Phragmipedium besseae flavum seedling

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Nov 16, 2017
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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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