Reluctant Paphs

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toadpark

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I've been growing, caring for orchids in both Virginia and now in NW Florida's panhandle for the last 15 plus yeard and have had great success with Oncidiums, Phalenopsis, Dendrobiums and Vandas. But in that whole time, I' ve only had one paphiopedilum bloom. Believe it or not it was a sale plant at a local nursey, I noticed it had a precursor flower spike and did i mention it was on sale? But it looked distressed. Never the less,the bloom flowered and I was struck, and stuck with trying to get more to bloom. I've two I've purchased from a local nursery ( on sale again) growing in fir bark and quite green and healthy looking. Except no blooms. When the temps are above 55F in the mornings here in NW FL consistently the orchids get all the humidity and filtered sunlight they need. In the winter they are houseplants and are kept in a sunny south facing window. They are watered once a week well. They are fertilized with Orchid Plus Fertilizer 20-14-13 with each watering. But in the whole time not one hint of a bloom. Thoughts? Humidity?
 

abax

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Welcome to ST from KY. I apologize to Paph.
growers, but I find them to be problematic
about blooming. I switched to Phrags. to
save my sanity. I hope you find some sound
advice here.
 

musa

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Wellcome to Slipper Talk!
Which species or hybrids do you have? They can be quite different in their needs.
Paphs need a long time to start blooming, but if they do, I find them reliable bloomers.
On the other side Phrags don't even want to grow, not to talk about blooming...
 

Ray

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How much of that fertilizer do you mix per gallon?
 

toadpark

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Ray, Musa: I use a spray bottle to apply fertilizer sparingly (salt) My fertilizer is only a teaspoon to a quart sprayer using the 20-14-13 fertilizer mentioned above. I spray both aerial roots and leaves lightly after watering weekly. The orchid media is moist as the plants are inside during our short NW Fl winter and air circulation is good. As to the type of Paph. The one tag I have says: "Paph: (Hidatsa x Nulight) "1-10" x Kaylight "2-09". There was only one tag with both plants. They spend the majority of the spring and summer outside on my orchid bench on the rear of my property. Air circulation there is good, (constant seabreeze) and high humidity. Hope this helps.
 

toadpark

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Welcome to ST from KY. I apologize to Paph.
growers, but I find them to be problematic
about blooming. I switched to Phrags. to
save my sanity. I hope you find some sound
advice here.
Thanks
 

Ray

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A teaspoon of a 20-14-13 fertilizer in a quart of water is about 1055 ppm N, which is roughly TEN TIMES what I'd recommend for weekly feeding.

Too much nitrogen can definitely quash blooming.
 

toadpark

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A teaspoon of a 20-14-13 fertilizer in a quart of water is about 1055 ppm N, which is roughly TEN TIMES what I'd recommend for weekly feeding.

Too much nitrogen can definitely quash blooming.
I'll definitely try reducing the amount. I was going by a pale blue color but that might vary. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

toadpark

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Below are the two Paphs i have. They seem to be healthy as evidenced by the new growth at the base of the plant I don't see any of the "salt burn" that I've gotten in the past when I've accidentally over-fertilized but I will try reducing the amount to see what occurs. Do you recomment fertilizing each watering?
 

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Ray

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What I recommend is applying 75-100 ppm N over the course of a week. That can be 25 ppm every other day, 50 ppm twice a week, or all of it at once, once a week.

“Less is more” when it comes to fertilizer.
 

Phred

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I agree with Ray... you might also check your potting material. At the rate of fertilizer you were using your medium will have broken down twice as fast as normal.
 

Djthomp28

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Welcome to the forum!

For clarification, how are you fertilizing? You mention using a spray bottle to fertilize the leaves and aerial roots. Do you flush the pot with fertilizer also?

Looking at your potting media, it looks too course in the plant on the right. Are those roots I see in the pot on the left?
 

BrucherT

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Below are the two Paphs i have. They seem to be healthy as evidenced by the new growth at the base of the plant I don't see any of the "salt burn" that I've gotten in the past when I've accidentally over-fertilized but I will try reducing the amount to see what occurs. Do you recomment fertilizing each watering?
Seems clear that these plants have been given too much nitrogen. Also, there shouldn’t be aerial roots on a Paph. I would repot and then do everything Ray says.
 

toadpark

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Welcome to the forum!

For clarification, how are you fertilizing? You mention using a spray bottle to fertilize the leaves and aerial roots. Do you flush the pot with fertilizer also?

Looking at your potting media, it looks too course in the plant on the right. Are those roots I see in the pot on the left?
Yes roots. Plant may have pushed itself out of the pot. Too coarse/ what type of media do you recommend? And the need for moss to keep roots moist?
 

toadpark

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Yeah, that emerald green color is a dead giveaway.
Thanks.
Welcome to the forum!

For clarification, how are you fertilizing? You mention using a spray bottle to fertilize the leaves and aerial roots. Do you flush the pot with fertilizer also?

Looking at your potting media, it looks too course in the plant on the right. Are those roots I see in the pot on the left?
Yes. Will do more frequent watering with less/no fertilizer
 

toadpark

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What kind of media do you recommend for Paphs? In my native New England, Lady Slippers would grow in the pine forests near my home in some of the richest loam around. But are we still talking orchid media and if so how fine a mix are we discussing? Are there commercial mixes for Paphs? Brands?/
 

Don I

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Welcome from Ontario, Canada. I use your basic fine bark, perlite and fine charcoal. There is a lot of things people use some retain more water some less. Remember whatever you choose you have to adjust your watering schedule to fit the medium and the growing conditions. There are lots of very knowledgeable people on here to help you out with the details i'm sure.
Don
 

Ray

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What kind of media do you recommend for Paphs? In my native New England, Lady Slippers would grow in the pine forests near my home in some of the richest loam around. But are we still talking orchid media and if so how fine a mix are we discussing? Are there commercial mixes for Paphs? Brands?/
Just because a temperate, native orchids live one way does not mean that “similar” plants can do the same. Besides, most slippers live with their roots in the accumulated leaf litter, it in the soil, itself.

An evenly moist, yet very airy medium is the way to go. There are many ways to “skin that cat”, but you should consider the impact Your growing conditions and watering abilities/preferences have on that. I grow all of my paphs and phrags in semi-hydroponics, while others choose different methods.
 

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