Habenaria Pink Sapphire (Tracey x Spoonbill)
Habenaria Pink Sapphire (Tracey x Spoonbill) 5713.15 (approximately 15 seedlings per flask).
The Hybrid: A new, recently named complex hybrid: Habenaria Pink Sapphire (Tracy x Spoonbill). The parents are Habenaria Tracey x Spoonbill. Images of the parents of this cross are shown below.
Culture: I have grown Habenaria in both intermediate and warm conditions successfully. You need to provide for the seasonal dry winter conditions to succeed with this genera. I have found these do best if I deflask while in active growth. I keep them in a covered plastic try for the first couple of weeks so the humidity stays high. Lift the lid from time to time to freshen the air. An inexpensive covered aluminum cake or roasting pan from the grocery store will work well.
During the growing season I water and fertilize as for many other plants. I don't let it dry completely at this time. Best growth for me has been achieved in a terrestrial mix (more or less: 3 parts fine bark, 5 parts pumice or perlite, 3.5 parts coir powder, 1.5 parts 1/2" lava rock, and 5 parts rich commercial potting soil). Several recipes that friends use includes chopped sphagnum. I have also grown seedlings in straight New Zealand sphagnum moss and then move to a terrestrial mix after the first winter out of flask.
Dry rest for habenaria: Coming out of dry rest is the tricky part. What I've found best in my conditions is to take off most of the potting medium as the leaves die back in the fall and keep them in the pot over the winter. I keep them in a tray with a plastic cover until they start to sprout. I used to keep them in the house but now I keep them in a warm greenhouse (65F/18C minimum night). I don't really mist them during this time, but the humidity isn't very low. As each one starts to sprout I will pot it up and set in about 1/2" water for a few minutes to wet the medium at the bottom for some added humidity. Once it begins to come up above the surface I will "water" it with a spray bottle (set to a stream, not to mist) around the edges once or twice being sure not to wet the plant. After the leaves open up then I will begin to water normally with my other plants. From that point on they don't dry out until I begin to lessen the water in the fall. More on dry rest for Habenaria.
First bloom seedling of Habenaria Pink Sapphire. Grown and photographed by Leon Glicenstein.
Capsule Parent: Habenaria Tracy
Pollen Parent: Habenaria Spoonbill
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