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How to Grow: Paphiopedilum Orchid Care

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

General Information

Orchids in the genus Paphiopedilum are some of the easiest to care for, and they produce beautiful, long-lasting blooms. Let’s learn about these attractive plants. There are about 80 species and hundreds of hybrids in the Paphiopedilum genus. Some have striped or variegated leaves, and others have flowers with spots, stripes or patterns. Many of these varieties are prized by collectors.

Paphiopedilums are often called "slipper orchids" because of their unique pouch. However, they are different from the North American wildflowers known as lady’s slipper orchids. Most Paphiopedilum species are terrestrial orchids, which means they grow in soil. Terrestrial orchids should be grown in a pot, not in a hanging mount as is sometimes used for tree-dwelling epiphyte orchids. Growing Paphiopedilum terrestrial orchids outdoors is also possible in tropical and subtropical climates.

These Southeast Asian plants have flowers of heavy substance, lasting from one to three months. There are multi-flowered, sequential flowered and single flowered varieties of many different sizes, shapes and colors.

Light Requirements