Paphiopedilum Care Instructions

Paphiopedilum Care Instructions
Paphiopedilums are the Old World relatives of North American temperate-zone lady's-slipper orchids, the cypripediums. They are one of the best orchids for home growing, requiring only fairly bright light and normal home temperatures.

Light Sufficient light is important for healthy growth and flower production. Provide Bright light, no direct sun. In the home, an east, west or shaded south window. In a greenhouse, about 30 percent full sun. Under lights, four 40 watt fluorescent tubes and two 40 watt incandescent bulbs directly over plants. Foliage should be naturally semierect, and firm, not drooping. Dark green, limp foliage indicates too little light.

Temperature Mature Plants need a 15 to 20 F difference between night and day. Provide Nights of 55 to 60 F; days of 70 to 85 F. Seedlings need temperatures five to 10 degrees higher than mature plants.

Water Mature plants should never dry out between waterings. Seedlings need even more constant attention to moisture.

Humidity Paphiopedilums need 60 to 70 percent. In the home, place on trays of moistened pebbles. In greenhouse, use a humidifier if conditions are too dry.

Fertilizer Must be provided on a regular basis because most potting media have little although paphiopedilums need less fertilizer than most orchid plants. Provide The exact fertilizer you use will depend on the mix in which your plant is growing. A good general rule is to use a balanced (10-10-10, 12-12-12, or similar ratio) fertilizer "weakly, weekly." That is, fertilze every week at one quarter of the recommended dilution.

Potting Should be done every one to two years before mix breaks down too far. Can be done almost any time of year, using a well-drained but water-retentive mix.