Photo Credit: ThumbGarden.com
Botanical name: Paphiopedilum spp
Common names: Lady Slippers Orchid, Venus Slipper Orchid, Slipper Orchid
Lady Slippers Orchids also called Venus Slipper Orchids or Slipper Orchids are easy to grow indoor orchids with an unusual and curious form of flowers where the lower lip is pouch-like and looks like a lady's slippers.
The flowers in Lady Slippers Orchids range in color from soft pastels to any combination of rich, earthy tones.
Lady Slippers Orchids are sympodial orchids which lack pseudobulbs and grow robust shoots, each with several leaves. The leaves can be short and rounded or long and narrow and typically have a mottled pattern.
Each shoot in Lady Slippers Orchids only blooms once when it is fully grown, bearing a raceme between the the fleshy, succulent leaves. When the older shoots die, newer ones take over.
The Lady Slippers Orchids roots are thick and fleshy. Potted plants will form a tight lump of roots, that can be up to 3 ft long.
The genus name Paphiopedilum was established by Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer in 1886; It is derived from Paphos (a city in Cyprus) and the Greek word pedilon meaning "slipper" in reference to the pouch-like flower lip.
Many hybrids and cultivars of Paphiopedilum orchids have been developed which are easier to grow under artificial conditions than their parent species.
The genus name is abbreviated as paphs. in horticultural journals.
Paphiopedilum is a genus of orchids native to Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, southern China, New Guinea and the Solomon and Bismarck Islands.
Buy beautiful and healthy Lady Slippers Orchid (Paphiopedilum Orchids) from Etsy.
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Lady Slippers Orchid grows best in bright to moderate light. Keep your Lady Slippers Orchid away from direct sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.
Regularly turn the pot to ensure your Lady Slippers Orchid gets adequate light on all sides for uniform growth.
A Lady Slippers Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has light-green leaves. Dark green leaves indicate that your Lady Slippers Orchid needs more light.
Yellowish leaves means your Lady Slippers Orchid is receiving too much light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Lady Slippers Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and maintain the soil consistently moist.
Reduce watering for your Lady Slippers Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
Drooping or wrinkly leaves indicate that you are underwatering your Lady Slippers Orchid.
Water your Lady Slippers Orchid with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant as it can lead to reduced growth.
Lady Slippers Orchid is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water, therefore, water with chlorine-free water like rain water.
Avoid wetting the foliage of your Lady Slippers Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases.
Lady Slippers orchids are less tolerant to dry soil due to the absence of pseudobulbs. Read more on how to water houseplants.
The best temperatures for growing Lady Slippers Orchid indoors are between 10-290C.
Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for Lady Slippers Orchid. The cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.
Ensure there is good air circulation as your Lady Slippers Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.
Protect your Lady Slippers Orchid from draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Lady Slippers Orchid requires a humid environment. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Lady Slippers Orchid.
Do not mist the leaves of your Lady Slippers Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise raise humidity for houseplants.
Occasionally clean the leaves of your Lady Slippers Orchids by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.
Feed Lady Slippers Orchid every 2 weeks during the growing season with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.
Withhold feeding for your Lady Slippers Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower.
It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding your Lady Slippers Orchid as overfeeding may result in loss of roots and thus death of the orchid.
If you overfeed your Lady Slippers Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth at the expense of flower production. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Lady Slippers Orchid only when growth begins to suffer. Repot your Lady Slippers Orchid when the orchid has outgrown its pot and the new growth reaches out over the edge of the pot or when the soil has broken down completely.
Basically repotting your Lady Slippers Orchid every 2 years should be adequate.
Repot your Lady Slippers Orchid only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over. Do not repot an orchid that is in flower as it may shorten the flowering season.
Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of your Lady Slippers Orchid need good air circulation.
The pot for your Lady Slippers Orchid should be only 1 size larger than the previous one and large enough to accomodate the roots.
Use loose, free-draining bark soil for your Lady Slippers Orchid to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.
When repotting your Lady Slippers Orchid, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled roots.
Pruning Lady Slippers Orchid is easy. Remove dead and diseased leaves by cutting them at the base with sharp scissors or a knife.
When flowering is over for your Lady Slippers Orchid, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom to encourage more flowering.
Lady Slippers Orchid propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season once flowering is over by division or from keikis.
Gently split the Lady Slippers Orchid into sections while ensuring there are at least 3 shoots on each section.
Seperate the roots attached to each division from the mother Lady Slippers Orchid root-ball.
Remove the old potting soil attached to the Lady Slippers Orchid section roots and place each section in the center of the pot.
Bury the roots of the Lady Slippers Orchid section in the soil while ensuring that the it is at the same level as it was.
The best pot for the Lady Slippers Orchid section should be large enough to accomodate the roots.
Ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot of your Lady Slippers Orchid section.
Place the set up in a shaded place until Lady Slippers Orchid sections have established their own roots.
Do not water the newly propagated Lady Slippers Orchid for about 7 days to allow time for the healing of injured roots.
After the 7 days of dryness, water the new Lady Slippers Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted plant.
Lady Slippers Orchids naturally produce "baby" orchids called "keiki" which normally appear on an old or new flower spike. Keikis are identical copies of the parent plant.
Keiki growth can be triggered by prolonged exposure to high temperature during the final phase of spike growth.
The keiki can be detached from the mother Lady Slippers Orchid when about one year old when it has developed 2-3 leaves and 1-3 in. long roots.
Pot the Lady Slippers Orchid keiki in fresh potting medium and direct the roots of the Lady Slippers Orchid keiki downwards and provide support for the keiki.
Place the set up in a well-lit, shaded place and mist the keiki regularly to maintain a humid enviroment.
Allow the new Lady Slippers Orchid to be well established before transplanting it after which routine care can begin.
Photo Credit: Orchid Dynasty
Lady Slippers Orchid mold on the leaves is an indication of powdery mildew disease.
Misting your Lady Slippers Orchid may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly. Ensure that there is good air circulation for your Lady Slippers Orchid and stop misting it.
Lady Slippers Orchid limp and drooping leaves are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Water your Lady Slippers Orchid thoroughly, maintain the soil consistently moist through out the growing season.
Lady Slippers Orchid brown soft leaf spots are an indication of a fungal disease.
Remove the affected leaves of your Lady Slippers Orchid immediately to prevent further spread.
Lady Slippers Orchid brown hard and dry leaf spots are sunscorch marks due to exposure to hot direct sunshine.
Move your Lady Slippers Orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from hot direct sunshine to avoid sunscorch.
Lady Slippers Orchid yellowish leaves indicate that your orchid is getting too much light.
Move your Lady Slippers Orchid to a shadier spot away from direct sunlight. The leaves of a Lady Slippers Orchid that is receiving bright to moderate light should be light-green.
Lady Slippers Orchid dark-green leaves indicate that your orchid is not getting enough light.
Move your Lady Slippers Orchid to a brighter spot where it will receive bright to moderate light away from direct sunlight. The leaves of a Lady Slippers Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light-green.
Lady Slippers Orchid black leaf tips and dying is due to the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in the water or accumulation of salts in the soil.
Use chlorine-free water only to water your Lady Slippers Orchid and flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil for about 10 minutes until it comes out through the drainage holes.
Lady Slippers Orchid not blooming (flowering) is due to two possible reasons.
One possible reason why for Lady Slippers Orchid not blooming (flowering) is too little light.
Move your Lady Slippers Orchid to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving moderate to bright light away from direct sunshine.
The second possible reason for Lady Slippers Orchid not blooming (flowering) is overfeeding which results in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.
Feed your Lady Slippers Orchid once monthly with a weak solution of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer and avoid overfeeding.
Isolate the affected Orchid to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilum Orchid) are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.