Re: Irapeanum and friends

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Abgeschickt von Darcy Gunnlaugson am 16 Februar, 2000 um 04:15:41

Antwort auf: Re: Irapeanum and friends von Darcy Gunnlaugson am 16 Februar, 2000 um 03:34:58:

Hello Alastair;

You wrote:

: : I read with interest what you related about Stirling having grown them with measured success in their native soil, which is great. Unfortunately, the majority of us, if it isn't stating the obvious, would not be able to obtain soil that is anything like what they grow on in their natural environment.

My reason for indicating this was the notion originally held, that the soil (and fungal associate) alone was the only reason for survival of these plants. However as noted, with some adjustments of moisture and feeding, better results (which were then independant from soil) were achieved.

: : Yes, I do think that these plants will eventually be mastered - as with all the 'tricky' plants that have only recently entered cultivation under the hands of the dedicated specialists, it takes a little bit of time and practice - and fatalities - before success is achieved. The problems seem to lie with the substrates that people use, as well as with winter conditions.

In Mexico, there are a variety of conditons these plants grow in...from tropical, to what I as a Canadian consider normal for winter. This includes snow and freezing. This seems unheard of for what people picture Mexico to be but the conditions exist nevertheless.

: : Though pretty much dedicated to hardy orchids such as the Cypripediums, I have been growing Nepenthes for a good ten years or so. Why bring it up?

Glad you did ;-)

: : Well, this genus, as you might be aware, is ubiquitous through much of SE Asia, where, if they aren't growing as epiphytes, they are growing as terrestrials in laterites of sand and/or ironstone - the orange soil that is so readily associated with tropical or seasonally tropical locations. These soil types are similar to those in which the Mexican Cyps. grow, and it would follow that, at least in terms of substrate, these plants would appreciate a similar if not identical one; moisture retentive, slightly acidic, but very well drained. A classic mix is moss peat, perlite/vermiculite and orchid bark (1:3:3).

I am usure of your use of the term moss it perhaps what we call peat moss here (dark brown milled peat of various grades/textures ?)

: : There are even rare Nepenthes that grow on heavy metal serpentines that we have learnt to grow comparatively recently, so given the chance, I am sure that someone - if not you (they are still much easier to pick up Stateside!) - will crack it.

Cypripedium californicum grows in a variety of serpentine soils in it's narrow range, and yet will do quite well in mediums similar to calcelous, the latter which was once erroneously thought to be in need a medium heavy in calcium. Funny how experimentation changes our veiws eh.

: : Many rainforest plants, especially ground orchids, are damaged by inorganic fertilisers - fantastic success is achieved by using mild strength organic ones - peat teas are perfect, and are easy to create.

I'm unfamilar with peat teas, so could you for my, and perhaps others benifits, elaborate? I use seedweed fertilizer here with good success.

: : Second reference - Pinguicula. I have grown a number of these in the past - many share the same habitats in Mexico as the Cypripediums. Winter minimums of seven to ten degrees C (45-50F) do fine, with water being the main point. When dormant, these plants like to be comparatively dry - not bone dry - but dry/humid as you would keep a dormant Pleione... so that they don't shrivel up like raisins. Of course, this would vary according to the plants in question, and the Cypripediums might appreciate a little more moisture, as the successful implementation of your advice would suggest. Clearly though, they would not put up with the levels of moisture that others in the genus might take.

Agreed. But totally dry winter conditions which were thought to exist, from observation, were in error.

: : As I was telling Alex, I did find an online nursery (I think in Mexico) that claims to offer C. irapeanum from TC every now and again - this might suggest that they have had a degree of success. Perhaps not.

TC...Tissue culture?? I have not heard of Tissue Culture success with Cyps at this date. If so, please direct me.

Access, I agree, to some of these plants, by devoted cyp growers, will be the key to cracking the required conditions. The slow process of sterile culture has yet to solv transplanting seedlings to a ~suitiable~ medium. Starting with a mature plant and finding that key condition first, in my opinion, is the most likely way to succeed with the seedlings when they come on line.

: :
: : With regard to your second question, it is generally accepted that plants that are benefited by a symbiont in the wild often do much better without one in cultivation, provided that their needs are suitably met. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but my experience as someone who studies plant pathology/interactions leads me to feel that it is more a case of being able to satisfy the plants, however that might be - have you seen Little Shop of Horrors? - rather than a particular need for a symbiont.

Now here is where we ~may~ have different perspectives to the problem. I hope you are correct and that I am in error. By example, I grow Calypso bulbosa variety occidentalis at this location. And, over the years, observation has led to only one conclusion. It ~cannot~ be grown without it's attendant fungal partner. Variety americana is even more difficult (as in *much more*) as it occupies a different niche, looks different, and I argue, should be considered a different species. Nevertheless, v. occidentalis is one with which I have some measure of success, and I believe emphatically, that death of the partner spells death of the plant. I am hoping this is not the case with the Mexicans (but have a bad feeling about them being similar to C.b). The only way to know for certain at this juncture is for experts, as those in this forum, to get ahold of a few divisions and see what can be done outside of Mexico. I do know that some were availed in the UK a year or two past at PC's nursery and I am curious if any of those fell into expert hands, and the results??

: : So yes, I'd agree that they are seemingly difficult, at this stage. But then, so once were Nepenthes, and now I can't kill one if I try! Maybe one day...

We have agreed to agree, so it looks like a united front may get a handle on the success of these beauties.

: : Thank you for soliciting.

My pleasure and thank you.