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  #1  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:15 PM
Beallara49 Beallara49 is offline
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Growing ophrys 'bee orchids' from tubers
Default Growing ophrys 'bee orchids' from tubers

Has anyone grown ophrys 'bee orchids' (Ophrys helenae, eg) from tubers? How long did it take to germinate? Was it difficult to grow? What kind of medium did you use?
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:49 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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I have been getting into these charming Mediterranean-climate terrestrials, and have had some successes. My own mentor has been a nearby orchid grower, Scott McGregor, who was interviewed on the subject in a recent Orchid Digest (see if you can beg, borrow, or buy the April/May/June 2019 Vol 83-2 Orchid Digest)

I use a mix that is about 80%-85% inorganic (I like pumice rather than perlite, to give the pots enough weight to not tip over). The balance can be a fast-draining potting soil such as cactus mix mixed with chopped sphagnum, seedling-size coconut chips, or seedling bark. A few chips of marble are also advantageous - very slow-release calcium carbonate, since these grow in calcareous soils. I will start watering once the weather cools off - for me, probably late October. The first shoots will probably emerge about 6-8 weeks after that, and bloom in the spring. Once they die back, stop watering. Scott suggests white pots, which stay cooler in the sun - these need strong sun for at least a few hours a day, even when dormant. (That's my biggest challenge, my yard faces north and doesn't get a lot of sun in winter)

If you want to get a look at my "success experiences" take a look at my website Orchidcentral.org, scroll down until you find them. There are some other genera in the group (and some Australian terrestrials as well, slightly different mix) I have been growing these for about 3 years, success rate improving.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:22 PM
Beallara49 Beallara49 is offline
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Growing ophrys 'bee orchids' from tubers
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Awesome!! Thanks for the encouragement. I just love those little critters.

---------- Post added at 01:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:18 PM ----------

Where did you get your plants?
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beallara49 View Post


---------- Post added at 01:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:18 PM ----------

Where did you get your plants?
Check out med_orchids on eBay - their tubers are excellent. You'll be given the choice between 1-year and 2-year tubers, go for the bigger ones, well worth the extra money. Andy's Orchids is starting to get into these, may have a few. Worth an inquiry. Another source is myorchids.de, but you have to have an import permit or know somebody who does. For those I have been able to participate in group orders, a local society member has one. (Much easier for our European members)

It is getting a little late to order, they are best shipped when they are dormant and we're getting close to "waking up" season but you may still be able to squeak through.
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:41 PM
Beallara49 Beallara49 is offline
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Thanks for the leads and for telling me the difference between one- and two-year tubers. I bought three from med orchids. I also took a chance on a site from Romania that had the two I most wanted: Ophrys apifera an Ophrys vernixia. So intricate. I love your website. Your pictures are so detailed.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beallara49 View Post
Thanks for the leads and for telling me the difference between one- and two-year tubers. I bought three from med orchids. I also took a chance on a site from Romania that had the two I most wanted: Ophrys apifera an Ophrys vernixia. So intricate. I love your website. Your pictures are so detailed.
Glad you enjoyed my pix... these are fascinating to photograph - you see detail that you miss just looking at them. If you were a bug or bee, how could you resist "her" charms?

---------- Post added at 05:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:42 PM ----------

Oh, also... med_orchids sends these in the teensiest packages or boxes. So unpack carefully. Labels are really small,little slips of paper, but they do the job, you'll certainly want to make your own that are big enough to read and durable. Dormant tubers don't need much packaging to protect them, just a bit of plastic wrap.
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