Ask About Dos And Donts Of Paph Care ?

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Martin2020

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Hello,

Paphiopedillum is not new to me but I often times killed them.

Please kindly load me a list of Paph care do's and don'ts :
1. Never mist the leaves on hot days ?
2. Don't spray fertilizer on the leaves ?
3.
4.
5. ...........

Thankyou in advance...
 

mrhappyrotter

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Always treat absolutes with healthy skepticism unless there's a preponderance of evidence to support them. We're each growing in our own unique climate and with a myriad of variations in equipment, technique, routine, etc. Paphiopedilums are a diverse group of slippers that grow in a variety of climates and environmental conditions, so different species have different requirements, which can carry through to hybrids (especially intrasectional hybrids). What this means is that outside of the trivial/obvious recommendations (don't expose them to fire, don't water them with strong acids, don't eat their leaves or feed them to pets, don't place them in a freezer, don't pour table salt on them in any appreciable amount, etc) what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. What works for one Paph may not work for another, and vice versa.

Having said that I'll contribute:

1. When moving your plants to a higher lighting situation, acclimate them slowly if possible. Also, if you're growing in natural lighting (sunlight), be sure to familiarize yourself with the light pattern throughout the day & year, keeping an eye on things to ensure that the plants don't get too much direct light for too long.
2. Good quality water makes a big difference compared to water with lots of dissolved solids and additives like chlorine / chloramine.
3. Be attentive to the plant's needs. Be willing and able to adjust your care routine and their growing environment. This also means you need to be willing to provide some benign neglect and avoid fussing over them when they don't need it.
4. Research, research, research. Find out what kind of Paph you have, and determine if it may have any specific needs (like a dry winter rest or warm temperatures year round), then provide that.
 

ehanes7612

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I have never had issues with spraying diluted fertilizer on leaves ..there is a build up of some fertilizer but when that happens just water without fertilizer a couple times, basically develop a cycle of on/off fertilizer. Paphs are slow feeders so doesnt matter if you dont fertilize each time

Misting on hot days is fine..doesn't really do anything for it unless you can provide enough misting to keep the temp down consistently ...basic thermodynamics

Very few paphs like to dry out (parishii for example) but even then they dont like to dry out by much. Most multis like a lot of water. But each paph is different..so there is no one fit for all. So what above says..do a lot of research and be attentive to the plant's response.

Direct light??? often it is said that paphs dont like direct light...some actually like it, especially if it's not too hot(85 or above) and for short periods. I have done this with roths and some roth hybrids that are ready to bud.

I have found that paphs in general grow better with an optimum humidity ...70 percent seems the best..anymore you invite fungal/bacterial issues and any less you have less error for watering

Paphs need air movement ...this cant be stressed enough and that air movement should be optimized to temp and humidity culture...but paphs should never ever be growing in stagnant air (this is probably the only absolute I know of besides those extremes mentioned above)
 

Martin2020

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Hi, mrhappyrotter and ehanes7612.
Thank you for your thourough explanations.
I tried to read your comments several times just to absorb the essential meanings of this riddle in growing paphs.
Between different genera of orchids, they take different measures too to treat them.
I had a conclusional hint that paph needs a sort of drink which can moist its leaves as a UV protection.
Here it's under UV filtered canopy with wind in abundance, sometimes it's hot.
I don't trust local NPK fertilizer, they're too harsh and will wilt leaves.
Need something soft that will be absorbed safely.
Also the roots can't be soggy wet inside pot.
Dampen the leaves sometimes as midday gets too hot.

Paphs need almost the same watering system like Rhynchostylis retusa.
The roots will be infected with fungus if potted with moss, unlike the vandas.
Vandas drink much water and vitamins, but not too much of NPK fertilizer.
And paphs can absorb vitamins via leaves like the retusas.
Today I just have a pot of Paph javanicum, I thought it developed flower bud but no, it's not. It is a young leaf.
No wonder it just kept growing roots and destroyed 2 lowest leaves.
I recall a big loss I still regret,
I couldn't do much to stop a big giant paph with brownish dark purple leaves years ago.
I thought it was Paph gigantifolium, but the dark purple leaves ?
I think gigantifolium have green leaves ?
 
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mrhappyrotter

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I've never read or heard concerns about UV, but I suppose in this part of the world virtually everyone is growing indoors or in a greenhouse where it's not a concern or less of a concern. I'm not sure "moist leaves" are going to do much in the way of blocking UV, though. Otherwise, it would seem like UV based water sterilizers wouldn't/couldn't work but perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean?

It's my understanding that most typical orchids aren't great at absorbing nutrition (other than gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen) through their leaves. The roots are orders of magnitude more efficient at it, to the point that as long as the plant has healthy roots, the benefits from foliar feeding are minimal. So, if you've already got concerns about the fertilizers you have access to, then it seems pretty logical to avoid spraying it on the leaves. As for using untrusted/unreliable fertilizers on the orchids, it seems like if the issue is harshness, then you should just dilute it heavily before use, right? If you're feeding too little, it takes awhile to see the effects, and you can rectify the situation pretty easily. Orchids, and especially slippers, are relatively light feeders anyway. It's more dangerous and harder to rectify the damage from over feeding. If you wilt the leaves from using fertilizer, there's something horribly wrong going on. Either the fertilizer is entirely inappropriate for plants or you're feeding with too high a concentration. Either way, it makes me appreciate that I have access to orchid safe fertilizers.
 

Martin2020

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From my observation, I used to have Paph tonsum, javanicum, supardii, glaucophylum, gigantifolium, lowii in the past. They response immediately when applied with water contained some harsh substance like chlorine and well-known NPK fertilizers brand. It dries out the leaves, they becomes green at first then within a few weeks showing somewhat unhealthy looks. Starting by withered tips on 1-2 leaves. My growing space has sometimes scorching hot midday, windy air flow is frequently present with relatively a bit cool air and rarely in stagnant air motion. Orchids are under UV filtered canopy. NPK fertilizers I use is like just a small tip of teaspoon portion. I think a 1/4 of teaspoon is way too generous and will wilt leaves. But like you said, I need to be attentive to the roots humidity. I think I sprayed too much dirty tap water with quite high level chloramine or chlorine. These delicate species Paphs are picky and flimsy. I don't have access to well water, I only can use dirty tap water with tons of phytophthora or black rot fungus agents. I've just started using air con water after reading some threads and your comments a few days ago. And I am impressed with how well response the orchids show me. I think they are happy. My first encounters with Paphs were back in the day when internet was only accessible 4 years later. I was confused and treated them like dendrobiums. Fatally wrong idea. Now as I spray water to Paph javanium's leaves about 4-5 times daily, I think I can flush water it once a week with air con water. These species Paphiopedilums should be treated like species Bulbophylums. They drink nutritions from the water sprayed onto leaves. And of course the roots play the main role in absorbing vitamins too.

I've never read or heard concerns about UV, but I suppose in this part of the world virtually everyone is growing indoors or in a greenhouse where it's not a concern or less of a concern. I'm not sure "moist leaves" are going to do much in the way of blocking UV, though. Otherwise, it would seem like UV based water sterilizers wouldn't/couldn't work but perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean?
My fertilizers regimen is I put only a tiny pinch of teaspoon tip of 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer, dilluted in a litter of water + a drop of B1 vitamin + a drop of Alaska fish oil. I only use 1/4 litter of this concoction each time I fertilize my orchis. Applied on Sundays and Wednesdays. Sprayed on Paph roots. Growing media is a mixture of sliced coconut skin + dead branch and tea leaves waste from drinking tea. Water will drain fast after flushing it with much water. How's that ? Still too harsh for Paphs ?

As for using untrusted/unreliable fertilizers on the orchids, it seems like if the issue is harshness, then you should just dilute it heavily before use, right?
 

Harlz

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My own top 4 rules I wish I knew when I started growing Paphs (I grow outside all year in bark/coco husk chips/lava rock, under cover in winter):

1 - never water in the evening (even during a heat wave) - this promotes fungal problems on the leaves
2 - don't over water - or you end up with rotted roots
3 - don't under water (use some flower stakes in your pots to pull out and measure moisture or keep some empty pots you can easily check)
4 - don't over pot - or you end up with rotted roots and a dead plant (always use a pot not much bigger than the roots).
 

spujr

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I have 2 simple do's I think are helpful to beginners:
1. DO: good airflow but still maintain good humidity levels (above 50% rh)
2. DO: take photos of plants regularly. I find this helpful to visualize growth over time as orchids are generally too slow growing to see day to day changes. With good standardize photos in between months you can notice slight changes like leaf darkening or damages.

I guess my don't's are the opposite of my do's but to add, don't abruptly change light systems. Ie don't put indoor orchids immediately outside in full sun. Make changes gradual.
 

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