Introduction to the Culture of Paphiopedilum

Ladyslippers in the Home or Greenhouse

 

  Geographical Distribution

The individual kinds of Paphiopedilum (!! all in the appendix I of the protection of species agreement / CITES !!) are resident in a range of India over China, Thailand up to the Malayan Archipelago. In the trade therefore are mostly hybrids. These are also much better suitable for a culture in the room. In addition, our references apply to the greenhouse culture in the moderate zones of Europe.

  Blooming Time

There are during the whole year flowering kinds. The main blooming time is however in autumn and winter.

  Location

It should be a bright place without direct exposure to the sun with a normal room temperature, in the winter between 18 and 22 degrees C. With a window board the underlying heating should be switched off or throttled however very strongly. Caution! over a heating the air ascends with a temperature up to 60 degrees C.

  Watering

Forget all book wisdom pointing nesses "damp, but not wet!" It has to be poured always only after the planting material has stayed dry for 1 - 2 days. That means, that this can be in the summer and during the heating season once to twice a week.

Caution in spring and autumn! If outside and interior temperatures are equal, it can last 1 - 3 weeks. If one pours, the planting material has to be dripping wet afterwards. This procedure promotes very much the root formation! The plants may never be located in the water, thus no saucer or over pot. Reversed saucer can be used however very well in a water tub. Do not spray the plants! The air humidity should be increased by other measures: on the window sill over a stored water tub, in the greenhouse by daily spraying under the tables and on the sidewalks. Use if possible rain water.

  Fertilizing

A quarter up to half of the indicated quantity of fertilizers, i.e. Wuxal, can be admitted at each watering time.

  Repotting

Annually, but at the latest every 2 years, into the smallest possible pot. Dead plant parts and roots as well as old planting material remainders have to be removed. The plant should be very well cleaned under flowing water. As planting material fine bark with an additive of a humidity holder is suitable, i.e. Perlit, flakes of sponge, charcoal pellets or peat and some lime pellets  3 -7 mm. Absolutely pay attention to a pouring edge of at least 1 cm height.

  Parasites

The largest danger, together with snails, is represented by scales: small, roundish to oval, apparently immovable little plates from more brownish to grey color with a diameter of  0,x - approx. 3 mm. They arise often at the lower surface of the leaf along the nerves, usually in large quantities. With the infestation of scales must be acted immediately, in the room at the best by spraying with a solution of half methylated spirits and half liquid soft soap.

  Diseases

The ladyslipper also is not protected from diseases. The worst: brown rot attacks the shoots from the basis and the plant dies rapidly. Unfortunately until today we donít know any remedy (for references we are very grateful), that promises an absolute success. A measure with partial success, there is only the immediate coating of the stricken places with a mash from charcoal powder or grinded cinnamon and water. The surface of the leaf must be coated down and above to deep in the heart, best with a fine brush.