Phragmipedium bessae advice needed
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2015, 02:25 AM
OkiFred OkiFred is offline
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Phragmipedium bessae advice needed Male
Default Phragmipedium bessae advice needed

Hello,

I have now since soon one year a Phragmipedium bessae and it does not seem happy at all.

Based on infos I could get on internet, I am keeping it all the time wet with IEW (ion exchange water).

In summer, I assumed it was not so happy because of too high temperatures (over 30 degrees), and I was thinking that this orchid would be very happy in winter (temperatures between 13-16 usually). However, now we reach the end of the winter, and I really did not see an improvement. On the opposite, the new leafs seem to rot rapidly, eventhough I am careful not to water on top of the plant directly.
The potting mix is as for most of my other orchids, a mix of shpagnum, pine bark, and coarse perlite, with a quite high proportion of sphagnum compared to my other orchids.
I would be very thankfull if someone could give me some hints of what may be wrong, so I could save this orchid and maybe even one day get it to flower. I feel I have 2-3 months to do something before summer comes and temperature rise again to level that I think are uncomfortable for this species...

Greetings from Okinawa
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2015, 09:00 AM
ALToronto ALToronto is offline
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If you're going to keep it very wet, put it in a medium that will not become acidic, like lava rock or clay pellets.

Also, are you giving it any fertilizer at all? IX water doesn't have any Nitrogen. Have you measured the electric conductivity or at least the TDS (total dissolved salts) of your IX water? I found that ion exchange doesn't do very much for water quality. It removes the chlorine and some calcium, but still leaves about 2/3 of the salts.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2015, 01:24 AM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Phragmipedium bessae advice needed Female
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I'm here mostly for moral support as I have a hybrid of bessae - mine is Olaf Gruss - and it hates me too. I do believe I haven't watered it enough but I've recently learned that Phrags are sensitive to water conditions; I use tap. Furthermore I've learned that they actually like medium bright light and I've kept mine more shaded than less. What about yours, do you keep it bright or shaded?

Here's some information I found on Marlow's Orchids' site.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:45 PM
801229001 801229001 is offline
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I cant figure out your problems but here's how i grow all my water loving phrags.

First on all, the temperature is mostly at 25 degrees Celsius during the day and it drops down to 18 at night
I water it ONLY with RO or distilled water, I find if I don't, they don't grow as quickly in the roots and that they get leaf tip dieback. This is not necessary but i think it helps a lot.
I also only fertilize once a month and I let the sit in a tray of water that I change every day.
also, the potting mix should not contain lots of sphagnum as, these plants still need air for the roots, and being wet all the time already limits the air. And being humid helps as well.

Thats all i have. Maybe your problem is the humidity?
because i know bessae tolerates heat better than some of the other phrags in its group. But then again 30 degrees is very hot for any phrag!
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2015, 08:59 AM
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isurus79 isurus79 is offline
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My besseae is growing like a weed and I grow it using semi-hydroponics. No special care beyond that! I know this species does well with hot temps, so I doubt that is your problem.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:52 PM
801229001 801229001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isurus79 View Post
My besseae is growing like a weed and I grow it using semi-hydroponics. No special care beyond that! I know this species does well with hot temps, so I doubt that is your problem.
No it actually will tolerate hotter temps but it doesnt do well in them. The only phrag in it's section that grows in warmer temps is andreetae
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:16 AM
OkiFred OkiFred is offline
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Phragmipedium bessae advice needed Male
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Thanks to all for your comments and advises. Clearly, the main issue is the potting media that is too humid and not breathing enough. Also probably winter was a bit cold as this winter was quite "harsh" (for Okinawan standards). So yesterday I repotted it in some new media of some kind of perlite stones and charcoal and I will see how it works. The good point is that one young shoot had a very healthy small root coming out and now the temp and humidity will be perfect for a few months. So I hold my thumbs...
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