Orchids forum→Paphiopedilum question

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Name: Luda
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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mishkab
May 21, 2021 11:38 AM CST
I got a mail order of couple bare root multifloral paphs and put them in sphagnum (it was the only thing in my hands at that moment). Now I research the proper potting mix for them. All I see is seedling grade fir bark with charcoal, perlite and may be a bit of sphagnum. Did anybody tried to use pure moss if it is loose packed and airy? I plan to change the media to seedling fir bark as most of sources recommend. I am just curious.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
May 21, 2021 2:57 PM CST
Unless you are a very experienced orchid grower, ie. Growing for ten years or so, I would not recommend sphagnum moss by itself for anything!
Why?
It is too easy to pot the orchid too loosely. This negates using the moss to begin with.
It is too easy to pack the moss too firmly. This blocks water penetration which is not good.
So it is like the 3 bears story, too soft, too firm or just right. I have been growing orchids for 47 years and I am still reluctant to put things in moss.

Now Paphiopedilums are moisture loving, low light plants. In terms of their light requirements they like more light then a Phalaenopsis and less then an Oncidium.
Thumb of 2021-05-21/BigBill/e9a79c


Thumb of 2021-05-21/BigBill/1252f7

These images are of my underlight set up. 12 hours on in the winter, 16 in the summer. They grow very well. Most are in 4" pots and are watered about every 5 days in winter, 3 days in summer.
I myself use a mixture of 50% seedling fir bark, 20% aliflor, 15% seedling grade charcoal and 15% seedling grade perlite. That is true for Brachypetalum or Callosum types.
With strap leafed slippers that bloom sequentially, I give the mix less fir bark and more charcoal and perlite.

I fertilize about once a month at half strength.


Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Luda
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Image
mishkab
May 21, 2021 11:46 PM CST
Thank you very much for your replay. You collection of paphs is gorgeous! Thank you for the light information. For some reason I thought that they need less light then phals. I already bought a new grow light as I ran out of space at the windows Hilarious!
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
May 22, 2021 4:16 AM CST
Good luck with your slippers!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!

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