Posts filed under ‘Orchids in a Fishtank?’

potting up ‘St. Ouen’ phrag

Tonight I had a chance to repot the ‘St. Ouen’ for planting in the South America riparium. The plant still had a couple of blooms and one more flower bud. It’s root system was healthy and robust.


I had to cut the roots back quite a bit: they had curled around in the plant’s original pot. As a precaution I dusted with powdered cinnamon after the root pruning. Since the plant went right into the aquarium water after planting I don’t know how much this procedure might have helped, but I felt a need to take some precaution against fungal and bacterial infection.


I potted the plant in a Riparium Supply, Large Hanging Planter. Most of the planter was filled with 4-8mm Hydroton clay pebbles, which settled around the orchid roots as I poured it in. I added a 1/2″ top dressing of calcined clay gravel. This will prevent the clay pebbles from floating away or spilling out and it might also retain some nutrients for use by the phrag. Most of the orchid’s roots are in the large-grain Hydroton, so they are essentially suspended in the aquarium water. I will need to maintain consistent fertilizer dosing.

Here’s a picture of the whole tank.



March 14, 2009 at 5:42 am Leave a comment

St. Ouen phrag still blooming

My Phragmepedium ‘St. Ouen’ is still blooming. I include a couple of pictures with this post.

Phragmepedium 'St. Ouen' bloom

Phragmepedium 'St. Ouen' bloom

The plant is still in its original pot. Planting this specimen in a riparium planter and sticking it in the water might just kill it outright. I want to enjoy the flowers for a while longer before taking that step.

Phragmepedium 'St. Ouen' bloom

Phragmepedium 'St. Ouen' bloom

February 13, 2009 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

Orchids in a Fishtank?

(blog posts for this project begin with a retroactive entry)

2 January 2009

This post will begin my account of attempts to grow orchids with the riparium planting system. This series of experiments might yield some useful, intriguing results, or it might be a total bust.

Today I acquired an orchid that might grow well as a semi-aquatic. I purchased the hybrid Phragmepedium, ‘St. Ouen’, at Orchids Garden Centre in Waunakee, Wisconsin. Since it is a hybrid clone, optimal growing conditions might be more difficult to predict for this plant than for a true species. However, the species Phragmipedium besseae was apparently among the parental plants that were crossed to eventually produce ‘St. Ouen’. P. besseae is one of several Phragmipedium that are described as growing in saturated soil along the edges of streams.

The plant has a single pretty bloom today. It resembles P. besseae, but has white and pink coloration instead of the brilliant scarlet red of that plant.

February 13, 2009 at 7:57 am Leave a comment


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