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Disa uniflora (red)

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by Piranhacon, May 8, 2023.

  1. Piranhacon

    Piranhacon Member

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    1st flower to bloom. 2nd bud coming along nicely. This attempt at growing Disa uniflora looks like a win! Hopefully it produces tuberoids for the next season. Going to pollinate the second flower on this plant (1st flower had a damaged stigmatic surface) Red Disa uniflora.jpg .
     
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  2. rico

    rico Active Member

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    Great job! Disas aren't the easiest of plants, can I ask how you're growing this one?
     
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well done!
     
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  4. Piranhacon

    Piranhacon Member

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    It's gonna sound very much counter to what you've read online on how to grow them, but I'll cite my sources.

    I grow mine in tree fern fiber in a clear slotted plastic pot used to grow epiphytic orchids. Root and tuberoid rot had been the bane of my growing experience for a long time until now. I chose this method to solve this issue. I plan to try out small grade coconut husk fiber in the future for cost effectiveness and long term renewability of the potting medium.

    Disa uniflora (red) in pot.jpg

    I don't allow the temperature to climb higher than 80 F (mostly for my sake than for the plants).

    I water when the media looks dry. I don't keep them dry for longer than 1 day (they'll get limp if they go drier). I use is bottled water.

    I grow them under moderately bright indirect light. I grow some Dendrobiums (section Spatulata) in the general area, just to give you a rough idea.

    I don't usually sit them in water. If I do, it's 'cause I'm out on a short business trip (about 3 - 4 days). I don't submerge the entire root system in water, the bottom few millimeters of the potting media touch water so that it can wick the water up. I also cover up the slots on the pot with another container that has no holes to prevent rapid evaporation.

    Relative humidity is not too critical. They're fine with 60% - 70% RH.

    After growing multiple Disa spp. I have discovered their ties to mycorrhizal fungus is pretty weak. They can do with or without them. It is not necessary to their long term survival. Disa spp. can be grown in cultivation successfully.

    Note: The yellowing leaves are natural die off. The roots had split the base of the leaf, those leaves were bound to yellow after a certain amount of time. They don't keep their leaves year round.

    Disa uniflora should be treated like a short lived perennial. An individual growth only lives to about 2 - 3 years. As a grower, you are under pressure to create the conditions for them to successfully produce young offshoots from stolons, new tuberoids, or seeds as means of reproduction. Therefore, one of the criteria for success is to learn how to keep the roots alive and healthy. If the root system is badly damaged, they will not recover.

    The most efficient way to reproduce these orchids are from seed. Vegetative asexual reproduction can produce tons of these plants too, but it can be spotty and it can potentially take longer to produce the same numbers as when they are grown from seed.

    There's a YouTuber that goes by Orchids & Fynbos and he has a video of where and how Disa uniflora grow in the wild. I noticed a few things:

    1) They grew around other plants such as restios or ferns, which means the roots and tuberoids of Disa uniflora grew within the fibrous vegetative parts of other plants. They're not true lithophytes in that their roots are growing in fibrous vegetative material between rock crevices.

    2) They mostly grew around drip zones.

    3) There were no Disa uniflora growing in seepage areas where water collected.

    4) There were breezes in the areas where they grew.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2023
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  5. Piranhacon

    Piranhacon Member

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    I want to clarify that although I like keeping my growing space no warmer than 80 F, Disa uniflora can actually tolerate temperatures of up to 90 F quite easily (nothing above this). They gotta get a cooler evening temperature though (36 F is the absolute minimum I'd be comfortable exposing it to, it is dangerous to go below this limit).

    The temperature range this species can tolerate is: 36 F - 90 F
     
  6. Piranhacon

    Piranhacon Member

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    Second bud bloomed!

    Stigmatic surface is in good shape! In a few days, I will take on my role as moth and spread the pollinia!

    2CE778A7-D4B7-41AC-AFCE-1DFF48EBEDE1.jpeg
     
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  7. gjanick

    gjanick Active Member

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    What a beautiful (magnificent) flower and plant! I of course have never heard of Disa uniflora. I will look it up on the internet.
     
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