Lady's slipper orchid, Paphiopedilum - all about care

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Orchid - lady's slipper

Orchids are one of the most popular plants for the windowsill, also because, unlike other indoor plants, they need a small pot that fits perfectly on the windowsill. However, not every window seat is equally well suited for the Venusschuh orchid. There are also subtle differences between the individual species.
When buying, pay close attention to the specified care instructions. Generally, a warm and bright place without direct sunlight is ideal. Furthermore, these orchids should not be exposed to drafts. In winter, a place near the heater is not good, because the dry air is not well tolerated by the orchids.
Outdoor location
In the warm summer months of June to August, green-leaved Paphiopedilum orchids are allowed to emerge outdoors on the balcony or in the garden.
The ideal place is:
  • partially shaded to shady
  • without direct midday sun
  • sheltered
  • with summer temperatures not above 30° C


Traditional potting soil can not meet the needs of the lady slipper orchid. On the one hand they have a very high water requirement, on the other hand their roots rot with waterlogging. A substrate, on the other hand, absorbs water well and releases it slowly. This avoids waterlogging.
Orchids, which are commercially available for purchase, are already planted in a suitable substrate. At the latest when repotting you should also pay attention to use only suitable substrate. It consists mainly of organic materials such as bast, coconut fiber, moss, bark and wood. Styrofoam beads loosen it, disinfected by adding mixed charcoal. Commercially special substrates in different grain sizes are available.
Tip: Young and short Paphiopedilum need a finer substrate than older and larger specimens.

to water

Orchid Lady's Slipper Cypripedium Phragmipedium

When cutting lady's slipper, not only the root but also the leaves are cut:

Cut leaves

In the course of the normal aging process, individual leaves of the orchid repeatedly wither. And as soon as the bottom leaves of the Venus shoe begin to wither, the temptation is great to cut them off immediately. They disturb the harmonious overall picture of the orchid and give an unhealthy impression. Nevertheless, these leaves should not be cut. The lady's slipper orchid needs neither a cut nor is this recommended. Through the open interfaces fungi and bacteria can easily penetrate and damage the orchid. Be patient and wait for the leaves to dry completely.
Dry leaves fall off by themselves or can be solved very easily by hand. Green leaves should only be cut in case of disease or pest infestation. Then always with a sharp and disinfected knife. It is always cut the whole sheet, even if it is only partially damaged.

Cut roots

Healthy roots should not be cut, as they contribute to the growth of the plant. Sometimes it happens that roots rot by too much irrigation water. Check the condition of the roots at regular intervals. This is easy, because special orchid pots are mostly transparent. If you discover rotting roots, remove them as soon as possible.

1. Use a sharp knife.

2. Sterilize the knife with alcohol or hot water.

3. Cut off all rotting roots.

4. Disinfect the interfaces with carbon powder.

Cut flower stems

The lady's slipper orchid is one of the varieties of orchids, in which faded and dried flower stalks should be cut off. The lady's slipper orchid forms your flowers only on new shoots. As soon as the dried flower falls off, the stalk can be cut to the base. Stems that are very brown and dried up, can be cut anyway.
Cut off withered or dried flower stalks down to the bottom with a sharp knife or pair of scissors. Subsequently, a new shoot develops, which blooms after reaching its full size. Of course, also fresh flowering stems can be cut for the vase or for a flower arrangement. Always use a clean and sterile tool and cut the stem down to the bottom.


Lady's Slipper Orchid Paphiopedilum

The lady's slipper with monochrome green and narrow leaves are the only species that need hibernation of a few months. During this phase, the temperature should be lowered significantly. Ideal are temperatures between around 15 degrees. All other species like in the winter constant temperatures around 20 degrees.
For all lady's slipper orchids, they are not allowed to stand on window sills near a heater. The dry heating air is not good for these moisture-loving plants.A bright, protected from drafts place without direct sunlight is recommended in winter. The need for water is lower in winter, therefore casting can be reduced. In winter, fertilizer once a month is sufficient.
Tip: So that you can be sure of the needs of your orchid species, you should ask specifically for each new purchase.

Video Board: How to Grow Paphiopedilum 'Lady Slipper' Orchid Growing Guide.

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