Essex Orchid Society

Growing your Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchids) are divided into two groups for cultural purposes: Warm growing types with mottled leaves such as P. maudiae; Cool growing types with plain leaves such as P. leeanum.

Temperature: Mottled leaved types do better with night temperatures between 60 and 65°F (15-18°C). Day temperatures should range between 70 and 80°F (20-28°C). Green leaved types require a night temperature of 55°F (12.5°C) with a rise to about 65°F (18°C) during the day.

Humidity: Both groups prefer a humid atmosphere. Stand them on a bowl of damp gravel.

Light: All Paphiopedilum enjoy a medium light level. Avoid direct sunlight except early mornings or in the winter.

Watering and feeding: They must have a regular and constant supply of water, keeping the compost moist but not wet. Depending on the weather and the season, they may need to be watered every 5-7 days. Feed plants at a quarter of the strength recommended on the pack. Water for 3 times in succession with feed and on the 4th time flush through with clean rainwater to leach out any salts that have accumulated. Do not use tap water.

Potting: Paphiopedilum are terrestrial plants so need a medium that drains well but retains moisture. A mixture of 3 parts small to medium size bark to 1 of coarse perlite is excellent. Re-pot plants before the compost decomposes, at least once a year. Take the plant out of its pot and clip off all the dead roots, then position it in the new pot and fill around the roots with the compost. The base of each growth should be in contact with the compost to encourage new roots to form, but do not bury the plant. Reduce watering until new growth starts.


Variety among Paphiopedilum


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