Love to hear folks' experiences growing Paphiopedilum rothschildianum indoors, window culture.

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Hi there. I have been lurking in here a long time but hoping to step up my participation here. I have 50 orchids in my little Chicago apartment. I'd feel sheepish confessing that but I know that around here, that's pretty moderate! Many of my orchids are slippers: I am obsessed with Paphiopedilum purpuratum, which grows and blooms great for inside a wardian-case-sort-of-thing with a raisable glass roof, which allows me to keep the humidity up. Also have the following: P. venustem (blooms great); P. delenatii (grows ok but doesn't seem to bloom); P. hangianum (very small seedling I bought from eBay on a whim but it does seem to be growing well a year later); P. spicerianum (blooms great, bursting with growth); P. charlesworthii (growing well but needs repotting into a more moisture-holding mix from the "bony" mix in which I got it, my winter atmosphere is just too dry); P. "Doctor Jack"; an unnamed Brachypetalum hybrid; an unnamed P. niveum hybrid; Phragmipedium "Eric Young x bessae flavum (from the CBG orchid show, basically a discarded specimen that I have babied into a sweet new fan); Phragmipedium longifolium var. gracilis (kind of a little compot, grows well, no idea what to do besides keep it watered, it's in a 2-inch pot but seems happy); Phragmipedium lindleyanum/sargentianum (still not sure what the right name is on this fella but I love it). Listing all these to give an idea of what I seem to be doing ok with. I also have a P. philippinense Orchid Zone refugee, arrived heavily thrip-damaged but with a new growth coming from the older post-bloom growth... but few if any live roots; I repotted into bark and have watered assiduously... the new growth rotted off and the older leaves are looking very poorly now. Oh well, it was an "as-is" purchase for $7 but I am giving it my best shot.

Over the past several months, I acquired two of the dreampt-of King of Paphs, the P. rothschildianum. One I purchased as an Orchid Zone refugee. It is a maybe 3yo seedling. It arrived with few if any good roots but the leaves bore some serious thrip scars (I purchased it knowing this). I repotted immediately and wrapped the base in AAA New Zealand spaghnum. It had 4 leaves to start with and one tiny nascent growth from its base; 3 of the 4 leaves have simply dried up. I don't know why but I have kept it well watered and daytime humidity is between 50 and 80%, at least for half the day. It is potted in a standard seedling Paph mix, into which I have sprinkled a little crushed oyster shell. It is looking pretty bad... but the last leaf that is left is the new leaf and THAT is discernibly growing very well. I have it potted in a clear yogurt container which is very small but it had basically no decent roots, so it's actually the biggest pot I thought prudent.

On the other end of the scale, I landed upon a true dream: a fully mature growth, plus a new growth, of a P. rothschildianum that was originally collected in 1954. The woman who sold it to me got it from Taylor Orchids, she said, and it has this provenance. She had grown it since 1995, dividing and parting with growths here and there. I love "original" plants that haven't been line-bred, are simply as they existed in the forest. I mean, I love them ALL, but there's just something about seeing something in its original state. Maybe I'm a weirdo, I know the predilection around here is tetraploids and big'unz! lol. Anyway, this roth is potted in a plastic nursery pot, in what looks like coarse bark mix, nothing special. I keep it very close up in a southeast window and it seems to be growing pretty well... hoping for a bloom form this mature, 2.5-foot-wide growth, as the seller assured me it is a "deliberate grower" that blooms on schedule.

Any input into any of this appreciated. Just making a stab at getting advice. There must be quite a trick to growing these roths and I don't know if I have what it takes or not. I'm hopeful and hungry to learn. Thank you in advance!
 

Justin

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It sounds like you are doing everything right. Roths need a good supply of Calcium and Magnesium. I use tap water with less than a 1/4 tsp of Miracle Gro 30-10-10 Orchid Food per gallon most waterings. Don't let the roots get too dry.

Honestly the seedling sounds like a lost cause. You are probably looking at 15 years to recover and bloom it. Roth seedlings are widely available so I would pitch it and focus on growing a healthy plant. Orchid Inn is a good source for top breeding roth seedlings. Good luck!
 
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View attachment 14779 View attachment 14776 Thank you so much! I use Cal-Mag with the Jack’s liquid every 3rd watering or so. Maybe I should boost the oyster shell? Here are photos, big guy, little guy. I’m a sucker for an underdog so I’ll be continuing to nurse the little guy along until he gives up. Little one’s original tag is attached: “Mighty X Red Baron.” Thanks for everything!

The burnt-leaves one visible is P. philippinense, described above. Giving it my best shot, it didn’t look much better than this when it arrived but was scrupulously sold to me cheap “as is.” View attachment 14776 View attachment 14776 View attachment 14776 View attachment 14777 View attachment 14777 View attachment 14777
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
1,427
Reaction score
561
Location
Chicago
Thank you so much! I use Cal-Mag with the Jack’s liquid every 3rd watering or so. Maybe I should boost the oyster shell? Here are photos, big guy, little guy. I’m a sucker for an underdog so I’ll be continuing to nurse the little guy along until he gives up. Little one’s original tag is attached: “Mighty X Red Baron.” Thanks for everything!

The burnt-leaves one visible is P. philippinense, described above. Giving it my best shot, it didn’t look much better than this when it arrived but was scrupulously sold to me cheap “as is.”
It sounds like you are doing everything right. Roths need a good supply of Calcium and Magnesium. I use tap water with less than a 1/4 tsp of Miracle Gro 30-10-10 Orchid Food per gallon most waterings. Don't let the roots get too dry.

Honestly the seedling sounds like a lost cause. You are probably looking at 15 years to recover and bloom it. Roth seedlings are widely available so I would pitch it and focus on growing a healthy plant. Orchid Inn is a good source for top breeding roth seedlings. Good luck!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
1,427
Reaction score
561
Location
Chicago
Thank you so much! I use Cal-Mag with the Jack’s liquid every 3rd watering or so. Maybe I should boost the oyster shell? Here are photos, big guy, little guy. I’m a sucker for an underdog so I’ll be continuing to nurse the little guy along until he gives up. Little one’s original tag is attached: “Mighty X Red Baron.” Thanks for everything!

The burnt-leaves one visible is P. philippinense, described above. Giving it my best shot, it didn’t look much better than this when it arrived but was scrupulously sold to me cheap “as is.”
Hi there. I have been lurking in here a long time but hoping to step up my participation here. I have 50 orchids in my little Chicago apartment. I'd feel sheepish confessing that but I know that around here, that's pretty moderate! Many of my orchids are slippers: I am obsessed with Paphiopedilum purpuratum, which grows and blooms great for inside a wardian-case-sort-of-thing with a raisable glass roof, which allows me to keep the humidity up. Also have the following: P. venustem (blooms great); P. delenatii (grows ok but doesn't seem to bloom); P. hangianum (very small seedling I bought from eBay on a whim but it does seem to be growing well a year later); P. spicerianum (blooms great, bursting with growth); P. charlesworthii (growing well but needs repotting into a more moisture-holding mix from the "bony" mix in which I got it, my winter atmosphere is just too dry); P. "Doctor Jack"; an unnamed Brachypetalum hybrid; an unnamed P. niveum hybrid; Phragmipedium "Eric Young x bessae flavum (from the CBG orchid show, basically a discarded specimen that I have babied into a sweet new fan); Phragmipedium longifolium var. gracilis (kind of a little compot, grows well, no idea what to do besides keep it watered, it's in a 2-inch pot but seems happy); Phragmipedium lindleyanum/sargentianum (still not sure what the right name is on this fella but I love it). Listing all these to give an idea of what I seem to be doing ok with. I also have a P. philippinense Orchid Zone refugee, arrived heavily thrip-damaged but with a new growth coming from the older post-bloom growth... but few if any live roots; I repotted into bark and have watered assiduously... the new growth rotted off and the older leaves are looking very poorly now. Oh well, it was an "as-is" purchase for $7 but I am giving it my best shot.

Over the past several months, I acquired two of the dreampt-of King of Paphs, the P. rothschildianum. One I purchased as an Orchid Zone refugee. It is a maybe 3yo seedling. It arrived with few if any good roots but the leaves bore some serious thrip scars (I purchased it knowing this). I repotted immediately and wrapped the base in AAA New Zealand spaghnum. It had 4 leaves to start with and one tiny nascent growth from its base; 3 of the 4 leaves have simply dried up. I don't know why but I have kept it well watered and daytime humidity is between 50 and 80%, at least for half the day. It is potted in a standard seedling Paph mix, into which I have sprinkled a little crushed oyster shell. It is looking pretty bad... but the last leaf that is left is the new leaf and THAT is discernibly growing very well. I have it potted in a clear yogurt container which is very small but it had basically no decent roots, so it's actually the biggest pot I thought prudent.

On the other end of the scale, I landed upon a true dream: a fully mature growth, plus a new growth, of a P. rothschildianum that was originally collected in 1954. The woman who sold it to me got it from Taylor Orchids, she said, and it has this provenance. She had grown it since 1995, dividing and parting with growths here and there. I love "original" plants that haven't been line-bred, are simply as they existed in the forest. I mean, I love them ALL, but there's just something about seeing something in its original state. Maybe I'm a weirdo, I know the predilection around here is tetraploids and big'unz! lol. Anyway, this roth is potted in a plastic nursery pot, in what looks like coarse bark mix, nothing special. I keep it very close up in a southeast window and it seems to be growing pretty well... hoping for a bloom form this mature, 2.5-foot-wide growth, as the seller assured me it is a "deliberate grower" that blooms on schedule.

Any input into any of this appreciated. Just making a stab at getting advice. There must be quite a trick to growing these roths and I don't know if I have what it takes or not. I'm hopeful and hungry to learn. Thank you in advance!
 

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