Origin and care
The botanical species of the Paphiopedilum are found in the jungles of the Far East and Indonesia. They grow mainly in the humus layer of the forest and sometimes on stones. 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 the stamens and getting the pollen on their bodies. With a next flower, the pollen ends up on the pestle
APPEARANCE OF THE PAPHIOPEDILUM
American hybrids are available from October to March. Multiflowers are available throughout the year. These special orchids are available at the better-sorted 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 middle of the shoot. American hybrids are yellow to red, often with a drawing in the back (sepal). The multiflowers are yellow to brown / red. Paphiopedilum is always propagated via seed, so that each plant has unique properties.
Paphiopedilums are shadow orchids. Never put them in the full afternoon sun. Too much sun gives light or burnt leaves. The daytime temperature of the mottled leaves must be between 20 and 24 ° C. With green leaves, the temperature must be between 17 and 22 ° C during the day. Paphiopedilum blooms for six to ten weeks.
The Paphiopedilum loves an airy pot mixture. Water once a week, in the summer a little more. Make sure that no water is left in the bottom of the pot. Dipping with rainwater for about ten minutes is preferred.
The orchids need very few fertilizers. Give orchids food once every two or three weeks, but use only half the amount of food indicated on the bottle. This orchid is easy to grow in the living room. Do not put the Paphiopedilum in full sun. Cold nights (12 to 15 ° C) in the spring promote the development of flower buds.
Each stem blooms only once and then dies off. Cut the old stem as far as possible. The Paphiopedilum blooms on a new shoot after about nine months. When transplanting, make sure that the foot of the Paphiopedilum is under the potting material, otherwise 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 being in too big a pot. Repotting in orchid soil once every three to four years is sufficient.
Because a somewhat lower night temperature stimulates budding, most orchids bloom in the middle of winter. Paphiopedilum is a slow growing crop, it takes about three years before the Paphiopedilum is old enough to bloom. With sufficient new shoot (leaf) growth, this can then bloom every year. The more shoots the Paphiopedilum makes, the greater the chance that the Paphiopedilum blooms with more flowers.