There’s a Frog in My Phrag…

For many, many years I grew my orchids exclusively under indoor grow lights.  Finally, when my wife and I purchased our first home I decided to build a greenhouse.  My passion for orchids impacts much of my life, and with a collection that now numbers in the thousands it was imperative I minimize the amount of time necessary to care for my budding hobby.  So, for all of my South American slipper orchids in the genus Phragmipedium (which grow mostly on the banks of cool water stream) I built a recirculating flood and drain system (also called an ebb & flow system.)

Using 2″ x 4″ pressure treated lumber I built a table to support the 2′ x 8′ Botanicare flood tray.  A small pond pump delivers water from a hydroponic reservoir to the hydroponic flood tray and my overflow fittings maintain about 1-2″ of water which the plants sit in.  I never turn the pump off so the water is always moving (helps keep the water oxygenated.)  My Phrags (short for Phragmipedium Orchids) are very happy there.  So the other day whilst I was admiring my South American slippers I noticed a friend; who my three-year old aptly named Mr. Froggy; technically a Squirrel Treefrog Hyla squirella.  Apparently flood and drain systems make good homes to not only plants but amphibians as well 😉

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