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Paph. delenatii culture

This is a discussion on Paph. delenatii culture within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Dear all, With due consideration of different growing conditions--and this is a point that cannot ...

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  1. #1
    Wentworth is offline Junior Member
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    Default Sphagnum & P. delenatii

    Dear all,
    With due consideration of different growing conditions--and this is a point that cannot be dismissed easily

    --Dr. Tanaka believes that delenatii dislikes sphagnum
    http://www.orchid.or.jp/orchid/peopl...pervcult3.html

    --L. Birk (p. 29) writes: "It likes extra moss at the roots"

    --Cribb, Averyanov et al. write (p. 95): "Commonly plants grow in shade in mossy crevices [...] The roots of the orchids are either in contact with the rock or in thin sandy soil with very little humus and leaf litter"

    --Vacherot & Lecoufle (who saved the one early clone and multiplied it until delenatii was rediscovered in the mid 1990's) grow their plants in bark and poly-something and water with tap water which happens to be alkaline--the acidity of the compost probably neutalizes the excess alkalinity.

    My V&L clone was given to me by a friend who grew it in the Vacherot & Lecoufle mix and watered it with alkaline tap water. I have noticed considerable improvement the moment I switched to RO water (I use the same mix).

    I hear the new clones are easier to grow but we must not forget "P. delenatii is one of the most geographically restricted Vietnamese endemics with a distribution area certainly of less than 100 square km." (Cribb & Averyanov p. 91).

    So what should we do? I would be glad to hear about your own experiments.
    Happy growing

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    Hi , I have the delenatii , mine is in Spag. watered with half Ro. or rain and half dechloranated tap, the water here is liquid rock and smells like a bleach bottle sometimes , the Ph runs around 6.8 with the half and half , off the scale straight tap , It bloomed last year but not yet this year .The light is from a south east walk in bay window set up and artificial for no sun days .Thanks for the good info. it is appreciated . Gin

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    I've only grown them in fine coconut husk, fine bark, oyster shell, sponge rok, and charcoal, so have never tried mature plants in sphag. I do have several compots of seedlings in sphag right now though; might be interesting to see if there's any difference in growth rate / quality if some are left to mature in sphag when I go to pot them up individually. The water here is on the acidic side, so I compensate for that with a buffer (normally used in aquarium maintenance) mixed into the fertilizer solution, ultimately yielding a pH of about 7.2 - 7.3. I haven't had any problems, but then again, I haven't done any kind of serious experimentation with this.

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    Default Granite

    Well, since delenatii grows on granite the medium is acidic and the water very pure. I am tempted to grow mine in straight perlite or perhaps I shall get a compot to make some experiments.

    Thanks for the responses--they illustrate the diversity of our growing mediums.

    Happy growing

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    If they really do like things on the acidic side, I may just get rid of the oyster shell and water them unbuffered. Would you happen to know the pH of the water measured where they grow in the wild? I also never knew that the elements that made up granite were water-soluble enough to lower pH, thinking that granite was for some reason inert. Thanks for the info....

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    Default Acidic medium

    Unfortunately Crbb & Averyanov do not merntion Ph. for delenatii (they do in some cases)--perhaps because the terrain where they grow is so difficult & dangerous (vertical slopes AND the worst form of malaria, to name a few). However they write "it [delenatii] has now been shown to grow on acidic soils on granite and gneiss mountains" p. 94).

    The problem is that without buffer Ph. is bound to swing wildly and dangerously. THIS is the problem. Perhaps oyster shell should be avoided but there must be some buffer--I think you are right, Louis.

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    I just don't know. Like most others, I am still learning and experimenting here as I go along. Depending on the season, the pH of our water supply can shift dramatically, so I've been using the buffer to keep things more or less stable year around. Plus, in our situation, I unfortunately don't have the ability to give each type of plant the precise requirements it might need, so I try to give everything a happy middle ground in terms of a fertilizer solution that does well for the most plants. Given what you said about delenatii's requirements however, there's absolutely no reason to use the oyster shell in the mix as I've been doing for them, and the plants will probably grow better without it. So, thank you for that!

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    I'm not sure how much oyster shell will affect the pH. I'm talking about the crushed pet-store type that they use for birds, which doesn't really dissolve. It seems that it'll get washed out of the pot before it dissolves. Dolomitic lime, on the other hand, seems to dissolve immediately and that I'm sure will raise the pH to some extent.

    That said, I read a while ago that delenatii does not grow in contact with limestone, so I haven't put any oyster shell on it. I don't think a little bit would hurt it, though. Just my 0.02.

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    That's a good point, Jason. I used to use crushed oyster shell and crushed coral as a substrate in marine aquaria, where it was supposed to help keep the water's pH high and stable. Thing is, it worked only because the same water was being continuously recirculated through it.

    I've often wondered how much good it actually did as a thin top dressing for orchid plants, where any particular volume of water only stayed in contact with it for--what: a half a second at most when the water was poured through? I still use it that way though, assuming that the film of water that remains on it has a chance to dissolve out some calcium that might percolate down and reach the roots while the medium was still wet. Same reasoning for why I'll mix it into the medium itself, where it'll stay wetter longer and have a chance to do its intended work.

    The acidity and temperature of the water going in is going to make a huge difference on how much of the stuff is actually going to get dissolved, and unless you water with, say, hot vinegar, I still have my doubts that it's going to be much. Worth experimenting with, though. If using it is completely unnecessary because delenatii likes things on the acidic side, no reason for me to keep chucking it in.

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    Default Buffers

    One thing is certain--delenatii grows in an acidic medium.

    However the PH. of our medium (when we use rain or RO water) may--and does--shift dramatically (with dire consequences for the roots). With some fertilizers (the brand shall remain nameless) and RO water, PH. may collapse down to 4--very dangerous obviously.

    Hence we need some kind of buffer.

    I think Louis' aquarium buffer may be the best and safest. I think I am going to try it. But I am sure there are other ways as evidenced in the various solutions propounded by other forum users (without forgetting the Vacherot & Lecoufle very acidic medium + alkaline tap water).

    Thank you all for this very useful discussion. "Now is my way clear/ Now is the meaning plain".

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