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Paphiopedilum - use of calcium in the potting medium

This is a discussion on Paphiopedilum - use of calcium in the potting medium within the Orchids Which Benefit from Extra Calcium forums, part of the General Information category; I would be iterested if anyone had a general rule of thumb regarding which of ...

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    Default Paphiopedilum - use of calcium in the potting medium

    I would be iterested if anyone had a general rule of thumb regarding which of the Paphiopedilum species required enriched calcium in one form or another. I water with R.O. enhanced with Michigan State Fertilizer but have a number of Paphs. that just sit there and look at me - no growth, no flower, for over a year. Am thinking the addition of calcium might be of help but I understand there are a number of Paphs. that will not tolerate it.
    Any hints?

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    I received one paph that had some kind of calcium rich mix but I had to repot it and have been looking for a proper calcium additive since then. I'm interested to see what people think.

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    I add a bit of calcium bird grit to my paph bark mix but I found that when we added lights to my "orchid room" and made sure they had 10 hours of good light a day it made all the difference in the world and they are all growing and thriving.

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    I have my paphs. under new flourescent bulbs, replaced once a year and they receive ambient light from a 400Watt HPS also. They are just stuck in suspend mode......

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    A vendor I recently purchased from wrote me that they use calcium supplements on their paphs. I know some growers use Cal-Mag on there orchids. If any are intolerant of calcium, I need to know, too.

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    There are not too many that are intolerant of Ca, although some prefer a more acid medium (delantii) as an example. The Antec website has a list of calcium liking Paphs.
    I use crushed oyster shell -available in feed stores (State Farm etc) as a supplement for poultry. Ground dolomitic limestone works also just washes through the pots faster.

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    I have been adding Garden Lime(pelletized) that I have purchased from a box store to my paph.s I haven't been growing very long.I have done many things wrong over the last 1.5 years.My best paph. is a Maudiae (green). Have Fun,Rich

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    This may be a dumb question but here goes.

    As a newbie in caring for paph I have read that calcium supplementation is needed for paphs,
    but my question is what happens if they dont get calcium? do they go into decline and die?
    and how does calcium differs from any other fertilizer... what about those growing in S/H
    do they add calcium to it as well? Im just confused because how come paphs needs more calcium
    than the other orchids, or was i wrong in my assumption.

    Im concerned because I never applied calcium for all of my paphs, but it seems that they are
    thriving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by delphiguy View Post
    This may be a dumb question but here goes.

    As a newbie in caring for paph I have read that calcium supplementation is needed for paphs,
    but my question is what happens if they dont get calcium? do they go into decline and die?
    and how does calcium differs from any other fertilizer... what about those growing in S/H
    do they add calcium to it as well? Im just confused because how come paphs needs more calcium
    than the other orchids, or was i wrong in my assumption.

    Im concerned because I never applied calcium for all of my paphs, but it seems that they are
    thriving.
    I used to add calcium (crushed oyster shell) in the early part of growing paphs but had stopped for while. They are still growing fine and flowering. BTW I grow mainly brachys which are supposed to love calcium.

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