I made a little bog out of an old plastic barrel, but thought it'd be fun to have some companion plants in it along with my CPs. The first companion plant I've opted to try are the bog growing Egret Orchid, Habenaria radiata. I planted four corms in the bog which have all just started to emerge, but since I've never had them before, and I don't know how they'll handle the strong sun I expect my bog to be exposed to, I also planted some indoors. I tried some in the same media as my bog (peat and perlite) inside, and those have emerged, but don't look particularly overjoyed at the moment. But the happiest looking ones I have are planted in Iced Cappucino cups (with holes in bottom for drainage), using alternating layers of perlite and lfs, as suggested by this Youtube video. Having potted them in clear pots, I also get to watch the roots (and corms eventually I hope) grow. With how much the roots seem to have grown already, I just hope they don't end up too crowded in that cup.
The picture below was taken today. The corms were planted March 28th.
I had noticed them in ellsie's avatar, and was hoping she might chime in on them if she has some experience with growing them haha.
I'm under the impression that they should flower this year. The guy whose video I linked to in the original post does updates through the season of growth of the plants up to flowering, so fingers crossed! From what I've read, the natural growth cycle seems to be:
- Dormant corms starts to grow when exposed to increase in wetness during the monsoon seasons in their native Japan. - Sometime during the summer, flowers start to form. - By the time the flowers have dropped, the corms have started to develop, in preparation for the dry season. So I'll have to try to keep things a little dryer around this point. - Once the plant is wilted above ground, the corms should be kept cool and pretty much dry until the next spring.
That's just from my reading though. Really looking forward to seeing this one bloom!
Apologies for the late reply; I was pleasantly surprised and actually had to do a double-take when I saw this post! I haven't met a lot of people that have tried/want to try to grow these unique orchids
From the sounds of it, it seems like you've already done a fair bit of research into growing these beauties. May I ask where you acquired your corms?
I have been searching a long long time for H. radiata; so I was beyond thrilled when I finally found 1 corm during my first visit to a local orchid show. A bit pricey for a little corm, but when you've FINALLY find one of those plants that's been on your wishlist for so long, you go for it right?
So, I waited until I saw a tiny bit of green sprouting from the top of the corm before I planted it into a very fast draining orchid media mix (consisted of fine grade fir bark, coarse perlite, and small charcoal chunks in a 2:2:1 ratio). The plant sprouted and grew quicker than I expected for an orchid, and by around August, I was excited to see flower buds forming. I must have looked at that plant everyday, waiting for the blooms to pop! One day, I noticed a tiny bit of red forming on the flower buds......odd, I even thought that perhaps some edges were scorched from too much sunlight. I then realized why after the flowers appeared.....what was growing was not actually a H. radiata, but a H. medusa!!
Needless to say, I am definitely looking forward to my replacement H. radiata corm from the same local orchid vendor when more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Thanks for joining in on this thread. That had to be a strange mixture of disappointment and excitement, not having the flower you thought you'd have, but discovering you had a medusa which are also pretty cool looking! Would love to see a picture of yours if you have any. Did it produce many extra corms for you?
I purchased the corms from a guy named Perry Nguyen in Montreal (Flora Exotica I believe is the business name). I just happened to stumble across apost about some radiata corms being available from a couple years ago, and it had his email, so I got in touch, and after finding a review somewhere mentioning satisfactory business being done with Perry, I took a chance on ordering a few corms.
What kind of light did you give your medusa? And did you ever supplement with any fertilizers? I've ended up with some blackening of the tips of some of my plants, and the ones that are exposed to direct sun don't seem any worse than the others, so I'm not sure if giving them a gentle shot of the same Maxsea I use for my other CPs might be the cause. My other theory is that they just weren't staying moist enough, as the ones I have in a tall pot of peat and perlite have been stumbling along worse than the others. I was keeping this taller pot in a tray with just a shallow layer of water at the bottom thinking the peat would soak enough up to stay sufficiently moist. I have since started keeping it in a couple inches of water, and it looks better, but I'll have to wait and see what the newest leaf looks like to see whether it's back on track.The ones in the layered mix shown above, on the other hand, were barely affected, but as soon as they showed signs of it, I sat them in a tray. with water as high as the top of the lowest layer of perlite, and since then, they've not appeared to have had any further issues.
Thanks for letting me know about Flora Exotica, I will need to check them out!
As for lighting conditions, I grew my H. medusa right beside my mini Phalaenopsis, so in room temperature, near a bright window, but both orchids were never in direct sunlight. I also did not supplement with any fertilizers. From the sounds of it, it seems that H. radiata enjoys more moist conditions when compared to H. medusa. I would water both my mini Phalaenopsis and H. medusa at the same time; once a week, watering from the top, and that's it.
Unfortunately, the H. medusa did not produce any extra corms for me, so perhaps supplementing with dilute fertilize may have helped. When I last spoke to the vendor at the local orchid show, he told me that it was important to top water the H. medusa/H. radiata and not keep them in a tray with water. I didn't realize this information would be that important; so right before I left for a long weekend, I watered my H. medusa with a little more water from the top, but came home to see that the stem where it first touches the soil/emerges from the corm was already turning black, and within 24hours, the stem was already bent 90 degrees. Such finicky orchids!
I do get the impression that radiata and medusa like somewhat different conditions. H. medusa apparently grows in areas that have tree coverage, making them less fond of direct light, and presumably less appreciative of wet soils compared to radiata, which grows out in boggy areas where the sun can reach them more easily and the soil likely stays moister (I assume, since they were wiped in areas that were determined to be ideal for rice paddies). I was told that, essentially, they should be grown in similar conditions to Sarracenia.
In regard to the advice they gave you regarding watering, it certainly sounds like timing is pretty key when it comes to moisture levels for these guys. I'm feeling relatively confident that the radiata should do fine in trays at the moment since they are in their growing phase, but in the spring, before the corm has shot up and formed leaves, and then once fall comes and it starts heading toward dormancy, it sounds like the plant certainly expects drier conditions to avoid rotting the corms.
I hope you luck out and are able to acquire some. If so, we'll have to share our our experiences so we can get the culture of these intriguing little orchids aced!
It appears that the plants in the layered media are hitting the "sometime during summer, flowers start to form" stage:
The taller plants are about 5 1/2" tall at the moment:
The plants that are out in my little experiment bog. despite having broken the surface just a little later than the ones above, are significantly shorter, and have denser looking leaves.
I am inclined to attribute this to the fact that, while the ones in the layered media do get to go outside for a few hours of direct sun (from about 9-noon), before I bring them back inside out of the crazy heat we've been having, the ones in the "bog" get full sun for most of the day, though perhaps the fact that the bog plants are in peat and perlite instead is also a contributing factor as well.
Now I just have to worry about the transition to drier conditions when it comes time to do so. Hoping I can get some nice healthy corms off of them.
Does anyone know if the Habenaria orchids are like other orchids in regard to requiring flasking to grow from seed when not in their natural habitat? I figure I should decide soon whether or not I'm going to do anything with the seed in case the flowers end up being pollinated during their time outside.
Wow, fantastic growing gj !! Congrats on getting this finicky orchid to flower!! I hope you will get a flock of them As to growing H. radiata from seed, there's not a lot of information out there on growing terrestrial orchids from seeds, but I might be able to help you out with that