Status reports of my paphs in s/h

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Slipperless member
Jun 9, 2006
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Great Neck - New York
I just pulled a sample of 5 paphs, mainly sanderianum primaries, that I put in s/h about a month ago,3 seedling, 1 nbs, 1 bs. All had new growth except for the bs plant, but had lots of big fat roots and is pushing up a new leaf. I was worried about one of the seedlings because it had really stringy roots, but now has 2 new root tip growths. I didn't pull any of my big multi growths plants because their new starts are growing and 1 just put out at least 1 beginnings of a new start so I figured they're happy.

I water with a fertilizer concoction of 1 tsp 20-20-20 growmore/2 drops KLN/.25 tsp protekt per 2 gallons of water at every watering. I flush with regular water then use the fertilizer mix. I don't know what's in the municipal but my paphs seem to be digging it. Once a week I empty the resevoir leaving barely anything in th resevoir and water in the morning when I wake up otherwise the reservoir stays pretty much full all week.
very nice. out of all the paphs, it seems to me that the coryos, surprisingly enough, appreciate the constant moisture the most.
Heather said:
Excellent to hear, Marco. Thanks for the update. You and I and our S/H plants seem to be about on the same time schedule, and performing similarly. We should continue to compare notes.

Hey sounds good. Didn't know our timing was that close. So here's the nitty gritty details of my culture info.

-fc avg about 2500-3000 (light supplements) + morning sunlight for about 3 hours (4000-5000 maybe dunno never measured)
-lights stay on for 14-16
-grow area is right in front 2 windows and I have a 3 fans always on, one pointed out a third window one on the floor and tiny table fan pointed directly towards my grow area so theres a constant breeze/air circulation, my door is always closed helps alot on the air circulation (??? bernoulli's principle ??? its been a very long time since i took any science courses)
-my average temp hi/low is 82.64/65.58 my average humidty hi/low is 85%/49% (recordings are averages as of 6/16/06)
-using antecs calciferous supplementation schedule: link for all my plants that have at least 1 calciferous parent when I transfered to s/h I put .25tsp limestone and .25tsp crushed oyster shell on the top. most sink to the bottom but some of the shells are also stuck to the roots. I'll add another .25 tsp of each in another 2 months
-today I flushed all my multis with a 1tsp per gallon mix of physan then watered with my regular fertilizer mix.

I love sleeping in the rooms where my plants are in. It gets to cool at night! No ac needed :p
Just because a multi-growth plant is green and growing it doesn't mean their happy.

I uprooted all of my paphs in s/h that I didn't uproot last time along with 3 plants that I did uproot last time. all the ones in the smaller pots still have new growths but one of the plants that I didn't uproot last time wasn't doing well. More than 50% of the roots rotted. I think it was due to overpotting, 6" pot compared to the others in 4.5", and that it didn't have enough "dry time". Safe to safe there's still alot of good root left so it's going in a standard mix to recover. Now I'm worried about the plants I got from ratcliffe that are in 6" pots.
I think I do. My plants are right in front of windows that are open whenever its not raining (for the spring and summer at least when it gets cold theyre getting closed). And I have a window adjacent to the windows where my plants are in front of where I have a fan pointed our thats on max and my doors closed. So there's alway air circulating. I also have a table fan thats always oscillating and a tiny mini fan pointed directly at my plants.
The plant that has trouble adapting to S/H may have simply been moved at the wrong time - specifically, it probabably wasn't growing/putting out new roots. Moving it back to a more traditional mix now, may not help either as you're just forcing the plant to adapt again, which stresses it out more...

Your light levels might also be too high for a plant that is struggling. High light levels = more photosynthesis = requires more water. In other words, the high light levels signal a plant to draw more water, and if it has no roots, it gets no water. Leading to more stress on plant... you get the point.

Best way to get roots is keep the plant in the shade with high humidity for a few weeks.
I decided to clean a pot cause the algea was bothering me. This is an MK 2 months after last root check.



I pulled a ken ichi takayo and roots were similiar with growing tips. :)
Marco, looking good there!

I'm just curious.
Do people find that this sort of checking up on roots is more disturbing to the plant than we would wish? Personally, my plants always seem to like being repotted, and put out more growth afterwards. However, I found myself thinking of this yesterday when one I had repotted just a couple weeks ago "escaped" it's pot and had to be re-situated. It had a nice new root growing too. :)
**shrugs....dunno....all i know is that the algea was annoying and it had to plants dont seem to be bothered...
Heather- Lance Birk has said that too much is made of least, in terms of regular repotting according to a schedule. He feels that it is stressful to subject happily growing plants to repotting, when many times, they don't need it. I don't entirely disagree with him....while most paphs seem perfectly happy with repotting, and respond faovorably, I have found on occasion that paphs that had been thriving suddenly go into a decline after repotting...when I first started growing paphs, I had a venustum that bloomed every year, did fantastically. After maybe 4 years, I decided that it was overdue for repotting. It was never the same......I don't know what the original mix was, but it was heavy on spongerock....( in those days I was using a bark based mix...)..while the paph lingered on another 10 years, it was a pathetic shadow of its former self, blooming only once in its final decade. I have also found that one of the things that makes brachy's more difficult than other paphs is their dislike of repotting. They need repotting, yet they hate it....I am now trying to pot them with extra inorganic material...#3 perlite (all I get these days), prime agra, lava rock, in addition to CHC, which will hopefully stretch out the time they can remain undisturbed.
As for semi-hydro......I intend to post a report in a few weeks of my initial SH far, not good for paphs...and not as good as expected for phrags...but I'm waiting a few more weeks before posting...Take care, Eric
I think your experiences may be reinforcing some of my hypothesis about the ecology of the different paph sections, pH requirements, and how this translates to potting mix selection and repotting requirements.

The barbata are primarily forest floor types that tend to prefer more organic and acidic mixes, while the brachys are generally more exposed in limestone rocky areas with less organics and higher pH.

Trying to translate that into pot culture, is that barbata types may prefer older mixes which generally end up with a low pH. They tend to be more tolerant of denser soils if not kept too wet.

Brachy's prefer the neutral to higher pH, which is a catch 22 with trying to maintain good drainage (low potting mix age). So switching to mixes with more inorganics could be a real good strategy for reducing the stress of repotting while maintaining a good pH environment over longer periods of time.
Eric Muehlbauer said:
As for semi-hydro......I intend to post a report in a few weeks of my initial SH far, not good for paphs...and not as good as expected for phrags...
That has certainly been my experience, Eric.
has been my experience as well a few yars back and I moved my paphs out of it then. but I keep thinking there must be a way to make it work ( it works perfectly fine for me with phals, dendros, catts etc), but since paphs are so different from other orchids there must be a balance to be found for nutrition, ph level etc in SH and up to know it seems that on the long term I have not found it yet.....

In Thailand a lot of very successful growers grow their paphs ( mostly brachys) in similar systems, pretty much in a mix of some special stone ( something that looks similar to diatomite or zeolithe), clay pebbles and gravel and the plants I have seen ( some of them grown like this for more than 5 years) are thriving on it....