Paphiopedilum Lady’s Slipper Orchids

Paphiopedilum Lady’s Slipper Orchids

There are just over 60 species in Asia — and nowhere else. The number of hybrids is much greater. The orchid lover should only attempt to obtain cultivated lady’s slipper plants in order to preserve the wild forms in their natural habitats. The cultivated forms have a great advantage, anyway, in that they are much tougher and grow better. Lady’s slippers are mainly terrestrial, although a few are also lithophytic and epiphytic. They live in both the lowest levels of the jungle and up to levels of 2,000 m/6,500 ft. Most of them, however, are to be found in monsoon regions with alternating climatic phases.

The inhabitants of cooler regions usually possess fresh green leaves, those in warmer areas have marbled leaves. Each leaf rosette only ever produces one single flower shoot. After flowering, only leaf rosettes will grow out of the leaf axils.

Paphiopedilum Lady's Slipper Orchids The first lady’s slipper orchid, a Paphiopedilum insigne, arrived in Europe from the Himalayas in 1819.

 

Origin:

tropical and subtropical Asia. Temperature range: warm to temperate, more rarely cool.

Flowering time:

varies, according to species or hybrid.

Colour of flowers:

white, yellow, green, brown, purple; flecked or tiger-striped.

Position:

semi-shady during the summer, bright during the winter, but never sunny.

Temperature:

indoor temperatures all year round, cooler at night. Around 25°C/77°F during the daytime in the summer; around 15°C/59°F during the night in winter. During early autumn, after the shoots have finished forming, keep them cooler for two to three weeks at night and sunny during the daytime.

Watering:

ensure that the plants are moderately but evenly moist. Do not water until the compost has dried out. Water moderately and only at midday during the winter. Keep humidity at high levels. Mist the leaves frequently.

Fertilizing:

mid-spring to early autumn, every three weeks.

Repotting:

every two years and only if the compost has become dense and hard or develops a fusty smell.

Compost:

See Essential Orchid Information – Repotting Orchids

Propagation:

from division. (See Propagating Orchids)  Lady’s slipper orchids thrive as a clump and will grow more splendidly every year if left undivided.

Pests, diseases:

infestation with spider mites and scale insects is possible. Decay of buds, leaves and roots through waterlogging.

My tip:

Lady’s slipper orchids love tiny pinches of lime. I always give my specimens a mixture derived from loess containing calcium oxide, tissue-building silicic acid and many trace elements. One knife-tip of this substance in 1 litre (1/2 pt) of water is quite sufficient.

 

Paphiopedilum species

Spring-flowering:

P. barbatum, P. bellatulum, P. hirsutissimum, P. sukhakulii

Summer-flowering:

P. callosum

Autumn-flowering:

P. concolor, P. fairrieanum, P. spicerianum, P. sukhakulii

Winter-flowering:

P. insigne, P. venustum, P. villosum.

 

Paphiopedilum hybrids

Autumn/winter flowering:

“Aladdin”, “China Girl”, “Goliath”, “Kehler”, “King Arthur”, “Lemforde Novelty”, “Maudiae”

 

09. December 2010 by admin
Categories: House Plants, Orchids, Orchids, Plants | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Paphiopedilum Lady’s Slipper Orchids

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