How to Grow and Care for Lady Slippers Orchid (Paphiopedilum Orchid) Indoors


Lady Slippers Orchid, Paphiopedilum Orchid

Photo Credit: ThumbGarden.com

Botanical name: Paphiopedilum spp
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Common names: Lady Slippers Orchid, Venus Slipper Orchid, Slipper Orchid

Description

Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilum Orchid) 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.

Venus 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 Paphiopedilum 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.

Origin

Paphiopedilum is a genus of orchids native to Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, southern China, New Guinea and the Solomon and Bismarck Islands.

Paphiopedilum Orchids naturally occur as terrestrials on the forest floor, but a few are epiphytes and some are lithophytes.

Where to Buy

Healthy Lady Slippers Orchids are available online at Etsy. Purchase beautiful Lady Slippers Orchid (Paphiopedilum Orchids) from Etsy.

Lady Slippers Orchid, Paphiopedilum Orchid

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Paphiopedilum Orchids Care Indoors

Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilum Orchids) thrive in bright to moderate light away from direct sunshine, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with regular feeding during the growing season.

Venus Slippers Orchids require regular pruning to keep them neat as well as encourage flowering. Repotting is needed only when they become pot-bound or the soil becomes completely broken down. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Lady Slippers Orchid grows best in bright to moderate light. Keep it away from direct sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not sufficient.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the Venus Slippers Orchid gets adequate light on all sides for uniform growth.

A Paphiopedilum Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has light-green leaves. Dark green leaves indicate that the Orchid needs more light.

Yellowish leaves means that the Lady Slippers Orchid is receiving too much light.

Watering

Water Lady Slippers Orchid thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between watering and maintain the soil consistently moist.

Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow it to dry out completely.

Drooping or wrinkly leaves indicate that you are underwatering the orchid.

Water Venus 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 as it can lead to fungal disease infestations.

Paphiopedilum Orchids are less tolerant to dry soil due to the absence of pseudobulbs. Therefore, take care not to overwater it.


Temperature

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 this Orchid. The cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.

Keep it away from draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature as they can cause leaf drop and reduced growth. Ensure there is good air circulation as the Venus Slippers Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.

Humidity

Lady Slippers Orchid requires a humid environment to thrive. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.

Do not mist the Paphiopedilum Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also discourage pest and disease infestations.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Lady Slippers Orchid during the growing season with an orchid's fertilizer as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower as it can shorten the flowering period.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding the orchid as overfeeding may result in loss of roots and thus death of the orchid.

If you overfeed the Paphiopedilum Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth at the expense of flower production.

Repotting

Repot Lady Slippers Orchid only when growth begins to suffer. Repot 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 a Venus Slippers Orchid every 2 years should be adequate. Repot 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 due to repotting shock.

Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of the orchid need good air circulation.

The pot for Paphiopedilum Orchid should be only 1 size larger than the previous one and large enough to accomodate the roots.

When repotting Lady Slippers Orchid, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled roots.

Soil

Use loose, free-draining bark soil to repot the Paphiopedilum Orchid like this quality orchid potting mix available at Amazon to avoid getting soggy soil which can cause rotting of the orchid.

Pruning

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, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom to encourage more flowering.

Propagation

Lady Slippers Orchid (Paphiopedilum Orchid) propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season once flowering is over by division or from keikis.

How to propagate Lady Slippers Orchid by division

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 root-ball.

Remove the old potting soil attached to the section's roots and place each section in the center of the pot.

Bury the roots of the section in the soil while ensuring that it is at the same level as it was.

The best pot for the section should be large enough to accomodate the roots.

Ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot in the section.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place until sections have established their own roots.

Do not water the newly propagated Orchid for about 7 days to allow time for the healing of injured roots.

After the 7 days of dryness, water the new Venus Slippers Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted plant.

How to propagate Lady Slippers Orchid from keikis

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 when about one year old when it has developed 2-3 leaves and 1-3 in. long roots.

Pot the keiki in fresh potting medium and direct the roots downwards and provide support for the keiki.

Place the set up in a well-lit place away from direct sunlight and mist the keiki regularly to maintain a humid enviroment.

Allow the new Venus Slippers Orchid to be well established before transplanting it after which routine care can begin.

Lady Slippers Orchid, Paphiopedilum Orchid

Photo Credit: Orchid Dynasty

Paphiopedilum Orchid Problems Indoors

Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilum Orchids) problems indoors include black leaf tips, lack of blooms, mold, drooping leaves, leaf spots, discolored leaves, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Mold on the leaves

Lady Slippers Orchid mold on the leaves is an indication of powdery mildew disease which is promoted by overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Misting Venus Slippers Orchid may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly. Ensure that there is good air circulation for the orchid and stop misting it.

Limp and drooping leaves

Lady Slippers Orchid limp and drooping leaves are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Water the Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out slightly to maintain the soil consistently moist through out.

Cut down on watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Black leaf tips and dying

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 Venus 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.

No blooms

Lady Slippers Orchid not blooming (flowering) is due to two possible reasons. One possible reason is too little light.

Move the 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 Paphiopedilum Orchid not blooming (flowering) is overfeeding which results in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.

Feed the Venus Slippers Orchid during the growing season with an orchid's fertilizer as per the manufacturer's instructions and avoid overfeeding.

Dark-green leaves

Lady Slippers Orchid dark-green leaves indicate that the orchid is not getting enough light. The leaves of a Venus Slippers Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light-green.

Move the Orchid to a brighter spot where it will receive bright to moderate light away from direct sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.

Yellowish leaves

Lady Slippers Orchid yellowish leaves indicate that the orchid is getting too much light. Move the Orchid to a shadier spot away from direct sunlight. The leaves of a Paphiopedilum Orchid that is receiving bright to moderate light should be light-green.

Brown soft leaf spots

Lady Slippers Orchid brown soft leaf spots are an indication of a fungal disease. Remove the affected leaves immediately to prevent further spread.

Brown hard and dry leaf spots

Lady Slippers Orchid brown hard and dry leaf spots are sunscorch marks due to exposure to hot direct sunshine. Move the orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from hot direct sunshine to avoid sunscorch.

Pests

Common pests in Lady Slippers Orchid are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects, Slugs and Snails. Isolate the affected Orchid to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Lady Slippers Orchid toxic?

Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilum Orchid) are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.

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