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  #1  
Unread 06-13-2009, 02:14 AM
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Default wet habitat terrestrials for culture in water

Hi there,

I am a new member. I have already received several warm welcomes. Thank you!

I have a small growing collection of miniatures, as well as a second area of interest. I am trying to grow orchids in fishtanks. I have made a little headway in this effort, and mention a few points in a thread that I recently started over in the Terrariums forum.

A Few Planted Ripariums

I am interested in finding out about more species from wet terrestrial habitats for potential use in these systems. I realize that a wide range of varieties/species have proven suitable for semi-hydroponic culture, but the general idea for my aquarium displays is that they roughly approximate wetland/riparian habitats in nature, so epiphytic orchids are not really suitable. Furthermore, the plants in these enclosures have most of their roots fully underwater all of the time.

Can anybody recommend any promising varieties or species? And sources? I am currently growing a Phragmepedium 'St. Ouen', Spiranthes odorata and several different Bletilla. It is rather early to assess the performance of these plants, but they are all growing in the described conditions. However, I have found that this phrag does not tolerate having more than 1/3 of its rootball underwater.

Since these are intended for year-round display. I think that tropical and subtropical species are preferable. I anticipate that I might have some trouble accomodating the dormancy requirements of my temperate plants, and I will have to remove them from their displays.

Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
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  #2  
Unread 06-13-2009, 03:29 AM
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Bletilla are woodland plants. They're not good candidates for what you're trying to accomplish. You can grow Bletillas like regular garden variety bulbs.

Depending on how cool you're keeping the tank, you're better off growing Pogonia ophioglossoides or the evergreen Disas.

Pogonia ophioglossoides are bog plants.

Disas like Disa uniflora grow near streams. Their roots sometimes go into the water. However, Disas don't like stagnant pools of water.
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  #3  
Unread 06-13-2009, 12:47 PM
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I have seen Bletilla for sale as pond plants several times. And the ones that I have now in water--I believe that they are all varieties of B. striata (I am away from my notes)--are all doing well, better than the divisions that I put in clay pots with regular potting medium. I only acquired them a couple of months ago after they started to grow in the spring, so I don't know what they will do long-term(?).

I have seen Pogonia out in the woods here. Like I said, temperate species are less suitable for this application. Better choices are evergreen tropical/subtropical orchids. Do you know of sources for Disa uniflora? I thought that Disa were difficult to keep, but that's just a vague memory.

These displays do not have stagnant water--they have very good water circulation.

Last edited by hydrophyte; 06-13-2009 at 12:58 PM..
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  #4  
Unread 06-13-2009, 05:00 PM
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Well, I found one source for Habenaria repens.

WaterScapes Aquatic Plant Nursery Water Garden Plants

It is listed down near the bottom of the "Tropicals" section. They also offer Bletilla ochracea as a pond marginal.

Last edited by hydrophyte; 06-13-2009 at 08:11 PM..
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  #5  
Unread 06-13-2009, 11:25 PM
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Disas apparently aren't difficult to grow. They're just misunderstood.

You can get Disas from Afrodisa: http://afrodisa.com/default.aspx

They have growing instructions there. You can also ask the owner about what you plan to do. They also sell Stenoglottis. You might want to ask about them too.

Here're a couple of pics of my Disa tripetaloides when I first got it about a month ago so you have an idea of what the entire plant looks like along with the tuber. It is still growing well for me.
Attached Thumbnails
wet habitat terrestrials for culture in water-disa-tripetaloides-tuber.jpg   wet habitat terrestrials for culture in water-img_1164.jpg  

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 06-14-2009 at 12:03 AM..
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  #6  
Unread 06-14-2009, 01:32 AM
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That's a great tip. Thank you!
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  #7  
Unread 06-17-2009, 05:28 PM
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I paste here some written description of one of my riparium tanks where I have a few orchids going, 65 gallon with an open top. The original blog post is right here. Here is a view of the whole tank...



Here is a view through the top of the tank, with numbering for certain plants of interest.




1. Spiranthes cernua var. odorata This is a plant that I acquired some time ago. It seems to be doing well, with new leaf growth and healthy root development. Only the bottom 1/3 of the planter is below the water's surface. This is a wetland plant, but I decided to err on the side of giving the roots a somewhat more aerated environment. Water wicks up from the bottom of the planter, so the planter media is wet all of the time. I shot the picture below on the day that I acquired this plant. It is quite a bit larger now.



3. Phragmipedium 'St. Ouen' - This orchid plant has struggled, but it is growing slowly. The picture below shows new root development inside of its planter. Most Phragmipedium species grow in moist to wet habitats in nature, such as locations along waterfalls or mountain streams. However, I have found that this variety does not tolerate having its roots fully submerged in water. I originally situated this plant with most of its planter below water and as a consequence the roots began to rot. The media inside the planter is still quite wet, as water wicks from below, but I now have it hung such that only the bottom 1/2" of the planter is in the water.



8. Orontium aquaticum - This is an extremely cool plant that I acquired at the end of the winter. I had to cut away about 75% of its extensive root system to fit it in its planter. The whole plant declined and I thought at first that it would perish. However, it is a hardy plant and it slowly recovered. It has grown several new sets of leaves and many new roots. The leaves have a wonderful velvety texture and the flowers have a strange, exotic look. I hope that it will bloom for me someday in the display.



10. Echinodorus cordifolius 'Tropica Marble Queen' - What a gorgeous plant! I understand that in immersed culture the white variegation on the leaves of 'Tropica Marble Queen' is much more subdued. Here it is well-defined, even though the plant is only receiving moderate light inside of the display.

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