First Paph. and a question

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MissMorbus

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I received my first paph last week. It's a barbatum. I'm having a little trouble watering it, or more accurately keeping it moist. I've read that you will probably only have to water a paph about once, maybe twice a week. Mine seems to be getting really dry in just a day or two. I watered it Friday late in the day, and when I checked it today (Sunday) it was already dry. The bark on top was definately dry. I didn't want to start digging too deep in the pot, so I pulled the marker out to see if there was any moisture on it, and it was dry. I got it from Oak Hill, and it's still in the pot they sent it in. It looks like the mix they describe as their standard mix. It's a pretty chunky mix, but that seems normal for orchids. Here's a quote from their site about the ingredients of their standard mix:
"White fir bark (80%) with a couple of grades of perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss mixed in."

Does anyone have any advice on this? I realize that depending on my conditions, I might have to water more or less than the average. I'm really just concerned about watering it too much.

Just in case anyone needs to know, here's how I'm growing it:
I have it in a southeast facing window that gets a good bit of sun, but I've created a shady spot for my paph by keeping it behind a few other plants. Also, I have it sitting right beside a make shift humidity tray that I use for my Nepenthes.

Thanks!
 

likespaphs

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i water mine by soaking them for about half an hour. i soak them in as much water as i can (as close to the top of the pot as i can) without anything floating out...
i also take 'em outside and put them under the hose...
also, i don't feel that you can accurately judge them by looking at the top of the media. don't be afraid to dig around a little. just be gentle until you learn how the plant grows. one way to do it is by lifting the pot to feel how heavy it is (i.e. how much water is still in the media) but that's a bit advanced and can be hard to judge even with experience...
 

Hien

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How about repot into clear pot. This way you can see whether there is any moisture still inside.
 
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MissMorbus

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likespaphs: Thanks for the advice! That sounds like a great idea. I imagine soaking it like that will allow the bark to absorb more water, so it will stay wet longer. I will try that next time I water it.

Hien and Rick: I like the idea of those clear pots, I think they will help a lot. I've been wanting to get a few anyways, so I think I will order them after I get paid this week.

So, does it sound like I'm using a good mix? I guess if I'm going to repot it into a clear pot, then I can change out the mix. Is there something better I should use?
 

likespaphs

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i get a mix from kelley's korner. the best mix for you will be one that holds enough water but allows good air circulation at the roots and holds up best in your conditions. it will take a bit of trial and error until you find one you like.
clear pots are great! when i first heard of them i kinda thought it was silly, but i find myself checking root progress almost daily...
 

likespaphs

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okay. hands up! give me all your clear pots and species Paphs... multilforal hybrids too.
i mean....
 
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MissMorbus

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Clear pots it is! I was thinking about trying the rePotme Paph/Phrag blend, has anyone ever used it? It looks like it will hold a little water, but not too much.
 

gonewild

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MissMorbus said:
Does anyone have any advice on this? I realize that depending on my conditions, I might have to water more or less than the average. I'm really just concerned about watering it too much.
Thanks!
Better to dry out too fast than not fast enough.

Back to your original question... The answer is to water your plant more often if it drys out fast. Perhaps the humidity is low in your house. Changing the mix won't fix that. Neither will putting it in a clear pot. Using an open mix that dries out fast allows you to water more often which in my opinion is better for the plant. If for some reason you can't or don't want to water more often, then there is your reason to use a different mix.
 
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MissMorbus

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gonewild said:
Better to dry out too fast than not fast enough.

Back to your original question... The answer is to water your plant more often if it drys out fast. Perhaps the humidity is low in your house. Changing the mix won't fix that. Neither will putting it in a clear pot. Using an open mix that dries out fast allows you to water more often which in my opinion is better for the plant. If for some reason you can't or don't want to water more often, then there is your reason to use a different mix.
Thanks. That's what I was asking, just in a roundabout sort of way. I really just wanted to know that if it's getting dry quickly, should I just water more frequently, or should I look into finding a more water retaining mix. I don't mind watering it frequently. I think I will switch over to a clear pot though. I kinda like the way they look, and I think it will help me better gauge when I need to water it. Thanks for your help gonewild!
 

gonewild

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MissMorbus said:
Thanks. That's what I was asking, just in a roundabout sort of way. I really just wanted to know that if it's getting dry quickly, should I just water more frequently, or should I look into finding a more water retaining mix. I don't mind watering it frequently. I think I will switch over to a clear pot though. I kinda like the way they look, and I think it will help me better gauge when I need to water it. Thanks for your help gonewild!
You're welcome! And clear pots are great btw.
 

Hien

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gonewild said:
Better to dry out too fast than not fast enough.

Back to your original question... The answer is to water your plant more often if it drys out fast. Perhaps the humidity is low in your house. Changing the mix won't fix that. Neither will putting it in a clear pot. Using an open mix that dries out fast allows you to water more often which in my opinion is better for the plant. If for some reason you can't or don't want to water more often, then there is your reason to use a different mix.
Lance,
The clear pot only to help her gage whether or not there is any moisture left (it is like peeking in the inside of the pot without disturbing the medium everytime she wants to check) , so she can adjust her water schedule (the clear pot is independent from the medium factor)
 

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