Phrag. kovachii ‘Grande’ x self

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DrLeslieEe

Scholar, Addict and Aficionado of Orchidacea
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Clap clap clap... standing ovation! Good job on such a cute 'Mickey Mouse's ear' flower.

I concur with you that the first time I ever laid my eyes on one years ago in Japan, I was star struck. Since then, a few have passed through judging and I got to handle it up close. It still takes my breath away every time I see one in bloom. So surreal.
 
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I purchased this plant from Sam Tsui at The Orchid Inn, in May of 2020. It was a decent sized, one growth seedling with one leaf measuring 11-12 inches.

I put her directly into this large net pot with styrofoam peanuts at the bottom and a mix of grodan cubes/#4 perlite/charcoal. Heavily top dressed in oysters shells. The moss has established all around the pot, it looks like a giant moss ball.

I water with RO daily first with a low dose of balanced fertilizer in a hand pump. 25-50ppm rotating among a few different brands. Later in the day I come back around with a hose and drench the pot. I add oyster shells every 1-2 months and extra (most of my ferts have some) cal/mag quarterly.

My daily temps target a high of 78 and a low of 65, which fluctuates seasonally but I try to never let the temps rise above 80. Its positioned on the edge of the grow table closest to the evaporative cooler during the summer months. Grown all under LED, towards the edge of the footprint. (I’ll include a picture of the grow table).

I went back to look at my records and I have been trying to grow and bloom this species since 2008. It’s been one of my main motivators all these years. I’ve killed a few and even bloomed out an incorrectly labeled kovachii, but was never able to get them big enough. I think a lot has to do with time, age of the plant. Seems the others I know who have bloomed them from the early generation of seedlings were waiting 10 years. I also believe that this seedling is a few more generations removed from those original jungle collected plants.

We shall see. I’m sitting on 3 more earlier generation kovachii seedlings and I have recently moved them all over to the exact same culture. 🤞
I really still can’t believe this mythical beast is in front of me. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the flower in person after all these years.

The spread on the first day of opening is 12cm across. And the vertical width of the petal is 6.5cm. I’ll try and get a few pics later this week under natural sunlight.

Anyways enough rambling. Enjoy the pics.


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Amazingly stunning!
 
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