repotting in a bonsai pot, but when I was shopping for the pot, I was really concerned about getting something deep enough. I must have wandered around the store for more than an hour trying to decide what to get, which was really hard having no idea of what the roots would be like. True to word, though, the roots are remarkably shallow growing and the pot I chose, which is a sort of oblong rectangle, just about 8" x 10" x 4" deep turned out to be the perfect depth, with room for the plant to spread out some.

Here's a photo of the roots:


I had pretty good luck just lining the bottom of the pot with mix, setting the plant on top, and packing the mix in around each little plant, spinning it a little to make sure that it was adequately covered. One growth had to be potted a little lower than I'd have liked, and another older bloomed growth (with only one of its' leaves left) was best just removed. In places where I have new growth, I used Marilyn LeDoux's method of "staking" the stolon down with the cut off loop of a paperclip (note to self, buy some green plastic covered paper clips tomorrow) so that the roots will be encouraged to grow downward into the mix.

Here's the plant in its' new home.



I think it is really quite lovely. It's going to live in the kitchen with me for a while, where I am getting excellent sunlight (and the colors match! hehe) :)
 

Rick

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Very nice Heather.

I've been dragging my feet to repot mine too. Its got stolons over the side of the pot that I can't safely bend back around to soil, so now I'm encouraged to get after it.
 

Heather

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Rick said:
Very nice Heather.

I've been dragging my feet to repot mine too. Its got stolons over the side of the pot that I can't safely bend back around to soil, so now I'm encouraged to get after it.
A few weeks ago, I tried to bend one of the new stolons. Yeah, that didn't work! I think you have to get them pretty early.

If I'm not mistaken, Rick, you're the one who initially put the bonsai pot idea into my head. Thanks!!
 
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That looks great. If I lose another phrag I may have to pick one of these up. As it is now, I have no room.
 

bwester

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Looks nice Heather. Typical of your perfectionism :poke: What type of mix is that you used?
 

Heather

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bwester said:
Typical of your perfectionism :poke:
Who me??

bwester said:
What type of mix is that you used?
Just a paph. seedling mix from Kelly's Korner Orchid Supplies - small fir bark, perlite, charcoal, teensy bit of chopped sphag. What most of my Phrags are/were in. Similar to what it was in before I repotted.
 

kentuckiense

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I look forward to the day when mine looks that good!

I find it funny that our plants are, essentially, the same individual.
 

Rick

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Heather said:
A few weeks ago, I tried to bend one of the new stolons. Yeah, that didn't work! I think you have to get them pretty early.

If I'm not mistaken, Rick, you're the one who initially put the bonsai pot idea into my head. Thanks!!
Your welcome Heather, but I got the idea from Marilyn.
 

Heather

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Marco said:
hey did you repot the dayanum too? :poke:
I don't have dayanum (though I lust for Uri's) but no, I have not yet repotted my dianthum. :)

The smaller spike on that plant blasted, so it will only have two blooms. I look forward to it opening soon, as I would really like to repot and treat it for an isolated and (so far) well contained, but still evident soft scale problem.
 

Marco

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Heather said:
I don't have dayanum (though I lust for Uri's) but no, I have not yet repotted my dianthum. :)
Dianthum. That's it the one with the curly petals. I got confused with the d's
 

adiaphane

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Sorry to hear about the second spike on your dianthum, Heather, I was really looking forward to seeing in bloom. The buds are mine are getting fatter, but I'm growing impatient.

Your xerophyticum looks wonderful in the bonsai pot, and now I'm dying to do the same, but first, I must purchase a xerophyticum (but I can't justify it yet since funds are still pretty tight). Instead, I'm 'experimenting' with some houseplant azaleas, the Indian variety. It's not going so well, so I think I might have to find another cheaper plant to play with.
 

Jason Fischer

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Hey that mexipedium looks good in the bonsai pot! We grow our really large divisions in shallow pots/bulb pots. I have one huuuuge clump fitting in a 2'x2' tray used to carry plants!

It is actually easier to grow then you think, don't you think?
 

Heather

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Jason Fischer said:
Hey that mexipedium looks good in the bonsai pot! We grow our really large divisions in shallow pots/bulb pots. I have one huuuuge clump fitting in a 2'x2' tray used to carry plants!

It is actually easier to grow then you think, don't you think?
Thanks Jason!
Yeah, it seems to be digging the bonsai pot, though when I bought the pot, I wasn't sure if the roots would fit and I agonized for a long time over what to choose, afraid it would be too shallow, but it ended up being perfect.

The first year I owned it, I totally neglected it - I treated it much more akin to a paph than a phrag, and let it dry out most likely too much. But, it grew lots and bloomed. Since repotting, and paying more attention to my watering and misting, it has grown a ton this summer. So, yes, I think it is a pretty easy one. I love it, it is easily one of my very favorite plants. Now, I baby it. :)
 

NYEric

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That's bigger than most I've seen around. [I yearn to hear that more often] :rollhappy: Is it one plant and who did you get it from? E.
 

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