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  • 2 Post By ECC_lectic
  • 3 Post By Ron-NY
  • 3 Post By PaphMadMan
  • 1 Post By catttan

Need advice from paphanatics

This is a discussion on Need advice from paphanatics within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I went to an orchid show yesterday, and promised myself that I would buy plants ...

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  1. #1
    ECC_lectic's Avatar
    ECC_lectic is offline Member
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    Alla Linetsky
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    Default Need advice from paphanatics

    I went to an orchid show yesterday, and promised myself that I would buy plants only from those alliances that I didn't already have. Except for two really cheap Miltonias, I kept my promise.

    So among my new acquisitions I have three very small paphs: one dilenatii, one micranthum and one leucochilum hybrid. The micranthum is a division, the other two are seedlings. I've spent hours online looking for culture information, but found nothing regarding really small plants.

    For example, the micranthum is a cool growing species, and while I can provide a chilly bright window for it (about 9-14 degrees C), I'm not sure it's such a good idea for a plant with only four leaves, growing a fifth. The dilenatii apparently also likes it cool in the winter, although probably not as cold as the micranthum. It is also in active growth, so I'm not sure I should be chilling it.

    Water pH and fertilization are another issue. It appears that the micranthum and the leucochilum species like alkaline water, but what about leucochilum hybrids? I can provide them with pH 8 water, but is it a good idea at this point in their lives? I doubt they had special diets in the greenhouse they came from. They're also potted in bark chips - should I repot them into slightly alkaline lava rock?

    So I would appreciate some advice on how to nurse these babies into healthy, happy adulthood. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Default

    seedlings in small bark chip mix is fine. I would just grow them intermediate. Try to keep the humidity up. Seedlings are more sensitive to low humidity. Be sure not to allow them to dry.

  3. #3
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    I wouldn't worry about 9-14C nights for for any of those Paphs if they are acclimated to it gradually, regardless of size. But if they are in active growth give them warmth and water and fertilizer to support growth. With the leaucochilum hybrid, look at what other species are involved. In most cases you can probably treat a hybrid that is half or more leuchilum like leucochilum without causing any harm.

    I wouldn't obsess about alkaline water though. Add some limestone or oyster shell to the potting mix for those plants and the pH balance will shift toward the alkaline.

  4. #4
    gnathaniel's Avatar
    gnathaniel is offline Senior Member
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    From what I've read/been told calcicolous Paphs don't prefer really alkaline conditions, most of them apparently do well with pH close to neutral or even slightly acidic as that's the optimal range for nutrient availability. They do need decent levels of calcium, which is effectively supplemented in soluble form via balanced fertilizer. Adding shell or limestone may help buffer the potting medium from pH shifts but probably doesn't contribute much soluble calcium, though it certainly doesn't hurt.

  5. #5
    eircsmith's Avatar
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    I am appreciating about informative thread you had post about growing of micranthum orchid. Can we use some nutrient to balance pH of water?

  6. #6
    catttan's Avatar
    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Very sound advice from Ron and Kirk.

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