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Paphiopedilum Care Guide

by Rishabh Vats 04 Apr 2021

Light, Watering and Housing

Care should then be given to preserving the humidity around them and keeping the water up to them without allowing them to be constantly wet. Due to this consideration, they are generally better housed in some area with protection from hot or cold drying winds so that a higher humidity can be maintained without the necessity of watering too frequently. Generally, environments where ferns thrive would be ideal. Elevate plants to keep them away from snails which love the flowers. Watering needs to be thorough, 3 or more times a week in summer to perhaps once a week in winter. Keep the potting mix “just moist”.

Paphiopedilums do not require a great deal of light to grow but if insufficient, they will not flower. Generally a “dull shadow” intensity should be sufficient.


Paphiopedilums grow seasonally in the warmth of spring but may stop growing if heat-stressed during summer, recommencing during autumn. Most will stop growing during winter. Cultural strategy involves providing the longest growing period so that the plants may mature a growth during the growth season so as to enable them to flower in their appropriate season.

Fertilising and Potting

A great number of potting mixes can be used successfully. A reliable mixture is one that is moisture retentive, free-draining and resistant to rapid breakdown. Mixtures of bark, coconut husk chunks, peatmoss and even sphagmum together with relatively inert material such as perlite, diatomite chips, stone chips and polystyrene chunks can be used successfully. Try to keep using the same mix on all your plants so that some consistency in optimal watering practices can be developed. The mix should last about 2 years. Pot paphiopedilums only in pots just able to accommodate the root mass without squashing them unduly. Paphiopedilums generally benefit from frequent repotting and fresh mix, as frequently as annually and certainly no less than once every 2 years. 

Fertilising should be of the low nitrogen sort recommended for orchids and applied regularly and weakly, usually at half or quarter recommended strengths. Fertilliser can be with held during period of no growth (winter) and increased during active growth. Overfertillising will result in lush weak growth susceptible to various diseases. To prevent the adverse effects of fertiliser we suggest using our special formula organic fertiliser.

Pests and Diseases

Little to no pests or diseases will affect Paphiopedilums. Pests and diseases appear on paphiopedilums only under conditions of bad culture such as low humidity, overcrowding, overfertillising. Watch out for mealybug, aphis and mites during the warmer periods. The non-toxic or low-toxic treatments will work for these pests if treatment is applied frequently or as recommended.

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