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  #1  
Old 05-31-2022, 12:56 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Default New Paph! Don’t know what to do!

Hi all!

I got a Paph from my neighbor last year because it wasn’t doing well with her and I’ve been relatively successful with mine. This one however does not seem to want to play along! All I know about it is that it’s a small, variegated variety. I’ve never seen the flowers. It seems to have 2 keikis that started to grow but never went past two super micro leaves but I’m not sure about that. I’ve attached some pics of the plant, it’s home and the kind of light it gets. The lighting in the pic is the brightest it gets. I’ve also drawn red circles around the two micro leaves/ potential keikis.

Since I’ve had it, two leaves have grown, each smaller than the last. I know that’s not usually a good sign. I just repotted it and, low and behold! No root growth of any kind over the last year either. The tip of one root actually looks like it had rotted a little. Looking at the medium it was in, I think I had too much moss and it was too wet. It is now in a mix of medium bark, small bark, sphagnum moss and black volcanic rock kind of in that order for proportions (more to less). This is more the mix I use with my Phals. I use miracle gro tomato food every time I water, which is a thorough soaking when the top of the medium gets dry. With the mix it was in, that was obviously too much. It only gets indirect lighting. It’s indoors so temperature stays within range.

I know this is a shade plant that likes to be wet and never cold but that’s about it. I was treating it similarly to my Brassia, which is very happy, but with less light. My question is, what should I be doing differently? Is what I’m doing now wrong in any way? Any advice is very much appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2022, 01:09 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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It looks like the plant wasn't getting enough water to the leaves. That was probably because of the poor root system. With more aeration at the roots it should grow better now.

I'm not familiar with that fertilizer. How are you diluting it? What are the numbers on the label? What water are you using? Does your water have any calcium?
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2022, 02:25 PM
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G_W_A_O - paphs live with their roots spread broadly in the interface between accumulated leaf litter and the forest floor - and environment that's always damp and airy, and doesn't cycle wet or dry very much, so see if you can mimic that.

As far as the fertilizer is concerned, if that's the 18%N formula I've seen advertised, you should probably stick to no more that 1/3 teaspoon/gallon, applied weekly.
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2022, 10:53 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Eastación_seca, it’s a 18-18-21. I use regular tap water. As far as I know there’s no calcium. I’ve been doing about 1tsp/gal but I can do less. Any ideas on the lighting? Is it in a good spot?
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2022, 11:57 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!
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2022, 12:33 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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1 tsp per gallon (5ml powder per 3.78 liters) of 18-18-21 at every watering is probably far too much for most Paphs. I would suggest skipping fertilizer for about a month. Then if you want to use it at every watering use about 1/8-1/4 tsp per gallon.

Go to your water utility Web site and look for your most recent water quality report. It is there somewhere. Let us know what the pH is. Also what the mineral content is. This might be reported as total dissolved solids (tds), hardness, alkalinity, calicum carbonate, calcium or magnesium content. Once we know that we can advise about calcium, which is usually not present in fertilizers in sufficient quantities, because it can interfere with solubility of other things in the fertilizer. Your tap water might have enough calcium and magnesium for your orchids, or it might not, and you would need to use a Cal-Mag supplement.

Mottled leaf Paphs are generally low light plants. But we're not sure which kind you have. I would keep it in low light until it recovers, then take another look at it. The large strap-leafed multifloral Paphs can take almost Cattleya light but this is not one of those. It would help to know roughly where you live; you can add this in your profile so it shows on the right side of your ID block in messages.

Ray, who answered you above, sells a root promoting supplement called Kelpak. I (and others here on OB) use this on plants monthly. We are convinced it promotes new root growth. I would definitely use it on your plant if it were mine.

tmoney, it's likely she's a lot farther South than you, which makes a big difference in how much light to give. But most small mottled leaf Paphs need low light, like Phals. In very northern climates they might need longer days than natural from Fall to Spring to flower.
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Last edited by estación seca; 06-01-2022 at 12:37 AM..
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2022, 10:01 AM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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I am no "expert" but have started getting back into phrags and paphs after a long absence. I had several "mottled" leaf paphiopedilums before and was terrible with their culture. Now, I have a few green leaf paphs, and one mottled leaf paph (Ho chi minh). What I have found is that they take more light than I give them credit for. Shadow for a plant is a bit more light than we would instinctively think. When you see that leaves are growing smaller that means they are not getting the same light conditions as the ones before them did. Also, they do like to be constantly moist-- although not wet like phrags. One thing I also noticed is that they seem to start putting out growths on a schedule-- usually following a flowering. I had flowers last month, and this month (I checked today) two small starting leaf growths.
I keep mine in a "deep" pot so I can put a bit of water under them and yet not have the roots touch it. Also I water nearly every day, letting it pour out. But I live in an area with low ambient humidity so your situation may differ.

I also definitely second Kelp, and something not mentioned-- rock dust or limestone. Paphs-- also phrags grow in close association with rocks. (I also add a small bit of worm casings). So I guess terrestrial orchids/lithophites need some hard water.

One thing is: If you have heard of a plant called an Alocasia (it is a popular house plant so there are several). I have a few to act as "canaries in a coal mine" as far as light goes. It is a good plant to grow with paphs and phrags because it likes the same light conditions, and will show you sooner than the paph if you have something wrong. Other companion plants are certain philodendrons. I get this from a blog called "Here But Not" -- this is a link to an entry where the blogger talks about the light requirements of both: https://herebutnot.com/light-recomme...d-houseplants/
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2022, 10:39 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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I’m back with the water quality info! I’m on a well so I had to do the testing myself 😓. Here are my results:
pH: 8.3
Hardness: 1gpg
Iron: .1ppm
Free chlorine: 0.0ppm
Total chlorine: .1ppm
Sulfide: not enough present to show results
Nitrate: same

I’m am on the Chesapeake Bay around Annapolis for a reference as to where I am. I just updated my profile to say what zone I’m in but it’s 7b.

Is Kelpak on Amazon or is there a specific website? I’m assuming instructions are on the package right? 😅

I have moved my phal to a spot with more light. She’s growing another leaf! No signs or any root growth though.

Optimist, are the extra things you add (rock dust and such) mixed in with the potting mix or as a fertilizer additive? And what do you mean by a “deep”pot?
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:15 PM
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For Kelpak go to First Rays LLC › Using Science & Logic to Advance Orchid Growing
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2022, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl_With_An_Orchid View Post
I have moved my phal to a spot with more light. She’s growing another leaf! No signs or any root growth though.

A note about the growth cycle of Paphs... they do a new growth, then roots (which can be a year later), flowers happen after the rooting cycle. So patience!

Many Paph growers use a calcium supplement such as oyster shells (used as a feed supplement for poultry) or a calcium/magnesium supplement such as dolomite lime, as a top dressing - so it leaches in slowly.
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