Paphiopedilum St. Swithin

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musa

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As I had no time to post pictures in spring I try to keep up now.
Here Paph St Swithin which I repotted meanwhile. I had to destroy the old pot, the roots were to compact. Now it is in a 21 cm pot.
Not repoting it for 2 years was probably a mistake...
What would you do in such a case?
 

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monocotman

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Wow that is one super healthy root system!
I would not try to do anything to those roots, just drop the whole lot into a bigger pot.
David
 

richgarrison

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posting this as much to see the feedback as to offer alternatives....

For me, my detriment to future success always seems to be tied to the health of the center of the pot. Presented with what you have, i'd merely be looking from the bottom into the center for dead roots you can remove, while limiting the disturbance of that wonderful outside edge root mass.. If it is truly throughout the pot, then there really isn't anything to do (as others here have suggested).

Nice plant! :) I'm a fan of the philippinense pouch coloring coming through in the cross...
 

setaylien

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As I had no time to post pictures in spring I try to keep up now.
Here Paph St Swithin which I repotted meanwhile. I had to destroy the old pot, the roots were to compact. Now it is in a 21 cm pot.
Not repoting it for 2 years was probably a mistake...
What would you do in such a case?
I don't know about your growing conditions, but here in Canada such plants often take two years in order to mature a single growth. Two years is not too long to keep it in the same potting medium and, judging from your very good results, the plant has remained in excellent health during this time. You have made no mistake.
The flower quality is a bit above average, too.The only question that comes to mind is whether or not to divide. I would suggest that it should be grown on a few more years to make a really fine specimen plant; hopefully you are a good weight-lifter! Congrats!
 

troy

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Wow!! Congrats to you a good paph grower!! Leaving a plant in a pot for 5 + years is a long time
 

DrLeslieEe

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Holy Macaroons! That’s what I call a root ball!

I tend to cut off most of the roots so that new roots from the new growths can have room to grow. It’s up to the grower and his conditions. Both ways can work although repotting in larger pot (as is, root ball and all) is the least emotionally painful lol.
 

musa

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Thanks to all of you.
Just repotting without disturbing the rootball is what I did. Now it is in a 21 cm pot, that's the biggest available transparent pot, so next time I'll try to remove some of the roots.
The center is interesting, too. The roots there are still in good condition, I had to remove nearly nothing. You can see the shape of the smaller pot of last repotting. I tried to fill the gaps in the middle with bark.

k IMG_5036 copy.jpgk IMG_5041 copy.jpg
 

DrLeslieEe

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Well done jigsawing those holes! And awesome to see new root tips abound.
 

musa

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I did my best, but most roots at the bottom were sacrificed...
 

emydura

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From experience, If I just repotted that into a bigger pot I would rot every root. It has happened many times for me, so I would recommend against this. Oxygen can get down the sides of the pot, which is why they are fine in their current pot. But once you centre them in a larger pot, they will stay too wet and rot.

I just soak the roots in water for half an hour and let them soften. Then I just slowly tease them apart. You break the odd root, but no real damage done. Certainly better than rotting the whole root system.
 

musa

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Hi David,
I would agree with you and would been glad to tear the roots apart, but it definitly was not possible without major damage.
Btw from the bottom you still can see roots still alive which grew before the last repotting 2 years ago, you still can recognize the form of the "old" pot.
I use mainly coarse orchiata (18 - 25 mm) and if necessary medium bark (12 - 18 mm), therefor there is always a good airflow on the roots.

Next time repotting I have to tear the roots apart because there is no bigger transparent pot available. Now it is growing in a 21 cm pot.
 

emydura

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You don't need to tear the roots apart. It is amazing once you have softened the roots how easy it is to separate those massed roots into separated strands. It takes a while, especially at the start, but once you have separated some the other roots seem to separate themselves. You will break the odd root, but given the size of the root system that won't have any significant impact.

Given the size of your bark you might be OK. But I don't like to see densely packed roots surrounded by bark. Whenever I have ever repotted a Paph I have only found dense roots around the edge of the pot. I have never found plants grow many roots through the centre of the pot. So dumping a dense root system into a larger pot will result in an unnatural root environment making them very prone to rot.
 

musa

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Thanks for explaining, I will try that next repotting.
 

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