pterostylis curta

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Jan 22, 2008
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elmer, nj
a few of us recently purchased some australian terrestrial orchid tubers from les nesbitt. I was asking on a north american native orchid forum/email list if anyone knew about initiating germination with one of the species (leptoceras menziesii) and there was an interesting discussion. one of the list members sent me an email off-line with a picture of one of his aussie terrestrials, and some descriptions of how he grows his plants and included some documents with his growing tips. he imported some plants including pterostylis and diuris about seven years ago, and through trial and error plus discussion with others, he finally came up with a good way to grow the remaining living plants. I'm sure you'll agree that his pterostylis curta is simply amazing! I asked if I could post his picture and other info, and he agreed and told me to include his name and email address so anyone who wanted to talk australian terrestrials he is more than happy to do so, and if anyone would like to trade he will be happy to do so in a few months after things go dormant


awesome pterostylis curta, owned by David Mellard of Atlanta, Ga.

the two files below are links to documents. you can't open them in the browser
window, you have to select them to download, then open them in your word processor program.
the docx file is a newer ms word file that won't open in an older version of word

Here is some of the information that David gave me via email (besides the culture documents above)

"I’m attaching an article I wrote about how to grow Pterostylis. Once you learn the trick about their dormancy, they are easy and readily multiply. I grow all my Pterostylis and Diuris this way.

Initially, I tried to mimic the basic terrestrial mix developed by Helen Richards with the ANOS Victoria Group in Australia. It just didn’t work for me and the tubers either died or struggled to hang on. This lead to experimenting with soil-less mixes that are easily available here (e.g., Fafard3B, Sunshine, Pro-Mix). By this time, only the Pterostylis and Diuris Earwig remained but the plants responded very well to the soilless mix and now I have plenty of most of them, particularly the curta. I’m attaching the first article I wrote years ago describing the struggle with finding a mix and also the short article I have written recently for growing Pterostylis.

You also have the added problem of switching them to the Northern Hemisphere. My advice here is to observe your plants. Pot them up, and wait for them to emerge from dormancy, then start watering. Do not water unless you see growth. They will have a short growing season this year are likely to go dormant early (probably sometime during the summer). You’ll then have to stop watering, repot, and wait for them to come out of dormancy. You follow the same basic approach as outlined in the Pterostylis article, it’s just that the plants will tell you when to water and when to stop.

Yes, you can add my name and email ([email protected]) to the photo. I’d be happy to correspond with anyone about growing Aussie terrestrials. If they are interested, I’d be happy to trade for other terrestrials. "


Duzzling!!!! Wish I could purchase / get some!!! Does anyone in Europe offer / have any aussie terrestrial orchids?

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