Orchids forum: Habenaria medusa

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 12, 2018 7:29 PM CST
Last fall about this time, I got a Habenaria medusae from Peter Lin. He told me to give it a cool, very dry winter (but not as dry as Eulophia) but when I saw growth in the spring, water, water, water.

I did as instructed and was rewarded with a crazy single stalk that seemed to go up forever before it grew flowers on the top. Quite a show!

Okay, its fall and Habenaria medusae is going dormant and I stuck it back on the shelf with my succullents (where it spent last winter). Thinking about it though, I think Peter mentioned it was a bulb and, by fall, there should be more bulbs.

Hmmm... no new bulbs. I'm not sure enough about the culture of this orchid to figure out where I went wrong or what I misunderstood. Can anyone offer some help??

Thank You!
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Name: Ursula
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Ursula
Nov 12, 2018 7:45 PM CST

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I don't always see new bulbs on mine, evident by additional new growth next year. I don't give it any thought, but do the same you do by keeping the dormant pots together with my Stapeliads. I never check what exactly is now left in that pot.
I don't soak them until I see new growth in the Spring. During the Winter they just get a bit of a spray. When I see really good new growth, I might consider repotting into fresh Canadian Peatmoss.
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BigBill
Nov 13, 2018 7:24 AM CST
It is really amazing that Habenarias come from tiny corms, I think I have that right? Coryms?? I just can't remember how it is spelled.
Anyways, it is very generous to call them "bulbs". These little guys can be easily overlooked. Now having said that, I would not repot now for fear of losing too many of them in the process.
I heard a talk on these types of plants by Leon Glichtenstein last June and just as Ursula has suggested, a fluffy mix featuring peat is highly recommended. When they go dormant, he dries them completely and puts them in very dim light and with holds water.
He moves them gradually to brighter light and provides them with a little water come late winter. I believe he said late winter to spring. Time and months would vary due to your geographic location. But then these guys start to awaken. He reports very infrequently.
[Last edited by BigBill - Nov 13, 2018 7:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 13, 2018 4:39 PM CST
My takeaway is stop watering and stop worrying.

I have not repotted it, mostly because I hadn't thought about it. The pot is only about 2 inches wide so I'm not sure where all those little corms would be. From what I read this fall, I thought it would have produced new shoots around the old stem but maybe that will be in the spring? If there is enough room for them to come up? (I am visualizing the stacked corms of Crocosmia...)

I had to read that last line a couple times and I'm still not sure what you were trying to say:

"But then these guys start to awaken. He reports very infrequently." OR "But then these guys start to awaken he reports very infrequently."

Too many pronouns but I think you are saying the plants will wake in their own time and Mr. Glichtenstein doesn't talk much. Hopefully not that these orchids don't survive the winter that often.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Joshua
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Australis
Nov 13, 2018 4:55 PM CST

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BigBill said:I heard a talk on these types of plants by Leon Glichtenstein last June and just as Ursula has suggested, a fluffy mix featuring peat is highly recommended. When they go dormant, he dries them completely and puts them in very dim light and with holds water.

He moves them gradually to brighter light and provides them with a little water come late winter. I believe he said late winter to spring. Time and months would vary due to your geographic location. But then these guys start to awaken. He reports very infrequently.


@BigBill, I assume you meant "He repots very infrequently"?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 13, 2018 5:07 PM CST
"Re-pots" - That would make sense. Thank You!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 13, 2018 6:15 PM CST
Daisy, I have Habenaria rhodocheila, not medusa but it did take a year or two to start producing new corms.

I left it in the same 5in. pot for 4 years, and it got terribly crowded but still bloomed nicely. Last spring when the new growth started, I re-potted into a much larger pot, and found that I had over 20 small plants.
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Yes, I just sequester it back under the eaves on the patio, coolest and driest part of the yard for the winter.



Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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BigBill
Nov 13, 2018 6:30 PM CST
Yes. He rarely re-pots. He ends up have dozens of Habenarias in shallow bulb pans I think that is what they are called.
I saw images of dozens and dozens of pots lining his somewhat shaded back yard. He also mentioned he has had several incidences of theft over the years. All orchid people he thought.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 13, 2018 8:05 PM CST
Thanks Bill! Awesome photos Elaine! You both give me hope that I will see my plant next spring and it will have bells on. Thank You!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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