Phragmipedium besseae flavum seedling

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BrucherT

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Posted this in the Paph forum by mistake last week, thank you all for your patience. So, I got this beautiful P. besseae flavum seedling from Fox Valley Orchids (Hi Tom!) back in February. It seemed happy until just a few weeks ago, when it suddenly took a dive; the original growth developed brown spots and yellowing and within about a week, the leaves were completely gone. I was losing my mind trying to figure out what happened and, after the redoubtable SlipperTalk experts weighed in, came to guess that it was a combination of fertilizer buildup and extreme heat in my house (90sF) from a heat wave. Never had any problems like this before so I was caught off-guard. At first I thought my other Phrags (two besseae hybrids and one longifolium v. gracile) weren’t affected but they’re much older than this seedling and now I think I do see a mild negative effect showing. Anyway, after consulting with the amazing semi-hydroponics guru Ray Barkalow, tonight I bit the bullet and slid it out of the pot...and I’m thrilled to see that this plant seems to have what to me appears to be an amazing root system in there! I trimmed off two dead roots and broke none. Besides the new growth that had been showing above ground, I also see another growth bud further down the stem and the new growth seems to have a couple tiny new roots. Per Ray’s recommendation, the LECA was rinsed and rinsed and then soaked for about two days in a KelpMax/RO bath (took me the two days to find courage to unpot, fearing the worst). Really excited and hopeful for this plant now and wanted to share. As always, advice appreciated. One question I have is how long after reporting into semi-hydroponics should I wait to start feeding? I will be using K-lite, one-third of a teasooon per gallon in pure RO, filtered by Ray Barkalow’s amazing home RO filter system, with which I have been thrilled since my nonplumbing self finally grasped — with Ray’s patient help — how easy it was to hook to my sink. Thank you, SlipperTalkers!
 

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BrucherT

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Wanted to post an update on this baby.

I didn’t learn my lesson about heat in 2019 and in summer 2020 the plant went down boom again. This time I started refrigerating it and then put it outdoors in a very sheltered spot. The original (second) growth burned up to about 1 total leaf (if you added up what was left of the green).

6 days ago I watered like usual and noticed that the plant was looking sturdier.

Yesterday I picked it up to water and nearly lost my mind.

4FB5A8B8-F5C0-4597-B7F2-F9B7599E0A56.jpeg
 

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BrucherT

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Oh my gif
Amazing result but if it were mine I would cut off the spike and let the plant grow a bit more,
David
oh my god. There is no damn way I could do this. I just couldn’t. I have never bloomed a Phragmipedium of any kind. Never had a spike. 6 years of trying. I only have 3 plants you could call “mature” but still. Well, four now I guess.
You would cut it off because it will weaken the plant? Or throw an inferior flower? What’s the reason, so I at least understand? Thank you for your reply.
 

dodidoki

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It grows at 2500 m in Andes, temp is never higer than 20 C but often drops to near zero( +4-+5c), humidity is always high, almost 100÷ and roots are always standing in flowing water from rocks.Not an easy species.😜
 

cnycharles

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You asked for explanation of why maybe to cut. Imagine you have a 10 y.o. daughter. You discover she’s pregnant. Imagine the physical stress for a very young person to have the baby. It’s physically possible, but it’s not a great idea. Same with a plant. With plants you can remove a part to keep it stronger. But that’s as far as I would go, the reverse analogy doesn’t apply.
Your orchid has been stressed a lot. Sometimes they react to life threatening stress by trying to flower. It isn’t normal and the plant could die, or it could flower and live, but lose lots of oomph and take a long time to recover
 

eOrchids

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Oh my gif

oh my god. There is no damn way I could do this. I just couldn’t. I have never bloomed a Phragmipedium of any kind. Never had a spike. 6 years of trying. I only have 3 plants you could call “mature” but still. Well, four now I guess.
You would cut it off because it will weaken the plant? Or throw an inferior flower? What’s the reason, so I at least understand? Thank you for your reply.
Considering it's only a single growth plant, I would cut the spike as well and let the plant concentrate on more growths.

Allowing it to flower may weaken the plant and you may lose the plant. It sucks, I know.

Hope this helps.
 

BrucherT

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It grows at 2500 m in Andes, temp is never higer than 20 C but often drops to near zero( +4-+5c), humidity is always high, almost 100÷ and roots are always standing in flowing water from rocks.Not an easy species.😜
Oh believe me, I know now. I’m plotting a cooler for it this summer. Never again will I make THAT mistake. I actually now have 2 different besseae flavum; a tiny “Rob” x “Germany #2” is being delivered today; another ebay mistake, oops. I also have Tom’s “Carlisle” x self and a Guaramales type that I think might be spiking too. I can’t resist besseae so it’s over backwards to make them happy. Funny thing, I have two besseae hybrids that seem to grow well but no sigh of bloom. Ditto my longifolium var. gracile, which is up around 30 growths now and no flower. I definitely do not have Phragmipedium figured out. And I’m already stretching toward a Disa....😱
 

BrucherT

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You asked for explanation of why maybe to cut. Imagine you have a 10 y.o. daughter. You discover she’s pregnant. Imagine the physical stress for a very young person to have the baby. It’s physically possible, but it’s not a great idea. Same with a plant. With plants you can remove a part to keep it stronger. But that’s as far as I would go, the reverse analogy doesn’t apply.
Your orchid has been stressed a lot. Sometimes they react to life threatening stress by trying to flower. It isn’t normal and the plant could die, or it could flower and live, but lose lots of oomph and take a long time to recover
That’s a horrifying analogy! But thank you!
 

BrucherT

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Considering it's only a single growth plant, I would cut the spike as well and let the plant concentrate on more growths.

Allowing it to flower may weaken the plant and you may lose the plant. It sucks, I know.

Hope this helps.
It helps but when I think about cutting this spike I feel physically sick. I honestly do not think I could perform the act.
 

monocotman

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When the first flower is open and has finished developing, cut the spike.
It will last for a week in water and you can continue to enjoy it.
If it were mine, I would cut it off now, but each to their own.
I’ve done it on larger plants if I thought that it would help in the long term.
David
 

southernbelle

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Posted this in the Paph forum by mistake last week, thank you all for your patience. So, I got this beautiful P. besseae flavum seedling from Fox Valley Orchids (Hi Tom!) back in February. It seemed happy until just a few weeks ago, when it suddenly took a dive; the original growth developed brown spots and yellowing and within about a week, the leaves were completely gone. I was losing my mind trying to figure out what happened and, after the redoubtable SlipperTalk experts weighed in, came to guess that it was a combination of fertilizer buildup and extreme heat in my house (90sF) from a heat wave. Never had any problems like this before so I was caught off-guard. At first I thought my other Phrags (two besseae hybrids and one longifolium v. gracile) weren’t affected but they’re much older than this seedling and now I think I do see a mild negative effect showing. Anyway, after consulting with the amazing semi-hydroponics guru Ray Barkalow, tonight I bit the bullet and slid it out of the pot...and I’m thrilled to see that this plant seems to have what to me appears to be an amazing root system in there! I trimmed off two dead roots and broke none. Besides the new growth that had been showing above ground, I also see another growth bud further down the stem and the new growth seems to have a couple tiny new roots. Per Ray’s recommendation, the LECA was rinsed and rinsed and then soaked for about two days in a KelpMax/RO bath (took me the two days to find courage to unpot, fearing the worst). Really excited and hopeful for this plant now and wanted to share. As always, advice appreciated. One question I have is how long after reporting into semi-hydroponics should I wait to start feeding? I will be using K-lite, one-third of a teasooon per gallon in pure RO, filtered by Ray Barkalow’s amazing home RO filter system, with which I have been thrilled since my nonplumbing self finally grasped — with Ray’s patient help — how easy it was to hook to my sink. Thank you, SlipperTalkers!
I had a rapid decline in my phrags (particularly besseae) at a high of 84 degrees in my grow room from winter to summer. As soon as temps started coming up in the spring robust plants declined and in some cases I lost them. I moved them up to a bright east window and a/c, so high in summer 76-78 and they are very happy. Only change I made.
 

NYEric

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Good save. Indoor heat is a major problem every year. This year we stayed on top of it better and lost a lot less Phrags. BTW, I would not cut.
 

kitfox

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I always grimace when someone gives me this advice! I understand exactly how you feel. I am old enough to know tomorrow isn’t promised, and my mantra is “pessimists are never disappointed”. Every spike is a treasure and I’m going to enjoy it right up until it blasts or blooms! 🤔🤣

It helps but when I think about cutting this spike I feel physically sick. I honestly do not think I could perform the act.
 
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