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Drawn Towards Paphiopedilums, Need a Realty Check :(

This is a discussion on Drawn Towards Paphiopedilums, Need a Realty Check :( within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi guys, I believe I am with the appearance of Paphiopedilum Sanderianum. I have done ...

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  1. #1
    Gurj's Avatar
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    Post Drawn Towards Paphiopedilums, Need a Realty Check :(

    Hi guys, I believe I am with the appearance of Paphiopedilum Sanderianum. I have done some research and stumbled upon a Canadian seller, selling a flask of 15 paphs for $125. I find it hard to resist but

    I was asking myself what-are-the-odds of me bringing them up and still alive to watch it bloom? I am not sure about it but on the other hand I am in love. I have just entered the orchid realm. Please guys, give me a realty check.

    I would also welcome some input on affordable Paphiopedilums for beginners !!!

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    If you are ready to Shell 125 Dollars, you might as well buy a flowering size division, which I am sure you will get at this price, and in the time it will take for the deflasked babies to flower (roughly 5 years) you will have a big Sanderianum which you could divide into atleast 2 blooming size plants.

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    I have no experience of growing paphs from flask but I think Amey's estimate must be quite close. I agree sanderianum is really beautiful - it is not called the Queen of paphs for nothing. I have a few multiflora(Polyantha) paphs and I find sanderianum very slow growing, and my other polyanthas have overtaken it in growth. The others obtained at about the same time have put out 3-4 new fans and have bloomed at least 3 times but sanderianum seems to be struggling along and has put out just one new growth, BTW my plants were all bought as adult divisions and cost about US $15 - 40 each.

  4. #4
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    We have some sanderianum that we have grown from flask. We got them in 2006 and they are still growing - no blooms yet. These are very slow growing orchids. The other paphs that we got at the same time in flasks have already bloomed - some for a few years now. That said, we only lost maybe 6 Paph sanderianum orchids from the flask till now and the others, well, lets just say their numbers have somewhat thinned - by a lot! lol.

    If you have 125.00 to spend on an orchid - get a blooming size or in spike Paphiopedilum sanderianum and enjoy.

    cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
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    I agree with some of the other posts here. When I first started growing orchids I bought some seedlings because of the low prices. It's very frustrating, especially for someone new to orchids, to wait 4 or 5 years for the first blooms and even longer to get a decent size plant that will have several flowers. Even worse, many times they will die before blooming. My best experiences as a new grower was starting with blooming size plants and growing them into large specimens. Good luck.

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    Unless you're a sucker for punishment, get a mature plant! There are sooooooooooo many things which can happen to small orchid plants, that I for one would not take the chance. Just my opinion.....Betty

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    Gotta say, everyone above is right on. I started out with some seedlings...and they are pretty much all dead now. When you are just learning to raise orchids go with adult plants...and blooming is best. You know for certain if you bought it in bloom, that if given proper care, it will bloom again someday.

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    I do wish that I could expect to flower multi-floral paph seedlings in 5 years from flask ; my experience in UK, based on maybe a dozen different species and hybrids ( sometimes several goes at each) are that 10 years is the minimum, and the chances of success - unless it is a large flask with 20 or 30 seedlings to go at, are less than 50%.
    The best way would be in a propagator - dew point cabinet - which will itself cost you about £500 sterling - but have room for six standard seed trays of seedlings - they grow about 4 times faster in one of those in England - that is what I have used to flower paph seedlings in 2 years - but not mult-florals ! PM me if you want details.

  9. #9
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    Have you tried growing paphs yet? Surely there is some local resource where you could get some hybrids (even offspring, like Michael Koopowitz or Chiu Hua Dancer) to practice with. Maybe the British Paphiopedilum Society can help you locate a mature sanderianum type.

    Reality check: Flasks are not for the faint of heart. You really should develop a methodical competence in cultivating mature plants of a genera, before attempting deflasking similar seedlings. They require consistent nuturing and decisive and swift response to issues such as fungal invasions. In other words, they won't tolerate a lot of tinkering and if you aren't exactly sure how an adult would fare in your growing conditions, it will be a sheer stroke of luck to get one of the flasklings to bloom size.

    If you absolutely must play with babies, get a flask of something cheap and easily cultivated, like phal hybrids. For around $20 USD, you can get a flask of phals that could potentially be ready to bloom 18 months later. With the other $105, you can get a few mature paphs that you can gain success growing and 2 years from now you will know whether you want to mess around with a flask of more fussy* paphs from Canada.

    Good luck!

    *Just guessing. I don't know if they are harder to raise, but there must be some reason that a species that was first recognized over 100 years ago is still more expensive and hard to find?

  10. #10
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    Based on the comments thus far, I'd say the concensus is "Buy yourself a blooming size plant -- preferably actually in bloom."

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