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bellatulum culture survey of sorts

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cnycharles

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Hello all,
I recently bought a paph bellatulum at the gros show in rochester, ny from marlow orchids, and I was wondering if anyone had seen this plant growing in the wild, and/or if any of you that have grown this plant well (or not) could fill me in on how you are growing it, mainly for under-lights growing and what sorts of media you are using? I read the Baker's culture sheet for bellatulum and was interested to see that it grows over limestone sort of like what is described for a few other paphs like armeniacum and others.

thanks for your help!

ps I also finally caught up with the paph concolor that I had bought beginning of the year from carolina orchids, and though I have heard it has 'easier' culture I'd be interested in hearing about good ways to grow it as well.
 

SlipperFan

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I have been having better results with bellatulum since I stopped watering it for a month or two in the winter.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I have always found bellatulum the hardest of the brachy's to grow, and one of the hardest paphs. It will do well for maybe a year or so, sometimes a few years, then go into a decline and die. Despite its reputation for root loss,more than half of my dead bellatulums (and I have none alive at the moment) died top down, with good roots. Its problematical also in potting...the leaves are very stiff, and tend to bend downwards. It spikes easily, but the buds also blast easily. Worst of all is the general brachy conundrum (at least in my experience)- they like fresh medium, but hate repotting. The only solution I can come up with is lots of extra sponge rock, lava rock, any kind of rock to aerate the medium heavily, so that repotting can be less frequent. Take care, Eric
 

Rick

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I still have my same bellatulum that I purchased in 2001. My biggest problem with it has been sporadic root loss. It has grown and divided well over the years, and now I have a second small pot of some divisions from it, and a handful of seedlings from a selfing of it from a couple of years ago. Its generally flowered at least 1 growth per year even with poor roots. The seedlings are growing surprisingly fast with good root growth despite the troubles I've had with the adult. RonNY mentioned some similar experiences to mine.

I have modified the mix several times, but I think as I switch to more inorganic material like sponge rock and limestone that things seem to be getting better. Candace may be onto the answer with the clay balls used for semi hydro.

I used to keep it pretty bright, up near my multi's. It got behind a philippinense that grew to the point of just about covering it up. That's when it really took off, so between the lower light, high summer temps and higher humidity I've been running, I think I'm getting close to a system for it.
 

Paul

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Hello,

I find bellatulum quite easy to grow under warm to hot (very hot is good to) temperatures, and with very good airflow, and quite bright light.
I have grown them into fine bark, then added lava rock and perlite, and now half of them are into rockwool.
I don't know what is the best media (except that a pH between 6 and 6.5 is suitable for them), but warmth is one of the clues.:)
I only blasted one bud, because I wasn't at home to water and it was too dry.
But no roots problem nor growing or flowering problems by now...
 

Lance Birk

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There are always questions regarding the culture of P. bellatulum and unfortunately, few people are successful with its culture for any length of time. While it seems to grow well for some, it usually develops a decline and dies, or at least suffers from disease and loss of growths and roots.

While the species likes warm (not hot) days, it does need cool nights (around 50°) or else it will transpire away its vitality in a slow and gradual decline.

It usually grows on limestone rocks and cliffs, but I've seen it growing in leaf litter with no limestone closeby. It does like bright light, somewhat like cattleyas, if the leaves can be kept from burning.

More important than any particular potting medium is the requirement for good humidity, strong air flow and sufficient light. Plain medium fir bark suits it just fine and I never put any type of limestone in mine....they do not require it.

If you want to keep your bellatulums healthy give them these conditions and you will have success.
 

Paul

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There are always questions regarding the culture of P. bellatulum and unfortunately, few people are successful with its culture for any length of time. While it seems to grow well for some, it usually develops a decline and dies, or at least suffers from disease and loss of growths and roots.

While the species likes warm (not hot) days, it does need cool nights (around 50°) or else it will transpire away its vitality in a slow and gradual decline.

It usually grows on limestone rocks and cliffs, but I've seen it growing in leaf litter with no limestone closeby. It does like bright light, somewhat like cattleyas, if the leaves can be kept from burning.

More important than any particular potting medium is the requirement for good humidity, strong air flow and sufficient light. Plain medium fir bark suits it just fine and I never put any type of limestone in mine....they do not require it.

If you want to keep your bellatulums healthy give them these conditions and you will have success.
well, in fact that's quite exactly what I provide to mine! :)
temps are usually 60F (16°C) night to 86F (30°C) day
 

Ron-NY

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I also have rotted roots off of this species but have had the same plant for over 8 years now. It was the the first Paph that I ever purchased. I have calcium chips in the mix and run it dryer during the cool and low light winter months. It is currently in bloom. During the winter mine get's a low of 60 F
 

Roth

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I second Lance for that, I have seen quite a few bellatulum, wenshanense, and concolor, and very seldomly have I seen very beautiful plants on straight limestone. In Burma, most bellatulum grow in moss, in Wenshan, the wenshanense grow in a mix of clay that is more or less neutral, but not alkaline by far, and in Malipo, the bellatulum grow happily in fern and leaf debris... One point, I found out that I had a lot of problems if the plants dry "too much" or if they dry when they have active root tips. Usually, the root tip die if kept too dry, or the roots are "cracking", they subsequently get a rot, that progress upwards. In the meantim the plant becomes yellow, wilt, most of the roots die, and if not cared for, the rhizome is attacked, and it is a big "byebye". I never let them completely dry ( but they were very cold last winter, and they definitely like it !)
 
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I did in fact lose mine, and have been very leery about trying another. I do have other brachy species though, concolor for “a long time”; it’s in a CHC (soaked many, many times to remove the salts extra-carefully in this case) and aliflor mix so I don’t have to fuss with it often.

I’ve read though (and I don’t remember where) that the album form is more forgiving? I’m wondering if anyone here has personal experience that supports this. (Hopefully this question isn’t considered hijacking—if yes, just ignore me!)
 
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Pensacola Eric

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great growing e-spice. How long have you had it in s/h?
 

Rick

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I also aggree with LB. If you read his book check out the section on "good air vs bad air".

I started on my humidity and airflow improvements before reading his book, and then I was totally validated when I got the book. All my paphs (including the belatulum) have seen their biggest improvements by focusing on the air environment rather than the potting mix. If the air is not right I don't think it will make a difference what the plant is potted in to keep it healthy.
 

cnycharles

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Hey everyone, thanks for the info and the links! Great info, keep it coming.

I’ve read though (and I don’t remember where) that the album form is more forgiving? I’m wondering if anyone here has personal experience that supports this. (Hopefully this question isn’t considered hijacking—if yes, just ignore me!)
nah, it's related enough and I don't really care anyhow - if you started talking about cats or something.... but then there is always the scroll feature ;) . if anything I would be curious myself if and why the album form would end up being easier to grow

it looks like humidity and good air movement are really big pluses, and warm evenly moist conditions after that. my ultrasonic humidifier does a good job with my mounted orchids when I remember to keep it filled, but then it is in a different growing spot than most of my potted orchids. always a new challenge,......
 
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Greenorchid

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I also aggree with LB. If you read his book check out the section on "good air vs bad air".

I started on my humidity and airflow improvements before reading his book, and then I was totally validated when I got the book. All my paphs (including the belatulum) have seen their biggest improvements by focusing on the air environment rather than the potting mix. If the air is not right I don't think it will make a difference what the plant is potted in to keep it healthy.
Rick, which is the book you're talking about (excuse me, maybe for you is an obvious thing...:eek:)? I'm very interested in reading it...

thanks
Claudia
 

Roth

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I did in fact lose mine, and have been very leery about trying another. I do have other brachy species though, concolor for “a long time”; it’s in a CHC (soaked many, many times to remove the salts extra-carefully in this case) and aliflor mix so I don’t have to fuss with it often.

I’ve read though (and I don’t remember where) that the album form is more forgiving? I’m wondering if anyone here has personal experience that supports this. (Hopefully this question isn’t considered hijacking—if yes, just ignore me!)
Yep, got 4 different "types" of bellatulum album.

2 divisions of wild plants, one is not that easy to grow actually, but that's OK, plus it is prone to old leaves chlorosis though. The other one cannot stand dryness of the medium, or the plant looks wilted very quickly. Former is a Chinese bellatulum, latter is a Burmese one. I made seedlings in flask, and they germinated like crazy...

Orchids Limited one, that is most likely a wenshanense album ( very beautiful at that),

the fake US bellatulum album ( some batches of bellatulum album have been bred with a thai stud plant that actually is 75 bellatulum album and 25% ang-thong album. Only things are the way a few of the plants held their flower stem up, the shape sometimes, and the leaf texture), very easy to grow ( of course!). That batch of non-pure bellatulum album has been widely distributed all over the USA. Some have been selfed/sibbed, and that's where the questions began as to their authenticity...

Some seedlings from Belgium of bellatulum album, wild plant x self (with yellow spots on the flower actually !), that are not easy to grow.

Maybe you mistake with armeniacum album, whose plants are much easier, faster and healthier than the normal ones. Plus they bloom easily in warm climates.

I noticed that the plants with red leaves usually are more picky regarding warmth than the green-leafed counterparts. Same is true for the flower bud, I found the red pouched micranthum more prone to bud blast than the white pouched ones such as Kwangsee or even pale pink ones... Something related for sure with the red pigment.
 

NYEric

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Argh! :mad: some of those plants I didn't even know existed! I have a bellatulum, in spike again-hopefully I won't blast again :(, that I water almost every day, in bark, in w/ all my paph fairly bright light in the living room - seems to be doing OK :confused:?

Claudia, I think it's a reference to a book by [Lance Birk?] search in threads here about it.
 
G

Greenorchid

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Thanks NYC, I've found "THE PAPHIOPEDILUM GROWER'S MANUAL" by Lance Birk, could be this one?
 

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