paph helenae + thaianum help?

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merc

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First, I just want to say thank you in advance for any advice provided. This hobby/fever has a vice grip on me with helenae + thaianum as my favorites. Unfortunately, these two have proven to be the most difficult for me to keep. Go figure. Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated. I've already lost 1 of each and am dying to know the secret to success. My helenae + thaianum hybrids bloom for me just fine. The species do a whole lot of nothing or end up on the struggle bus. Help?

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I've got 2 more helenae on the way so I really want to get it right and have oodles of tiny perky blooms someday. The plant on the far right seems to be really struggling. It's leaves are not as succulent-like as the others. The plant looks like it cranked out 2 blooms previously and has 1 new growth but the old growths seem to be dying off. Is that normal for this species?

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My thaianum leaves are thick and succulent-like. The one on the right lost it's newest leaf to who knows what, but is firmly planted and seems to have good roots. The loss of the newest leaf concerns me because does that mean the plant will not produce another leaf? If that's the case does it mean it's a goner? Hoping it produces a new leaf or cranks out a new growth. Any thoughts or suggestions as to what to do with this one?
 

Lucienne

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I've got 2 more helenae on the way so I really want to get it right and have oodles of tiny perky blooms someday. The plant on the far right seems to be really struggling. It's leaves are not as succulent-like as the others. The plant looks like it cranked out 2 blooms previously and has 1 new growth but the old growths seem to be dying off. Is that normal for this species?
My experience with helenae has not yet gived blooming and the first plant died, but I can say that she responds very well to soft water (in my case RO) and calcium, good aeration of the roots. For my plants, I always choose a pot that is exactly the size of the root system.
The plant you are talking about looks weakened. Perhaps the new growth is taking power away from the old one that blossomed to live, but I'm not sure it will have enough resources. Hoping for the best!

My thaianum leaves are thick and succulent-like. The one on the right lost it's newest leaf to who knows what, but is firmly planted and seems to have good roots. The loss of the newest leaf concerns me because does that mean the plant will not produce another leaf? If that's the case does it mean it's a goner? Hoping it produces a new leaf or cranks out a new growth. Any thoughts or suggestions as to what to do with this one?
My thaianum died just like your little plant. However, in my case, he sat too deep and in the moss. I did not repot after the purchase, although it was worth it :( Of course, it is very tiny and does not tolerate the road well. Thaianum also loves calcium. Such process in the center of the growht may appear due to insufficient ventilation. If the roots are good, then the plant can find resources for a new growth, but I'm afraid he's too small.
 

merc

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sickly helenae is in very bad shape. the roots are completely gone. same media, watering and light as the others who have happy healthy roots i can see with the transparent pots. attempting a hail mary rescue maneuver with sphag + fungicide as advised by rich. hoping it's a fighter! it must be if it's leaves are still green and it's got 2 new immature growths. 🤞🏼
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tiny thaianum has fat happy roots for such a small plant. adding oyster shells to the mix as advised. thinking this one will pull through.
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JayeL

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I really battle to grow the Brachy species, niveum and thaianum have a short (really short) pit stop in the shade-house before moving onto the great compost heap in the sky. Any sign of a rain cloud, is just a prelude to their death march - they seem to really hate rain. I only have success with bellatulum, and to a limited extent with leucochilum/godefroyae.

Does oyster grit help? Any tips on how to deal with new arrivals? This seems to be the time that they are most vulnerable.

JL
 

Lucienne

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@merc , one thing that a botanical garden employee told me: if a plant is genetically weak, then it is better to throw it away. There is no point in fighting, it will die anyway. Of course, I never do that, but in fact I am convinced of the validity of this point of view.

@JayeL , I see no reason to do something special with newcomers. Personally, I never repot a plant right away if it came in pot with good media. I watch it for a while.
It is very important to buy an initially good clump so that it has resources in case you cannot immediately find suitable conditions and where it can take resources for adaptation.
However, sometimes (twice a year) I add dolomite flour to calcephytes.

Brachi really tolerate drying best. See how they grow in nature. They have the smallest moss pockets. Could say that they grow on bare stones.
 

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I have a collection of the Brachy Paphiopedilums: Paph concolor, Paph niveum, and recently acquired Paph thainum. It's not hard. First, you have to find the smallest pot possible for them. The pot for both your Paph helenae and paph thainum are way too big. Both of my Paph concolor and Paph niveum are like 7-8 years old (blooms every 2 years). It has to be grown shady and dry between watering (especially in the winter when the temp in the room become cooler, they don't mind the bone dry condition between each watering). Both plants are potted in medium bark mix (bark, perlite, and charcoal). The pot size for these plants is 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch that is 3.5 inch high. The Paph thainum is very tiny (main growth plus 1 baby), so it is potted in small bark mix (bark, perlitte, and charcoal). Again, dry between each watering same culturing conditions as concolor and niveum. The pot size for my Paph thainum is also 2.5 inch (round pot) that is 2.5 inch high. I received in the spring and since then, finsihed 1 leave and is pushing out a second leaf. The baby has also grown a bit. I hope this helps
 

BrucherT

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Everything said above about pot size rings true to me. I know thaianum likes calcium but I have even more limestone in my mix with helenae. Neither species should ever dry out, is what I’ve been told and has borne out true for me. Are you treating with potions? Get Ray’s KelpMax, if you haven’t already. Have you treated for mites? I feel like I’m seeing some pitting on the leaves of that helenae.
 

merc

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@jokerpass Thank you. There is only a .25 inch difference between my small (2.5") vs smaller(2.25" tall) and smallest (2.5" short) pots, but I went ahead and repotted the thaianum again in one of the smaller doohickeys. 😊

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The helenae has been relocated into the smallest pot I have. The more I look at it the more sad I get.

@BrucherT Think swabbing carefully with Azamax be ok if the plant is already super weak? I am scrambling to get my hands on some Banrot so I can treat it with that stuff too. I am willing to try whatever at this point.
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richgarrison

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i am also a fan of the azamax... know that if you treat with the banrot and soap mixture, that is one mode of attack on the mites as well (the soap).... use either as soon as soon as you get them... I've done both drench and spray with the azamax as some mites like living in the mix... If you even think you have mites, (personally) i'd treat everything prophylactical. and know that the mite treatment should be a couple of treatments... 5 days will get you inside the growth cycle for anything you didn't kill the first time... i believe Ray has said that the azamax also kills eggs as well as juveniles and adults... but 2 or three treatments shouldn't hurt the plants.
 

BrucherT

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i am also a fan of the azamax... know that if you treat with the banrot and soap mixture, that is one mode of attack on the mites as well (the soap).... use either as soon as soon as you get them... I've done both drench and spray with the azamax as some mites like living in the mix... If you even think you have mites, (personally) i'd treat everything prophylactical. and know that the mite treatment should be a couple of treatments... 5 days will get you inside the growth cycle for anything you didn't kill the first time... i believe Ray has said that the azamax also kills eggs as well as juveniles and adults... but 2 or three treatments shouldn't hurt the plants.
I would hydrate this thing in RO overnight, submerged, then spray the next morning with soap and alcohol, let dry, then rinse, let dry, spray with Physan, let dry, then soak in KelpMax water for 20 minutes or so, then pot in moss that’s been soaked in KelpMax water. I’d have some mild bottom heat and put it into an open glass vessel with just enough height to retain some humidity. But I get off on learning from plants most of you would probably just pitch. Rescues are my favorite part of the hobby…when they work out. Of course I have a long list of casualties but this is what I’d do. Not saying I know what’s wrong with this poor plant.
 

merc

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ok i just ordered some generic clearys 3336 by southern ag (gave up on banrot since i couldn't find smaller quantities), more azamax, some kelpmax, k-lite and probiotics. if there is anything else i should have in my arsenal please tell me now! 😆 i am totally laughing to myself because for such a tiny shelf of orchids i literally have an entire closet full of pots, mosses, media and copious quantities of solvents, fungicides, insecticides and supplements. the struggle is real. 🤣
 

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ok i just ordered some generic clearys 3336 by southern ag (gave up on banrot since i couldn't find smaller quantities), more azamax, some kelpmax, k-lite and probiotics. if there is anything else i should have in my arsenal please tell me now! 😆 i am totally laughing to myself because for such a tiny shelf of orchids i literally have an entire closet full of pots, mosses, media and copious quantities of solvents, fungicides, insecticides and supplements. the struggle is real. 🤣
You’re in the game!
 

LO69

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Hi Merc, my opinion Is that you are using way too large pots for this tiny paph and probably you water too much. A plant with only few roots in a big pot stays wet too long and Is not stimulated to produce new roots.
Try instead to keep your smallish paph in the smallest pot just to have little space around the roots. It's roots quantity to determine pot size.
Provide an humid air around your plants and just a moist medium and let the medium dry some before next watering. Use good water (low EC) to recover them. Helenae don't like wet feet! I have mine (multigrowth) in 2' pot.
Hope It helps
 

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TyroneGenade

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I used to grow thaianum in small, 5 cm, clay pots in crushed brick (no organics) and would flush the pot daily. I would fertilize with seagrow. They did well.

Killed my first helenae so can't offer advice there.
 

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