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  • 1 Post By Masaccio
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Paph Potting

This is a discussion on Paph Potting within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I don't grow a huge number of paphs, but enough that this bugs me. I ...

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  1. #1
    Masaccio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Paph Potting

    I don't grow a huge number of paphs, but enough that this bugs me. I usually pot them in sphagnum but I gather that most of the rest of the civilized world uses a small or seedling grade bark mix. I wouldn't mind joining the crowd. What bugs me about bark mix is that it doesn't seem to dry out evenly. Judging by weight and balance, the bottom seems to stay heavy while the rest of the pot seems ready for watering. This includes skinny tapered paph pots, clay pots, etc. (This, as opposed to sphagnum that seems to dry evenly from top to bottom - again, judging by weight and balance.) I can't believe this is only happening to me. Am I an out-of-control control-freak or has this been noticed by others? Does it matter? Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Welcome to the community!

    As to your question about potting slipper orchids: Instead of a plain bark, we mix the following together, wash it completely, let it soak overnight and then pot up the orchid:
    Small Redwood Bark
    Perlite (sponge rock)
    Charcoal (the size of the redwood bark)
    a small amount of coconut husk (small and sometimes medium depending on if it is a paph or a phrag)
    And in the bottom of the pot before any of the mix goes into the pot - we place two or three of the packing peanuts to make sure there is plenty of air exchange around the roots.

    Orchid potting is based largely on your (the grower's) watering habits. If you don't water very often, you will need a mix that holds more moisture. If you love to water your plants, then you need a mix with larger pieces that drains quickly so it allows the roots to dry out before you water again.

    Finally, remember to flush the bark mix well at least once a month to make sure your are removing any salts left over from your fertilizer.

    cheers and welcome to OrchidTalk,
    BD

  3. #3
    Masaccio is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Thanks for your response. Sounds good.

  4. #4
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    I would agree with Bruce!

  5. #5
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    Default

    You might want to consider growing your paphs semi-hydroponically.

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    I find that sieved fine bark , to remove the dust, mixed with the best ( largest size) Perlite, which is usually a nominal 6mm size, also sieved, at about 2 or 3 parts bark to 1 of Perlite, then potted in clean plastic pots, and watered by dunking the pot until bubbles cease, works very well indeed. And simple, too.

  7. #7
    Masaccio is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    This guidance is so appreciated. Thank you both. I'm intrigued by semi-hydro. I also have large perlite so this too will be ground for experimentation. Pun intended.

  8. #8
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    IMHO success or failure with S/H is dependent on light levels.
    I had great success growing in a pit house with 25mm triple wall polycarbonate glazing, and very little shading except in mid-summer to help control heat. And no success in my next house , quite different light, certainly lower, and 7mm clear glass as glazing.A lot of natural shade here from screening plantings , hedges , brick walls etc. They were not growing at all in hydro, and grew very slowly in conventional ppts. Started growing only after I added supplementary lights.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  9. #9
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    In my experience - arguably the most with the technique - the primary controlling factor is temperature, not light, although light does warm things.

    Based upon your comments, you moved plants to shadier conditions, and even traditionally-grown plants suffered, so I can see you making that connection.

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