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  #1  
Old 12-08-2009, 02:24 AM
King_of_orchid_growing:)'s Avatar
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Default First Cypripedium!!! :):):)

Hello OB party peeps!

I just got my first Cypripedium. Honestly, I'm a bit tickled.

Got brave and got what I thought might be able to tolerate inland So Cal weather.

Cypripedium pletrochilum

I know nothing about Cyps other than:

1. They go dormant in the winter and they grow and bloom during the summer.

2. Need cool to cold weather to enter dormancy in the winter.

3. Are for the most part frost hardy.

4. Grow in bright shade to partial sun.

5. And are finicky in pot culture.

This one's supposedly one of the minis. More precisely, it's a Ram's Horn type related to Cyp. arietinum.

I'm not sure what this particular species grows in, from what I understand they grow on limestone and possibly have their roots trailing in woodland type topsoil.

My potting medium is large pebbles of limestone on the bottom layer. A loose woodland potting soil with a little sand, pumice, and small chunks of limestone in it (where the roots are laying in). And a top layer of small grade orchid bark with perlite (the little shoots are only partially buried by the bark, they see some sunlight).

They're often found with another Cypripedium species, Cyp. henryi. I've read that they're supposedly found in relatively great abundance.

Obviously mine are dormant, and I've got two little shoots (they're pretty tall, about 1/2"). The only thing I see of the older shoot is a dried up little stick (most of which I cut down to the level of the little shoots) and some roots (don't know how much of that is still alive so I didn't do anything to them).

My questions are mostly concerning if I've got them in the correct potting mix and how to over-winter these guys.

I'm not sure if I should once-in-a-long-while mist the bark, or just leave them completely bone dry during dormancy.

Also...did I make a mistake in cutting what I presumed to be the dead and dried up part of the old shoot? Does it have the "I look dead, but I'm not fully dead" syndrome?

Basically, to use the terms from a character from the movie The Princess Bride...

Was the seemingly dried up and spent older shoot just "mostly dead" or is it "all dead"?

Thanks to all who can help in advance.

Will post pics if this plant lives...
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:46 PM
slipperfreak slipperfreak is offline
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Congrats! Cyp plectrochilum is one of the prettiest Cyp species. Unfortunately it's not very commonly grown in North America.

It sounds like your potting mix will be fine. You'll want to keep it moist, but not wet, while in active growth.

For dormancy, the plant will need to be kept between 1-5 degrees C. Most people overwinter potted plants in the fridge. I seriously doubt winters in southern California are cold enough or long enough for this plant. While dormant, it should be kept BARELY damp, not bone dry. You will have to keep an eye on it to make sure no fungi grow. Dormancy should last for 3 months.

I'm slightly concerned that the shoot buds are half an inch tall. They may be starting into growth, which isn't good. If your plant has been exposed to warmth for a few days that may be the case. Forcing the plant into dormancy if it is starting growth will probably kill it, so you will have to let it grow if it's growing. In that case the plant will be very weakened and probably won't bloom for a couple years, if it survives. I hope this isn't what's happening! A picture would help.

As for the dead shoot, if it's brown and dry, it can be cut off.

Last edited by slipperfreak; 12-08-2009 at 03:49 PM..
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:57 PM
stefpix stefpix is offline
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Joe
I was wondering if your advice regarding dormancy for the Cypripedium applies to Bletilla striatas as well.
I have one in my apt the old leaves died and more or less at teh same time there are 3 new growths from the same rhizome. I give dormancies to my 2 Sarracenias outside on the fire escape and then when it gets below freezing i will put them 3/ 4 weeks in the fridge.

for Kings' Cypripedium if he potted in a clay pot wouldn't the wicking effect cool off the soil and roots? maybe 10 C of outdoor temperature could result into a lower temp in the pot.

does the low temperature during dormancy need to be constantly low?
stefano
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:04 PM
slipperfreak slipperfreak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefpix View Post
Joe
I was wondering if your advice regarding dormancy for the Cypripedium applies to Bletilla striatas as well.
I have one in my apt the old leaves died and more or less at teh same time there are 3 new growths from the same rhizome. I give dormancies to my 2 Sarracenias outside on the fire escape and then when it gets below freezing i will put them 3/ 4 weeks in the fridge.

for Kings' Cypripedium if he potted in a clay pot wouldn't the wicking effect cool off the soil and roots? maybe 10 C of outdoor temperature could result into a lower temp in the pot.

does the low temperature during dormancy need to be constantly low?
stefano
Yes Bletilla striata requires the same type of dormancy as Cyp. plectrochilum, as it comes from a similar climate.

A clay pot would preseumably cool the roots a bit, but that would not help the plant much for dormancy. Yes, the temperature needs to be consistently low for 3 months; if it rises the plant will want to start into growth. A dormancy much less than 3 months in duration will weaken the plant.

Sarracenias seem to do okay with shorter dormancies; I often only vernalize the warmer growing ones for a month too. However, the majority of temperate carnivores do best with 3 months dormancy as well.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:19 PM
stefpix stefpix is offline
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Well I am in Brooklyn so I put my Sarracenias outside at the end of October or so. If it gets too cold I will put them in the fridge for a few weeks and under lights. I have 2 pots with Bletillas. One has growth of more than 3 cm. the other one has just a few mm.
Should I put that one in the fridge or is it too late?
I guess if teh old leaves are gone darkness will not be an issues.

So growing some Cypripediums is equivalent to Bletilla culture?
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:20 PM
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Cool.

The winters here are about 3 to 4 months long. It starts in late November and goes on to about early to mid March.

It doesn't snow here, but it can drop to freezing at times during the winter. Just today there was frost on my sister's car.

Winter temps:

day: high 60's F to low 80's F
night: 36 F to 45 F

Summer:

day: usually in the 90's F but can shoot up to over 100 F
night: 60 F is the avg
Attached Thumbnails
First Cypripedium!!! :):):)-img_1398-jpg   First Cypripedium!!! :):):)-img_1399-jpg   First Cypripedium!!! :):):)-cyp-plectrochilum-dormant-jpg  

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 12-08-2009 at 04:22 PM..
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:24 PM
slipperfreak slipperfreak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King_of_orchid_growing:) View Post
Cool.

The winters here are about 3 to 4 months long. It starts in late November and goes on to about early to mid March.

It doesn't snow here, but it can drop to freezing at times during the winter. Just today there was frost on my sister's car.

Winter temps:

day: high 60's F to low 80's F
night: 36 F to 45 F

Summer:

day: usually in the 90's F but can shoot up to over 100 F
night: 60 F is the avg
Okay so you will definitely have to put the plant in the fridge over the winter.

It looks okay, as far as I can tell. Keep an eye on it though; if those shoots start expanding you'll have to take it out.

Have fun!
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:31 PM
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fridge or freezer?

Just put it in the freezer.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:33 PM
slipperfreak slipperfreak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefpix View Post
Well I am in Brooklyn so I put my Sarracenias outside at the end of October or so. If it gets too cold I will put them in the fridge for a few weeks and under lights. I have 2 pots with Bletillas. One has growth of more than 3 cm. the other one has just a few mm.
Should I put that one in the fridge or is it too late?
I guess if teh old leaves are gone darkness will not be an issues.

So growing some Cypripediums is equivalent to Bletilla culture?
The one with the taller shoot may be starting into growth. Is the shoot tight or are the leaves beginning to unfurl at the top? If they are, you'll definitely not want to put it in the fridge. I have seen dormant Bletilla shoot buds that are fairly big, but 3cm sounds too big.

Plants don't really photosynthesize in cold temperatures, so no the dark isn't an issue. However, a plant that is growing will go into shock if dormancy is forced, which is why you can't put a plant that is starting growth in the fridge.

Bletillas tolerate the same temperature range as warm-growing Cyps (zones 5-8, sometimes 9). Most Cyps still grow a bit cooler than Bletillas though (zones 2-7). A couple species of Cyps are subarctic (C. passerinum, C. guttatum, potentially C. yatabeanum). Some Bletillas can also be grown in zone 10, I believe, but not B. striata. The problem with the higher zones is that while, as the King mentioned for his area, while temps CAN get down to freezing, such temps are not consistent, and warmer temps are more common. The warmer growing species of Cyps and Bletillas, while they often come from southerly areas, come from high elevations, where the winters are consistently cold. If the temps rise and fall during the winter, they will not be happy.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:33 PM
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What about summer? Is it too hot?

I grow Bletilla striata pretty easily here btw.
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