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How to make Paphiopedium bellatulum bloom?

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Mafate

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Hello all,

I need your help to make my Paphiopedilum bellatulum bloom because I have never succeeded with this.

I grow it in my house behind a South facing window with my Paphiopedilum thaianum and this last one blooms every year.

Its substrate is made of bark, oyster shells, perlite and dead sphagnum moss.

I water it once a week and give it fertiliser every two weeks (N/P/K 20/20/20, 1g per litre).

It grows well and sometimes it begins some buds but they always dry.

So what is bad in my culture conditions? What would you change?

Thank you for your help.
 

GuRu

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Your conditions sound pretty good to me except one thing. I know from my own experience that Brachys need plenty of light...but a south facing window maybe without a curtain could be too much. Withering of the bud could be too much heat ? Put your plant on another windowsill, I grow my Brachys on a west facing window without a curtain, or put it at least further away from the window pane. Good luck.
 

Mafate

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Hello GuRu,

Thank you very much for your help. I didn’t think that, even at this season here in France, light could be too high for it. Of course, during summer, my plant is further away from the window pane.

For instance, actually, there is a bract ready to produce a flower but nothing is growing, it just seems to wait the good conditions to begin its growth. I keep my plant actually at 21ºC during the day, a little bit less during the night.

I will try what you suggested and see if I can manage to make it bloom that way.

Thank you again for your help.

Regards.
 

GuRu

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......I didn’t think that, even at this season here in France, light could be too high for it......
Mafate, France is much larger than Germany and its southern parts are situated much mor south than all parts of Germany. So too much heat and light in bright sunshine could be a problem. In the middle and northern parts of France the climate is similar to Germany except the winters are usually milder due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.
 

fibre

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Not all Braches do require the same conditions. This is my experience:
Niveum likes to get similar light as Cattlaya! Niveum likes to have a rest in winter.
Thaianum doesn't like as much light as niveum and only a slight rest.
Bellatum likes to have a cool (down to 10°C at night) winter with a rest but with always a very little bit of moisture in the bottom of the pot. If bellatulum shows a bud (or a bud deep in the bract) it will flower in spring when days are longer and temps increase. IMO 21°C on winter days isn't cool enough to keep bellatulum healthy and vigorous for many years. To high temps is most probably the reason for dried buds as well.
 

Mafate

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Mafate, France is much larger than Germany and its southern parts are situated much mor south than all parts of Germany. So too much heat and light in bright sunshine could be a problem. In the middle and northern parts of France the climate is similar to Germany except the winters are usually milder due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.
Hi GuRu, just to let you know, I live in a town situated just a little more South of the southern part of Germany. You can look for Niort in Google Maps, I am very close of this city.
 

Mafate

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Hi fibre, thank you very mu
Not all Braches do require the same conditions. This is my experience:
Niveum likes to get similar light as Cattlaya! Niveum likes to have a rest in winter.
Thaianum doesn't like as much light as niveum and only a slight rest.
Bellatum likes to have a cool (down to 10°C at night) winter with a rest but with always a very little bit of moisture in the bottom of the pot. If bellatulum shows a bud (or a bud deep in the bract) it will flower in spring when days are longer and temps increase. IMO 21°C on winter days isn't cool enough to keep bellatulum healthy and vigorous for many years. To high temps is most probably the reason for dried buds as well.
Hi fibre, thank you very much for your help. So I will try to maintain my bellatulum with lower temperatures. What temperature would you recommend for winter days? And how long should be the rest?

Finally, do you have some recommandations to grow P. concolor and P. godefroyae?

Thank you again for your help.
 

BrucherT

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Hello all,

I need your help to make my Paphiopedilum bellatulum bloom because I have never succeeded with this.

I grow it in my house behind a South facing window with my Paphiopedilum thaianum and this last one blooms every year.

Its substrate is made of bark, oyster shells, perlite and dead sphagnum moss.

I water it once a week and give it fertiliser every two weeks (N/P/K 20/20/20, 1g per litre).

It grows well and sometimes it begins some buds but they always dry.

So what is bad in my culture conditions? What would you change?

Thank you for your help.
The one aspect I don’t see you mention is your humidity. I will bet that low humidity at the critical time is what blasted your bud. Too high can also do it but I’ve lost enough dang buds to bone-dry gas-heated Chicago winter apartment weather to place this bet. I now strive to achieve at least a couple-few hours, say 7am-12pm or so, at 70% humidity. I can’t always do it. Always working on it. I use a bottle fogger.
 

GuRu

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.......I live in a town situated just a little more South of the southern part of Germany. You can look for Niort in Google Maps, I am very close of this city.
What a coincidence I live in a town which has a town twinning with Niort.

The one aspect I don’t see you mention is your humidity. I will bet that low humidity at the critical time is what blasted your bud........
Good point Brucher. My experience is humidity is helpfull but normal humidity within flats or rooms between 60 and 65% should work and buds won't blast. I grow all my Paphs under these conditions eighter on windowsills or on the room floor before windows which reach down to the floor. Plants with root problems or any other problems e.g. after repotting need/enjoy a higher humidity. In this case I put a transluscent plastic bag over the pot which helps to increase the humidity.
 
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Happypaphy7

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I'm an indoor grower. Lower than ideal humidity typical for home environment was my biggest concern when I started to increase my collection. High humidity definitely is important. Fortunately, though, what I have found over the years is that as long as watering is kept up and overly drying out is avoided as much as possible, plants seem to do quite well even at home.
I would suspect that once a week watering might not be enough. Anytime when a plant is in active growth (leaves, spikes, buds...), the volume is mostly from water. Southern exposure (a bit too much light I suspect, and high heat during the midday) plus low humidity, any underwatering will negatively affect the proper growth and development of the plant. Buds will usually be the first one to be sacrificed to conserve water. They can bloom when the conditions are more favorable.
My bellatulum did well blooming every summer around August. I was concerned that the species needed cooler winter based on the habitat info, but I was happy that mine did well. I have purchased two newer plants not too long ago, and so far so good.

I suggest that you protect your bellatulum from midday sun and heat and increase watering especially when you spot a spike/bud. My place is quite dry and warm (usually the humidity is around 40, give or take, and the temperature is around 24-18C year around), and most things grow and bloom quite well for me. Certainly not the best, but I never found bellatulum to be particularly difficult as some might say.
Thaianum will definitely withstand the midday heat better than bellatulum. Thaianum is a year aroudn warm grower coming from the lowland like niveum and godefroyae.
 

GuRu

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...........So I will try to maintain my bellatulum with lower temperatures. What temperature would you recommend for winter days? And how long should be the rest? Finally, do you have some recommandations to grow P. concolor and P. godefroyae?........
If you have the possibility it can be helpful try to adapt the climate conditions of the origin. But on the other hand the plants can adapt until a certain degree. I grow ALL my Brachies (11) on the SAME west facing windowsill and they grow well and flower regularly. At the moment, we have a sunny winter day with -11°C outside, the temperature is 16°C. Furthermore I water all my Paphs only once a fortnight at the bottom of the cachepot but I won’t recommend this to others because it depends a lot on the potting medium. I won't say it's a semi hydroponic culture but the water stays there for few days. Until now I can’t report about disadvantages for the plants. I my eyes I lost many plants by overwatering in the past and not by dried out potting medium.
I grow side by side on this windowsill P.bellatulum and P. bellatulum album; P. thaianum; P. concolor; P. josianae; P. godefroyae, godefroyae album and P. godefroyae var. leucochilum; P. niveum and P. niveum album and P. Greyii.
 
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masaccio

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Also, in case it's pertinent to you: when your overall conditions are dry and warm, you might not want to run a fan (in case you happen to be doing this and didn't mention it). Fan-running is such generic advice. It can be helpful, and it can be detrimental also. That said, if I manage humidity over 30% in winter I call it good - and that's with continually running warm mist humidifiers in an average sized room. Fan running on my part is judicious and careful.
 

fibre

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Hi fibre, thank you very much for your help. So I will try to maintain my bellatulum with lower temperatures. What temperature would you recommend for winter days? And how long should be the rest?

Finally, do you have some recommandations to grow P. concolor and P. godefroyae?

Thank you again for your help.
I would give bellatulum a day time temp in winter at about 14-18°C and 10-14°C at night. Humidity at about 50-70%. The rest is as long as the plant doesn't grow and temps are down. If the temps increase or the plant/buds start to grow, give it some more water. This will be at about the first half of March.

Godefroyae not below 17°C if possible and always some moisture in the pot! Don't give it as much light as the other Brachys.

Concolor likes a lot of light, especially if it is one with silver leaves. In my experience concolor is very tolerant to a wide range of conditions.
 

Mafate

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Hello all,

First, thank you very much for all your helpful answers, it’s nice to see a so active community.

So, if I try to summarize your advice, I should :

  • Give a little rest to my bellatulum during winter (except if a bud is here?),
  • Keep it with lower temps during winter,
  • Keep it in a place with moderate light,
  • Increase the humidity especially when I can spot a bud,
  • Water it more often.
I don’t use fan.

So, I’ll try to apply all your advice and see what happen. I’ll let you know.

One last question: among the Brachypetalum, which ones could I try in my actual conditions and succeed with like with my thaiannum?

Thank you again for your help.

All the best.
 

Happypaphy7

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Brachys that are from lowland habitats include thaianum, niveum and godefroyae (including leucochilum). Concolor has a very wide geographic distribution that you could do well with it also.
However, all brachys can be grown under the same conditions just fine.
 

troy

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my bellatulums blast in low humidity, my day temp is 95 night 65-70. nov-feb water once a week all other times every other day I grow in airy mix
 

Mafate

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Hello all,

Happypaphy7, thank you very much for this list of lowland Brachys and thank you again to all of you for your helpful answers.

I hope that I’ll finally be able to see the flowers of my bellatulum with your help! :)

All the best.
 

werner.freitag

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I live in the area where they grow.
We found plants flowering at 400m altitude and higher up in the mountains at 1200m.
Our best travelling season is November until end of January, temperatures in the 30ies during the day and 10 to 20 Celsius during the night, lower in the mountains.
This year no rain for 3 months! Recently good rain twice with a chance for no rain and high temperatures until May.
This means there has to be a water supply by dew in nature. I use overhead sprinklers every day for 1 or 2 min.
The plants do not bloom all at the same time in nature and in my place. There are two peak times .

Make a long story short, if possible reduce the night temperature and give a little less water .
I grow all my Paphs under these conditions and it works .
 

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