Friday, 20 January 2017

New Plants - Visit to Burnham Nurseries

These posts must be getting boring to read, but I'll plough on nevertheless. In an effort to stay the January blues, I quite often make a pilgrimage to the Southwest either Christmas week or just after. This year it was a little later, just after the kids went back to school so all was quiet down there, just as I like it. Since I was in the vague area, I felt it would be rude not to visit Burnham Nurseries. They had published their 'specials' list toward the end of the year, and one or two species on it had piqued my interest so I asked them to put them aside until I visited. I also needed some coarse growing medium to repot my Angraecum. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm far to tight to pay carriage on mere bark chips, so I knew I'd have to visit (not that its a hardship).

It is always good to catch up with the staff at Burnham Nurseries. It is quite rare I get a chance to have a good nerd-out about orchids, so I took the chance and had quite lengthy conversations with two people, mostly about Coelogyne of various types, although I only came back with one (more to follow). I asked about Coelogyne rochussenii (my regular readers will know of the anguish where that species is concerned) and noticed that the plants in their sales area didn't look too clever either. In fact, I was told that quite a lot of plants had gone in the bin and that they hadn't go to the bottom of the infection. Interestingly, their mother plants are entirely unaffected by the disease. The plot thickens. My own plant doesn't appear to be getting worse after a treatment of fungicide, which I consider to be progress. The new growth appears to be clean, too.

On to the point of this post, which is new plants. I picked up quite a bit while wandering around, and I have now got round to photographing them all.

First up is Prosthechea prismatocarpa which I had asked for before Christmas. I had been waiting ages for them to divide up their mother plants and finally I have got one. It is only a small(ish) plant because I couldn't afford the larger ones. It seems a nice plant but I do wish it had had longer to establish itself before being sold.

This is quite a large growing species, but I expect it will be several years before it reaches any large size. I'm slightly concerned that my growroom will be too hot for it, but I've wanted one for years so had to give it a try. I expect I'll get smaller pseudobulbs for a couple of years yet until it is properly established.

Next up is another one I'd asked for beforehand, Pinalia philippinensis. Rather an obscure one, this used to be part of genus Eria before the taxonomists got to work on it. I can really find barely any information on it, so I guess I'll have to just keep an eye on it and see what it does. My main concern isn't so much getting it to grow so much as the habit of the plant.

Scrawny looking thing, isn't it? It looks to me as if it will be something of a climber, with each new growth being above the level of the last one, resulting in it needing constant potting on. Notice it is already in a deep pot and its only a baby.

Next up is Phalaenopsis gigantea. I have had this one on my list for some time so I'm pleased to have found one at a reasonable price. It seems a nice healthy plant and I look forward to seeing it bloom.

It is clearly a baby and is some considerable way off flowering size yet. On adult plants, the leaves can reach around 30cm long, so it certainly lives up to its name. Still it is an attractive plant even when young (if such things float your boat), and I'm (relatively) patient.

Next up is Phalaenopsis fasciata. This isn't the most thrilling species in the genus, but will be attractive in its own right, especially if, like me, you're a fan of the more 'botanical' species.

Another nice healthy plant and much closer to flowering size than Phalaenopsis gigantea is. The nursery seem to have a new supplier and they have far more in the way of Phalaenopsis species than they used to (most of which I've already purchased and are growing away nicely).

Next is Renanthopsis Newberry Charm. I'm quite partial to these intergeneric hybrids featuring Phalaenopsis. The cross here is Renanthera Brookie Chandler x Phalaenopsis philippinensis. You may remember that I am already growing Renanthopsis Mildred Jameson and it isn't giving me any trouble (apart from not flowering since I got it) so I'm confident that this one will do equally well.

The plant is flowering size, but I can't see any evidence of old flower spikes, so I'll have to play it by ear. I expect they'll both flower at the same time. I wonder if some cooler nights might be what is needed. Worth a try. I'm glad these grow well for me because Renanthera really don't seem to like being grown in a pot and I almost lost mine through not changing the potting medium as soon as I got it. As it stands, the plant seems over the worst and has produced a new root (Renanthera never produce many roots). Renanthopsis, however, seem perfectly happy to grow in a pot like any other Phalaenopsis, although they do root from further up the stem than Phalaenopsis do so there tend to be a lot of aerial roots.

Next up is Angraecum sororium. I'm not overly familiar with this species and I have read (once I got home) that it is a cool growing, high elevation species so it might not have been a wise move.

Once again, this is a young plant (or several plants) with a good deal of growing to do before reaching flowering size. Once I see concrete signs of growth, I'll feel more confident about this species. It is also one of the large species, and mature plants are a tuft of leaves on top of a bare stem Still, the flowers will be beautiful as you'd expect from an Angraecum species. It might be that I'll decide to separate out the individual plants, but by the same token if I'm going to end up with a length of bare stem it might be better left in a clump. I'll just have to keep an eye on it and see what it does.

Next up is Aerangis macrocentra. I'm getting into these Aerangis species in a big way. I only hope they take to me as much.

This is ostensibly an young plant but it is a miniature species anyway so probably isn't that far off flowering size. There were three plants in the pot, which I have potted separately. We'll see how they do. There isn't a great deal more to say about this until it wakes up and does something so watch this space.

Next up is an impulse buy of Dendrochilum coccineum. This is a relatively newly discovered and, therefore, still quite rare species. If I'm absolutely honest, this isn't the best plant in the world but I'm hoping it'll perk up once I've had it for a while.

It was buried rather too deep in the growing medium which was causing new growths to rot off. I have scraped away some of the bark chips to expose the pseudobulbs so hopefully that'll put it right. When I saw this, I couldn't resist because it has red flowers and I' haven't got a red flowered Dendrochilum. I'm quite excited to flower it.

Finally, I have ended up with yet another colour form of Coelogyne speciosa. This is a good sized plant, and the only one I got that was in flower. In the nursery, I was told that this was an old flower, but I have had it in my growroom for well over a week and it shows no sign of going over yet.

The flower is large and quite yellow with almost red in the throat. It is also very strongly scented (not in a good way, alas!) which is something I've not noticed on any of my other plants of this species despite sticking my nose right in them every time they bloom. I was told in the nursery that this plant originally came from New Zealand and is reputed to be a truer form of the species than the other forms they sell (C. speciosa 'burnham' may turn out to be an entirely different species or even a hybrid). I'm pleased to have got hold of another form of it, whatever it is.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

New Plants - Coelogyne from Orchideengarten Karge, Germany.

Ever since I found out that the Coelogyne usitana x Coelogyne speciosa (salmonicolor variety, now known as C. speciosa 'Burnham' in the UK) hybrid had a name, I've been keen to get some more of those hybrids. The above plant's actual name is now Coelogyne Orchideengarten Joachim, and it actually came from Schwerter in March 2016, so I've had it almost a year now, and have successfully bloomed it. It posesses all the hybrid vigour you might expect and seems to take rather after Coelogyne usitana in its size and spread, though produces multiple growths much more in the style of Coelogyne speciosa.

It turns out that there are several of these hybrids that have only been recently registered, and I finally tracked down the nursery to Orchideengarten Karge, in Germany. The website is all in German (as you'd expect), and they haven't got round to writing an English version yet, but Google translate does all the work for you, and if you actually contact them via email, you will find their English to be excellent (and certainly better than my German). They were courteous and very helpful all the way through the ordering process and seemed keen to know when the plants had arrived and whether I was happy with them or not.

The whole ordering process went without a hitch. They even send orders from overseas on Mondays so the parcels have the best possible chance of reaching their destination that very week. Had it not been for the unbelievable incompetence of Parcelforce, the orchids would indeed have arrived that week. As it was, I had the worry of sharp frosts (around -8C) while waiting over the weekend for the parcel to be delivered the following Monday.

I needn't have worried about the plants though. Apart from looking like they'd been drop-kicked repeatedly from the diving board of an Olympic swimming pool by Parcelforce during its multiple trips back to depot, they survived the trauma remarkably well.

"So," I hear you ask, "What did you get?"

Firstly, Coelogyne prolifera. I know, after going on and on about these random hybrids people are making, I still manage to order a species. It was quite cheap, however, and I've yet to see it for sale in the UK.

This one I have had to speedily re-pot because it had been shaken out of its pot in transit. I should point out here that the packing of the plant itself was excellent, but it is almost impossible to take into account the contempt with which delivery companies handle our parcels ("Logistics" indeed!). The plant has two lead growths (one of which has been damaged, unfortunately), and two flower spikes from mature pseudobulbs. Coelogyne prolifera is not like many other Coelogyne species, and flowers are produced from both new and existing flower spikes (hence the name). The flowers are small (around a centimetre or less) and yellow. It will never be a showstopper, but will be an interesting "botanical" for me to grow. It is listed as needing cooler temperatures than I have, but I am confident that it will be adaptable enough to do well for me. It appears to have a somewhat rambling habit with some space between pseudobulbs so it will need regular potting on.

Second is one of those hybrids I was talking about. Its official name is Coelogyne Orchideengarten Sabine. The actual cross, after a little digging, is Coelogyne speciosa x Coelogyne Memoria Wilhelm Micholitz. If you read this blog regularly, you will already know that I grow both of its parents already, and that they both grow very easily and flower regularly.

As you can see, the plant arrived in bloom, but the flowers have not travelled well and have since fallen. I shall wait until new flowers are produced before attempting more photography on it. The influence of Coelogyne lawrenceana can bee seen in the height and shape of the pseudobulbs, while the white colouring of the blooms has carried over from Coelogyne mooreana. Coelogyne Memoria Wilhelm Micholitz is a lovely hybrid and can be seen here. How the crossing of Micholitz onto Coelogyne speciosa (the pod parent - when you read the cross of a hybrid, the pod parent is always stated first, the pollen parent second), I can't say for sure but it looks like it will flower sequentially and on droopier spikes. An interesting hybrid. Whether it will be equal to or greater than its parents remains to be see.

This plant has now been repotted as well. Both this and the following hybrid were growing (quite happily I must stress) in sphagnum moss. While this works for many growers (sphagnum moss is the only growing medium allowed if you intend to ship plants outside of the EU), it doesn't seem to work for me, so it had to go. I realise that the prospect of completely changing potting medium seems drastic to a lot of people, but I really have no fear of doing it. Sphagnum moss stays much too wet for plants in my collection (at least for plants above a certain size), so there would have been no benefit to waiting for new roots to start to form and it probably would have been more damaging to do so. This was a week ago and I don't actually think the plant has really noticed (a good sign). I separated off a baby plant (possibly a separate seeding, so it may be slightly different from the main plant) and have potted that as well, though I suspect it'll be some time before it reaches blooming size.

The third and final hybrid is the one I have been most excited about. It is called Coelogyne Orchideengarten Clara and is, at least to me, a very interesting hybrid. The cross is Coelogyne Lentil Soup x xyrekes. Coelogyne lentil soup is a hybrid between C. speciosa and C. lentiginosa. I have to say I wouldn't mind getting hold of Coelogyne lentil soup, either, but the nursery who made the cross (Orchideengarten Karge once again) haven't got it listed for sale. The other parent, Coelogyne xyrekes, is quite hard to find for some reason (it should be noted that Coelogyne is a very underrated genus and many lovely species and hybrids are still quite difficult to locate), and is near the top of my list of species to find. It is relative of Coelogyne speciosa (part of the so called speciosa group) and is quite similar to it but it has nice bronzed young foliage and much stiffer foliage.

As you can see, another good sized, robust looking plant. This one had just started to suffer in transit, and small patches of rot had started to appear on some of the newly emerging foliage. These have, luckily, dried out and I don't think I need worry any longer. a flower spike remains, and there is a bud forming so hopefully it won't be long before I see a flower. You may notice I speak as though I don't know what the flowers will be like, even though there are plenty of photos on the seller's website. This is because these plants are seedlings and will all be subtly different. There are several lead growths and several new shoots emerging on this plant and I suspect there is more than one seedling in there, though I shall not attempt to separate them out. You really can't see from the photo but the lovely bronzed new foliage of Coelogyne xyrekes has come through beautifully in this hybrid and I think the plant is very attractive indeed even when not in bloom.

This plant has also been re-potted into bark chips and also appears not to have noticed. It looks like it has inherited a good clumping habit, and should flower well. I was immediately told by a friend that Coelogyne xyrekes has smaller flowers than Coelogyne speciosa but since Coelogyne speciosa has almost the largest flowers in the genus, that wouldn't really be much of a surprise. Besides which, with hybrid vigour and Coelogyne speciosa in the background (albeit only a quarter), who knows? Size isn't everything, anyway.

There are a couple more of these hybrids on Orchideengarten Karge's website, one of which is Coelogyne Lyme Bay. I would be interested to know whether they have propagated plants supplied by Burnham Nurseries (who first made the cross) or whether it is a re-make. I would favour the latter. I'm half tempted to get one of their plants so I can compare it with my plant from Burnham Nurseries. It looks from the pictures as if the lip is lighter on the German plants, but that could be down to several factors, only one of which is genetic. As I understand it, Burnham Nurseries selected the plants that had the darkest lip and propagated from those. I have no idea what happened to the other seedlings that were produced and, presumably, flowered. Until my plant blooms again, I can't know for sure how dark my plant is but I understand it to be a division of one of their awarded plants so it should be a good one (if dark lips is what you look for in such a hybrid).

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bloom Event - Liparis nutans

The other plant that has erupted triumphantly into bloom is Liparis nutans. I had always been rather scared of Liparis species assuming, wrongly, that they would be fussy plants (presumably because members of that genus grow wild in the United Kingdom).  I got this species six months ago and it has been growing steadily ever since. Apart from being a very thirsty plant, it has proved to be no trouble at all to grow with plenty of new roots being produced . I was warned to watch out for slugs and snails on this species, but I haven't seen any damage at all on it. I was wondering when it would flower, and the answer seems to be whenever it feels like it. It must be one of those species that is capable of producing a few new growths a year which all then flower at the same time. Only two flower spikes this time, but that still equates to around 80 flowers.

I think the flowers look like little ballerinas. Quite charming. I know they are technically more brown flowers, but they really are very pretty. Sadly the flowers at the base of the spike start going over before the buds at the top have started to open but it still puts on a nice display and I reckon this will be a spectacular species once it gets bigger. I put some support in because the pseudobulbs are rather soft and I worried that it would collapse under its own weight. Looks like I needn't have worried, though.

The foliage seems very soft and sort of shiny, which is apparently what Liparis means, though I have forgotten how exactly it is derived. The pseudobulbs are quite small and rather insignificant, and I assume that this species is not well adapted to putting up with periods of drought. I dimly remember trying to grow this species quite a few years ago and failing miserably. Having tried again more successfully I assume that I underwatered it. This one really does seem to thrive in quite damp and very humid conditions. For this reason I can't imagine it would go on for long as a houseplant because it simply won't be able to draw water through its tissues fast enough and would shrivel away. If you can provide some extra humidity, however, it really thrives and flowers quite enthusiastcially.

Bloom Event - Dendrochilum abbreviatum

According to the oracle that is this blog, I have been in possession of this plant for almost exactly one year, at the time of writing (January 2017). Also according to my records, this plant bloomed at the end of April last year, so it is significantly earlier this time around. Not that I made a not of such inconsequential details such as spike count last year in my initial post for some reason, but according to later photos there appear to have been five flower spikes which I recall being very impressed with indeed. This year, it has done better than that with seven spikes of flowers, which means we must have more lead growths.

I'm not sure I have much extra to add on this species this year. It is not one to be rushed; it does only seem to put out one set of growths per year  no matter what you do, although a bit of heat seems to bring it on quicker.

It has stayed nice and clean with no bug or fungal attacks and seems quite happy with its life. Once again, you might notice I've been rather premature with the photography and there aren't many flowers open as yet, but you get the general idea. I love how the spikes arch under the foliage, and a larger plant will put on quite a show. You might also notice that I have repotted this. It was really pressing against the edges of the last pot it was in so I thought it was probably time to give it a bit more space. It is really too early to tell whether it'll notice the change or not, but to be honest I doubt it.

Not the easiest to photograph due to the small downward facing flowers, but I'm not sure that admiration of individual flowers is really the point of this species. What we are after here is overall effect, so the more flower spikes the better. A point in favour of this species, especially in light of posts earlier on today is that although quite large for a Dendrochilum, this is a nice sized species for growing on a window sill. It is even quite attractive when not in bloom. My plant just lives among the others in the growroom but I don't see why it wouldn't make an attractive stand alone plant. I guess it appreciates a bit more humidity than your average houseplant, but Dendrochilum as a whole seem rather less fussy than many orchids on this.

There would have been a time when I would have been very tempted to divide this plant up into smaller pieces as there are quite a few growing points, but I'm pleased to say that that impulse has passed. Most Dendrochilum species are much better when allowed to grow on to a decent size and there really should be a jolly good reason for dividing them, especially if they are healthy.

Bloom Event - Coelogyne Green Dragon

This is one of those plants that I get VERY excited about. I've had this orchid for two years now (as of early 2017), and this is its second blooming for me. I paid quite a premium to be the proud owner of this hybrid, which is quite rare. The hybrid was made by Burnham Nurseries in 1992 and is a cross between C. tomentosa and C. pandurata. It really seems to inherit the very best qualities from its parents, with the long pendulous flower spikes bearing around 15 flowers from C. tomentosa and the wonderful colouring and size from C. pandurata; the flowers are a good couple of inches across.

Gorgeous, isn't it? Now before I gush too much over this, it does have its negatives. The first of these is that the flowers only last about a week. Possibly if I had moved the plant (a herculean task in its own right) into a cooler room I might have got longer out of them. At time of writing, the flowers have gone over already. In some ways, the transience of the blooms makes one appreciate them all the more while one can. There is a slight fragrance to them, but not enough to fill a room, and it is rather nondescript.

The second detractor to this hybrid, and probably the main reason it isn't more widely grown, is its size. This is one of those properly gargantuan Coelogyne, with the plant standing a good couple of feet high (pot not included). This is definitely not what you might call a windowsill orchid. When you add into this the habit of the plant, you have something that can be difficult to accommodate. Although there are worse behaved Coelogyne than this (rochussenii, I'm looking accusingly over the top of my glasses at you), they do at least stay small(ish). On a plant of this sort of size, a semi-climbing habit and long internodes between pseudobulbs makes for a plant that is hard to contain in a pot. My plant is already in a large basket (you can read the whole sorry repotting saga here. This plant now really needs potting on again but I don't feel inclined to do the same as last time but with a bigger basket Particularly while the plant is pushing out new growths and, more especially, flowers, I have great trouble keeping it damp enough and I think it would benefit from being in either a more water retentive medium or a large pot with solid sides rather than a basket. So jury is out at the moment.

I'm not in too much of a hurry to disturb it though, as I am pretty sure it sulked for almost a year before it flowered. I put the plant in its basket in February 2016 and although it has produced and matured two sets of pseudobulbs since then, this is the first time it has produced flowers. When jotting down some initial notes to put together this post, I noted that its blooming is rather intermittant. I wonder whether this is acutally due to my repotting the plant rather than an inherent reluctance to bloom. I would expect flowerbuds to come from the centre of each emerging new growth, but they don't always appear (luckily it is very obvious very quickly if flowers are on the way).

When I put this plant in its basket I removed a backbulb so it would fit and put it aside in the growroom. It sprouted and now I have a second plant, albeit one several years away from blooming. Notice I have two flower spikes from two growing points. One of them has come from a bulb further back on the plant so I'm hoping that the lead growth will wake up too and give me a third lead. As I remember, one side of the plant does wake up a little earlier than the other side so I'm still hopeful that I'll get another growth this season.

This plant does seem to grow fast and is capable of producing two or even three pseudobulbs per lead per year. This is a blessing and a curse, of course as the plant can correspondingly flower two or three times a year but needs almost constant potting on. First world problems, eh?

New Plant - Fungal troubles.....Coelogyne rochussenii. VERY scary photos within!

This is one of those posts that most orchid growers won't have the courage to post. It shows that even the best of us have problems growing orchids, and I am certainly no exception. I have always had a love of Coelogyne species and hybrids, especially the warmer growing ones, and have gone out of my way to find out species that I think ought to do well under my conditions.

One of the species that got added to my collections was Coelogyne rochussenii which I obtained from Burnham Nurseries a couple of years ago. I have to say that C. rochussenii is an untidy species with long lengths of rhizome between pseudobulbs; quite a hard plant to accommodate in a pot although not, ostensibly, a difficult grower.  This is a species that bloomed for me shortly after I got it, but sadly not since. It blooms directly from the rhizome (botanically it is said to be heteranthous), and the flower spikes do not come from the centre of a new growth. This is similar to the cooler growing species such as C. cristata.

Now the reason I'm telling you all this is that around a year ago on one of my bi-yearly pilgrimages to Burnham Nurseries I noticed that their quite substantial stock of C. rochussenii was looking......ill. Leaves were spotting and dropping and some plants had died altogether. When I got home I looked at my plant and thought it looked OK (it is a bit of a mucky grower so some spotting is almost inevitable). It has been fairly recently potted on and partially re-arranged so it can stay in its pot. The rhizome is stiff and difficult to arrange unless growth is quite young. Recently, my plant has put out a new growth which looks healthy enough but the older leaves are spotting and turning yellow. Alarm bells ringing?

Scary, huh? Notice the yellow margin and necrotic brown spot within (on the leaf at the back - the front one is too far gone). This looks like classic fungal infection to me. What I need to know is where the disease has come from because this looks exactly like the plants at Burnham Nurseries. Needless to say I have put this plant in isolation and it has been sprayed with a systemic fungicide (fingers crossed the fungicide doesn't damage the plant). Obviously, the damage already there is not going to get better so it all rests on whether I think the damage is getting worse. The easiest (and slowest) way to tell is to keep an eye on the new growth. If it stays clean, then the fungicide has worked. I expect the damaged leaves to drop eventually, and therein lies the danger with fungal attacks. They rarely kill the plant in their own right but they do weaken plants significantly and it can take years for plants to recover.

Meanwhile, in my semi regular check of all remaining plants, I notice that Coelogyne asperata x rochussenii is showing signs of damage....

You can see that the damage isn't so severe on this plant, but note the yellow spotting that is appearing. This plant has also been isolated and treated with systemic fungicide. Fingers crossed. The disease has also appeared on Coelogyne velutina and it looks awful but you will be thankful to learn that I haven't taken a photo of it. The rest of my collection looks clear. I grow a lot of Coelogyne and they are quite close together but disease is not appearing anywhere else. Let's hope it stays that way.

I'm afraid i'm placing the blame for this disease outbreak squarely at the door of Coelogyne rochussenii from Burnham Nurseries.

Interestingly, if you research Coelogyne rochussenii on the internet, there is no reference to it being a straggly, untidy species with long internodes.  All the photos I have seen show a neatly clumping plant that will happily grow in a comparatively small pot. I have bought another plant of this species from eBay (same seller from whom I bought the two Angraecum  before Christmas) and it seems nice and clumpy (some internode but nowhere near as much as on my existing plant) and very healthy indeed with no sign of any disease whatsoever.

My plan is to spray this with fungicide as a precaution. I haven't decided whether to put this into my main growroom as yet (though it will end up in there eventually), or whether to keep it in isolation for a bit as a double level of precaution. At any rate, the new plant looks very healthy so it has the very best chance of staving off any disease that might be in the air.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Bloom Event - Phragmipedium sedenii

As many of my readers might remember, I have given away or sold the vast majority of my slipper orchids, so there are only a few plants left. I have held Phragmipedium sedenii back because although my two plants are very healthy indeed, the ink on the name tags has rubbed off and I can't tell what they are. Both are named cultivars of P. sedenii, but that's as much as I know. I originally got he plants on eBay so my first point of reference was to find the record of sale, but unfortuantely the records don't go back that far and I also couldn't remember who the seller was. As luck would have it, I can't tell the difference between the two flowers now both plants are blooming either so they will have to go by the name P. sedenii and nothing else. My two plants appear to be rather paler pink than I might expect from P. sedenii but this could easily be down to the temperature.

Whatever its called, its worth waiting for. Previously when this bloomed, the flowers were mis-shapen and didn't open properly. I never worked out why and this time round the flowers are perfect. I guess I'll never know. I used to grow these standing in an inch of water and they did fine. This year, though, I have been growing them slightly drier (by drier I just mean not standing in water) with my warm growing Cymbidium species and this seems to suit them even better as growth seems faster.

There are three flower spikes across the two plants and there seems no difference between the height of the spikes either. The plants are relatively compact (for a Phragmipedium) and clumpy with only a minimal desire to climb (P. schlimii hybrids have been terrible for this in my experience)

It is a pity that only one or two flowers are ever open at a time because this could be spectacular rather than just graceful and elegant (despite the atrocious photography). Once they get large enough to produce multiple spikes they should put on quite a show.

As a primary hybrid between P. schlimii and P. longifolium it is no surprise that there are a lot of cultivars out there and that no two plants are the same (unless they have been divided) so I'm not going to worry too much about the naming of them. They are growing in rockwool cubes, though I imagine there is no reason they wouldn't grow equally well in bark chips. I tend to use inorganic medium for these plants because the constant wet conditions would mean very frequent repotting if I use an organic medium like bark chips or sphagnum moss. The inorganic medium never breaks down and so should never need changing. It is advisable to be careful with feeding when using inorganic media as the fertilizer salts can build up in the pot. This is another reason for not growing them in water and watering instead from the top and allowing water to flow through the pots. Excess salts are then leached away before they can damage the roots and blacken the leaf tips.

All in all, this is a vigorous, flexible hybrid that seems well suited to a wide range of growing conditions. Highly recommended.