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(The Lady Slipper)

Lady Slipper

The Paphiopedilum genus is in the tribe of Cypripedium.  This terrestrial ”Lady Slipper” is found in the jungles of Asia.  It’s cousin the Cypripedium, is native to Northern climates found in America, Asia, and Europe.   A pink & white Lady’s Slipper, is the state flower of Minnesota.


How to keep your Paphiopedilum healthy!


This orchid is called the Lady’s Slipper because of its modified petal which resembles a slipper.  Lady Slippers make a good beginner orchid.  It is ideal for people with space limitations.


Light:  Moderate indirect light.  Paphiopedilums require less light than most orchids. An east or west facing window with indirect light is ideal.  In hot summer months you can grow at 600 foot candles and in winter 1200 Ft. candles.  This plant grows well with artificial light.


Temperature:  The ideal temperature during the day is 75 to 80°F.  Paphiopedilums can tolerate higher temperatures up to 90°F, however plant will not grow as fast.  Night temperatures can range from 55-65°F.  Watering should be done in the morning hours.  You can water heavy overhead, or soak potted orchid in the sink for ten minutes.  Water is an essential nutrient for plant development.  Paphiopedilums have no water storage mechanism, such as pseudobulbs, so the mix needs to be moist at all times (not soaked).  In moderate light water once every 6 to 7 days in winter, and every 4 to 5 days in summer.  When in doubt, check the bottom of the pot, if it looks dry, then water.


Special note:  Orchids in decorative containers should be watered once a week with 1/3 cup of water.  Allow 1-5 minutes of soaking, then tilt container to drain excess.


Feeding: Paphiopedilums are light feeders and require fertilizing every fourth watering. Use Gubler’s Pro Blend Orchid Food 19-8-16.  This formula is exactly what we use to grow our Paphiopedilums year round.  By feeding every fourth watering, you will be feeding more during the longer days of summer when the orchid requires more water and food, and feeding less in the shorter days of winter.


Repotting:  Should be done every 12 to 18 months, depending on the plant size, and the condition of the orchid mix.  When the orchid mix breaks down, it is time to repot.  This prevents damage to the root system.  Plants that have overgrown their container should be potted into a suitable container the next size larger.  You may choose any container, provided it has good bottom drainage.  We do not recommend pots with slits on the side.  Transplant using Gubler’s Orchid Grow Mix, Fine Grade for all your Paphiopedilums.


What to expect:  Paphiopedilums mainly bloom in the late fall and early winter, along the new growth.  Their flowers can last six to ten weeks depending on indoor conditions.  You can expect your Lady Slipper to bloom again in approximately ten months.  Some Paphiopedilums are “Multifloral”, meaning they can produce more than one flower per stem.  “Complex” Paphiopedilums produce only one flower per stem.  New hybrids are being developed so the blooming cycle with be more year round.


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