Intro:Paph. barbatum is native to peninsular Malaysia and can be found growing in low elevation areas. It sometimes can be found growing in pure silica sand. The true Paph. barbatum has been quite rare and difficult to obtain until recent seed propagation has made it available. The flowers are colorful, growth habit is compact, and is an easy-to-grow plant.Light:This plant prefers lower light levels, from 800-1200 foot-candles. East windows are ideal, with a little shade in the summer. This is also an excellent specimen for growing under lights.Humidity:50% or higher is ideal. If growing in a lower humidity, be sure the plant does not ever become totally bone-dry at the roots, as it will certainly develop leaf desiccation.Water:This plant will do well with rain, distilled, reverse osmosis water or municipal water with pH below 7.5. Water as the plant approaches dryness, but do not allow the plant to become totally dry between watering. In warmer temperatures with more heat and air movement, water more frequently.Fertilizer:We highly recommend using Green Jungle Orchid Food, especially formulated to work with rain, distilled, reverse osmosis water or water low in alkalinity. Fertilize with Green Jungle every time you water if plants are planted in bark. Be sure to flush the mix with clear water only once per month to prevent fertilizer salt build up. For plants in moss or mounted on slabs feed every third or 4th watering as the moss holds a lot of nutrients.
GrowMore 20-10-20 Ureafree for municipal or well water. Use at the rate of ½ teaspoon per gallon. If using GrowMore with rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis water, add back in 5 - 10% municipal or well water to supply the necessary calcium and magnesium. Fertilize every other watering in the summer and every third watering in the winter.
Another fertilizer offered is: GrowMore 6-30-30 (Cymbidium and bloom boosting formula).Flowering:This plant typically flowers in the spring to early summer months and can flower more than once a year. Paph. barbatum was the species used in the first Paph. Hybrid ever made between villosum and barbatum called Harrisianum. Paph. barbatum is useful in breeding and has empowered its red color and good growth habit to its offspring. The flowers are long-lasting, usually from 2-3 months and several growths produce several flowers at one time. The light green foliage is mottled in a deep blue.Repotting:The best time to repot this plant is in the spring months just after flowering, or it can also be repotted in the fall as long as new growth is emerging at the time. The worst time to repot is during the high stress times of the hot summer and the dead of winter. Use a medium grade mix consisting of bark, charcoal, perlite, with poultry grade peat added. The peat may be supplemented with coconut husk chips. These chips don't break down readily and they act as a reservoir for water for the plants. These plants can be divided but it is best to leave three or four growths per division.