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  Side Effects

Paphiopedilum - An Orchid blossoms

Francesco and Stefania, Rome, Italy

Orchids of the genus Paphiopedilum (are said to) origin  from Asia and Central America.

The Paphiopedilum grows, to protect himself from the sun, in shaded spots among rocks, at foot of trees and other plants. Wild Paphiopedilum have been hybridized (it’s quite common with orchids …) in order to get improvements with regards to life span, shape, colour(s).

Cultivar (man made plants) exist in different colours: white, red, brown, up to striped and speckled ones. This orchid thrive in the light but from March to September doesn’t like direct sunlight. Once a week it has to be soaked in warm water (25°-30° C) and once a month needs a bit of fertilizer when watering. When flowers are gone cut stems and wait for new leaves to grow around. To allow new flowers to develop put the plant(s) in a well lighted, cool place (15° C) for two/three months, then switch back to about 20° C.

So far the theory. I tried it in a slightly different way: I placed the plant on a shelf and NEVER moved it. Watering (with waste water from my tanks: it’s full of nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates and ammonia) was as follows (on alternate weeks, generally speaking on Sunday for the sake of laziness): the first week the plant is soaked for 15 minutes in tank’s water (NOT in the tank), the following week a jug (again with tank’s water) poured in the pot allowing the excess water to flow away freely. I use plastic pots for this plant (and another one – yet unidentified - I’m trying to recover).

Final remark: I bought (actually it was a Mom’s present) my plant last year, bearing ONE flower much bigger than  the one I’m enjoying now … hence I suspect a possible use of hormones (to increase flower’s size). Bad habits NEVER die!!!

Enough now, judge the results from the following pics:

At last … first flower (to be) in sight …

The flower (first one spotted) keeps on its growth!!

Notice the second (highly awaited) flower on its, own, way …

The final photos are shown on the next page..

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