Phrag 'QF Red Wings'-- Does it like to sit in water?
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  #1  
Old 02-01-2019, 03:43 PM
Spotted Milti Spotted Milti is offline
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Phrag 'QF Red Wings'-- Does it like to sit in water? Female
Default Phrag QF Red Wings-- Does it like to sit in water?

Hi guys!

So I got my first phrag for Christmas and it arrived in the middle of January, so I've had a couple weeks to enjoy it It's got a new leaf growing and it sits in my bedroom where it receives southern exposure, 50-70% humidity, 65-70 degrees F, and I try to water it every 3-4 days. I've read that some people keep it in a shallow tray of water, but I'm absolutely terrified to do so in the winter.

It's going to warm up here next week (I think our winter is officially over) to the 70's-80's, so everything will kickstart into spring soon, and I was wondering if maybe it would benefit from the small tray of water since I can't tend to it as often as I'd like. I also think I'm going to move it back a bit from the window because it receives a little direct sun now, but I really don't want it to experience that as the temps get warmer. Do you think it would like to be with my paphiopedilum? My paph is in my living room and receives direct morning light and medium shade the rest of the day.

I really want to keep it from struggling since the flower is so darn pretty!!

Last edited by Spotted Milti; 02-01-2019 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:17 PM
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Phrag 'QF Red Wings'-- Does it like to sit in water? Male
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First, there should not be quotes around QF Red Wings. Quotes are used to denote the cultivar or clone, not the hybrid name. Since QF Red Wings is a hybrid, it should be Phrag. QF Red Wings.

This hybrid involves Phrag. besseae, Phrag. longifolium, and Phrag. sargentianum. All three of these are water loving Phrags and receive constant to near constant water year round, at least in parts of their range. This is definitely a hybrid I would grow standing in water. Not a lot of water, but just enough that the saucer never dries out. Growing this way, it's important that the water should not be allowed to go stagnant, and should be flushed frequently. Good quality water is also important.

Keep in mind, every clone is different, so it's always possible that you end up with one that doesn't like to stay wet. In my growing conditions and in my experience, it's usually only hybrids involving caudatum and its relatives that can be finicky about growing this way.

Slightly cool temperatures are fine for growing this way, even down to the 60F range. In fact, these red flowered hybrids tend to produce deeper red flowers in cooler temperatures. Any colder, though and I would probably at least consider cutting back on water, however, I'd also recommend that you not grow them that cool to begin with.

As for your light, all I can really do is guess, frankly. It'll be up to you to figure that out, as there are too many variables to account for, not enough info, and I'm not there to see the light levels throughout the day. Generally speaking, Phrags do better in a bit higher light levels than the average Paph, but different Paphs have different light needs, so even that may not be a great gauge. You'll have to give it time and see how the Phrag responds. Phrags tend to have light yellow-green leaves, evenly colored, slightly lighter new growth, with leaves held somewhat upright. It does vary by species and hybrid, but if it's not getting enough light it may stop growing, the leaves may become dark green and floppy, or it may suffer from rot.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:24 PM
Spotted Milti Spotted Milti is offline
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Thank you for the info!! I'll update the quotes so it is correct.

Now that we're out of the coldest part of the year I think I'll try and see how it responds to the water saucer. I'll keep an eye out for anything amiss.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:54 PM
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I've had a water loving phrag for a bit over a year, and in both winters I continue to leave some water in the saucer, but once dry I leave it empty a couple days before watering again. In the the warmer months I rarely leave it empty.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:20 PM
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Phrag 'QF Red Wings'-- Does it like to sit in water? Male
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In habitat some of its ancestors get full sun, albeit with cool nights and plenty of air movement. Consider putting a fan on it rather than moving it back from the window.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:28 PM
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Great! Thank you guys for the help. Is the water saucer in place of watering or just a supplement?
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:16 PM
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Supplement. You should still aim to water frequently. Anywhere from daily to twice a week is appropriate. If you're growing them in lower light and cooler temps, you might be able to get away with watering once a week, but with (most) Phrags, don't push it. Much better to over water than under water with these orchids. It's scary at first, but trust us, they LOVE water and hate drying out.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:18 PM
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It really is scary!!! Thanks for your help
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:35 PM
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Look up species habitat photos. The Ecuagenera Web site has some. Many grow next to, or in, streams and roadside ditches.
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:26 PM
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Phrag 'QF Red Wings'-- Does it like to sit in water? Female
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Knowing that Phrag beseae (which is about 2/3 of Phrag QF Red Wings) grows next to streams and seeps with flowing water, I have tried growing the species and hybrids in a broiler pan with a small aquarium air bubbler. They are extremely happy, with roots reaching out into the water. (I started them with the roots well above the water - layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot) but they reached down into it. A thought if you want to get a bit fancy. The bubbler keeps the water aeriated and moving.
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