Caring For The Paphiopedilums

"Lady Slippers"

Paphiopedilums are tropical Indo-Asian orchids related to North American lady slippers.  They make excellent houseplants, because they require low light and warm temperatures.

There are two broad groups of “Paphs”:  those with green leaves and those with mottled leaves.  The green group requires cooler temperatures (50oF to 75oF) whereas the mottled require warmer temperatures (60oF to 80oF).

Both groups grow best in deep, narrow plastic pots.  And should be repotted every year.  Paphs tend to grow out of their pots or the medium breaks down.  The plastic pots are the best to repot in, because they help the plant retain moisture.

Paphiopedilums Paphiopedilums

Paphs prefer subtle light, gentle breezes and plenty of moisture at their roots.  Also, they grow better surrounded by other orchids or plants.  For in nature, Paphiopedilums grow together.

Do not let Paphiopedilums dry out, completely between waterings.  Water thoroughly every three to four days or when the mix feels dry at least one-half of an inch down.

Fertilizers with more nitrogen are given during the warmest months.  As growth matures, fertilizer with a high phosphorous content (or middle number) is applied to enhance flower growth.

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