Paph. (Via Victoria x Spring Free) x spicerianum grown by Barb Murza
From Paphos = a city in Cyprus, a place sacred to Aphrodite (Venus), Greek Pedilon = “sandal”, thus “Venus slipper”.
These are native to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Paphiopedilums are widely hybridized and common in orchid collections. Many adapt well to the southern U.S. The bulk of Mickey’s talk focused on this genera. He brought in examples of each subgenus for us to see and touch.
Media – 2 parts coconut or bark : 1 part charcoal : 1 part perlite. Mickey does not like lava rock because they accumulate salts. Paphs and phrags can be grown in the same media. Paphs really don’t like acid media. Be sure to repot when the media begins to break down.
Water – Never let them dry out completely. Use room temperature water. Do not use softened water. Potting media should stay moist but not wet. Most paphs like to be watered every other day. Paphs do not like water on their leaves (in South Florida. In California you would not need to worry about this). If you get water on their leaf axis it can easily cause fungus and rot. To remedy this you can grow in moss to limit the frequency of watering and/or hydrate them by soaking just the roots in water rather than spraying with a hose or watering from overhead.
Food – Paphs like to eat frequently. You can feed a dilute amount at every watering. Simply add a little food to the water and allow roots to soak. Flush with plain water every 4th watering. Alternately, feed weakly weekly, flushing with plain water 4-6 weeks.
Light – 800-1,000 foot candles. 70% shade (shadow east – too much light). Leaves should feel cool to the touch. Most paphs like early morning sun, though they thrive in all day filtered light. If they are in a place where the phalaenopsis have dark green leaves, it is too shady. As with all plants, the higher the light exposure, the more food and water required for the plant to keep up.
Humidity – 70% humidity is ideal. Use a humidity tray, fine mist several times a day, or use a humidifier.
Temperature range – 55°-85° is the ideal temperature range for most paphs.
Air Movement – moist, vigorous air movement reduces chance of disease.
New growth on a healthy plant will mature and bloom within 9 months.
At tonight’s meeting, the winning orchid was Paph. (Via Victoria x Spring Free) x spicerianum, expertly grown by Barb Murza. Barb says this Paph. spicerianum crosses are reliable bloomers and easy to grow.
Species include: Paph. venustum, wardii, purpuratum, argus, appletonianum,barbatum, callosum, lawrenceanum, mastersianum, sukhakulii, superbiens, venustum, viniferum and wolterianum.
Widespread through Southern China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Known as maudiae-type paphs due to their mottled leaves. Warm monsoon (monsoon summer/dry cool winter) growers ideally suited to South Florida. Prefer shade (500-1500 foot-candles).
Species include: Paph. coccineum, hirsutissimum, spicerianum, barbigerum. boxalii, charlesworthii, druryi, exul, fairrieanum, gratrixianum, helenae, henryanum, herman, insigne, and trigrinum.
Native to Southen China, Bhutan, Laos, Burma, and Thailand. Most are cool monsoon growers (require cooler autumn temperatures to bloom). Distinguished by green, strap-shaped leaves. Bloom in winter. Prefer bright light (high phalaenopsis, low cattleya light).
Species include: Paph. bellatulum, longipetalum, niveum, bellatulum, concolor, godefroyae, xgreyi, niveum and thaianum.
Native to tropical China, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, and Thailand. Distinguished by their tessellated and succulent, water-filled leaves. They do not need as much water as other paphs. According to Mickey they come to flower quickly. They like more food and particularly do not like water on their leaf axis. These slippers can tolerate temperatures into the 40’s. They enjoy the monsoon summer/dry cool winter seasons of South Florida. Cool dry winter + calcium supplements for summer blooming. Shade. Good air movement.
Species include: Paph. armeniacum, delenatii, malipoense, micranthum, vietnamense, emersonii, hangianum, jackii, and malipoense.
Native to tropical China and Vietnam. They are distinguished by tessellated thin leaves and flowers with large, inflated pouches. Cool dry winter + calcium supplements for summer blooming. Shade. Good air movement.
Strap-Leaf Multiflorals – Distinguished by their ability to sustain multiple blooms. They like good air flow. Must have a 6-8 week cool period (50-60°F) to bloom. Mickey considers them difficult to kill and they are fast growers. The leaves should be an apple green color for optimal flowering. This subgroup prefers more light; most tolerating cattleya-level light (2000-3000 ft-candles). They prefer to grow warmer and shouldn’t be exposed to temperatures below 50°-55°. They enjoy the monsoon summer/dry winter seasons of South Florida.
Species include: Paph. glaucophyllum, liemianum, moquetteanum, primulinum, victoria-mariae and victoria-regina (syn. chamberlainianum).
Native to Indonesia. Sequential bloomer. Mickey states that cochlopetalums are great for growers in Southwest Florida. Again, they are warm weather monsoon growers.
Species include: Paph. adductum, gigantifolium, intaniae, kolopakingii, ooii, philippinense, platyphyllum, praestans (syn. glanduliferum), randsii, rothschildianum, sanderianum, stonei and supardii.
Species include: Paph. parishii, stonei, lowii, dianthum, haynaldianum, lynniae, and richardianum.
Primarily found in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. Simultaneous bloomer. These enjoy cooler, drier weather.
DO PAPHIOPEDILUMS LIKE LIME?
For a mixed collection use: balanced fertilizer, 40ppm calcium, 20-30ppm magnesium, and pH 6.2-6.6.
For Calcareous Species add a top dressing of crushed oyster shell, pelletized limestone, or dolomitic limestone chunks.
Calcareous Species include: armeniacum, malipoense, microanthum, emersonii, bellatulum, concolor, godefroyae, niveum, philippinense, sanderianum, stonei, glanduliferum, wilhelminae, supardii, dianthum, glaucophyllum, liemianum, primulinium, Victoria-regime, hirsuitissmum, charlesworthii, insigne, barbigerum, exul, spicerianum, fairrieanum.
MISCELLANEOUS ORCHID TIPS
- Oncidiums growing too dark in winter won’t bloom in Spring. This is why many growers can only get their oncidiums to bloom once a year in the Fall.
- Ring stakes allow light to hit new growth and increase blooming in cattleyas.
- Bare root orchids love to be watered daily, and by watered Mickey means fully hydrated of course, to mimic the nearly constant misting many of them receive in their natural habitats. Professional growers typically mist their bare root orchids for 45 min twice daily and feed twice a week. Hobbyists can set up a sprinkler on a timer for a similar effect. For those of us with other responsibilities Mickey recommends at least once a week fully hydrating your orchids, either soaking in water or watering them 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). This particularly applies to vandas. Palm tree vandas are food and water-deprived vandas.