Orchid Q&A

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I recently purchased a seedling of Paphinia herrerae. Please advise me of the proper growing procedures for this species, as I have found little written about it. At present I have it potted in seedling-grade fir bark, growing in humid conditions in an intermediate to warm area. We are now entering spring in South Africa, and I need to know how it must be grown before the heat of summer arrives. - Hendrik Venter



The various species of Paphinia are like most genera in the Stanhopeinae: intermediate to warm and with reasonably high humidity. You seem to be growing it under the appropriate conditions already. Fine fir bark is good. Overall, paphinias need conditions similar to those required for phalaenopsis including somewhat subdued light and steady moisture all year. You may wish to transfer your plant to a 4- to 6-inch hanging wooden basket as it matures because the inflorescence, while starting out horizontally, becomes pendent. An unfortunate rumor has been making the rounds that paphinias prefer cool conditions, which is not true. Provide day temperatures of 75º to 85º F and night temperatures of 60 to 65º F. Paphinia herrerae is one of the most spectacular species in this showy genus, and it is one of the most easily grown. -
Ann and Phil Jesup

Paphinia herrerae. photo © 2007 Greg Allikas

Orchid Q&A

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