St Swithin advice

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Greenleaves42

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Hi, ive been growing phrags for 18months, i've just ordered myself a Bs Paph St Swithin to try. I like to use RO water and rain mix (msu) feed. My Phrags i measure 120TDS strength, it seems good feeding all the time. How does this kind of paph compare apart from being drier and what kind of water values should i be aiming for? I guess im worried about overdoing it. Any general advice is really welcome too thanks!
 

orchid527

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I water my phrags and paphs with the same fertilizer solution, but I believe it is just a little more concentrated than yours. I think you will be fine for quite a while. I do have several St Swithins and they seem to be strong growers. If everything else in your growing environment is perfect, there is a chance that fertilizer concentration could be the limiting factor in the growth of your plant. This is just my marginally informed opinion. Mike
 

Greenleaves42

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Hi Mike, thats great information thanks. After thinking about it i think fertilizer being the limiting factor is probably my safest bet to start off. What would you say keep it under 140 tds if everthing else is good? Im just trying to identify where too much is.
Thanks very much a few little lessons like this make all the difference.
Matty
 

orchid527

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Matty

I do not know your growing conditions, but for most of us, light, temperature and humidity are not optimal. We make do with what we have. Therefore, fertilizer is not the limiting factor for good growth. Even if our growing environment is just perfect for one species, it is a compromise for everything else. My solution is to avoid fussy plants and keep the ones that seem to grow well under the conditions that I can provide. Mike
 

Greenleaves42

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Mike yes cheers, what im meaning is, Paphs are abit of an investment for me so trying to work out the ball park fert strength i would rather not do the hard way...if i can help it ha! Without much experience is difficult to know the kind of min/max Rain mix strength to use for general growing conditions?
 

orchid527

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Matty

Maybe best if I could tell you about the environment where I grow my St Swithins. First of all, they get a lot of light, maybe as much as 3000 foot candles during a bright summer day. I do not see any leaf damage at these levels. I have good air circulation with a sturdy fan only 10 feet away from the plants. The winter temps are down to 61 degrees and the summer temps are whatever it is outside. Three years ago it hit 107 degrees. I did not see any lasting damage to the multiflorals. My humidity can be as low as 25% on a hot, dry summer afternoon, but the rest of the time it is usually above 50%. I don't think I've ever seen it at more than 75%. I fertilize with water that is 80% RO and 20% tap. The tap water is about 300 ppm dissolved solids, mostly calcium and magnesium carbonate. I use Michigan State fertilizer and the TDS of the final solution is about 225 ppm. 60 ppm of this is from the tap water. I also add dolomite to any of the paphs needing limestone. I not very careful with the amount, and I suspect that most of it washes out the next time I water. Nearly all of the paphs are potted in Orchiata.

As you can see none of this approaches the optimum conditions for these plants, but it is the best I can do on a sustainable basis.

Good luck with your paphs, I'm sure you will be successful.

Mike
 

ehanes7612

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They like it warm at night and nice circulating air.....strong light, just no direct light in the summer...and lots of water (the looser the drainage the better)..in the summertime you can stick them outside in the shade (like under a tree)
 

Greenleaves42

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Thanks for such brilliant advice Mike and everyone. Im feeling confident i will do ok with it now... Im yet to have a talk with another orchid grower in real life ha! so stuff like this is essential for my learning curve. Ive also got loads more to start thinking about aswell, measuring light is something ive wanted to do for a while and also learning about the elements/water/plant needs. I will probably make some more posts over the next few weeks.



Cheers :)

Matty
 
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orchidman77

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Everything here is great already, but one other things I've noticed that is very important is consistency. Don't change conditions too much, too often - wait a bit and see if you're getting good results!

David
 
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