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  • 1 Post By CVHorticulture
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Paph. in community "Beds"

This is a discussion on Paph. in community "Beds" within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have been dreaming up this idea of establishing a slipper orchid bed in the ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Paph. in community "Beds"

    I have been dreaming up this idea of establishing a slipper orchid bed in the "Conservatory" within the greenhouse at my school. There is a small water feature with flagstone all around it that is covered with natural moss and the resulting fullsize ferns. Lots of nooks and crannies filled with humus. I think it would be a neat idea to incorporate slipper orchids (paph, phrag) around this.

    What considerations would need to be taken?
    How would one amend the "soil" to support terrestrial orchids?
    Will Paphs and Phrags "colonize" an area if in an ideal growing environment?

    The school greenhouse has about 35 orchids (mostly Phals) that are growing in far from ideal conditions yet without fail produce an exorbitant amount of blooms in the wintertime (maybe not that far from ideal).

    I will take some pictures tomorrow between classes to give a better idea on the scope of this project and would greatly appreciate any input as I have nearly no experience with terrestrial orchids.

    Thank You,
    CVH

  2. #2
    orchidsal's Avatar
    orchidsal is offline Senior Member
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    Look forward to your photos Ryan, though I may need to defer to someone more experienced and knowledgeable to answer many of your questions. AL

  3. #3
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    I am also looking forward the pictures Ryan, your idea is really cool. Instead of potting the orchids directly in the soil and substrate in the bed, I would rather pot it up in a orchid pot and camouflage it with moss and bark.
    Have a look at the pictures in this link.
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...ut-poland.html

    These are the pictures from a beautiful conservatory at Lancut (pronounced Winsut) in Poland, maintained by our senior member Danuta. They have essentially done the same thing where they camouflage the orchid pots with moss and bark. Once the plants are out of flower they are taken back to the maintainance greenhouse and the new flowering plants are put into their position.

  4. #4
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    At school now, these are the shots of the conservatory.

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    The water feature is on the western side of the middle wall running down the North/South oriented greenhouse. Airflow and shade and humidity are all managed by the faculty. Cleanliness and watering are managed by work/study students. Their effort has been lacking.

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    I feel the left side of the feature has the best "media" yet could prove to be too bright.

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    The raised bed currently filled with aluminum plants has promise in the way of light, yet would require the most amending to attain the appropriate tilth.
    I like the idea of using the in-pot camouflaged method, but unfortunately plants tend to grow legs and wander away from this greenhouse. I was lucky to have only had 5! full spikes of an Oncidium "Sharry Baby" stolen. If the culture of terrestrial orchids can prove successful under this method, I think it could prove integral to contemporary interiorscapes. I think that there are a lot of details to work out. If anyone is interested in strategizing with me on this, I more than welcome the input.

    CVH

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    The paphs I have seen growing in the wild don't actually colonise, probably plants are relatively short-lived. I have never seen a large clump, at all. Two or three growths per plant, the older ones of each plant have died away. But phrags may be different - they certainly form bigger clumps in cultivation, than paphs do.
    But it is an interesting project - worth having a go.

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    Would it be possible to add a few inches of an appropriate mix on top of the existing substrate? This would emulate the way some Paphs grow in the natural forest mulch on top of a soil base.

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    I would think so - assuming reasonable drainage ; actualy I have seen paphs growing in a few inches of soil lying in hollows in an otherwise exposed rock base ( P.concolor) in thin scrubby woodland - the trees presumably having roots which found their way into cracks and crevices , and the soil coming from degradation of the rock plus humus from leaf mould. I have also seen P.bellatulim growing apparently on bare rock, although investigation always showed the rootrs went into a crevice. I have also seen P.barbatum with roots spread over a large area of exposed rock with bits of moss here and rhere - so in none of these cases was rhwere any depth of proper soil.on top of rock.

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    Look forward to following this discussion and seeing what you decide to do, Ryan.

    cheers,
    BD

  9. #9
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    I will be talking to the faculty about getting the go ahead on this project next week. Any suggestions on specific specie?
    Oh, forgot to add what my thoughts were for building up a good substrate. Since the bed is already filled with a bark mix that is fairly broken down, i was thinking of adding equal parts fir bark, charcoal, and perlite. Any suggestions to that? As far as i am concerned, with my lack of experience with terrestrial orchids, if anyone with more experience wants to quarterback this project i am definitely game. The school budget rolls over in a week so the department has to eat through the rest of their balance prior to that.

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Perlite in the mix will look pretty messy in a situation like this. What other alternatives do you have available?

    I would stick with Maudiae-type Paph hybrids and related species, and sequential flowering Paph species in section Cochlopetalum and their within-section hybrids to start with - tough, easy and usually cheap. If things go well for a while you can try adding some multifloral types later. Not really a situation for most Brachy or Parvi types. The Phrag species that like their feet wet might be good near the water.
    Last edited by PaphMadMan; June 9th, 2012 at 01:19 PM.

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