Learning more about brachys

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
2,295
Reaction score
3,298
Location
Cleveland, OH
Some members of my local society expressed interest in learning more about how I grow my brachypetalum paphiopedilums. I have a few nice specimens, but I am far from an expert. So, while I am happily going to put together either an article or a presentation on my approach, I would like to incorporate other best practices. In addition to pulling from my experiences and communication with a few growers, I am primarily referring to:

I have a couple of questions for this group.
1: What other resources would you recommend (talks, Slipper Orchid Alliance, AOS or Orchid Digest articles, etc)?

2. Any tips for growing these spotted beauties that you would like to share? Any questions that you have

For additional context, whenever I give talks, I focus on culture and what I have seen work. Taxonomy is not my thing.
 
Well, Guido Braem's "The Genus Paphiopedilum" vol 1 has some useful info. The Bakers were collaborators, so there's climate data included.

I've found that Paph. concolor can take a great amount of sun - Cattleya light, at least, and in the Philadelphia lattitude, if exposed gradually. I think (before I killed it) niveum could take the same...
 
i am no expert but i am no longer losing brachys like i was when i first started collecting.

1. slippertalk has been an amazing resource! there’s something to be said about all the support and encouragement i’ve received. ♥️
2. my brachys like oyster shells and rocks (permatil). i was using a generic pre-mixed paph media that contained sphag and experienced a lot of root loss. i noticed fatter roots and thicker more succulent leaves the less organic materials there was in the media.
 
Over the years I have found niveum, concolor and delenatii amongst the easiest to grow and flower. Even under lights they do well. But in short order it becomes hard to keep the mealy bugs off of them. Leucochilum, bellatulum, godefroyae grow fairly well for me as well, but are slightly more reluctant to flower.
I use plastic pots only and tend to keep those pots as small as possible. My media of choice is seedling bark, seedling charcoal and seedling perlite.
Those markings on the leaves can be a good indicator if the light is correct. You want to see a nice bright green leaf color with clearly defined markings. Too bright or yellow green and the markings fade because the light is too bright. They seem to bloom well in lower light but the green leaf color gets very dark looking and the tessellations disappear or become muddy looking.
That is all I have Dj.
 
Over the years I have found niveum, concolor and delenatii amongst the easiest to grow and flower. Even under lights they do well. But in short order it becomes hard to keep the mealy bugs off of them.
That tells me you are not eradicating the population from your entire collection, and/or acquire infested plants and stick them in "genpop" before they have been evaluated.

I'll bet I hadn't seen a mealy in 20 years in my greenhouse in PA and avoided it here for 6 years, until I bought several phals with a media-borne infestation from a well-known grower and AOS judge. I kept them at bay with a periodic OrganiShield spray over winter (kitchen nook windows), and wiped them out completely with acephate once they moved outdoors.
 
Thank you all for the responses.

I also find that these are canaries in the coalmine, so to speak. After eliminating mealies, if they are introduced through new acquisitions, they often find their way to brachys. A systemic is often the best way to control them because of the tight leave axils. Following up with a growth regulator like Enstar has been a very effective additional level of control. Before plants come inside for the winter, I do at least two rounds of a systemic and then Enstar once or twice.
 
I spray all my plants including the non-orchids with real insecticide (not the homemade stuff) in the fall before I move them back inside...

Let's come back to the topic here... I am hardly an expert....for a few Brachypetalum(hybrid or species) I have now or I grew in the past, I always open up the mix more by adding more charcoals and sponge rocks/perlites in the mix. Do not bury the plants (you know what I mean).
 
and my question is--where can I buy quality brachypetalum species/hybrids?
 
Darlene, I hesitate to add anything here because I’m such a newbie compared to most everyone and have only been growing brachypetalum for the last year, but I’m having good success with them blooming and thriving so far. I’m in the PNW where it can be fairly cool. I believe Dave (Paph Paradise) mentioned growing them on heat mats which I’ve done since I started with them. Since that’s been my practice from the get-go I can’t say how much of an impact it has had, but they seem happy.

You may recognize this godefroyae I purchased from you last year🙂.
 

Attachments

  • 5DE79EB3-F56C-423F-A1D7-A35CAE12C497.jpeg
    5DE79EB3-F56C-423F-A1D7-A35CAE12C497.jpeg
    1.3 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:
Darlene, I hesitate to add anything here because I’m such a newbie compared to most everyone and have only been growing brachypetalum for the last year, but I’m having good success with blooming and thriving so far. I’m in the PNW where it can be fairly cool. I believe Dave (Paph Paradise) mentioned growing them on heat mats which I’ve done since I started with them. Since that’s been my practice from the get-go I can’t say how much of an impact it has had, but they seem happy.

You may recognize this godefroyae I purchased from you last year🙂.

Starting out with nice plants from you, Dave, Theresa (Hillsview) I am sure has also contributed to the success. Also have some nice leucochilum from Krull-Smith that are now budding.
 
Darlene, I hesitate to add anything here because I’m such a newbie compared to most everyone and have only been growing brachypetalum for the last year, but I’m having good success with them blooming and thriving so far. I’m in the PNW where it can be fairly cool. I believe Dave (Paph Paradise) mentioned growing them on heat mats which I’ve done since I started with them. Since that’s been my practice from the get-go I can’t say how much of an impact it has had, but they seem happy.

You may recognize this godefroyae I purchased from you last year🙂.
Wow. I love seeing this thriving under your care.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top