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  #1  
Old 09-25-2010, 09:09 AM
Claire25 Claire25 is offline
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Need a moisture-retentive media for Paphs... Female
Default Need a moisture-retentive media for Paphs...

Hi all,

I'm looking for suggestions regarding fairly moisture-retaining media for Paphiopedilums. I have gotten into the habit of using sphag for all of my orchids, since any bark-based mix I tried ended up being way too dry for my conditions (forgetful watering at all times, and downright neglect in the winter months). However, my Paphs have never really liked sphag (not surprising...you're not very likely to find a Paph growing in a sphagnum bog in nature ) and so I was hoping for someone who's been a little more adventurous with potting mediums than I have to give me some advice. Currently, my Maudiae-type Paphs are doing OK, but if and when I grow the limestone-loving species again I'll need to do something different...

Thanks,
Claire
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2010, 09:33 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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You might want to consider semi-hydroponics, as with proper cultural technique, the medium stays moist and airy.

I find that providing the calcium and magnesium through the feeding regimen far more certain that doing so through a medium additive.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2010, 10:15 AM
Royal Royal is offline
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Hi Claire,

I prefer bark for most of my orchids, but have the same problem with Paphs in bark. I've had some sucess with a few options:
1. Add some sphag to a good bark mix. I was really wary of mixing media, and it took a few times to get the right ratio, but it has worked well for a few of my Paphs.
2. My preferred option is a seedling bark mix. Oak Hill sells a good seedling bark mix. Orchiata is my new favorite, I find the seedling grade to work well. It's harder to find but it's good stuff - has dol. lime added to.
3. Coconut husk chips. After getting some advice here I ordered some from First Ray's (along with a semi-hydro starter pack). The CHC saved my Paphs.

At least one of these option is bound to work for you in your condidtions. Good Luck!
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:10 AM
Claire25 Claire25 is offline
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Need a moisture-retentive media for Paphs... Female
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Those are great suggestions--for now, I think I may try the CHC next time I repot, as I happen to have a brick of that just sitting around. I will definitely look into semi-hydro for the future, though; it sounds very interesting. I thank you both.

Claire
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2010, 12:15 PM
quiltergal quiltergal is offline
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All my Paphs and Phrags are in fine CHC/chac/perlite. They are all doing great. I don't have the time to fuss with my chids during the week so I need a medium that will hold moisture for at least 7 days.
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