Is it possible to successfully cultivate P. fairrieanum, P. lowii and P. venustum in a house?

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Mafate

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Hi all, I would like to know if it seems conceivable to you to try the culture of P. fairrieanum, P. lowii and P. venustum in a house. If I am right, P. fairrieanum and P. venustum prefer cool conditions, but would they accept temperatures around 20°C (68°F) during winter and remain healthy?

Are these 3 species reasonably easy to grow?

Finally, could you give me an idea of the size (height and wingspan) for these 3 species?

Thank you very much for your help.

Have a nice day.
 

Happypaphy7

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I am a long-time indoor grower who have tried quite a few species (or their hybrids) that are supposed to have moderate temperature ranges and cool to cold winter ranges. Insigne, fairrieanum, venustum, armeniacum, micranthum, bellatulum to name a few.

Among the three you mentioned, lowii should be the easiest. From what I understand, they thrive in warm humid conditions rather than cool temperatrue. However, their habitat is very wide in the tropic island of southeast asia and if they are found in all elevations, that means they might be tolerant of wide ranges of temperatures also. Or that might largely depend on what local population the plant you get come from. In many cases, tracking down the exact origin might not be possible.
Anyways, lowii fall into mid to large sized plant among Paphiopedilums. The one I had bloomed at wingspan of 60cm from one end to the other, but it grew larger every year. I have seen a huge lowii in bloom and the leaf was almost 1 meter long!
Multiflorals with the exception of a couple, they tend to grow quite big, so make sure you have the space for them.

Now, fairrieanum, I had a compact growing one with a leaf length of about 10-12cm with a lot of growths on it. I have also had one with a leaf length of about 25cm. I would guess it does not get much bigger than this. Typically a manegeable size.
Venustum is about the same in size, the width of the leaves are greater than fairrieanum.
I have grown and bloomed both species but I would not consider my experience a success.
My temperature range is around mid to high 20C in the summer and 15C to 26C in the winter.
The winter temperature range is the main problem for these species for me in that it swings greatly depending on the weather conditions outside. It gets very warm and dry on sunny days even when it is minus 20 outside. It gets too cold when it is snowy or dark otherwise.
Also, the coolest spot (windowsill) was given to not these species but to my Fukiran and armenicaum as they were my priorities at the time.

I have seen in my own experience and in others that even species that naturally require cool to cold winter do very well at home. This is more or less a case of genetic freak and exceptions in my opinion. So what I suggest is that when you see a very healthy and well-grown (very important to start with the best possible plants as things can go south fast lol) plant of those you mentioned above, just grab it and give it a try. You might end up with that rare case of exceptional plant that will grow and bloom well under the conditions you can give.
I don't want to keep your hope too high. just wanted to say that it is possible to grow those species at warmer than ideal conditions.
It is best to pick plants that come from warmer temperature range or very wide habitat like concolor.
I'm quite certain you'll be happy with lowii for sure though! Good luck! :)
 

Mafate

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Hi Happypaphy7, thank you for your so well documented answer. :) I am very tempted by P. lowii which I find magnificent but unfortunately its size could be problematic if its leaves can reach one meter long! 😮

I once successfully grew P. armeniacum for several years in the past with the same growing conditions I could give today to fairrieanum or venustum. The plant was growing beautifully and blooming a lot, then it suddenly died, probably because I waited too long to repot it which resulted in its roots rotting. I surely will try it again and so will also try fairrieanum and venustum. :)

What are the 2 multifloral exceptions with a manegeable size that you mentionned? I could be interrested. ;)

Thank you for your help. 👍
 

Paphluvr

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I have no problem blooming Paph. venustum 'album' in the house. My nighttime winter temperature gets down to approx. 62-64°F (16-17°C). The three plants you mentioned can all be grown successfully in the house, the trick is to bloom them in the house. As Happypaphy7 mentioned, lowii is rather large for indoor growing.
 

Happypaphy7

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Hi Happypaphy7, thank you for your so well documented answer. :) I am very tempted by P. lowii which I find magnificent but unfortunately its size could be problematic if its leaves can reach one meter long! 😮

I once successfully grew P. armeniacum for several years in the past with the same growing conditions I could give today to fairrieanum or venustum. The plant was growing beautifully and blooming a lot, then it suddenly died, probably because I waited too long to repot it which resulted in its roots rotting. I surely will try it again and so will also try fairrieanum and venustum. :)

What are the 2 multifloral exceptions with a manegeable size that you mentionned? I could be interrested. ;)

Thank you for your help. 👍
The two multiflorals that do not grow as large as other species in the group are anitum & adductum and wilhelminae (or gardineri or whatever name it goes by depending on who you talk to). Anitum can vary quite a bit from plant to plant. Some are small and some get as big as your typical multifloral. Adductum is usually always smaller. Wilehlminae is even smaller on average.
I suspect anitum and adductum are easily found in the trade. Also, they are known to be quite difficult to cultivate. But again, you can always get lucky with easy-to-grow individuals.
I have a compact multifloral hybrid where one parent is gardineri. The plant is about the same size as gardineri. It blooms every year for me and the plant has multiple growths that fit in 4inch pot. The major drawback can be the flower count. Gardineri tend to reduce the size of the plant and the flower count. However, my plant plant did produce four flowers on a single spike this last time. Before that, it was two, two, two , three, two, then four! :)
I need to either divide the plant now or put the whole thing in a larger pot. The average leaf length on my plant is 20cm. The flower is smallish but I keep it for its small space-saving size and vigor and willingness to bloom frequently.

If you did well with armeniacum, then fairrieanum and venustum will be a breeze! :)
 

DrLeslieEe

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Lowiis are easy in warm conditions.

Venustums can bloom in warm conditions but a slight chill of 2-3 weeks is healthy (open windows Sept-Nov).

Fairrieanums can tolerate warmth but won't bloom consistently and will suffer a warm winter. Keep them by the north cool window over winter (not open windows lol). Venustums can stay here too. Shade them from strong sun.

Clue: Fairrieanums must never dry out.
 

GuRu

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......If you did well with armeniacum, then fairrieanum and venustum will be a breeze! :)
Sylvain, I grow all of your mentioned species indoors. P. venustum and P. fairrieanum during summer outside on a semi shady place and now during winter on a windowsill at an east facing window in our kitchen. They can stand the same conditions like P. armeniacum but can also stand few degrees higher temperatures. P. lowii stands year round indoors in front of a west facing window in temperate conditions together with my other multiflorals.
At any rate, if I was you I would give them a try.
 
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mSummers

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I grow all three in my basement under lights and they’re growing well.
 

Mafate

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HI all, it's a pleasure to ask here as there are so many people with long experience and the willingness to share it! :)

So thank you all, sure I will try venustum and fairrieanum because they are of a manageable size and so desirable species, lowii maybe later if I can find a good place for it.

All the best from France.

Sylvain
 

JustinR

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If lowii is too big you might also consider philipinensis var roebelinii. I got mine from Schwerter, it already bloomed at around 40cm and seems to be quite compact for a multi.
 

Mafate

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If lowii is too big you might also consider philipinensis var roebelinii. I got mine from Schwerter, it already bloomed at around 40cm and seems to be quite compact for a multi.
Thank you for your interesting suggestion Justin! And sorry or my late reply, I didn't notice it before.
 
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I have grown P. venustem in a southeast window in a Chicago apartment since 2017, from two 75% mature seedlings. It grew and bloomed well until I screwed up on my RO filter and poisoned my whole collection. It is now recovering but not blooming as it had, reliably, three years in a row (a smaller plant in the comport has yet to bloom but grows well and I keep it out of stubbornness). P. venustem is a very easy, sturdy grower for me in ambient home temps but my windows do get down into the 40s F in winter.

P. fairrieanum: in spring 2019, I deflasked some overgrown, orphaned OZ seedlings and still have a dozen of the original 17; I hope to see some blooms this spring but they, too, we’re set back in the RO filter screwup on my part. Some grow in an east window, some in southeast. I find that they like extra calcium and that the roots are a fragile nightmare to repot; they are brittle as hell and like to break off en masse during repotting; the runtier plants will just die when this happens but larger seedlings I’ve been able to save by sticking into good sphagnum, where they’ll strike new roots. In two cases of snapping off the fan, the left-behind roots have sprouted new fans. I think this species is not all that difficult to grow in windows but let’s see if I get some flowers.

P. lowii — I have either a species of primary hybrid that I know is in this group; grows like a weed from a beat-up 2018 sale bargain and finally set 4 spikes last year before I poisoned it…this year I think I see a spike down in one of the fans. It seems to demand a deep pot. Grows in a south window, currently right with some of the P. fairrieanum seedlings.

I’m sure most of these plants would grow much better in a greenhouse and/or under lights but I don’t do that, I live in a building built in 1889, with failed windows that leak and slip and with double pains that have failed, creating a slightly opaque shading that I think prevents burns on orchids (but seems also to prevent my cacti from blooming, which used to be easy for me to achieve).

I say go for it. If you love these species, why not? They’re all common in the trade. I think I’ll be doing flasks of covered species from now on, as individual cultural differences and preferences reveal themselves among a group and where one plant fails, another will be happy. I’ve tried 4 P. rothschildianum; 3 highly bred fancy ones declined and died, but my “heritage” plant, said to have been originally collected from the Bornean jungle in 1955, is spiking for me for the second time (it, too, was horribly affected by the poisoning one year ago but has bounced back rather beautifully). It sits in my south living room window, almost touching the cold window, the highest light I can give it,

First photo: P. rothschildianum in south window.

Second photo: P. lowii(ish?) or hybrid, next to P. fairrieanum seedling. The lowii thing sits just behind my better P. venustem, all in southwest window (the grass-leaved plant with the green flowers is Cymbidium quiebiense, blooming for the 4th time for me).

Third photo: moved aside the P. lowii thing so you can see the P. venustem where it sits.

4th photo: some P. fairrieanum seedlings and other stuff in fish tank in east window. All these were poisoned a year ago but are recovering well. The pot with two P. fairrieanum seedlings, the smaller plant regenerated after I accidentally broke the fan clean off and thought it dead, but kept watering the pot due to the other plant.
 

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Mafate

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Hi BrucherT,

Thank you very much for this long, interesting and useful answer. 👍 I have finally acquired one P. venustum and one young P. fairrieanum from a seller on eBay that I know to be serious (orchideenhausasien). I put the plants at the moment in front of a south-facing window (not a problem at the moment but I have to be attentive when strong sun will come back in the next months...). No heater in this room, so I think it is the best place for them in my house during winter months.

I take advantage of this message to wish a very happy new year 2023 to the whole community!

Sincerely, Sylvain.
 
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Hi BrucherT,

Thank you very much for this long, interesting and useful answer. 👍 I have finally acquired one P. venustum and one young P. fairrieanum from a seller on eBay that I know to be serious (orchideenhausasien). I put the plants at the moment in front of a south-facing window (not a problem at the moment but I have to be attentive when strong sun will come back in the next months...). No heater in this room, so I think it is the best place for them in my house during winter months.

I take advantage of this message to wish a very happy new year 2023 to the whole community!

Sincerely, Sylvain.
My pleasure, I’m sure there are far more knowledgeable folks than I but a lot of them live in tropical climes or have greenhouses, whereas I’m committed to my windowsills; it’s important to me that my plants be a part of my daily life, in my environment. Not that I don’t covet a greenhouse…
 

Ray

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@Mafate This particular venustum is currently in bloom.

It grew out on my deck here in southeastern North Carolina from April though late October. Minimum at the start and end of that season was 6°C, and the peak in mid-to late-summer was 37°. It has been in my house at a fairly constant 22-23° for the last 2 months or so and opened about 10 days ago.

I grow it in semi-hydroponic culture, so it is constantly moist.
 

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Guldal

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Welcome aboard from Copenhagen! And a Happy and Floriferous New Year to you, too, Sylvain!

I haven't had much luck with the fairries, but the other two species mentioned can certainly grow and thrive on the window-sill. Up here North, growing your Paphs in South facing windows during the very dark months (November-February) is a viable option - and saves you the bill for supplemental light. Though you have to be carefull and move the plants, when light intensity mounts (on these latitudes sometime around March - and don't let yourself be fooled by the outdoors temperature. The sunlight can be pretty strong in March. Maybe, sometime before at your location!).
Due to the very low light I (almost) don't feed my Paphs during the bleakest part of our winter season (Nov-Jan). Cattleyas and Bulbophyllum are another chapter in this respect.

Happy growing! Kind regards, Jens
 

Mafate

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@Mafate This particular venustum is currently in bloom.

It grew out on my deck here in southeastern North Carolina from April though late October. Minimum at the start and end of that season was 6°C, and the peak in mid-to late-summer was 37°. It has been in my house at a fairly constant 22-23° for the last 2 months or so and opened about 10 days ago.

I grow it in semi-hydroponic culture, so it is constantly moist.
Wow Ray, your venustum with this red color is really amazing! I wish mine could be that nice! 🙂

Thank you for the range of temperatures, this shows me that I can keep my plant in my cold greenhouse for a big part of the year.

Sincerely, Sylvain
 

Mafate

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Welcome aboard from Copenhagen! And a Happy and Floriferous New Year to you, too, Sylvain!

I haven't had much luck with the fairries, but the other two species mentioned can certainly grow and thrive on the window-sill. Up here North, growing your Paphs in South facing windows during the very dark months (November-February) is a viable option - and saves you the bill for supplemental light. Though you have to be carefull and move the plants, when light intensity mounts (on these latitudes sometime around March - and don't let yourself be fooled by the outdoors temperature. The sunlight can be pretty strong in March. Maybe, sometime before at your location!).
Due to the very low light I (almost) don't feed my Paphs during the bleakest part of our winter season (Nov-Jan). Cattleyas and Bulbophyllum are another chapter in this respect.

Happy growing! Kind regards, Jens
Hi Jens, thank you for your kind message. You are right, I have to be very carfeul about high temperatures behind my South facing window. Even today, when it's only the beginning of January, the temperature was higher than I would have liked because we had a sunny day. I'll have to watch the weather forecast closely!

Best wishes, Sylvain.
 
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Wow Ray, your venustum with this red color is really amazing! I wish mine could be that nice! 🙂

Thank you for the range of temperatures, this shows me that I can keep my plant in my cold greenhouse for a big part of the year.

Sincerely, Sylvain
Agreed! Ray, what’s the source of this ripper of a venustem? Is it of Tibetan origin?
 

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