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PAPHIOPEDILUMS

 

LIGHT

 

· Very adaptable---can be grown under lights on a window sill or in a greenhouse

· Require less light than most orchids

· Compact, lending themselves to growing in the home

· Both types (green leaf and mottled) do well with 800-1200 foot-candles

· Less light preferred in summer: 800--900

· Will grow and bloom in east, south, or west window

· A hand placed between plant and sun should cast only a faint shadow

· Direct sunlight should be shaded with a thin (sheer) curtain

 

AIR & TEMPERATURE

 

· Fresh air provides carbon dioxide--essential for photosynthesis

· Moving air helps prevent rot and fungus

· Humidity of 40--60% desirable

· Old rule: cool nights for plain-leaf Paphs and warm nights for mottled-leaf Paphs has been discarded; many successful growers do not segregate the two types

 · 70-85 degrees during the day is acceptable for both

· 10-20 degrees difference between day and night is beneficial, especially in the fall

· Ideally there will be a 20 degree difference between the night summer and winter temperatures

 

FERTILIZER

 

· Paphs need very little fertilizer, less than any other orchid

· Roots are very sensitive to the salts in some water and in all fertilizers

· Relate amount of fertilizer to the amount of growth taking place, thus more in spring and summer

· In bark, 1/4 strength. 30-10-10 twice monthly will be enough-less in winter

 

GROWING MEDIA

 

· Paphs terrestiaI but treated as epiphytes--air must get to the roots

· Media must have very free drainage

· Repot immediately after blooming or in early spring, every year

· Pot firmly using only finger pressure--enough to support the plant

· Clarence Lindsten's mix: by volume, eight parts medium fir bark, two parts finely chopped sphagnum moss (not NZ.), one part builders' sand or liner (from Lance Birk)

 

WATERING

 

· Most difficult part of culture to master

· Ideally, mix should be just moist at all times with sufficient porosity to allow air into it

· Rough guide: healthy plant should be watered every three or four days in summer, about once a week in winter

· Many variables can affect the schedule

· Flush heavily every other watering, winter as well as summer

· Paphs have no pseudo bulbs--must not be allowed to dry out either summer or winter

 

Orchid Society of Arizona

August Lorenzini 7-28-92

 

 

 

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