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.