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Old 09-27-2015, 04:35 PM
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paphiopedilum not blooming

hi & good afternoon everybody. I have three paphs, one w/ mottled leaves & the other two w/ solid green leaves. All have been growing & sending up new leaves & plantlets but in the 3 yrs I've had them they have never bloomed. During the fall, winter & early spring I keep them on the left-hand side of a western window ( in NYC ). In summer I put them out on my balcony in the same positioning but shaded by taller plts around them. They get fertilized w/ an orchid fertilizer about every 2 wks during the summer & sprayed & watered every few days. Inside the apartment I water them less & don't fertilize them. I've read conflicting advice about how to care for them & would appreciate any advice. Would love to see them bloom again.
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:41 PM
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Do you know the names? Names would help in knowing what conditions to suggest - or pictures or descriptions of flowers. Paphs are definitely not all the same in terms of care, and that may be the explanation for some conflicting care advice you have seen.

A couple questions... what type of fertilizer? and have you ever repotted them?
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:47 PM
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They've never been repotted & I remember that the orchid fertilizer had a high nitrogen ( nitrate ?) ratio. I included thumbnail photos w/ the original post - were you able to see it ? The paph w/ the mottled leaves is a hybrid of Blythe x alma gavaerti crossed w/ Var. alium charming. The other tags were lost when I moved.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:43 PM
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The first part of that name is probably correctly Gilbert Blythe x Alma Gevaert, which is a cross named (unfortunately) In-Charm Almagilb. I can't figure out what Var. alium charming might be, but I have enough information to know that your plant is a Maudiae-type hybrid, and rule out that it is one of the small-growing or more delicate species with variegated leaves. That was my concern there.

I can see your pictures. With the solid green leaves I just can't quite be sure what type of Paph they are. Solid green leaf Paphs are not all treated the same. I will assume they get fairly large single (sometimes 2) flowers of fairly heavy texture, probably on fairly short spikes. If that doesn't match your plants let me know.

A couple things I'm fairly certain of.

They would be better off with a lower nitrogen fertilizer - balanced numbers like 10-10-10, or lower nitrogen and potassium like 5-10-5. Make sure your fertilizer supplies micronutrients, try to avoid fertilizer with urea as an ingredient (for a nitrogen source), and mix the fertilizer no more than half the recommended strength if you fertilize once a month, quarter strength if more often than that. Almost all orchids have low fertilzer needs, and Paphs even lower than most. Excess nutrients can stress them, especially if other conditions are not ideal.

Your plants look like they don't get quite enough water. That might mean the roots are unhealthy because the potting mix retains too much water, it might mean the mix doesn't retain much water at all, or it might mean you should water more. You need to figure out which one. Check the condition of the potting mix and if the roots are healthy before watering more. If Paphs aren't doing well and you can't figure out why, always check the roots.

Keeping the plants too warm or in low humidity can also contribute to plants looking water stressed. Outdoor conditions in New York in summer should be fine, but indoors is almost certainly warmer and drier than ideal. But there usually isn't much you can do about indoor conditions. The solid green leaf plants especially would do better with cooler temps in winter especially at night, and for them it is appropriate to reduce water and fertilizer in winter. The mottled leaf plant is capable of growth year-round, and it should always get light, water and fertilizer appropriate to support growth.

I guarantee your plants will be better off if you plan on repotting every spring, ideally when new growth is coming which will be followed by new roots. Repotting does several good things. It lets you check root health. It ensures that the mix is in good condition to retain the right amount of water and keep the roots healthy. It gets rid of mineral deposits in the old mix if you have less than ideal water quality. Fresh mix brings in some micro-nutrients that might be missing from even the best fertilizer. And Paphs just like fresh mix, and don't mind gentle repotting at the right time.

If they are all grown together then most likely, if the solid green ones are getting enough light the mottled one may be getting too much, or if the mottled one is happy the solid greens may need more light. In a bright spot the mottled one might do well in the shade of the others. My impression is the solid greens may not be getting enough light.

A couple of your plants look like they may have widely separated growths, perhaps with no living connection between them. When you repot it might be best to divide those plants and pot them separately. Otherwise you end up needing a too-large pot for a couple small plants. If you divide them it also gives you extra plants to experiment with different conditions, maybe find the right combination sooner. If growths are tightly clustered it is usually best to keep them together though.

I've given you a bit to think about. Don't hesitate to come back with more questions or new information.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:50 PM
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Some Paphs can take years between flowering, those growths don't look far away.

The main thing to consider is light, fertiliser will help them grow but won't be the difference in whether or not flower. Maybe the growths just aren't mature yet or the light isn't quite enough? Fertiliser is very important as well though (just not as important as light or whether or not the growths are mature enough).

I agree strongly with the post above (PaphMadMan).
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:25 PM
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Paphs not blooming.

thanks for the recommendation. I discovered one of the paphs I have is Claire de Lune if that helps. will definitely follow up & hope to have good news in the spring. do you have any recommendations for an orchid fertilizer ?

Last edited by mykel; 09-29-2015 at 06:42 PM.
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