Q&A, Tips and More forum: Strep Physiology ?

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Feb 6, 2014 12:53 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
I know your going to think this question is crazy, but it the truth. I would like to know is there alot of difference in the physiology of a Strep vs an AV?

The reason I ask is that AV's are allergic to me. Yep, that's right. I love them, but can't be around them or I kill them. I can be given cuttings to root and I can do that with no problem, but as soon as they are rooted, I have to send them on to new homes.

There is something about my chemistry that they don't like. It's like how the old- timy farmers won't let women near cucumbers and a few other plants during certain periods of the month. I can't even wear any type of watch. My body shuts them off. Too much of an energy aurora or something.

I killed more AV's just by looking at them. hate to even think of the numbers and the cost. I have friends who have big beautiful collections of AV's and if I wanted to look at them I had to stand outside the window and look in. They knew what could possibly happen if I got near them and they wouldn't take a chance.

So I am wondering before I start on this new obsession you enablers have me wanting to undertake, and I going to have the same problem.

Is the physiology different enough that maybe whatever effects the AV's when I am around, will not happen with the Streps?

It driving me crazy seeing such beauties and not knowing if they will live or die in my hands.

Feb 6, 2014 3:59 PM CST
Name: Dave G
StrepbyStrep - The Passion Begins
Physiology no,the biggest challenge will be not to overwater. I have enabled, excuse me, converted many AV growers to streps with great success. However, they tend to treat streps like AV's. Yes, they prefer the same light and temps, though streps do prefer slightly cooler temps. Yes, they like to dry in between waterings if you are top watering especially. Yes, they will grow in the same type of mix as AV's. I find though streps need more perlite in the mix especially for beginners as they tend to overwater. The extra perlite helps give more air to the roots.

Here is the mix ratio i use. 1 part peat, 2 parts perlite. This works for my environment. Remember everyone's growing conditions are different. I live in CT, this may or may not work for you being in AL. You may have to ask Lyndo, she is in your area. This is one trick I swear by and have used when I was growing AV's. Melt or drill 4 holes equally spaced around the sides about 1/4" above the bottom of your
pot. This allows air to reach the roots and reduces overwatering.

Another less known fact is do not use a fertilizer with a higher phosphorous content like a blossom booster. Use a balanced fertilizer or something close. Personally, I use Better-Gro 20-14-13 for orchids. Use at 1/4 strength, works great. Too much phosphorous over time will kill your Streps. Some people use vermiculite in their mix, I used to also but have decided against using it for a few reasons. One, it retains moisture. 2nd a few notable growers have confirmed using vermiculite over time allows less nutrients to reach the plant. I trust their expertise, especially after having long-term decline of my plants last summer using a 50/50 mix of perlite and vermiculite as a medium. The experiment started very well but 6 months later the results were less than favorable, rot and leaf burning.

Hope this helps and I am sure others will have more to add or may disagree. My advice is to see what information others post and take the best possible information when you start. Try growing a plant 1st that is very common and not too expensive. If you have success then it's time to grow and the addiction begins. If it fails, try again! Learn from what went wrong and once you can have success then it will be time to go but the ones you really would like.

A word of caution, the Polish varieties are not one I would start with as a beginner.They are a little slow growing in general and take some time to adjust to your growing conditions. I recommend American varieties to start, then try the Ukrainian or Polish varieties once you have some experience. Most Ukrainian varieties are easy to grow and adapt quickly to your growing conditions. There are a few exceptions in every group.
Dave G.
Feb 6, 2014 4:14 PM CST
Name: Dave G
StrepbyStrep - The Passion Begins
Here is a picture of the 4 hole method I use for all my pots. A little off center on this one but hopefully you get the idea.

Thumb of 2014-02-06/Strepbystrep/cb29ec
Dave G.
Feb 6, 2014 5:10 PM CST
Name: Nancy B.
Madison WI
Rather than buying lots of plants, I would buy just a couple and see how they do for you. If after 8 - 10 months they are still growing beautifully for you, start adding a few more plants to your collection.
Nancy B

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