Phrags from Windy Hill

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Jun 7, 2006
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Richmond, VA
John and I have discussed this before. We've noticed that Phrags from Marilyn have absolutely absurd root growth. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this.
By that we mean absurdly good root growth. : ) They also seem to remain vigorous over the long term. I think it's magic, but Zach won't agree.
The plants that I've received from them also have been tremendously healthy, although I think that the roots were about average for Phrags. Beautiful plants, though.

Most of the ones that I've received from them have had foam peanuts at the bottom of the pot.

- Matthew
Her secret is immaculate culture! Every person I know who has been to their greenhouse said you could eat off the floor it's so clean. I've only met them once, and they both definitely had that quiet presence of someone who is thoroughly fluent is the language of plants. I am always incredibly humbled when I see her plants!

Give up Zach, it IS magic!

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I think another thing could be the potting mix formulation. Everyone else' is very very different....

but then I'm a convert. The first time I had anything good (at all) happen to my slippers was after I started basing my potting mix on the one she had in the Orchid Digest. I probably wouldn't be growing phrags, for instance, if not for her, just as I wouldn't be growing phals if not for Al of (the fun stuff is not on his catalog :p ).
Hey Ki, just out of curiosity, what was the mix she posted in Orhcid Digest? The mix that came with the plants that I've bought has been pretty standard...

- Matt
I have known Marilyn for many years. She is the principal for Windy Hill, Brian helps with shows, Marilyn does all the growing. Marilyn has a nice culture sheet for Phrags on her website. There are no secrets except good attention to the plants. Marilyn is one of the best orchid growers in the country. Very healthy and clean plants. She uses two different media formulas, one bark based and the other is rock wool based. She grows a superb plant in either media. Myself, I prefer the bark based media. You can grow a great Phrag in just about any media, the trick is to give them enough water, and enough sun. Do both and just step back and get out of the way.
If any of you are visiting Windy Hill next (10/28 or 10/29) weekend let me know I might be able to time my visit to coincide with yours.
Plants from Windy Hill

I have been buying plants from Marilyn for about 4 years now. Always
healthy, well grown plants. Yes, the root systems are always good.

gore42 said:
Hey Ki, just out of curiosity, what was the mix she posted in Orhcid Digest? The mix that came with the plants that I've bought has been pretty standard...

- Matt

I think it is not unusual, although until then, every phrag and paph I'd seen had been potted in a medium bark or chc based mix. For me, the fine bark and the addition of chopped sphag were probably the two most critical changes. And the bone meal.

I think this is it - from my notes. (Not sure where that issue of OD is). Basic phrag mix:
3 quarts fine bark
1 quart perlite/spongerock
1 quart fine charcoal
1 quart chopped sphag loooooosely packed
3T bone meal

For the paphs, add 1 tablespoon dolomitic lime. For some others, replace some of the bark with CHC. I know she uses peanuts and rockwool (on some) too.
yah, I had a bit of a freakout thanks to bse..... No one seemed to know if the processing of bonemeal for horticultural use removed the risk.

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