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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

Plant Profile Series



Paphiopedilum - The Slipper Orchid

Paphiopedilums are the Slipper Orchid of the Eastern Hemisphere. Most of these semiterrestrials are found in the tropical regions of Asia. Perhaps because of their easy care requirements, or more probably because of their enigmatic beauty, few other orchids excite the same dedication to care as do these. Paphs are one of the best orchids for home growing. They require only fairly bright light and normal home temperatures and provide some of the longest lasting and exotic blooms of the orchid kingdom. Some species require more specific environments, however todays hybrids ensure easy care plants with colorful, shapely blooms.

LIGHT: Provide bright light, no direct sun. Place near an east, west or shaded south window. Many varieties thrive under growlights.

TEMPERATURE: Provide night temperatures of 55-60° and day temperatures between 70-85°.

WATER: Do not allow plants to completely dry out between waterings. Keep the media evenly moist and never allow the plant to sit in water. Feed weekly with a balanced orchid food mixed at 1/4 the recommended strength.

HUMIDITY: Provide 60-70% humidity. Increase humidity by placing plants on trays with moistened pebbles or use a humidifier.

REPOT every year or before the mix becomes broken down and soggy. Use a well-drained but water-retentive mix such as bark mix with peat added. Water more often after repotting as the new mix won't hold as much water as the old, mushy stuff did.

Lady Slipper Orchids are sometimes available in 4" or 5" clay pots.