Paphiopedilum Care

“paff-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum”

 
 
 

Light should be rather shady from 600-1000 ft candles.  The foliage should be distinctly checkered, or tessalated.  The color of the foliage and degree of tessalation indicated the proper light amount.  These plants like low light as one would observe in the woods in the summer.  The length of day determines how fast these plants grow.  So supplementation with artificial light is a good way to make them grow fast.  Day length of up to 18 hours will cause Maudiae to grow faster and often bloom 2-3 times a year on mature plants.

Temperature should be above 60 degrees at night.  These are warm growing plants.  Day time temps can be anywhere from 70 deg. to 90 deg.  Warmer temps will accelerate plant growth.

Water should be applied when the plant begins to dry on the top but must not be wet at the roots for more than a few days. Watering with plain water first to wet the mix followed by a light application of fertilizer helps to create a healthy root system.

Humidity should be in the range of 50-70%  We use fans to keep the air moving especially after watering and when the humidity is higher in the summer months. Fertilize paph maudiae with approx. 90 ppm of nitrogen .  This may be 1/8-1/4 teaspoon water/gallon depending on which fertilizer you use.  Less fertilizer in better with these plants.

Re-Potting may be done in the spring or latter in the fall. Paphs benefit more than all other orchids from repotting.   If the plant looks like it is going downhill repotting at any time is recommended. Maudiae Paphs like a fresh mix and will benefit if the mix is changed every 12-18 months if possible.  Good drainage is important for all paphs.  The composition of the mix should be such that it holds moisture yet allows for air to pass through the mix. We do not recommend growing them in moss unless it is live spaghnum, or a spaghnum mixed with sponge rock.  Some growers make mixes which include coconut husks, sponge rock, lava rock.  DO NOT OVERPOT paphs!!  Small pots relative to the size of the plant are important for good root growth.  Inspect the roots on a paph that has been growing for 4-6 months to make sure that the mix and pot size is suitable for the plant. Pull a ‘test’ plant from its pot and inspect the roots.  They should be turgid and have good root hairs.  Once proper mix and pots size is achieved try to duplicate with all the Paphs in your collection.