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The Paphiopedilum Orchid

The Paphiopedilum orchid is often referred to the "slipper orchid" because of the pouch shaped lip of the flower, which resembles a dainty little slipper. Although there are several different hybrids and species within the Paphiopedilum Orchid genus, there are basically only two different major varieties. One variety can flourish in intermediate temperatures, while the other variety must have higher temperatures to survive. However, despite the temperature necessities of the two different varieties, everything else as far as the plants needs are concerned are the same. Some of the hybrid Paphiopedilum orchids have been bred in such a way that even the foliage is an attractive asset of the plant, making the blooms just an added bonus. The blooms of some Slipper Orchids however are nothing more than extravagant, such as the Paph. philippinense var. roebelenii, with long, twisting petals, and vivid blooms.

Growing Paphiopedilum Orchids

An easy way to tell what kind of temperature your variety of Slipper Orchids needs, just have a look at their foliage. The plants with plain leaves need warmer conditions, and those with marbled leaves can withstand intermediate temperatures. The blossoms from the various species can range from two inches, to ten inches, so be picky when you're selecting the perfect species for your collection. High humidity is a necessity for many slipper orchids, so misting at least once a day during the summer is a must. However, you cannot let water rest within the center of the plant overnight, or rot can occur. Slipper Orchids do not require a constant amount of feeding. During the winter months, they should only be fed every four to six weeks. During the warmer months, only every two weeks. Re-potting and dividing the plant should take place during the spring months, and new soil should be added.

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