Multipart thread, mineral nutrition of Paphiopedilum

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myxodex

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Very interesting ! Did you analyse any paphs from serpentine substrates ? I know that with some crops the Zn levels in soil can have an effect on fungal pathogen resistance ... although the plants grow OK when Zn levels are low (not too low of course) they are prone to infection. Possibly Mn and Cu can act similarly ? I wonder whether this could be another factor why some species are difficult to maintain in cultivation ?
Thanks, ... keep it coming !
Cheers,
Tim
 

Ray

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I think that some people have chlorotic plants using MSU because of that molybdenum deficiency.
Interesting. I have been using the Greencare MSU RO formula exclusively at 125 ppm N at every watering for 5 years, and I see no signs of chlorosis whatsoever.

Of course, it could be that by making the nutrient solution as readily available as I do allows the the plants to capture more of the moly.
 

Roth

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Interesting. I have been using the Greencare MSU RO formula exclusively at 125 ppm N at every watering for 5 years, and I see no signs of chlorosis whatsoever.

Of course, it could be that by making the nutrient solution as readily available as I do allows the the plants to capture more of the moly.

Actually the term "chlorosis" is not always appropriate, let's say many plants will experience "bleaching", or lack of lushness. The plants coming from the wild of paphs as an example have very beautiful dark, shiny leaves. Malipoense or micranthum ( and I have the same now with the plants I grow after those results) have kind of "diamonds" in the leaves, it is hard to explain, but the light reflects in a very peculiar way, like if there were thousands of glass pieces in the leaves.

When I could mimic that by adjusting the fertilizer program, I have malipoense blooming yearly, which is something nearly unheard in the orchid industry. As I will have finished to type everything, I will post pictures.

How do you adjust the pH of your fertilizer mix too ? I will discuss later about a way to bypass that problem by using some organic compounds...

The all nitrate feeding program has been shown by Floricultura and the Wageningen University to induce some chlorosis, and at any cost, slower growth than a mix nitrate/ammonium or mostly urea fertilizer. I will discuss about the variations ( I tried a lot of potting mixes, "scientifically", with the soil analysis...)

Myxodex, I will discuss about the serpentine paphs too later, and yes I did make analysis. Just to make a short note, someone was manufacturing in his kitchen "Serpentex" for some nepenthes enthusiasts in Germany. I used it with great results. Serpentine can have very high level of nickel, and of chromium, I will explain the very, heavy consequences of the nickel level in paphs plants ( they can account for delayed/nongerminating/sterile seeds in my experience...). More with the next part !
 

michelangelo

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Dear Sanderianum,

I just remember having read in a celebrated book some lines which may be of interest :

« No genus or race of orchids that has yet been brought under cultivation has yielded so readily, and we may add, so strikingly, to its influence as the Cypripedia. […] The most obvious of cultural influence has been the development of more robust foliage of a brighter colour, especially in those species with tesselated leaves ; the normally one-floweed scape occasionally becomes two-flowered ; the scapes themselves become more robust, often more elongated, and produce larger flowers, generally attended with some modification in colour. Doubtless the chief cause of these changes is the more abundant and more regular supply of food material, by which the plants acquire a vigour rarely seen in those imported from their native countries. » Veitch, A Manual of Orchidaceous Plants, vol. II, p. 9, under Cultural Note.

I have been growing orchids, and especially slipper orchids for much more than half a century, and have always found that these plants grew consistently better in the media I used when I was a young man, that is, the very media Veitch did use in his time: good live sphagnum fibre, various kinds of peat, forest humus, loam, oak and beech leaves, fern roots, and the like, in clay pots. Plants were also much easier to grow well, without any manure of any kind. (Moly was probably present at the right strength…).

Probably would the analysis of the soil in which our paphs grow in the wild (mainly on the ground itself, but also in the fissures and cracks of the rocks, or in the forks of the big branches of trees) be another good approach to their nutritionnal needs, as well of course as the analysis of our so-called old-fashioned media.

Needless to say, I am lost in admiration before your messages and the enormous amount of work they represent, and am looking forward to reading many others of such high level in the near future !

michelangelo
 

SlipperKing

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"The third, I use it as my MAJOR fertilizer for the parvis, delenatii, armeniacum, micranthum and malipoense ( don't do that on emersonii or hangianum, or they will look really, really funny !)."
Xavier,
What is your reasoning for using a "bloom boost" as your "major" source of nutrients for the mottled leaf parvis?

Rick H
 

Roth

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"The third, I use it as my MAJOR fertilizer for the parvis, delenatii, armeniacum, micranthum and malipoense ( don't do that on emersonii or hangianum, or they will look really, really funny !)."
Xavier,
What is your reasoning for using a "bloom boost" as your "major" source of nutrients for the mottled leaf parvis?

Rick H

There was at first no reasoning. I watched my plants in a bark/cocofiber (the old trouble-free material sold years ago...), Dolokal lime ( 5kg/m3 of potting mix), and PG-Mix ( 5 kg/m3 too... slow release fertilizer). The two latter were mixed with high quality peat before being added to the 75:25 bark:cocofiber mix ( it is not CHC, well, it looked a little bit like that, but irregular, nearly black and spongy material, I will make posts later about the CHC and how to use it foolproof in all cases, I am just waiting for a patent to be granted ;)).

I use for all my plants, no exception, a 10-52-10 fertilizer after repotting. It makes very nice roots, very quickly ( spectacular on vandaceous as well !). I noticed that those mottled leafed paphs ( I forgot to mention, vietnamense does NOT like it at all !!!), delenatii, micranthum, armeniacum, malipoense, jackii, and all the brachys (I can confirm, thaianum as well !) had a very fast growth spurt after "repotting" and each time I applied that 10-52-10 in my fertilizer schedule. So I decided to go for a mostly 10-52-10 feeding schedule for that group.

I found it works wonders as long as the potting includes carbonate ( calcium carbonate is perfectly fine), and as long as the plants are supplied with extra micronutrients. Micranthum will mature a growth the same year it is initiated as an example... I will explain more on that later, and why it works. It took me years to find out why it works so well...

Michelangelo !

I did the soil analysis, but I type slowly, many papers to compile too to write that ( and putting on the forum forces me to do, I planned to write a complete paper on that, but was too lazy, or busy to do !!!)

Definitely the fern roots, leaf mould and the like are a very good source of nutrients for the paphs. I have seen really great paphs in ferns roots ( not tree ferns, but really asplenium and the like roots !) and leaf mould, and some type of sphagnum ( for that purpose, our European sphagnum is better than the NZ sphagnum, and I got a similar one from Viet Nam too). I have the analysis including for 3 different sphag, so I will put these online later.

But all of those mixes are "bad" too in the way that first they cannot be international ( chilean sphag moss as an example is very different from the NZ one or the whatever one people can have locally...), and second, they cannot be standardized for cultivation of a very large quantity of plants, at least commercially ( who would sell leaf moulds or washed asplenium roots those days ?). That's why I tried to find the way to make something "standard".
 

Hien

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Based solely upon what has been presented so far, this is going to be really good, and should probably be published as-a-whole somewhere.

An interesting observation about the kelp extracts, Charles. It's also quite interesting that urea - which we all have been taught cannot be used by orchids - had such an effect. I love it.

In the AOS magazine issue July 2002 there is an article by Fred J Bergman
who debunks the "No Urea theory"
In fact the article states that the tested plants & flowers became better & have more substance compare with the non-urea plants
 

SlipperFan

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In the AOS magazine issue July 2002 there is an article by Fred J Bergman
who debunks the "No Urea theory"
In fact the article states that the tested plants & flowers became better & have more substance compare with the non-urea plants

And yet, other studies I've read (don't ask me where at this point...) clearly state the urea needs soil microorganisms to be effective, and these are not found in the typical orchid medias.
 

Rick

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And yet, other studies I've read (don't ask me where at this point...) clearly state the urea needs soil microorganisms to be effective, and these are not found in the typical orchid medias.

At least not initially, but from my experience in waste treatment, no substrates are truly sterile, and they can kick in pretty fast if they are happy.
 

UweM

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up to date I find this interest thread - what a pity that it finished.

Here you can see a table with more information:

the first infos I picked up from the Orchid Digest, for the chamb. liemianum, niveum and Arundina I pick the soil from habitat and give it to an orchidfriend for analyse.

The value from callosum is from a cultivate plant.

nhrstoffamstandort.jpg


the values are in mg/litre

Uwe
 

Ruth

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I don't think I have ever seen any fertilizer that is 10-52-10. Where would one find this?
 

Roth

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PlantProd 10-52-10 or the Peters 9-45-15 , they are readily available...
 

UweM

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Higher value of Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn than N, P, K in leaves and soil....

Who is feeding the Paphs additional with the first elements?

15 years ago an orchid friend was feeding his Paph. niveum with more Na; the result: leafspan (niveum !) = 40 cm and the flower stalk was nearly 35 cm!
Poorly he can't remind the high of value from Na
 

Ruth

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Thanks for the source of the fertilizer, I have a couple of paphs I will try it on.
 

TyroneGenade

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Higher value of Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn than N, P, K in leaves and soil....

Who is feeding the Paphs additional with the first elements?

I've worked some coral chips (essentially Ca, Mg and Phosphate) into the bark mix which I guess will boost the Ca and Mg content. This little blurb (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18306021) is interesting... Coir may be a good source of Zn and B for Paphs and with some rice husks worked into the mix one can get the Mn as well. Interestingly, coral has high values of Mn (as much as 100 ppm). Perhaps the best medium would be a mix of coir and coral?
 

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