Paphiopedilum helenae

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GuRu

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Lovely flower and nicely coloured. I also would say this one is flowering very early.
 

BrucherT

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Have had mine for 3 years. Import. Nothing in the way of spike. What’s the secret?
 

Phred

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Very nice!
What’s your culture? I’ve been trying for 2 years to get mine to bloom.
Have had mine for 3 years. Import. Nothing in the way of spike. What’s the secret?
Hello Silverwhisp and BrucherT
I don’t think I have any secrets to offer but I have bloomed a fairly large number of them. Full disclosure... I still have several I haven’t bloomed after three years myself. I still have the first couple helenae I bought but lost the following fifteen or so... all imports. I only buy them from growers in the USA now unless the are flasks. Now I think I figured out what works for me and I haven’t lost one in a few years (I have about 50 or so). helenae are often found growing in the open and in my experience helenae like brighter light. They also can tolerate dryer conditions when not growing. You will find most of the growers have them potted in smaller pots with bigger medium so they dry a little faster. When they are putting on new growths they do well with more water. I let the pots dry out between watering and then soak them. Mine are under T5 HO 6500K florescent bulbs. Lights are on for 13 hours every day. I fertilize with K-lite every time I water at 50-75 ppm N depending on how often I have to water. I also water with 2 TBSP Epsom Salt/5 gal water once a month. I do not add the Epsom Salt to my fertilizer water because I use my tap water which already has too much junk in it. With K-lite at 75 ppm N, a little more than a tsp/gal Epsom Salt and all the junk I’m starting out with I run the risk of some plants getting edema... especially if they’re dry when I water. A tip to help avoid causing edema: if your plants are dryer than you expected you should reduce the amount of fertilizer you use this watering and go back up to your normal amount on the next watering. Dry plants take up more water and less dissolved salts absorbed results in less water retained... I think that’s a fair way to explain it.
Hope that helps.

My Biggest helenae - notice the edema ‘scars’ on the plant at the top center of this photo
D3AD5EA7-9941-45B4-9A66-F37F0EA087B5.jpeg
Some of my other helenae
07B67EBF-5B1B-45AF-8D1D-6B8CF78B11DE.jpeg75A61364-CAA7-4E22-8456-2E4BF9CCEB91.jpeg

Closeup of my potting medium
309A47ED-5ECB-4869-A847-93F1E684537F.jpeg
 
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DrLeslieEe

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So well organized!

Thanks for the culture tips. I do find them to like to dry somewhat between waterings.

I only have one helenae album that hasn't bloomed in two years with multiple growths.
 

BrucherT

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Hello Silverwhisp and BrucherT
I don’t think I have any secrets to offer but I have bloomed a fairly large number of them. Full disclosure... I still have several I haven’t bloomed after three years myself. I still have the first couple helenae I bought but lost the following fifteen or so... all imports. I only buy them from growers in the USA now unless the are flasks. Now I think I figured out what works for me and I haven’t lost one in a few years (I have about 50 or so). helenae are often found growing in the open and in my experience helenae like brighter light. They also can tolerate dryer conditions when not growing. You will find most of the growers have them potted in smaller pots with bigger medium so they dry a little faster. When they are putting on new growths they do well with more water. I let the pots dry out between watering and then soak them. Mine are under T5 HO 6500K florescent bulbs. Lights are on for 13 hours every day. I fertilize with K-lite every time I water at 50-75 ppm N depending on how often I have to water. I also water with 2 TBSP Epsom Salt/5 gal water once a month. I do not add the Epsom Salt to my fertilizer water because I use my tap water which already has too much junk in it. With K-lite at 75 ppm N, a little more than a tsp/gal Epsom Salt and all the junk I’m starting out with I run the risk of some plants getting edema... especially if they’re dry when I water. A tip to help avoid causing edema: if your plants are dryer than you expected you should reduce the amount of fertilizer you use this watering and go back up to your normal amount on the next watering. Dry plants take up more water and less dissolved salts absorbed results in less water retained... I think that’s a fair way to explain it.
Hope that helps.

My Biggest helenae - notice the edema ‘scars’ on the plant at the top center of this photo
View attachment 28613
Some of my other helenae
View attachment 28614View attachment 28615

Closeup of my potting medium
View attachment 28616
Completely blown away by the care and detail in this response. A lot to think about. Can’t thank you enough.
My plant was imported. Came in looking good; it was a Cymbidium order from China and I struggled with those (proud that BOTH of my C. quiebiense are just days from opening! It has been a JOURNEY, for them and for me; C. kanran and C. goeringii from that shipment went home to Jesus within months. Still hurts.)
Anyway: the helenae looks good but has barely grown. I hate it in a small clay pot. Contrary to the advice of you and Leslie, I was advised never to let it dry out. And I never have. Maybe that’s an issue? I use K-lite/RO every watering. Occasional Cal-Mag between September and May. The sphagnum is just a little tuck-mulch. There’s a good amount of limestone gravel in the mix.
 

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BrucherT

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Hello Silverwhisp and BrucherT
I don’t think I have any secrets to offer but I have bloomed a fairly large number of them. Full disclosure... I still have several I haven’t bloomed after three years myself. I still have the first couple helenae I bought but lost the following fifteen or so... all imports. I only buy them from growers in the USA now unless the are flasks. Now I think I figured out what works for me and I haven’t lost one in a few years (I have about 50 or so). helenae are often found growing in the open and in my experience helenae like brighter light. They also can tolerate dryer conditions when not growing. You will find most of the growers have them potted in smaller pots with bigger medium so they dry a little faster. When they are putting on new growths they do well with more water. I let the pots dry out between watering and then soak them. Mine are under T5 HO 6500K florescent bulbs. Lights are on for 13 hours every day. I fertilize with K-lite every time I water at 50-75 ppm N depending on how often I have to water. I also water with 2 TBSP Epsom Salt/5 gal water once a month. I do not add the Epsom Salt to my fertilizer water because I use my tap water which already has too much junk in it. With K-lite at 75 ppm N, a little more than a tsp/gal Epsom Salt and all the junk I’m starting out with I run the risk of some plants getting edema... especially if they’re dry when I water. A tip to help avoid causing edema: if your plants are dryer than you expected you should reduce the amount of fertilizer you use this watering and go back up to your normal amount on the next watering. Dry plants take up more water and less dissolved salts absorbed results in less water retained... I think that’s a fair way to explain it.
Hope that helps.

My Biggest helenae - notice the edema ‘scars’ on the plant at the top center of this photo
View attachment 28613
Some of my other helenae
View attachment 28614View attachment 28615

Closeup of my potting medium
View attachment 28616
Your helenae collection is incredible. I also grow several dozen Neofinetia fūkiran and yours remind me of that collection.
 

BrucherT

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So well organized!

Thanks for the culture tips. I do find them to like to dry somewhat between waterings.

I only have one helenae album that hasn't bloomed in two years with multiple growths.
That watering advice is the opposite of my understanding; I’m going to fry that. Along with my sangii, volonteanum, delenatii and armeniacum, I never let it go dry. Hmmmm. Thank you!

whatever happened with your “Mango” Paph. lowii pod?
 

Elite Orchids

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Hello Silverwhisp and BrucherT
I don’t think I have any secrets to offer but I have bloomed a fairly large number of them. Full disclosure... I still have several I haven’t bloomed after three years myself. I still have the first couple helenae I bought but lost the following fifteen or so... all imports. I only buy them from growers in the USA now unless the are flasks. Now I think I figured out what works for me and I haven’t lost one in a few years (I have about 50 or so). helenae are often found growing in the open and in my experience helenae like brighter light. They also can tolerate dryer conditions when not growing. You will find most of the growers have them potted in smaller pots with bigger medium so they dry a little faster. When they are putting on new growths they do well with more water. I let the pots dry out between watering and then soak them. Mine are under T5 HO 6500K florescent bulbs. Lights are on for 13 hours every day. I fertilize with K-lite every time I water at 50-75 ppm N depending on how often I have to water. I also water with 2 TBSP Epsom Salt/5 gal water once a month. I do not add the Epsom Salt to my fertilizer water because I use my tap water which already has too much junk in it. With K-lite at 75 ppm N, a little more than a tsp/gal Epsom Salt and all the junk I’m starting out with I run the risk of some plants getting edema... especially if they’re dry when I water. A tip to help avoid causing edema: if your plants are dryer than you expected you should reduce the amount of fertilizer you use this watering and go back up to your normal amount on the next watering. Dry plants take up more water and less dissolved salts absorbed results in less water retained... I think that’s a fair way to explain it.
Hope that helps.

My Biggest helenae - notice the edema ‘scars’ on the plant at the top center of this photo
View attachment 28613
Some of my other helenae
View attachment 28614View attachment 28615

Closeup of my potting medium
View attachment 28616
can you please explain the term "Edema" i have never some across that term, but have seen the odd plant with leaves like yours.
 

DrLeslieEe

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Completely blown away by the care and detail in this response. A lot to think about. Can’t thank you enough.
My plant was imported. Came in looking good; it was a Cymbidium order from China and I struggled with those (proud that BOTH of my C. quiebiense are just days from opening! It has been a JOURNEY, for them and for me; C. kanran and C. goeringii from that shipment went home to Jesus within months. Still hurts.)
Anyway: the helenae looks good but has barely grown. I hate it in a small clay pot. Contrary to the advice of you and Leslie, I was advised never to let it dry out. And I never have. Maybe that’s an issue? I use K-lite/RO every watering. Occasional Cal-Mag between September and May. The sphagnum is just a little tuck-mulch. There’s a good amount of limestone gravel in the mix.
BT, your plant looks healthy. Maybe don’t change anything except to give it a little more light? That’s what I’m going to do with mine.

Here’s my little one with 3 new growths:

53B404C1-2ED2-419C-A860-DDEB6B397523.jpeg
 

DrLeslieEe

Collector of new, rare and albino paph species
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That watering advice is the opposite of my understanding; I’m going to fry that. Along with my sangii, volonteanum, delenatii and armeniacum, I never let it go dry. Hmmmm. Thank you!

whatever happened with your “Mango” Paph. lowii pod?
Mango pods all aborted :(…. Maybe it’s a first bloom and very nervous. I’ll try again. The new growth is bigger than last years…
 

BrucherT

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Mango pods all aborted :(…. Maybe it’s a first bloom and very nervous. I’ll try again. The new growth is bigger than last years…
I literally winced at this. So very sorry. FYI I dropped my first-bloom half-alba purpuratum pod off with Sam two weeks ago…he said it looked good and I’m waiting to hear….
 

BrucherT

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BT, your plant looks healthy. Maybe don’t change anything except to give it a little more light? That’s what I’m going to do with mine.

Here’s my little one with 3 new growths:

View attachment 28640
yours looks great and thank you! I don’t have many more-light options but I’ll try it tucked into the my roth spot and hope.
 

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