Intermediate Growing Types
12 - 28 C (53 - 82F)
||Paphiopedilums are known as slipper orchids
due to their modified lip which is pouch shaped and does look like a
slipper. Some of these species and hybrids have beautifully
marbled foliage which is usually evergreen and sets off the blooms a
treat, some are so pretty that they are worthy plants just for the foliage
and the blooms are an added bonus.
Slipper orchids come in 2 varieties,
those which tolerate intermediate conditions and those which need warm
conditions, all have the same requirements other than temperature. The
marbled leaved varieties usually will tolerate intermediate conditions and
the plain leaved varieties need warmer conditions.
Left: This Paphiopedilum is a hybrid which
includes P. philippinense in it's parentage, this has given it
flowers vary in size from tiny 2 inch blooms on very short stems to
monster blooms over 10 inches high from tip to tip! on tall thick stems -
ideal for cutting. These, like Phalaenopsis make excellent house plants
and will reward you year after year with an ever increasing number of
beautiful blooms. This type of orchid can tolerate high temperatures and
high humidity and so should be misted at least once a day during the
summer but NOT allowing water to rest in the centre of the plant overnight
or rot may occur with lighting speed! - and we are talking OVERNIGHT in
some cases if it's cold too.
Paphiopedilums like good light but will also tolerate light
shade during the growing season, they should not be kept in full sun or
they will scorch. Keep them in a well lit position during the winter
Slipper orchids like to be kept evenly
moist at all times but will not tolerate being waterlogged at any time.
Water every 7 to 10 days during the summer, more if it's warm and the
plants look like they may be drying out. It is always a good idea to water
the plants in the morning as this will allow any that is spilt on to the
leaves or crown to evaporate during the heat of the day
Paphiopedilums do not have a high
requirement for food and should be fed once every 4 - 6 weeks during the
winter months and once every two weeks during the summer. A general mixture is
required and this should be diluted to 1/8th of what the pack recommends.
Repotting and dividing should be undertaken
in the spring annually using an open bark mix to which has been added some
extra humus material such as sphagnum moss trimmings or rough peat. This will ensure a
swift drainage whilst the moss or peat will retain the correct amount of water for
|Most Paphiopedilums flower in either the winter or
in spring, they can flower as single blooms on elegant stems or more
usually several to a stem which open within a few days of each
other. There are some Paphiopedilums which are known as sequential
flowering, this type of flowering pattern means that one flower
opens followed a few weeks later with another bloom, this can
continue for months on end.
Right: This orchid is a sequential
flowering type and the second flower (on the right) is
opening almost two weeks after the first, the small buds can be seen
sitting between the two larger flowers.
Here's some useful equipment you
may need with summer on the horizon
Thermometers | Thermostats | Humidity Gauges