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View Full Version : Mimulus cardinalis & Epipactis gigantea Questions


DanH
03-12-2012, 04:50 PM
I recently ordered a Mimulus cardinalis and a Epipactis gigantea from a mail order nursery in Washington. I have a couple questions for anyone that has experience with these species.

Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkey Flower)
I received the plant just like this, with numerous green shoots coming up. This isn't what I expected. Does this species spread by rhizomes? And is it winter deciduous or something, just now leafing out for Spring? I have only seen these guys growing with their roots completely submerged in water, so I'm not sure how wet I need to keep the soil.
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j244/LiftedDdge/P1011464.jpg


Epipactis gigantea (Stream Orchid)
Well I'm really excited about this one. I have heard that it takes many years before they flower, so I wanted to get one ASAP. It came as a small bare root with a single green shoot coming up already. I'm going to plant it in a nice sized pot with just some regular potting soil. What I am not sure about is how much to water it throughout the year. I know they go dormant during the dry summers, so should I completely stop watering it at some point and allow it to do its thing?
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j244/LiftedDdge/P1011468.jpg

terrestrial_man
03-12-2012, 05:37 PM
Dan,
I have not grown the M. cardinalis but have seen it growing naturally in a
fairly fast moving stream/waterfall area in the hills above Santa Barbara.
Here is a link to the Las Pilitas info on it

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/mimulus-cardinalis

I have and do grow Epipactis. I got some great plants from Las Pilitas Nursery.
You should visit them as they are just over the pass north of you. I would not use regular garden soil unless your soil is very sandy.
Plant the rhizome with the growing tip just at the surface of the soil or potting mix.
Once the leaves start to appear fertilize with Miracle Gro Liquid at 1/2 strength weekly until flowering occurs.
The plants will die back down in late fall or early winter.
I would recommend repotting every year into fresh soil or potting mix.

DanH
03-12-2012, 07:02 PM
Thanks for orchid info! Yeah, I love Las Pilitas Nursery, but they didn't have any stream orchids in stock....darnit.

So, do you care for the plant any differently when it dies back? Should I allow the soil to dry out completely, or keep it moist.

terrestrial_man
03-12-2012, 07:13 PM
Thanks for orchid info! Yeah, I love Las Pilitas Nursery, but they didn't have any stream orchids in stock....darnit.

So, do you care for the plant any differently when it dies back? Should I allow the soil to dry out completely, or keep it moist.

Do not allow it to dry out at all. It is not a fleshy rhizome and has no
water storage capacity so if it dessicates it dies. Water every 2 or 3 days
depending upon pot size and type of soil mix. For faster draining mixes
every 2 to 3 is OK for more water retentive soils, weekly should be fine.
My major problem with these plants is letting the potting mix sour and
losing them to rot so repotting is very important as constant watering can
accelerate the decomposition of the soil mix and consequently the
development of rot in the rhizome.

DanH
05-30-2012, 01:14 PM
I was told that those stream orchids will require a few seasons of vegetative growth before they flower. Well the little one I got earlier this year is already flowering! They are tiny little flowers, but cool nonetheless.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j244/LiftedDdge/DSC01695.jpg