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Author Topic: Orthophytum cultural questions  (Read 1026 times)
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sdandy
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« on: September 21, 2010, 07:02:41 »

I was wondering about how to successfully grow the Orthos that don't produce a spike (like navioides)?  Are they cold sensitive?  Love or hate moisture?  Do you have to be gentle with them when rooting or can I toss them in lots of light?
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Lisa
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 07:28:40 »

I can't answer your question about cold sensitivity, Andy, but O.navioides is notoriously difficult to root.  I've found that starting it in pure perlite works pretty well, then you can switch it to your regular mix once it has roots.  It will grow and pup a lot faster if you feed it well, but at some point you have to let the fert wear off somewhat if you want the nice red color.  I've tried it out in full sun, but it seems happier in my shadehouse.  Of course that may be because it gets taken care of better in there.  I've never seen it sunburn. 

I haven't had as much trouble rooting O. burle-marxii and albopictum, but they do tend to be rather slow growing.  As for water, I treat them pretty much the same as Neos, no extremes of wetness or dryness. 
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 17:11:15 »

Thanks Lisa, that answers several of my questions.  So navioides is more picky than the others.  I thought I recalled people talking about that before.  But good to hear that it is navioides and not all of those thinner/narrower leaved ones.  I don't really recall seeing many of the Orthos that bloom in the rosette (what is that group called?...it is on the tip of my tongue but I can't think of it for the life of me...) around here, but many of the ones that produce stalks.  Just made me curious.  Also, does your Brittlestar grow fast and furious like many of the smaller Orthos?  I love the variability and prolific nature of the saxicola-type plants.
-andy
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Lisa
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 20:54:09 »

I usually just refer to them as the flat Orthos, Andy, but I vaguely recall someone calling them "sunburst" types.  If there's a more technical name, I don't know it. 

As for Brittle Star, it's prolific and easy to grow.  Likes full sun and regular watering, but will tolerate some periods of drought. 
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2010, 08:18:41 »

Ah, found some more info Lisa.  I found a new (2010) paper describing a new "Orthophytum" which refers to the ones that produce a flower stalk as "the scapose inflorescence complex" and the others as "sessile inflorescence complex".  The sessile group is further divided into three groups: subcomplex amoenum, subcomplex vagans, and subcomplex supthutii.  The reason I used quotes around Orthophytum is that it is a somewhat controversial name...the new species is in the subcomplex supthutii which some people might recognize as a relatively hot topic.  Orthophytum supthutii has in the past also been classified as a Cryptanthus and has been proposed to actually be a new/another genus...Lapa (I think...need to dig more).  It hasn't been approved (and don't know the process where it would be accepted by the ICBN).  But a second (O. itambense) and now this species (O. vidaliorum) being the third have been found and described for this subcomplex of Orthophytum.
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2010, 16:01:14 »

Could you send me s copy of that paper?

Thanks Len
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