These are the “Slipper” orchids from South-East Asia and the Pacific islands and are so called because they have unusual pouch-shaped labellums like slippers. They are either loved or loathed but no one can deny they have some of the most intricately designed and evocative flowers in nature. Refer to Jay’s online encyclopaedia www.orchidspecies.com to appreciate the remarkable variety of these.
They grow on the forest floors in humus rich soil though some are epiphytes (a plant which grows perched upon another plant but does not derive its nourishment from it). They lack pseudobulbs and instead have thick succulent fan-shaped leaf formations. They are categorised as warm and intermediate growers. Those with mottled leaves tend to be warmer growing than their plain green leafed counterparts. They can make good house plants and Paphiopedilum hybrids are seen frequently seen for sale.
Did you know…
Selected Paphiopedilum cultivars can only be propagated slowly through vegetative division. Consequently the most desirable types have become the world’s most expensive orchids!
Warm, Intermediate or Cool (depending on species).
Warm: Night temperatures between 14° and 16°C with a daytime temperature rise of about 10°C.
Intermediate: Night temperatures approximately 12° to 14° C with a daytime rise of about 10° C.
Cool: Night temperatures of between 10° and 12°C with a daytime rise of about 10°C.
Low but bright indirect is best.
Moderately all year. They like humidity so situating them on a moistened gravel tray is advisable when grown in the home. Avoid splashing water onto the leaves where it can collect and rot the stem.