No roots, No Problem?

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MaxC

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Backstory is this is a purchase from Ebay that arrived without good roots (seller said I must have done something when I complained). Was someone was trying to pull a fast one on me? Plant was heat damaged and living in a tiny pot. This is supposedly a 5-6 year old multi-growth kovachii and seemed like a good deal when I ordered it. Who wouldn't be tempted by the lure of a "mature, healthy, multi-growth" kovachii?
I have seedlings that are more substantial than this plant when it arrived. Oh and it split when I removed it from the pot into two divisions. That's just great!

I repotted both divisions into Grodan grow cubes. Eastern exposure window, humidity ranges from 45-97%. I am watering daily with distilled water with K-Lite 25ppm, Green Jungle 1/2 ounce, total ppm is around 250-280, and I used KelpMax 1:250 once a month (now doing bi-weekly applications). Flush with distilled water once a month.

First pictures are from January 21st when I received my plant(s), second from February 20th, third March 5th and last ones are from May 6th.

My current takeaways on rockwool for distressed plants:

Where there is disaster, there is an opportunity. Clearly both plants are making a recovery. I would consider rockwool as an alternative to wrapping sphagnum around the stolen. For my daily watering schedule I am liking rockwool. I have algae, which prompted a search on algae and grow cubes (nothing online other than marijauna or food growers trying to avoid algae on grow cubes). Algae is now being covered by live moss so that has taken just under four months. Overall, this culture is working for me and may work for others. Hopefully things continue in a positive direction and one day I have two blooming kovachii plants.
 

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abax

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I've made these ebay mistakes a long time ago and
just don't even look now. Good luck friend.
 

musa

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I think everyone did. Now I only buy on ebay if I know the vendor.
That is quite a developpement on your kovachii!
 

PeteM

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Backstory is this is a purchase from Ebay that arrived without good roots (seller said I must have done something when I complained). Was someone was trying to pull a fast one on me? Plant was heat damaged and living in a tiny pot. This is supposedly a 5-6 year old multi-growth kovachii and seemed like a good deal when I ordered it. Who wouldn't be tempted by the lure of a "mature, healthy, multi-growth" kovachii?
I have seedlings that are more substantial than this plant when it arrived. Oh and it split when I removed it from the pot into two divisions. That's just great!

I repotted both divisions into Grodan grow cubes. Eastern exposure window, humidity ranges from 45-97%. I am watering daily with distilled water with K-Lite 25ppm, Green Jungle 1/2 ounce, total ppm is around 250-280, and I used KelpMax 1:250 once a month (now doing bi-weekly applications). Flush with distilled water once a month.

First pictures are from January 21st when I received my plant(s), second from February 20th, third March 5th and last ones are from May 6th.

My current takeaways on rockwool for distressed plants:

Where there is disaster, there is an opportunity. Clearly both plants are making a recovery. I would consider rockwool as an alternative to wrapping sphagnum around the stolen. For my daily watering schedule I am liking rockwool. I have algae, which prompted a search on algae and grow cubes (nothing online other than marijauna or food growers trying to avoid algae on grow cubes). Algae is now being covered by live moss so that has taken just under four months. Overall, this culture is working for me and may work for others. Hopefully things continue in a positive direction and one day I have two blooming kovachii plants.
Thanks for sharing. I Just stumbled on this thread. So many good ones on here it’s difficult keeping up with each category.

question on your temps? Day and night. Have you noticed the growth rate dropping off now that it’s warming up? And what is the ph of the fert after mixing? Are you aiming for 7 or higher?

your fertilizer regiment is very similar to mine (same products), but I am way at the lower end of the spectrum with RO, and only 50-80ppm daily. Some mentioned to me they like heavier feeding than recommended in earlier culture... have you tinkered with different feeding rates at all?

I am also in growdan/perlite, with aircone pots and a newly repotted one in a net basket (Images attached). Trying to cool down the roots going into the summer to see what works. Alfredo grows in net pots, thought I would give it a try.

I had strong growth during the winter, once the temps started climbing in this past month I’ve noticed the growth is stalling again, happens every year. I’ve moved them to lower light and I’m planning to pull half of them out of the grow room when the AC goes on to move them to a cooler environment. The other half I plan to try again in the grow room putting them right in front of an evaporative cooler.. testing this out for the summer.

Anyways, please keep this thread posted with progress If you have any to share, I would like to troubleshoot and really dial in this species this time around. Been trying for years now.. and I’m hoping this next push will work.
 
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MaxC

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Everything that follows has the caveat of my collection is approaching 100 phrags. I am trying to streamline the process since I am watering daily for most of my plants. I need to get an RO system from Ray at some point since I am needing over 8 liters of water a day.

I am not overly concerned with pH and have stopped testing regularly I think 6.6 to 6.8 is ideal range. Instead I check my ppm of waste water just to make sure there's proper intake of fertilizers. The Green Jungle is what pushes my ppm up to 250 range with half an ounce per gallon. I was originally feeding weekly at higher doses but much easier to put a smaller dose daily. I would say every phrag I have is throwing up leaves or roots. Some are growing faster than others. At some point I will get around to documenting all my plants and keep regular updates.

For example, here's a repot from today for a sargentianum that I am growing to specimen size and is now going into rockwool. Over 20 new root tips and 6 new growths. Must be liking daily watering regimen and low doses of fert. Almost as good as @eds drip system.

I have three growing "zones": a warmer room with early morning sunlight and diffused afternoon that gets up to 75 during the day and 60s at night, living room is mostly in low 70s to mid 60s at night, my growing rack space with LEDs stays around 70 all the time since there's no direct heating or cooling in that room. I am going to put in a hot+cool fan in there to bring in a diurnal temperature shift. Humidity in all areas is at 50% or above. I was reminded that in situ for some of the warmer growing phrags the water they are getting is cooling the roots down constantly.

Two of the three kovachii in this thread are putting out a new leaf.

I have seen some people have really good success with net pots. Are you noticing you have to water more frequently?
 

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PeteM

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Everything that follows has the caveat of my collection is approaching 100 phrags. I am trying to streamline the process since I am watering daily for most of my plants. I need to get an RO system from Ray at some point since I am needing over 8 liters of water a day.

I am not overly concerned with pH and have stopped testing regularly I think 6.6 to 6.8 is ideal range. Instead I check my ppm of waste water just to make sure there's proper intake of fertilizers. The Green Jungle is what pushes my ppm up to 250 range with half an ounce per gallon. I was originally feeding weekly at higher doses but much easier to put a smaller dose daily. I would say every phrag I have is throwing up leaves or roots. Some are growing faster than others. At some point I will get around to documenting all my plants and keep regular updates.

For example, here's a repot from today for a sargentianum that I am growing to specimen size and is now going into rockwool. Over 20 new root tips and 6 new growths. Must be liking daily watering regimen and low doses of fert. Almost as good as @eds drip system.

I have three growing "zones": a warmer room with early morning sunlight and diffused afternoon that gets up to 75 during the day and 60s at night, living room is mostly in low 70s to mid 60s at night, my growing rack space with LEDs stays around 70 all the time since there's no direct heating or cooling in that room. I am going to put in a hot+cool fan in there to bring in a diurnal temperature shift. Humidity in all areas is at 50% or above. I was reminded that in situ for some of the warmer growing phrags the water they are getting is cooling the roots down constantly.

Two of the three kovachii in this thread are putting out a new leaf.

I have seen some people have really good success with net pots. Are you noticing you have to water more frequently?

Thanks for info. Like you, I fertilize then water my phrags every single day.. and I'm only a few days in with the kovachii net pot but I checked the weight before watering yesterday, and yes it was fairly light compared to the plastic pot. I've probably got a fan right on it. But it does dry out faster than I expected, especially for the size. I might reduce the amount of perlite next round, TBD. But like you suggest I'm thinking the evaporation will help cool the roots, especially in the summer for me. The only issue I have are the summer temps, I can't get a strong enough night time dip as the basement grow room has open windows in the summer. The grow room can get into the mid to high 80's here in Baltimore summers.. so this year I have switched to LED from HID metal halide, reduced the day length to 12hrs 30 minutes, and I'm trying an evaporative cooler for the first time this summer to drop the temps. We shall see. I need to work towards cooler daytime temps and a larger day night flux.

I purchased an RO system form Ray about a year an a half ago. It's been a real treat to water with a hose and dial in the water quality. My phrags do very well minus the summer where they stall because of the heat. Ray was very helpful on the phone, so far so good. I have a 30gallon trashcan I fill up with a float valve, and an external pump ( SEAFLO 33-Series Industrial Water Pressure Pump w/Power Plug for Wall Outlet - 115VAC, 3.3 GPM, 45 PSI) that I switch on to water with the hose. I'll keep you posted on what works for me once the weather stays warmer. I think we are getting into the summer this next week. My goal is to keep the phrags growing through the summer.
 

MaxC

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I spent a really hot weekend in Baltimore years ago.

We have short nose breed dogs, so can never get too hot here.

Are you using some box fans to blow out the hot air through the open windows?

Still working on my lighting but I am running about 12-14 hours a day.
 

PeteM

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I spent a really hot weekend in Baltimore years ago.

We have short nose breed dogs, so can never get too hot here.

Are you using some box fans to blow out the hot air through the open windows?

Still working on my lighting but I am running about 12-14 hours a day.
I do have many fans blowing, no box fans in the windows but there should be enough air movement with the evaporative cooler Pointed in that direction this year.

I found that my collection performs better with shorter day lengths. In the past I believe they received to much when I would give them 14-16hrs in the summer, they all looked stressed with weak growths. I still drop down to 11hrs 30Min in the winter for about a month, But I won’t go over 12hrs 30min in the summer. The lights are intense enough that my Cattleyas and Vandas get what they need to grow and flower properly.
 

MaxC

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I am using just straight grodan, something like perlite can get into the spaces and block air flow. I pull dry from the bag in a well ventilated area. Put a layer on the bottom, place my plant to desired height and fill in the space as you normally would (pic #1). There is a slight drop in height when watered and it will take up a good amount of water. I have algae bloom on most of my pots less than a month in (pic #2). Some time after month four moss starts forming on some pots without lights (pic #4) and even faster under lights, closer to two months(pic #3).
 

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southernbelle

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Everything that follows has the caveat of my collection is approaching 100 phrags. I am trying to streamline the process since I am watering daily for most of my plants. I need to get an RO system from Ray at some point since I am needing over 8 liters of water a day.

I am not overly concerned with pH and have stopped testing regularly I think 6.6 to 6.8 is ideal range. Instead I check my ppm of waste water just to make sure there's proper intake of fertilizers. The Green Jungle is what pushes my ppm up to 250 range with half an ounce per gallon. I was originally feeding weekly at higher doses but much easier to put a smaller dose daily. I would say every phrag I have is throwing up leaves or roots. Some are growing faster than others. At some point I will get around to documenting all my plants and keep regular updates.

For example, here's a repot from today for a sargentianum that I am growing to specimen size and is now going into rockwool. Over 20 new root tips and 6 new growths. Must be liking daily watering regimen and low doses of fert. Almost as good as @eds drip system.

I have three growing "zones": a warmer room with early morning sunlight and diffused afternoon that gets up to 75 during the day and 60s at night, living room is mostly in low 70s to mid 60s at night, my growing rack space with LEDs stays around 70 all the time since there's no direct heating or cooling in that room. I am going to put in a hot+cool fan in there to bring in a diurnal temperature shift. Humidity in all areas is at 50% or above. I was reminded that in situ for some of the warmer growing phrags the water they are getting is cooling the roots down constantly.

Two of the three kovachii in this thread are putting out a new leaf.

I have seen some people have really good success with net pots. Are you noticing you have to water more frequently?
That’s a beautiful plant!!!
Everything that follows has the caveat of my collection is approaching 100 phrags. I am trying to streamline the process since I am watering daily for most of my plants. I need to get an RO system from Ray at some point since I am needing over 8 liters of water a day.

I am not overly concerned with pH and have stopped testing regularly I think 6.6 to 6.8 is ideal range. Instead I check my ppm of waste water just to make sure there's proper intake of fertilizers. The Green Jungle is what pushes my ppm up to 250 range with half an ounce per gallon. I was originally feeding weekly at higher doses but much easier to put a smaller dose daily. I would say every phrag I have is throwing up leaves or roots. Some are growing faster than others. At some point I will get around to documenting all my plants and keep regular updates.

For example, here's a repot from today for a sargentianum that I am growing to specimen size and is now going into rockwool. Over 20 new root tips and 6 new growths. Must be liking daily watering regimen and low doses of fert. Almost as good as @eds drip system.

I have three growing "zones": a warmer room with early morning sunlight and diffused afternoon that gets up to 75 during the day and 60s at night, living room is mostly in low 70s to mid 60s at night, my growing rack space with LEDs stays around 70 all the time since there's no direct heating or cooling in that room. I am going to put in a hot+cool fan in there to bring in a diurnal temperature shift. Humidity in all areas is at 50% or above. I was reminded that in situ for some of the warmer growing phrags the water they are getting is cooling the roots down constantly.

Two of the three kovachii in this thread are putting out a new leaf.

I have seen some people have really good success with net pots. Are you noticing you have to water more frequently?
I am using just straight grodan, something like perlite can get into the spaces and block air flow. I pull dry from the bag in a well ventilated area. Put a layer on the bottom, place my plant to desired height and fill in the space as you normally would (pic #1). There is a slight drop in height when watered and it will take up a good amount of water. I have algae bloom on most of my pots less than a month in (pic #2). Some time after month four moss starts forming on some pots without lights (pic #4) and even faster under lights, closer to two months(pic #3
 

southernbelle

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That’s a beautiful plant!!!
One thing I learned from a Jeff Morris who exihibits incredible show-stopping phrags in huge pots: grow in grow cubes, but if pot is large enough put an inch or more bark on top. This takes care of algae growth. I’ve not tried it yet as all of mine but one are in small pots but his that I’ve seen do not have algae on top.
 

southernbelle

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I’ve found this particular thread to be particularly helpful! Thanks, guys! You may have given me what I need for my phrags to be happy. Since my light room is at 82-84 days right now, which has slowed them down and probably will make them in happy shortly, I have moved my phrags upstairs to an east facing triple window in my bathroom. Highest day temp there, as summer gets into full swing will be 75-76 with cool nights. Humidity should be adequate. I grow miltoniopsis there now, as the grow room was too hot for them and they were unhappy as well. So we shall see... Winter temps should be about the same as the light room, as I let the room follow the house temps then, minus a few degrees as it’s in the basement.
 

southernbelle

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By the way, I apologize for messing up some of my posts here with duplicates and other issues. Sometimes this forum gets the best of me. I haven’t figured out how to delete a post and the more I try the worse it seems to get, oh well...please don’t be annoyed.
 

MaxC

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Interesting, I wonder if moss is more prone to grow on bark or rockwool. I am also inoculating with moss slurry on some pots as a test. My goal is 100% moss coverage.
 

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Interesting, I wonder if moss is more prone to grow on bark or rockwool. I am also inoculating with moss slurry on some pots as a test. My goal is 100% moss coverage.
What benefits does moss coverage have for the plant? Or is it just to prevent algae?
 

MaxC

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Algae is nothing I am concerned with one bit since it is going to be covered by moss eventually. That and I only have one clear pot in use.

There's a bunch of stuff on ST about live moss. I believe Lance Birk was talking about the benefits of live moss in the 1970s. Some benefits are production of amines, home for Mycorrhizae fungi (which if you repot annually you are going to want beneficial organisms to stay there, I think of it like a partial water change on an aquarium), increased root growth, etc. If I have healthy live moss I know my conditions should be good for my phrags and vice versa. What I would be interested in is if there were certain mosses that were more beneficial than others.

Lastly, I love the feel of moss. :rolleyes:
 

southernbelle

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Algae is nothing I am concerned with one bit since it is going to be covered by moss eventually. That and I only have one clear pot in use.

There's a bunch of stuff on ST about live moss. I believe Lance Birk was talking about the benefits of live moss in the 1970s. Some benefits are production of amines, home for Mycorrhizae fungi (which if you repot annually you are going to want beneficial organisms to stay there, I think of it like a partial water change on an aquarium), increased root growth, etc. If I have healthy live moss I know my conditions should be good for my phrags and vice versa. What I would be interested in is if there were certain mosses that were more beneficial than others.

Lastly, I love the feel of moss. :rolleyes:
Interesting, I have not heard about moss being beneficial. I think based on my experience with moss outside, it would definitely grow better on rockwool which stays wet/moist all the time. The bark on top is to prevent algae growth when using rockwool. The reason Jeff told me he uses rockwool for phrags is that they resist their roots being disturbed in repotting, so using rockwool (even with #4 perlite and charcoal) means nothing in the mix breaks down. So when he repots, he just adds mix around the outside of the existing root ball/grow cubes. This makes repotting much easier and the plants never know anything happened. He grows beautiful specimen phrags, many in 2-3 gallon containers or more and very floriferous (he has too many CCEs to count, multiples on some plants), so the plants are definitely happy with his system.
 
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