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philoserenus

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hmmm, im planning that my next purchase in a few months' time (maybe for christmas) will be a Psychopsis; either an Oncidium Mendenhall 'Hildos' AM/AOS or a Psychopsis Mariposa 'Green Valley'.

Q1: fundamentally, are there actually any difference in how u would grow those two different crosses?

Q2: could i grow these psychopsis in a shallow, wide and holed (side and btm) pots and in maybe rocks or aquarium gravel? since i know they hate to be repotted and i tend to water quite often. or would it still be ok if i just grew them in very course bark and charcoal like a phal?

Q3: how fast do these things grow? i never find much about the rates of growth.

Q4: are staking a must for the flowers or are they able to technically support themselves? i like spikes to grow naturally

thanks for all the help
 

Ron-NY

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Q1...no

Q2....I am not sure. I grow them in bark mix, although I have also grown one in Sphag

Q3...get BS. They aren't rapid growers. I got one growth a year until they hit a critical mass size and now I get more than one growth at a time.

Q4... I usually don't stake mine. I like the natural look too.

There is mixed info out there on how much light to give them. I have seen from shade to bright. I tried shade and didn't get any new spikes and noted the leaves weren't marked well. I now put them with my Catts for the winter and drop the light level to Phrag light in the summer.
 

Candace

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I stake mine because otherwise I'd break their spikes for sure. I've done it in the past and learned the hard way.

I grow all mine in s/h and they love it. It's a good medium for them since they don't like souring medium. Since leca doesn't break down, they're happy.

I grow and bloom mine in bright light as well.
 

SlipperFan

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I'm growing mine in s/h, also, and Candace is right -- they have been loving it for a couple of years or so. I don't think they like to have their roots disturbed too much, so I'm trying to figure out how to deal with one of mine that is outgrowing it's pot.

Mine are in a partly shaded south window, so they get quite a lot of direct sun. Both of mine are almost always in bloom, several spikes on each.

I stake mine, also. If they aren't staked, they'll flop over. Nice effect, if you have the room.
 
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One? Yeah....sure. I love slippers, but the Psychopsis are the Labrador Retrievers of my collection, always in bloom, not demanding, in the spot on the windowsill that the other orchids would burn up in. Like everyone else that has posted, I grow in bright light, almost direct sun.

I can attest to the fact that they hate to have their roots disturbed, I dropped one once and broke some roots plus it had to be re potted. It nosedived pretty quickly after that (but that was blunt force trauma after all). I just try not to notice how root bound they look now. Dot, when you figure something out please share.
 

Candace

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I just try not to notice how root bound they look now. Dot, when you figure something out please share.
There's no trick or secret with growing these in s/h. When the plant outgrows the pot, you simply remove it and the leca gently from the pot and put in a larger pot. Insert more leca around the rootball...done.
 

philoserenus

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hey thanks for all the replies. however, for me--semi-hydro aint gonna be an option b/c i cant get my hands on leca. or they are extremely expensive for the average university students to afford -.-" and thanks for letting me know that they are slow growers, at least that tells me which sizes i should purchase later. and i'm going to see if i have space to fit it under full sun, but it will only get it for like 4 hrs and then itz bright shade and indirect light for the rest of the day. i have a due south window.

surprisingly plants are a lot more resilient than they say they are, haha. i have my 2 dens and one neo in full midday sun and they seem to love it!

can anyone comment about the kinds of alternative media i can use other than leca and coarse bark?
 

Candace

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I would imaging there is some sort of hydroponics store in the area where you live. Google it or look in your phone book. Leca is not that expensive, it's the shipping that kills you. As for the medium being expensive, if you're planning on spending a lot of money for a plant, do you really want to scrimp on what you're growing it in? Lots of people grow these in all sorts of bark and other mixes, but when the mixes break down, these plants start to sulk and go downhill. And then you have to mess with the roots when repotting which they don't like either.

One other medium you could try is lava rock. I don't like it because it can hold onto salts pretty well, but it may be easier for you to find in your area. It also is inorganic so won't break down.
 

philoserenus

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hmmm, well i dug around the house and finally found an old phone book, depsite i seeing them hand them out every year, i never know where they end up. well i did find a couple of hydrponics stores. lava rock does also sound viable (i saw that somewhere before).

the only brand they sell is hydroton. i've read a paper somewhere before that its wicking ability from bringing the water from the reservoir is little poor than say PrimeAgra so how can it be compensated? just water more often? sry, i seriously water lots b/c my plants dry fast.
 

Candace

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I've got a couple psychopsis potted in hydroton and it works fine. Since you water a lot anyway, this medium might work fine for you. I pot most of my catts in hydroton because it's available locally for me. I don't know what the prices of hydroton are in Canada, but you can buy small bags and large bags. Maybe start off with a cheaper small bag and see if you like it. You can alway mix it in with other organic media later if you decide you don't like it. Some people also add leca to bark mixes.
 

philoserenus

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how did u get your psychopsis to adapt to the hydroton? any transplanting hints other than wait for active growth? do they grow all tear or are they mainly warm season growers?

and when u say "since you water a lot anyways, this medium works fine for you" do u mean S/H overall or this particular brand b/c it wicks not as well?

and ya i'm gonna try a small bag, 10L for $12. how much does 10L fill anyways? any clues? sry, im still very new to this.

thanks for the help
 

Candace

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how much does 10L fill anyways?
It will depend on your pot sizes but you should be able to get quite a few potfuls out of 10L. It's a good sized bag.

since you water a lot anyways, this medium works fine for you" do u mean S/H overall or this particular brand b/c it wicks not as well?
Both, actually. Once the roots migrate towards the bottom of the pot the lack of wicking in the hydroton won't matter as much.

My psychopsis do grow in the cooler months,but they definately slow down , and pick up in Spring and Summer. I would recommend waiting until the plant is in active growth, like you said, and when you repot try to be gentle with its roots. I checked my plants and 3 out of the 4 psychopsis I've got are in hydroton. They never skipped a beat when I transferred them over.

Hope this helps.
 

SlipperFan

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There's no trick or secret with growing these in s/h. When the plant outgrows the pot, you simply remove it and the leca gently from the pot and put in a larger pot. Insert more leca around the rootball...done.
That's my plan. However, I have to figure out how to remove it from the pot -- the roots are packed in so tightly, I think I have to cut away the pot. That can be tricky.
 

philoserenus

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ya i guess just putting the scissors to the plastic is the best way. and dot, i hafta say, u have lots of really good looking paphs in ur greenhouse ^^ pretty they are indeed =) and having all the leaves point up is great, unfortunately being a windowsill grower, there's no way to make it point up unless i opt for lights which im not gonna invest into b/c i dunno how much longer i could be hooked onto this hobby for--i hope for many years, i need a little life in my bedroom (sadly, thatz the only room in the house that can have any thing green grow)
 

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