The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi
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  #1  
Old 06-26-2015, 02:26 AM
mremensnyder mremensnyder is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi
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Tonight, I repotted the two Paphs I currently have in my collection. They get put in regular orchid potting mix from Home Depot. I have tried a good number of others over the past 18 years and have lost many due to lack of skill and unstable cultural practices. The two that remain are Paphiopedilum druryi and Paph. kolopakingii.

A list off the top of my head of Paphs (and related) I have killed:
Paphiopedilum rothschildianum
Paphiopedilum sanderianum
Paphiopedilum spicerianum
Paphiopedilum bellatulum
Paphiopedilum armeniacum
Paphiopedilum delenatii
Paphiopedilum hainanense
Phrag. kovachii (ouch)
Mexipedium xerophyticum (fungus after years of success)
Phrag. longifolium
Phrag. ecuadorense

I talked my dad into buying me the 4" potted, single growth Paph. druryi from World of Orchids in 1997 for the whopping sum of $55! This orchid is native to the sunny, open areas in a limited part of the southern tip of India. Even at the time, it was known to be virtually extinct in the wild. This orchid has been with me ever since, survived Central FL, Northern Virginia in a leaky little greenhouse for a few winters, back to Florida for droughts, freezes, hurricanes, shade, full sun, potting media that had long since degraded to mush, etc. It has seen it all and is now a large specimen size clump, which bloomed for the first time in 2009.

The freeze of early 2010 (the only freeze to ever affect it at all) almost did it in, reducing it to just a couple growths. This from several nights of 25F, sleet, many nights below freezing and a month of chilly weather. An insult from which it has rebounded beautifully. I can only imagine how large it would be if not for 2010. I would have to nominate this tropical Paphiopedilum species as the toughest of the bunch. At least for hot subtropical growing conditions with some winter chill.

The multi-floral Paph kolopakingii has been in my collection since 2009 and is quite a survivor itself, though I have never exposed it to freezing temperatures or extremely dry conditions. I haven't killed it yet and it looks great! Pictures will be posted tomorrow.
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2015, 10:36 AM
disalover disalover is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi Male
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I would kill myself after killing a kovachii
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2015, 11:28 AM
OrchidsPlz OrchidsPlz is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi Male
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you killed a kovachii... Hopefully it was not blooming size... Paph. druryi looks amazing! i should get one...How big is yours now?it is probably a specimen size.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:44 PM
disalover disalover is offline
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I would be even mader at myself if killing a mexipedium
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:18 PM
mremensnyder mremensnyder is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi
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Here are my two Paphs, currently sitting in full sun so that the sprinkler would give them a thorough watering. We did actually get a passing thundershower today that actually provided some rain, which we have not had an over abundance of lately.
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi-paphiopedilum-druryi-6-28-15-jpg   The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi-paphiopedilum-kolopakingii-6-28-15-jpg  
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  #6  
Old 06-28-2015, 04:25 PM
disalover disalover is offline
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WOW guessing the first one is druryi?
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:47 PM
mremensnyder mremensnyder is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi
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Correct, disalover. It was overflowing that very pot at the end of 2009 right before the freeze hit. So, it has rebounded quite well, but is still not nearly as large of a specimen clump as it once was. This species is good down to at least 28F (-2C) for brief periods. 25F is too low though!

The Paph. kolopakingii has bloomed three times for me so far, the nicest of which was in 2012 when it put up a 2 foot spike with at least 5 blooms. I am hoping for a repeat in the next couple months.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:02 PM
mremensnyder mremensnyder is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi
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The Phrag. kovachii was a $300 splurge back in November 2009. It was a large seedling maybe 3-4" across. It didn't make it more than a few months in the cool growing terrarium I had operating at the time. I actually have no idea what killed it, but I'm sure it had to do with the roots/watering/potting media. I tried to be really exacting with its culture, based on all the info I had gathered. I was extremely disappointed! Sometimes orchids just die and there is seemingly nothing that can be done. that has been the eventual destiny of virtually every orchid I have bought. I am working on changing that though.

I grow exclusively species, from many different environments, and the difficulty is maintaining all the conditions for each one long term. For example, you can have an orchid that does well for years, then a cold front hits, life is busy, so it gets put in the greenhouse, but the greenhouse gets too dry and you lose it in a day. Any variation on that scenario is how I lose most of my long term survivors.
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2015, 07:15 PM
euplusia euplusia is offline
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The Toughest Paph: Paphiopedilum druryi Male
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From what I've been told the druryi originates from a high plateau in northern India. So it can stand cool nights and needs full sun to flower good.
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