The Coryopedilum Chronicles VIII - 9 month status review + a look at deflasking shock

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
May 14, 2017
Reaction score
Dallas, TX
The Coryopedilum Chronicles VIII – Nine month status review

This Chronicle documents the status of two flasks each of Paphiopedilum sanderianum, rothschildianum, platyphyllum, adductum v. anitum and randsii nine months after they were deflasked and placed into compots.

In Chronicles VIII, there are a few new additions. As discussed below, with randsii and adductum var. anitum recovering slowly but surely from excessive light levels, I was able to obtain an additional flask of each from the exact same cross recently so that we can observe how those plants fare in comparison growing in more ideal conditions from the start. I have also added a new selfing and a new sib cross of adductum to keep things interesting. All of these were deflasked within the last few days. Please note also that Paph. stonei now joins the mix, having been deflasked just before Chronicles VII was posted.

The status of each species is presented in a separate section, along with photographs.

Growing conditions - updated

The compots are indoors, with the adductum, adductum v. anitum and randsii recently moved to a room that is a bit warmer in winter than the bathroom where the rest of the plants are living. No natural light. Artificial light is provided by two Phillips T8 32W 48” Natural Light bulbs, 2850 lumens, 5000k bulbs that are approximately 15 inches above the leaves. Until four months ago, the plants were 18 inches from four bulbs on each shelf, and that proved to be quite excessive.

Watering has been out of the tap for seven months with no ill effect. No fertilizers or other supplements have been applied, and at this point none are planned until the plants are in individual pots. As the plants grow and compots get crowded, watering is back up to 3 times a week (from twice during the last Chronicles 3 month period) for compots, with watering 3-4 times a week for adductum, adductum var. anitum, randsii and plants in individual pots.

Temperature and humidity are monitored on an ongoing basis. Currently, humidity is ranging from 58% to 68% and temperatures as high as 73 during the day, with a low of 68 at night. Temperatures for the adductum, adductum v. anitum and randsii have been similar, but 2-3 degrees higher during cold snaps when the central heating was on (which is more concentrated in the room they now occupy.)

Plant losses

Now that the plants are much older, losses are rare and so I am no longer tracking them.

Paphiopedilum sanderianum

The three compots that were potted with the agar removed are on the left, and the two with agar partially intact are on the right- along with 3 seedlings that got so large they had to be potted out.

These continue to do well and are growing nicely. With the light levels now corrected, these are starting to darken a bit to a more ideal leaf color, and the compots will all need to be potted out fairly soon.

The plants potted with agar intact continue to be a bit ahead of the plants with agar removed, but the larger plants in the compots with agar removed actually seem to be growing at a faster rate now. Unfortunately, in the case of sanderianum there were not two flasks of the same parentage available as was the case for the other species, so slight genetic differences might be having an impact.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum

The two compots that were potted with the agar removed are on the left (they were fairly clumped in flask and so not individually separated- hence two compots vs three), and the two with agar partially intact are on the right.

As in the last update, at this point there is not a significant difference in performance between plants compotted with agar intact vs. agar removed, and these need to be potted out ASAP- hopefully this week if I can get around to it. Many will go back into compot, but the crowding of the plants is pretty intense.

Below is a photograph is of some of rothschildianum compots I deflasked in November, and which have been growing under the new reduced lighting scheme from the start. I post them here to show the ideal leaf color they have maintained. The rothschildianum that have been the subject of these Chronicles are still growing well, but the color of the leaves has not darkened to a more ideal shade at the same pace as has been the case with the other plants. Will be interesting to see how that progresses.

Paphiopedilum platyphyllum

Aside from a number of smaller plants with few roots that went back into compot, these are all in pots now. At this point, two flasks have yielded 33 individual seedlings and 16 strong plants still in compot. Approximately 10-15 tiny seedlings that did not grow well were discarded after being given 9 months to show some progress. All in all, this is about as good an outcome as one can get IMHO.

Of all the species, these had the least negative reaction to the higher light levels previously in effect, but do note that some of the smallest flask leaves were starting to yellow slightly and have died off. New leaves are slightly darker in color and showing excellent width as they emerge.

While the leaf growth has been exceptional, these have still been slow to root and the flask roots plus any new roots appear to remain near the surface. As such, these sometimes get an extra watering during the week. They are very quick to show their displeasure when they are getting too dry by the way- you can see it in plants with a very early stage new leaf. Those leaves actually close up when water is needed- and open right back up once they are getting enough water. These physical reactions take place, in either direction, within a 24 hour period.
Paphiopedilum adductum v. anitum, plus one new flask added last week

As noted last time, these are finally stabilized after doing poorly for 5 months under the excessive light in my original setup. I noted they were growing very slowly, and indeed they are, but not as slowly as I first thought. I say that because most of these have actually put out an additional new leaf since the last Chronicles. It is going to take a few months to see whether the new leaves of 3-4 months ago continue to grow as these new leaves themselves emerge. Either way, for now the new “leaf span” of these plants is quite small, but moving forward. Right now, there are 37 viable plants from 2 flasks- not too bad given the difficulties faced. Most losses were very tiny plants.

The below photo shows a new flask of the same cross that was received and deflasked 2 days ago. This was a half flask at a discount since they had been in a long time, hence some of the yellowing you see.

As you may recall from earlier Chronicles, the original adductum v. anitum flasks had similar issues with lighter leaves, if not to this extent, so I am being very watchful with the hope that these will stabilize and move forward at a better rate than the original plants since they are starting off in more proper lighting conditions from day one.

Paphiopedilum randsii, plus one new flask added last week

Mixed results here. The plants are definitely doing better overall since Chronicles VII and they are definitely responding very favorably to the new lower light levels. The larger plants are slowly putting out thicker and healthier leaves. However, the smaller plants continue to languish, and leaves that were already present when these were in flask continue to develop brown areas that require periodic cutting. Out of interest, in a few cases I have left the leaves alone to see how far this discoloration spreads. I am increasingly convinced it is the result of damage from the prior excessive light levels and not some kind of rot.

At this point, there are 35 viable plants from two flasks, and the new leaves are darker in color and showing the light tessellation patterns one expects of the species. So the news may not be as bad as it seems, but still I am worried about whether the smaller plants will have time to put out a good new leaf or two before the older leaves must be removed due to the spreading (if much slower than it was under higher light) brown discoloration you see in many plants. One bit of good news is that the brown discoloration is only coming on original leaves, never on the new ones.

The below photo shows a new flask of the same cross that was received and deflasked 2 days ago. It was an older flask, so there are fewer and larger plants, plus they are very dark green in color. As with the adductum v. anitum, I am adding these to the mix now to see how well they perform starting off their lives in a more ideal lighting situation versus the compots from the two original flasks which received excessive light for about 5 months. Time will tell. So far, they are off to a good start. They sat open in flask for one day, and have been in compots for 2 days. Leaves are already starting to firm up nicely.

Paph adductum – 6 month progress report, plus 2 new flasks added last week

As noted in Chronicles VI, these 2 flasks came at a discount because the plants were small and not in the best shape. Almost all of the really tiny plants were lost, and I attribute this in part to the fact the first flask was left to sit open an acclimate prior to potting when the plants really needed to be deflasked and potted up right away with the agar removed.

At this point I am very pleased with the progress. As you can see in the new growing environment with lower lighting they are doing quite well. Yes, they are still small- but I am very excited to see how they have bounced back and the rate at which they are putting out new leaves. One interesting point is that on these the leaves tend to be very thick and rigid given the youth of the plants. Also note, while these did spend some time under the prior excessive lighting setup, most of them were in hospital compots at the time and thus had a translucent plastic cover over them which greatly diminished the impact of the artificial lights.

The below two photos are of one of the new flasks received on Wednesday, left open in flask for a day, and then potted out without agar intact. This is an adductum selfing cross. Sadly they did not take too well to being exposed too quickly to an open environment and as you can see they are very droopy. This happened within the first 24 hours after they were potted, and it is the first time I have had this happen to me with any Paph flask in over 10 years. It is always safer to have some safeguards- collars around the compots or half a large soda bottle with the lid off as a dome- to avoid this, however it can also promote rapid rot to go too far with it. Many use plastic baggies on new compots, but I can tell you over the years I have lost so many seedlings to rot that way that I prefer to just let flasks sit open for a few days before potting instead. Trouble is, adductum does not generally like that. And so here we are.

In my experience, the damage is done. What you are seeing is about as bad as it will get, and any tissue that is currently shriveled is going to die. And so, I am going to leave them out and fully exposed- but also make sure they get a little extra misting and that the potting mix stays wet. One thing I do know from a couple of very early and bad experiences years ago is that if I were to put them in a more closed environment now after the damage has been done, rot is guaranteed because all those desiccated tissues will rot within hours and do even further damage.

And here is the other adductum flask received on Wednesday, left open in flask for a day, and then potted out without agar intact. This is an adductum sibling cross- and one of great promise. I really do prefer sibling crosses when they are available. Sometimes selfing crosses are all there is- and good things can come of them. But it has not escaped my notice that the most difficult plants in this entire Chronicles- the first round of adductum, adductum v. anitum and randsii, have all been selfings.

Happily, in this case the deflasking did not have any negative results, and while these are still delicate they should be fully firmed up within a couple of weeks.

All in all, the original adductum flasks are doing very well in the new lower-light environment, and once we are past the extent of the damage from deflasking shock on the new adductum selfing cross, I expect and hope that all 3 of these adductums will do well going forward.
Paph praestans – 6 month progress report

As with the platyphyllum, these continue to flourish and grow quite rapidly. As noted last time, I thought these might need to be thinned out into 3-4 compots, and I plan to do that this week. These were potted with most of the agar removed without separating the plants individually.

Only one slight concern- despite the fact these were only in the prior higher light environment for a few weeks, I have noticed that some of the older flask leaves are yellowing and dying off a bit quicker than I would like. In all cases, they are being replaced by new leaves- but still it is just a bit faster than I would like to see. Perhaps thinning them out will mean less competition for water and alleviate the issue- but if that does not do the trick then these might need to move in with the adductums and randsii where the light levels are slightly lower.

Paph stonei – 3 month progress report

So far so good. These came in after the lighting levels were adjusted, so retain the same good green color they had in flask. Potted with most of the agar removed without separating out the plants individually. Everyone looks healthy and happy, but these have barely budged since deflasking aside from firming up well and filling out a bit. Stonei is a slow grower, so I do not have any concerns just yet.


The reduced lighting levels are having a major impact to the positive (and not just with these, but also with my bellatulum and a number of other crosses. Even the Cattleya trianae compots are growing better and faster- which is very telling.) While overall growth has seemed to slightly slow down, I attribute that to lower winter temperatures which do have about a 4-6 degree impact in this household during the day, and 2-3 degrees at night.

While I continue to watch the adductum, adductum v. anitum and randsii with some concern, the fact is they are looking better and better every month and when I step back and take a count of current plant yield per flask, the numbers tell an optimistic tale.

Chronicles IX- the one year mark- to come in early May. At that point I will give a current status on everything and then I think I will go ahead and drop everything from future Chronicles where most of the plants have made it to individual pots, and instead focus on how the adductum, adductum v. anitum and randsii are doing, along with the species added during these Chronicles which are still in compot.

Final note- The tigrinum Chronicles I are coming within the next week. Just today I potted out a flask of a nice selfing cross from one source, and I have flasks of another selfing cross plus a sib cross coming from another source in the next week or two. Tigrinum has been my one colossal failure in growing out Paphiopedilum flasks, and I am very hopeful to now rectify that. Either way, for better or for worse, it will all be documented in The tigrinum Chronicles as it happens.

Latest posts