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  #11  
Old 07-28-2022, 04:07 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Roberta, that’s interesting. I primarily have Phals so I was looking for that kind of growth. So basicallly it’s leaves then roots then flowers. Good to know!
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2022, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Girl_With_An_Orchid View Post
Roberta, that’s interesting. I primarily have Phals so I was looking for that kind of growth. So basicallly it’s leaves then roots then flowers. Good to know!
Paphs are quite different in growth habit - and needs - than Phals. They also don't want to dry out ever. Roots look totally different - brown and fuzzy are normal. Since they need to stay wet, they want small bark or similar water-retentive medium, and tend to need to be repotted every couple of years, or even every year depending on the quality of the medium.
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2022, 08:05 PM
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i always thought, as a general rule, variegated paphs like more light than their solid green counterparts?

hope someone comments so we can move ours to the shade if need be!

sorry, other than that i have no help for you...other than give it some kelpmax and wait!
Only multi-florals need higher light (similar to Cattleya). All the others should have low light, similar to Phalaenopsis or slightly less.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2022, 01:21 AM
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Your water is probably fine for most orchids. I suggest testing the pH after mixing your fertilizer. It will probably drop some, which is desirable. Orchids would prefer a lower pH than 8.3. 5.5-6.5 would be good.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2022, 10:28 AM
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Actually, I'd worry about water quality less with Paphs than almost anything else. They tend to thrive on hard water - they love calcium especially. According to Brandon Tam, the orchid specialist at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, their world-class Paph collection does better on well water (high pH, high TDS) than with RO.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2022, 11:16 AM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Well I’m glad my water is good! I’ve read twice now that more calcium is good for Paph. Is there a good source for oyster shells or dolomite?
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:26 AM
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I've been reading for years about applying dolomite or oyster shells to plants for calcium. It doesn't work. The amount of calcium leached out is close to zero unless the water has a very low pH.

Plants use substantial amounts of calcium, though less than they use nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. If you've had shells in an aquarium you will realize they don't dissolve, not even after many years.

Use a water-soluble calcium and magnesium supplement. Apply it at a different time than you fertilize because of solubility problems. Calcium and magnesium salts are insoluble and precipitate out of solution.
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2022, 11:42 AM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Ok. Is there a good brand for that? I use miracle gro tomato food right now which has some calcium but it’s very very little. I also know there are better fertilizers out there and that I could make my own so I’d be interested in information about that as well. As far as the pH of the water, I’ll test it with that fertilizer. What pH should I be looking for for my Phals and Brassia?
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2022, 12:03 PM
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The usual Phal and Brassia hybrids are not particularly fussy about pH (or solids for that matter) For most purposes, a balanced orchid fertilizer (all 3 numbers the same) works fine with tap water. Fertilizer is the least important cultural factor. Get everything else right (light, air movement, watering and drainage, temperature), then the fine points of fertilizing are the "fine tuning". IF you know the important characteristics of your water (pH, TDS, amount of calcium and magnesium) you can adjust fertilizer accordingly.
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2022, 02:02 PM
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Your water hardness is low so your mineral content is probably low. Search on "cal-mag" fertilizer to buy it and also search Orchid Board for the term to read what other people do. My tap water has plenty, or too much, calcium and magnesium so I don't need a supplement.
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