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Paphiopedilum spp. Orchidaceae – LADY’SSlipper orchids Benefits, Care & Propagation


Several species of this orchid, particularly Paphiopedilum callosum and P. sukhakulii, and some of the smaller hybrids will do well in a living room, preferably near a window that does not receive too much sunlight. Wherever slipper orchids are sited, they require plenty of humidity as well as good ventilation during the hotter months. 
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Paphiopedilums do not require a dormant Paphiopedilum season, but if the temperature drops in winter, the water supply must be decreased. The blooms of these popular orchids have a striking sepal, usually called the flag; the lip of the flower is called the “slipper” because its pouch-like shape resembles a house slipper. Many hybrids are available from specialist suppliers, and new ones are being added constantly.

FACT FILE Paphiopedilum spp. Orchidaceae   LADY’SSlipper orchids

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ORIGIN: Tropical Asia; hybrids.
HEIGHT: 15in/38cm.
POTTING MIX: Special orchid medium.
REPOTTING: Repot annually in late winter. Always provide excellent drainage in the bottom of the pot. P. callosum should be kept completely dry for a few weeks after being repotted. 

PROPAGATION: Divide when repotting.
KEEPING PLANTS: High humidity (65-75%) and a daytime temperature some 9°F/5°C above the night temperature are needed.

PLANT CARE Paphiopedilum spp. Orchidaceae   LADY’SSlipper orchids

  • Bright light, but the full sun only in winter. 
  • Normal room temperature, but not below 65°F/18°C at night. 
  • Water once a week throughout the year. 

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  • Spray the plant daily and stand the pot on a tray of moist gravel to maintain humidity. 
  • Never allow water to lie on the leaves or in the center of the growth; this will encourage botrytis and cause the plant to rot. 
  • Apply a weak foliar feed once a month from spring to fall.
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