Roth watering

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Feb 24, 2023
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Hello everyone!!! Just wanted to run some things across the experts with caring for my roths. So I keep them in small orchiata bark, perlight and oister shells. The top 2- 3 inches dry quickly. I have started to put a thin layer of rock wool on top to combat this. I stick my finger in the media and water when it feels dried on the top 2 inches and semi moist below. The leaves seem to wrinkle slightly when bent. I thought this may be due to underwater but I ruled this out because they all do it even the ones I just got from 2 different nurseries. Also the leaves are all light green and not yellow. I have one were the new leaf is starting to tip over to the side: not sure why. If this all sounds good on what I'm doing then great, but if not please share things you would change. Im just trying to make sure I'm doing this right because they are expensive little guys and I'm a bit of a freak of checking my plants for problems every day: it's a terrible addiction ;) lol.
Sincerely Theo
Roths habitat is on Mount Kinabalu, in Malaysia which is Serpentine, , not Limestone. They are only known in a few places with an extremely limited range, which generally means their care must be specific. Serpentine, is magnesium-silicate based and of a much harder on the Mohs scale. It is also more conductive. Limestone is Calcium carbonate and is softer and water-permeable. Does the type of rock the plant evolves in make a difference? Unknown by me, but I do know that a rock is not any rock. Both do well in semi-hydroponics, with their roots always in water. Watering every day may be a good equivalent. I would use granite dust, not limestone. Just me, of course.
I had my roth in bark and it didn't seem happy. I repotted into a mix of perlite and sphagnum in a basket suspended over water in a yoghurt tub and water once or twice a week. Since the transplant it has sent up two side growths and seems happier. It is still a small plant that has suffered years of abuse and has a way to go. I fertilize with K-lite. Every now and then it gets a sprinkle of epson salt for Mg.
You might need to decide whether the new growths came because of the transplanting, or because this is growing season. All my paphs are also putting out new shoots whether I transplanted them or not (I transplanted some into semi-hydroponic). It sure could be because it is getting more water. The plants (in nature) are wedged in natural fissures in rock faces, with run off (clean rainwater runoff), trickling over them at all times. I sincerely think that they do have more growths if they are given better care. Constantly hydrated roots, and decent light. Breaking down media will cause excess nitrates.
I think that plants have hormones that are "switched on" because of temperature, light intensity, and other things. One thing that I really found out about "green leaf paphs" is that they love more water, and more light than I would have understood from the care sheets I see published around. I compare the paphs and phrags by saying that paphs like the constant watering and then draining (and the moss keeps the water but adds air, but you can get the same in semi hydro). Phrags are water and don't drain. Both will die if their roots are let to dry out (but always try to re-grow the roots because it works too!