Botabill intro

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Botabill

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I just recently asked a question with regards to well water vs. rain water in the slipper orchid culture forum and got some great advice. Dot suggested I introduce myself so I will in this area.

I live in Peterborough Ontario Canada. I've had phalaenopsis orchids for probably 20 years. I started collecting them long before you would see them in any of the big box stores and I would travel quite far to pick up new ones.

In those days they were mostly species not the standard varieties we see in almost every store today. Sorry to say that I lost my early phalaenopsis species partly due to limited space and my being drawn the lure of the more impressive modern phalaenopsis. Now I would gladly trade the phalaenopsis I have for those old lost species.

About 7 years ago I attend the SOOS orchid show in Toronto and discovered the vast varieties of paphs available so I switched my obsession from phalaenopsis to paphs. I had always been enchanted by the wild slipper orchids I'd occasionally encountered on walks in the woods of our province.

The way I keep my paphs is not under well controlled conditions. They simply live in the house under similar conditions the phalaenopsis had received. They do get about twice as much watering. We heat with a wood stove located in our basement and so our air is quite dry. Light is provided on the main floor via large south facing windows in the living room. In the basement I have an area lighted with 600 watt Metal Halide light source. All the plants are in a coarse bark commercial mix.

Around May 24th, our last frost date, I move all the orchids outside to summer under the shade of a big elm tree. Sad to say they pretty much fend for themselves right through to our first threatened frost in the fall as summer gardening takes precedence. Strange to say but some of my paph thrive under my abuse. Not so strangely some don't. Here are the lists.

THRIVE: Paphiopedilum spicerianum x Pacific Shamrock; glaucophyllum X glanduliferum; spicerianum; Pacific Glen X Winston Churchill

DO WELL ENOUGH: Paphiopedilum Gloria Naugle; Norito Hasegawa; armeniacum X malipoense

DON’T THRIVE: Paphiopedilum concolor X bellatulum; Maudiae; Michael Koopowitz; micranthum

I have just begun potting the ones who are struggling in a home mix a home made mixture containing sphagnum moss, charcoal, pine tree needle litter, well rotted horse manure, oyster shell and orchid fir bark. This may kill rather than cure them but it is a last ditch effort.

I also have had one Phragmipedium orchid, Sedinii ‘Blush’. It’s been with me since early 2010 and it seems to be one the types that enjoy living with me. It gets bigger every year and blooms every autumn. It is potted in sphagnum moss.

That’s my introduction. Hope I haven’t overdone it. Cheers!

Botabill
 
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Dido

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Hi and welcome.

Maybe it is getting to hot for them in the summer some like micranhtum dont like that to much. And the hot stove air they do not like to.

I lived not far from Otawa some years ago, where are you located in Ontario.
 

billc

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Hi and Welcome from NY State. I'm surprised you have Michael Koopowitz under your 'Don't Thrive'. My MK does very well outside in the summer.

Bill
 

JeanLux

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Welcome from Luxembourg!!!! Too bad for the gone phal species.., but the choice within the different orchid genera is soo large :) !! Jean
 
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Botabill

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Yes I know the hot summer and dry air indoors can be be hard on some species. I live half way between Ottawa and Toronto.

Actually the Michael Koopowitz developed a rot possibly due to my leaving water on the crown to long last winter. I split it up and hope one of the halfs will survive. It had been doing very well up until then.
 

annab

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welcome from Italy, show us some of your beautiful plant if you want.
still welcome in ST.
anna
 

SlipperFan

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Welcome, Botabill. Interesting introduction. Most of us start with hybrid Phals and progress to species. You've come full circle!
 

cnycharles

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welcome. you say that you are from peterborough; I was just looking through an old copy of 'our wild orchids' written by morris and eames, and they mention that they lived in the peterborough area (back in the early 1900's) and that they had a lot of native orchids in their area. hopefully some still survive for you

I also had tons of phal species, but getting very busy at work, also into native orchid photography (outside all spring /summer when not at work), and then too many plants;.. well many have passed on from lack of attention, and also a new interest in some terrestrials from australia and south america. it happens!
 
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Botabill

Guest
welcome. you say that you are from peterborough; I was just looking through an old copy of 'our wild orchids' written by morris and eames, and they mention that they lived in the peterborough area (back in the early 1900's) and that they had a lot of native orchids in their area. hopefully some still survive for you

Yes there are still lots of wild slipper orchids here but seeing one in bloom is still a rare treat. To get to them a person often needs to travel through some rough terrain and the timing to find one in bloom needs to be right. Too often the ones that bloom in easily accessible areas get dug or picked.
 

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