rescued Cyp acaule

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DukeBoxer

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Guys, I need some help. Today a friend of mine that just bought a lot to build a house was showing it to me and I found 3 small (2 w/ 2 leaves and 1 w/ 1 leaf) Cyp acaules. Here's the problem...He's clearing the lot tomorrow so I asked if I could take them out and find a better place for them. He said it was ok with him so I went and took them out. I dug down deep and I really don't think I broke any roots. They looked pretty healthy but one was stepped on I think, it has a few holes in one leaf and the other is half a leaf. I took back a good amount of the topsoil that was around the plants and also a lot of the pine needles that were on the ground, including top layer ans some of the decomposed ones. As I was coming home I was thinking about planting them in a gravel/perlite mix but then I started to think how people say that roots that grow into a certain soil or substrate will not like other soils or mixes. So I took a plastic pot, put pine needles in the bottom and a layer of the soil on top, then I laid the plants on top of the soil and put more of the soil around the plants and covered them to how they were before and then laid more needles on top.

So my question is, did I do the right thing or should I have put them in something else....OR should I have just left them where they were? It amazes me that these plants are listed as protected but there is never anyone that goes to these new house sites and identifies them and tries to rescue them!

Well any input is welcomed. And if you live near me and would like the plants and think you can take care of them better than I can, let me know, although I would like to keep one and put it in the woods in a spot that I think it will survive. By the way, I am in Guilford, CT
 
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cdub

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Sounds like your pot scheme will be fine for now. Don't let that pot get warm, put it in the shade, or better yet, bury the pot to keep it cool. I think the plants will do fine. Have fun!
 

Heather

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Hi,

I forwarded your message to one of our members who is a really good Cyp. grower, Ron Burch. He's also in CT so I think putting you two in touch with each other will be a good thing.

Good luck. It sounds to me like you did the right thing, but I am not certain. C. acaule is a tricky one - one of the trickiest, and yet the one most of us in NE are familiar with - they are deceptively prominent but don't love being moved and like it very acidic. Hopefully you'll hear from Ron, either here or via email.

Best of luck!
 
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Hi,

Cyp acaule rescue is a difficult thing but well worth the trouble since you do have some chance of success whereas the bulldozer will make that impossible!

Most people have the best success if they plant in "pine duff" - the material just below the pine needles that contains all the loose pine needle debris, and mix that with about 50% minced pine needles. Sometimes a major component of peat works reasonably well - but pine needles generally increase survival.

There are two main things to keep in mind; the first is that these plants only grow in intensely acidic media so do not water with tap water at all, only rainwater or distilled water. It is often helpful to mix 2-3 ounces of vinegar into the water prior to watering to help maintain the very acidic conditions.

The second very important point is that the plants should never be fertilized. Fertilization of Cyp acaule will usually be very rapidly fatal. This is probably due to the highly increased availability of many nutrients in the low pH environment.

Good luck!

Ron Burch
Morris CT
 

DukeBoxer

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UPDATE-------> The cyps that I rescued are doing fine, there are no signs of stress as of yet. Today I took them and planted them in the ground in their pot up to the lip of the pot. I do have one more question. I was thinking that in the fall when the plants go dormant that I would pull them out and plant each one in its own pot with fine grade primeagra, is this a good idea, or would the acid requirement not be fulfilled? Also, if I do leave them in the pot with the media I have in it now (see first post...) how long will that media last until I would need to repot it, or can I just keep putting fresh pine needles on top?

-Josh
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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If acaule is doing alright, don't mess with success. Probably the best thing to do is search for areas that have natural populations of acaule. Dig up some soil, and use that. The thing about acaule is that it is difficult because of the peculiarity of its growing conditions...but once you get those growing conditions, acaule is the easiest cyp of all. Take care, Eric
 

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