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Irongoat

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Just received my first sanderianum cross. It consists of one mature growth (leafspan about 20") and a growth on the way. I'm wondering whether it's blooming size or not. It was advertised as blooming size, but unclear whether this means that my actual division is large enough to bloom, or that the mature growth would be large enough to bloom if it were part of a larger plant.

My other concern (for the moment) is that it came in a standard 5" plastic pot in medium bark and perlite, no drainage at the bottom. My experience with bark in my conditions is that it has three different drying zones and it makes me crazy deciding when to water. I watered it the first morning I had it and it did get noticeably heavier, so I'm not completely panicked. I guess I could just water it when it's light and hope for the best.

I noted on a sphagnum thread that this is not a popular medium here. For whatever reason, sphagnum works well for me on a variety of plants, including cattleyas, but I understand there may be an acid problem with paphs? For me it dries out very evenly (and so I love it already), and within 5-7 days, so sogginess is not a problem. Is it more acidic than bark? Bad for longterm health of the MK?

Guidance, friendly tips all would be appreciated, including answers to questions I wasn't smart enough to ask! I've had several paphs, most doing ok. I have a couple now that are also in bark (Harold Koopowitz and and Lynleigh Koopowitz - guess I'm getting the whole family) that I bedded with a 1/2" layer of sphag to help even out drying. It seems to be working and they're doing well. But with the MK in a bigger pot, I really wanted to check with the experts. Thanks!

John
 

Heather

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John,

I'm unclear if this is actually a division or not. Was it advertised as one?
20" with a new start is a good sign it is close to blooming size, I would say.

I am not going to speak to the sphagnum issue as I have never grown slippers in it. However, I would like to recommend you at least repot it - 5" pot sounds a little large to me, for the size, and if there's no drainage, that concerns me (I have a Michael Koopowitz that is concerning me regarding its' roots so this issue is on my brain right now!) That way, you can check the roots out and get a better understanding of what's been going on with the plant.

Further, regarding watering, don't be afraid to just stick your finger down far into the media and FEEL how wet or dry it is if you are having trouble deciding. I'm always sticking my hands in my pots and it's very useful. That whole skewer thing didn't work for me, I need to actually see and feel what is going on.

Hopefully someone else will speak to the sphagnum issue...
 
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goldenrose

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BS usually means blooming within a years' time. It sounds like it's big enough, according to the leafspan. Depending on the root system a 5" pot does not sound too big to me, mine is in a 6". I'm not a fan of sphagnum but I do have a few plants, not slippers, that seem to be doing quite well in it, so I'm leaving them alone! If I'm in doubt about the watering, I pick the pot up!
 

Candace

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Or melt holes with a soldering tool. Or heat up a screw driver on your stove and make holes. I wonder why it's got no drainage holes. There'd be no way to flush the plant or medium. Ditto to what everyone says on it being near B.S.

My suggestion is to grow it in whatever medium you've had past success with. If you've had success with spag. go for it. I don't like it for paphs but had good success growing my phrags and phals in it. Welcome !
 
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Irongoat

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Thanks for the responses! My bad for not specifying what I meant by "no drainage." I should have said 'no drainage material.' The pot has standard drainage holes.

Heather, I've been debating on repotting. I'm waiting to see how long it takes before it seems to need water again, but I'll probably do that. I probably should have repotted it immediately but I thought I'd wait and see if it continued on before disturbing it. The top looks great - I hope I don't find mushy roots!

John
 

SlipperKing

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John,
I have 2 MK's in spike the youngest one has a 20" +/- LS with a second growth (about 1 yrs old) that is 1/2 the mature one. So yes your's is blooming size. It might take another yr to do so. If you have a divison, then you have a plant that has been divided into 2 or more pcs and normally it would carry a "clonel" name. So if you have a plant, grown from seed and never cut up into pcs you don't referr to it as a divison. You could call it a "first bloom seeding" once it blooms but that too could be weid if your plant is huge !:drool:
 
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Irongoat

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Oops! I've been growing mericlone cattleyas too long! This one is probably a seeding then - parents are unnamed. Thank you for the clarification.

Slipperking, your description of your youngest one sounds like mine. One mature growth and another one on the way about half done. And your spike is coming from the matured growth, right?

Thanks again.

J
 
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Irongoat

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I'm a newbie here flooding the airways. Don't mean to be in bad form, but I'll chance it. Came home from work really wanting a nap but that Michael Koopowitz would not be ignored. So I dumped it out of its pot - not difficult since the bottom third of the pot was unoccupied by anything other than bark mix. At least half the roots were fully decayed and only two live root tips on the whole plant. I know I didn't do that, I haven't even had it a week yet!

So really p---d off, I decided to do the rescue, but to take pictures for the vendor. After trimming, it easily went from a 5" to a 4" pot - so it was overpotted IMHO. Put a layer of drainage in the bottom and used the mix it came in, which I really liked - beautifully conditioned bark mix but still firm, finally top-bedded it with a layer of sphagnum and staked it.

What do you think?





Not dire, right? But selling it as a 5" pot size? I don't know. The first pic is after trimming. The viable roots seem all to be from the mature growth. The developing growth doesn't seem to have started rooting yet, which I guess is a good thing.

Thanks for the suggestion to repot, Heather. Definitely the right choice here.

John
 

Candace

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The roots are not the worst I've seen. There's actually some nice ones there. Yes, you cut off some rotten roots, but it looks like there are enough healthy ones to re-establish it. I've received some with no roots at all, so... I don't know who you bought it from or for what price, but IMHO the plant looks decent and I don't think the vendor deserves any chewing out about it. It may be that it was over-due for a repotting. That being said, I wouldn't have chosen to reuse the bark. Good luck with it.
 

Scooby5757

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The roots are not the worst I've seen. There's actually some nice ones there. Yes, you cut off some rotten roots, but it looks like there are enough healthy ones to re-establish it. I've received some with no roots at all, so... I don't know who you bought it from or for what price, but IMHO the plant looks decent and I don't think the vendor deserves any chewing out about it. It may be that it was over-due for a repotting. That being said, I wouldn't have chosen to reuse the bark. Good luck with it.

I pick Candace's side of the table. I was expecting to see one little, wriggled, gnarly root. That doesnt look too bad.
 
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goldenrose

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I've seen blooming plants with a lot worse, this plant should be just fine. I repot new plants quite frequently to my own mix, it's so much easier on getting the watering right. There's one thing I question - Is the "top-bedded it with a layer of sphagnum" necessary?
 
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Irongoat

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Thanks for the replies again. goldenrose, the heat from my HID light exaggerates the tendency for bark to dry out in the top half faster than the bottom. Top-bedding with a 1/2" of sphagnum, kept moist, and using a little drainage material at the bottom helps equalize moisture conditions in the pot. And topbedding with a moisture rententive medium is particularly helpful for new roots.

No complaints to the vendor, then (who I really like).
 

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