Manila Bulletin

Markaduke: A native pig recognized as the best lechon in the Philippines

POTTING MIX AND CONTAINER

Paphiopedilum orchids can be grown on various mediums such as bark, limestone, crushed stones, or marbles. Some sellers in Cebu even use crushed crab shells, which should be thoroughly washed and sterilized to remove excess salt. Additional components like coconut husk and charcoal can be added to the potting mix. To ensure stability, it is essential to plant the orchid firmly and avoid wobbling. The plant can be bound or secured on sticks or wires for added support.

While most orchids’ pot size is determined by the length of the leaves or canopy, Paphiopedilum prefers smaller pots, sometimes as little as a two-inch width, but adequate to keep the plant upright. It is crucial that only the roots have contact with the growing medium to prevent rot and diseases caused by leaf-media contact.

LIGHT AND WATER REQUIREMENTS

Paphiopedilum thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Placing them under a single layer of net shade will provide sufficient lighting. These orchids require watering once a day. A slow-release fertilizer is preferred, although any balanced fertilizer will suffice.

PROPER VENTILATION AND AIR MOVEMENT

While Paphiopedilum is considered a ground orchid, better growth is often achieved when the plant is hung, allowing for proper ventilation and air movement. The most common problems encountered when growing these orchids are mites and leaf scales, which typically occur due to overcrowding. Additionally, Paphiopedilum orchids are susceptible to bacterial and fungal diseases. However, these issues can be minimized by meeting the basic requirements of adequate sunlight, proper spacing between plants, and avoiding leaf contact between plants. If any signs of browning on the leaves are visible, the affected parts should be promptly removed to prevent disease spread.

Paphiopedilum exhibits an exotic ornamental appearance, making it a sought-after plant. However, its relative rarity and specialized care requirements contribute to its higher cost, appealing more to connoisseur orchid growers rather than a mainstream choice.

Photo courtesy of Manila Bulletin Agriculture

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2023-09-01T07:00:00.0000000Z

2023-09-01T07:00:00.0000000Z

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