Paphiopedilum Black Jack
Origin and care
The botanical species of the Paphiopedilum (Venus slipper) are found in the jungles of the Far East and Indonesia. They mainly grow in the humus layer of the forest and sometimes on rocks. They are rarely found in trees.
Paphiopedilums are also sometimes called Venus shoes (in English ladyslipper or slipper orchid, and in German Frauenschuh). About sixty to eighty species belong to this genus.
The shoe-shaped lip serves as an insect trap; flying insects are lured by fragrances and the promise of nectar in the flower. They can only go out through a narrow opening, passing the pistil and stamens and getting the pollen on their bodies. With the next flower, the pollen ends up on the pistil
APPEARANCE OF THE PAPHIOPEDILUM
American hybrids are available from October through March. Multiflowers are available all year round. These special orchids are available at the better-stocked florists and garden centers. The American hybrids have a large flower. The multiflowers have small flowers, often two to four flowers per stem. The Paphiopedilum grows in leaf shoots. The flowers come from the center of the shoot. American hybrids come in yellow to red, often with a marking in the back flag (septal). The multiflowers are yellow to brown/red. Paphiopedilum is always propagated by seed, which means that each plant has unique properties.
Paphiopedilums (Venus slipper) are shade orchids. Never put them in full afternoon sun. Too much sun gives light or burnt leaves. The daytime temperature of the spotted leaves should be between 20 and 24°C. The daytime temperature for green-leaved plants should be between 17 and 22°C. Paphiopedilum blooms for six to ten weeks.
The Paphiopedilum (Venus slipper) likes an airy potting mixture. Water once a week, a little more in the summer. Make sure that no water remains at the bottom of the outer pot. Dipping with rainwater for about ten minutes is preferred.
The orchids need very little fertilizer. Give orchid food once every two or three weeks, but use only half the amount indicated on the bottle. This orchid is easy to grow in the living room. Do not place the Paphiopedilum in full sun. Cold nights (12 to 15 °C) in spring promote the formation of flower buds.
Each stem blooms only once and then dies. Cut away the old stem as deeply as possible. The Paphiopedilum flowers on a new shoot after about nine months. When transplanting, make sure that the base of the Paphiopedilum is under the potting material, otherwise the root growth will stop. If the Paphiopedilum becomes too large, it can easily be divided into pieces of two or three plants. The Paphiopedilum does not like to be in a pot that is too large. Repotting in orchid soil once every three to four years is sufficient.
Because a somewhat lower night temperature stimulates bud formation, most orchids flower in the middle of winter. Paphiopedilum is a slow growing crop, it takes about three years before the Paphiopedilum is old enough to flower. With sufficient new shoot (leaf) growth, it can then bloom every year.
The more shoots the slipper makes, the greater the chance that the slipper will bloom with more flowers.
The Paphiopedilum is also popularly called Venus' shoe