Saturday, April 14, 2012

Repotting Paphiopedilum sanderianum

Young Paphiopedilum sanderianum plant

    It is a testament to the Paph sanderianum's slow growth that this is the first time I am writing about this orchid since I introduced it when starting this blog.  I've had the orchid for about 6 months now, and all it's done is finish growing a new leaf.

Another leaf?

     Now there is a hint of something new pushing out from the crown; it is almost certainly another leaf.  Bolstered by the new growth and the incipient Spring, I decided to finally repot the orchid for the first time.

     I was immediately struck by how dark the paph's roots are (much darker than those of my noid paph).  Most of the roots seemed healthy, but I didn't notice any new growing root tips.  There were however several broken roots, which I trimmed off before returning the paph to its pot.

Paph sanderianum roots after trimming

The old paph potting media

     I noticed that the old paph media had rocks mixed in with the bark and perlite.  I guess the rocks help increase the drainage of the media.  Since rock doesn't degrade like bark does, I picked out the pebbles and mixed them in with fresh media, and used that to repot the orchid back in its original pot.


  1. Ooh, I hope this grows beautifully for you! I've been coveting this orchid for quite a while! It would be the crowning star of my collection if I could actually get my hands on one and make it bloom!

  2. The rock in that mixture is limestone. P. Sanderianum grows on vertical cliffs of limestone, and the roots are lithophylic (love rock!). The limestone is essential to the plant, and helps the medium maintain the needed PH, which is about 6.5 top 7.5. Unbuffered conditions, esp. even a hint of acidic ones, is really tough on this plant.