Paph. tigrinum 'Dana'

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John M

Orchid Addict
Jun 7, 2006
Reaction score
Hamilton, Ontario - Canada
I've had this plant for many, many years. It would grow a bit, bloom and then nearly die. I'd manage to save it and it would then just do the same thing. Many times I'd nip out the bud as soon as it emerged to force the plant to focus on growing more foliage. I didn't want to lose it. It was always on the edge of exactly that happening.

Then, a few years ago, I just got so fed up, I repotted it and stuck it at the back of the bench, where I couldn't watch it closely. It was going to live or die; but, it wasn't going to get any more than my basic care to do either. Well, it didn't get watered much way back there on the bench and after about 6 months, I found it dry as a bone...and as healthy as a horse! WooHoo!

So, I took it out and enjoyed the flower it produced. Then, I fussed over it and it rotted and went downhill again. *sigh!* So, I repotted it into a 7 oz clear plastic drinking cup and hung it up next to my potting bench, right in front of the electrical panel. I did this so that it would not be overwatered, as it seemed to like being grown dry, not moist like we commonly think all Paphs want. After over a year in this little cup, which enabled me to monitor the moisture in the root zone and only water it when it was dry right to the bottom, it was doing pretty good. It began a new flower spike again. In March (3 months ago), while the bud was still way down in the leaves, I repotted this plant from the little 7 oz cup (with a diameter of less than 3"), and put it into a 6" net pot, which I hang in the same location in front of my electrical panel, next to the potting bench. I allow the mix (which is exposed to the air on top and as well, down the sides and across the bottom), to dry out completely. When that happens, the pot is very noticeably less heavy. In fact, it's downright feather light when it's dry. Allowing all this air get to the roots and only watering it when it's dry, seems to be the trick. The plant is building up growths now and it has a nice root system. I think I've found the trick with this species....finally! Water it like a Cattleya, not like a Paph!


That is a wonderful clone John. Great form. Well worth all the trouble you have been through. I would implement your cultural advice if I could just find a plant for sale here.

So you are now growing it in a basket.
Thank you John for the story! Now as you got the trick and we all know how to grow this species I will look for one too.
A very nice clone btw, with good shape. Is the flower fully opened?
Congrats John! You are dead right! Tigrinums are growing on trees generally in situ, and its roos could dry out completely relative fast for long periods a day. I am using this safe method for my tigrinum with good result also. Anyway this plant is amazing! Matyas
Thank you everyone!

Yes, it's got two leads now. WooHoo!

It's in a location that doesn't happen to get shaded by the shade cloth. So, it gets some shad until early afternoon, then it's in full sun (underneath two laters of greenhouse plastic, which must cut out at least a little bit of light. However, it's VERY bright where this plant has been growing.

Yup. It's in a 6" plastic, basket or net pot.

Yes. The flower is fully open now. The dorsal sepal is not as wide and round as in past bloomings. But, I did repot it when the bud was just emerging from the leaves; so, perhaps that affected the development of the dorsal growth?

I did not know this species grows on trees in situ. Huh? Cool! So, it seems that through trial and error, I managed to figure out that growing it like an epiphyte is what it really likes/needs. 'Glad I didn't kill it in the process of learning what to do. It's really happy now; so, I'm looking forward to it finally being able to clump and producing more than one flower at a time in future years.

I use 1/2 filtered horticultural grade perlite (no dust) and 1/2 small CHC. I'm guessing in a regular pot, not a basket, this species would also like s/h. 'Worth a try.......if you have an extra piece to risk.

Thanks again everyone.
Awesome job John, this is on my wish list, maybe I will get this when Perner comes to Canada!

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Excellent job. Congrats and thanks a lot for the info. You just gave us the courage to get one. This species is expensive if it's just going to die.

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