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Phragmipedium Culture Sheet

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Heather

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Feel free to discuss what you think should be included in a "welcome to the wonderful world of growing Phrags!" culture sheet.

If you have any good photos you'd like to submit, link or post them in this thread as well.

Thanks!
 

ohio-guy

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hi Heather....do you have a format or a frame work to start off with?
it seems setting up an algorithm for plant care might be a place to start....kind of like when you learn to give someone CPR you think of the "A-B-C's" (=airway breathing circulation)....to keep a person alive.
For a culture sheet a beginner wants to keep a plant alive. Start with the basics... I guess it would be temperature, hydration and light, in that order of importance.Expand each area then with issues of plant growing location (which will relate to temperature), potting media and water source (which will relate to hydration) and light reqirements for optimal growth and blooming.
I haven't looked at any cultural sheets recently, but I suppose you could use the AOS format as well, and give us something to build on.
Personally, I always find it easier to critique and adapt a work than to start completely from scratch. What would you like to see as the format?
 

Ron-NY

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Heather you will need a bit of seperation for fischeri, schlimii and besseae take less light than the other species. approx 1500-2000fc where I find that the other species and hybrids do better in much higher light 2000-3000+ fc.

fischeri also likes a more neutral medium PH greater than 7 but less than 8
 

Heather

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Hi,
I haven't had much time to think about this again since I posted these, but I agree, Ron, I want to also include mentioning that the caudatum types generally prefer less water than the other groups of Phrags.
 

Heather

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okay, here's what I came up with.

Comments and corrections are welcome!

Phragmipedium

Phragmipedium (frag-muh-PEE-dee-um) are the new world tropical lady slipper orchids with species originating from southern Mexico (Mexipedium xerophyticum) through central South America. Phrag. species are mostly found growing on the ground, on rocks, and occasionally in trees. The tree dwellers are the long-petaled species such as cadautum and its’ relatives, which are known to prefer dryer conditions than most other Phrags, which often grow in the splash zone of waterfalls and streambeds and can even be submerged during periods of heavy rain. Like Paphs, Phrags generally flower on every mature growth, usually in the late winter and spring, and mature plants can flower sequentially for many months. Phrags are also known to drop one pristine looking bloom just as another is ready to open. This just happens to be the way they flower. Hobbyists generally regard Phrags as the easiest type of slipper orchid to grow.

Light
Requirements for Phrags range from medium (1500-2000 foot-candles) for Phrag. besseae and its’ relatives, (which also provides the cooler temperatures they prefer) to bright (3000-4000FC) for the long-petaled caudatum types and xerophyticum.

Temperature
Most Phrags can be grown at intermediate temperatures with nights in the upper 50’s to mid 60’s. However, besseae and schlimii can tolerate and often prefer somewhat cooler temperatures. Phrag. besseae is known to bloom a brighter shade of red when grown on the cool side. The latest species discovered, Phrag. kovachii, is becoming known for not tolerating warm temperatures well. Closely related to the Phrags, Mexipedium xerophyticum prefers temperatures on the warmer end of the above range.

Water
Good quality water is very important for Phrags. Though tap water with low dissolved solids will be adequate, rainwater, distilled water, or reverse osmosis is preferable. Most Phrags should be kept moist all the time, with the exception of the caudatum types and xerophyticum which can be allowed to dry out a bit between waterings. Always water in the morning to ensure that the foliage will be dry by the evening and do not let water accumulate in the crown of the plant.

Humidity and Air Circulation
As with their Paph. relatives, Phrags prefer to grow in humid conditions. 50-70% is ideal. Constant air circulation is important in higher humidity growing areas so that plants do not become prone to bacterial rot. The long-petaled caudatum types are well known for being susceptible to this sort of problem.

Fertilizer
Feeding Phrags too heavily can cause leaf-tip burn. Be sure to occasionally flush the pots with clear water to avoid accumulating salts. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize at a half or quarter the recommended strength for three waterings, and then to flush with clear water every fourth.

Repotting
Phrags tend to be tolerant of repotting, which can generally be done every two years or when the mix has decomposed significantly. Since Phrags like it on the wetter side, mix can often decompose more rapidly than with a dryer growing orchid. The best time to repot is after flowering, when new growth emerges.
 
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SlipperFan

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Looks pretty good, Heather. I'd just add that "tip burn" can also be caused by lack of water, poor water quality, or low humidity.
 

ohio-guy

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This looks great Heather. As an inexperienced phrag grower, I found it very concise and clear....a great jumping off point for us newbies. I am sorry I wasn't able to be more helpful, but I am not sure what I am doing half the time!
 
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gore42

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Heather, if you'd like to use any of my photos, feel free.. fwiw :)

- Matt
 
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BobR

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Heather's Phrag culture sheet

Just found your culture sheet posts. Thanks, it was very helpful. What ever became of it? Was it expanded and posted somewhere else? I could use all the help I could find.
 

Heather

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Um…I think they went to NHOS. They were the ones who wanted updated culture sheets, which I totally agreed with at the time, I think the AOS ones are too general and outdated.
I don't even think I have copies of that! LOL.
Way to dredge up old stuff there, Bob. :) I actually just edited it it to include what Dot suggested. 4 years later. :rollhappy:

Seriously, considering we're thinking about upgrading the forum, I would hate for all this stuff to be lost. Just the last week I've been trolling around old posts myself. Good stuff here!
 

SlipperFan

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Um…I think they went to NHOS. They were the ones who wanted updated culture sheets, which I totally agreed with at the time, I think the AOS ones are too general and outdated.
I don't even think I have copies of that! LOL.
Way to dredge up old stuff there, Bob. :) I actually just edited it it to include what Dot suggested. 4 years later. :rollhappy:

Seriously, considering we're thinking about upgrading the forum, I would hate for all this stuff to be lost. Just the last week I've been trolling around old posts myself. Good stuff here!
Maybe I'm missing something -- has the Phrag. culture sheet been posted somewhere? I'd love a copy.

Speaking of upgrading, if it's possible to make the search engine better, I'd like that! Like Apples?
 

Tony Beck

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Hi Heather all looks good ,I live in Brisbane Australia and have all my Phrags standing in a shallow dish of water during the summer months they seem to love it,could be worth considering for people in warm climates.
 

Ozpaph

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Hi Heather all looks good ,I live in Brisbane Australia and have all my Phrags standing in a shallow dish of water during the summer months they seem to love it,could be worth considering for people in warm climates.
And Tony grows magnificent phrags (and paphs)!
 

Slipper man

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Hi Heather, I think I made it in!! I'm off to go pick up 2 Phrags this morning, a yellow Besseae and a Wasilii, both in spike. I sent a password reset, I think I sent it too soon, then I made it in. Anyway, thanks for your help, and the only thing I am having trouble doing is setting my avitar. Thanks!! Earl
 

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