paphs at my place - plants only

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May 29, 2011
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southern Indiana
I've gotten into a couple of discussions lately about growing paphs. Sometimes all that is posted is a photo of the flower, so I am posting a series of photos of some of my plants to give you an idea of how they are doing and how I manage them. Please keep in mind that this is strictly a small time, non-commercial operation.

The first photo is a tray of paph and phrag compots from Windy Hill gardens and Chuck Acker. All together there are about 45 of these compots and about half are kovachii seedlings and hybrids or hangianum seedlings and hybrids. Most of the rest are parvi or multiflora hybrids.

The phrags on this tray are growing in 1:3 Promix/small Orchiata. The paphs are growing in small Orchiata with perlite (probably not necessary). The tray is about 12 inches under a bank of t12s and the light rack is in a utility room with house AC and heat.

When the plants are large enough, they go into individual 2 inch pots and into trays in the green house. The sizes range from the small ones in the second photo to the NBS ones in the third photo. I have 10 of these trays, 8 with paphs and 2 with phrags, mostly kovachii hybrids. The small plants in the second photo are paph appletonianum var hainanense, Paph Magic Lantern, roth x Fanaticum and straight roth. They are growing in seedling bark with perlite and sphagnum, but I am in the process of switching over to 100% orchiata. The plants in the third photo are a mixed assortment of paphs, all in Orchiata. I keep these trays in the shadier parts of the greenhouse, but the largest get almost 2000 foot candles for most of the day.

As the plants approach blooming size, I move them to the top of my shelves where they get about 2500 foot candles throughout the day. All of these plants are in 100% Orchiata. The plants at the front are all Kovachii hybrids.

Eventually they become too large to be efficiently grouped together. Here is a photo of a group that will soon be distributed throughout the greenhouse. These will all bloom this year and many are in spike right now. I think there are about 50 of these and other previously bloomed paphs that I want to keep. They are all in 100% orchiata. I might add some perlite to the largest ones during the next repot.


Great growing!!! I grow in a similar fashion except I don't have a greenhouse so everything is under lights through adulthood.

My only problem is similar to yours--when plants get to the 5 or 6" pot size it is hard to find room for them compared to the ease of growing seedlings in trays.

Your plants all look very clean and healthy.
Abax, when they get to be large and I've decided not to keep them, I donate them to the society raffle table, I give them away to friends and sometimes the blooms are so ugly that I just throw them away. They are too large to ship through the mail and it is too hard on the leaves to be folded up. I try to sell most before they get to be that size. I think that having 8-10 of the same cross gives me a fair chance of getting one good one. I would keep more, but I don't have the space. I've never liked my odds of getting a good plant by buying single large plants for $50 each, although I do it from time to time, especially if I can pick through the plants at a commercial operation.

Papheteer, I use RO water and I alternate fertilizing with Michigan State formulation and calcium nitrate + magnesium nitrate. The magnesium nitrate is expensive, but I don't use much and don't want to use straight calcium nitrate. If I use a rotation of calcium nitrate and Epsom salts, I find calcium sulfate precipitate in the medium. I probably have low levels of potassium, but my real goal is to have adequate levels of calcium and magnesium. I use this for everything, not just the paphs and phrags.

Very nice and orderly, and healthy looking plants too. What more could one wish for?

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