The Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchids) Culture…

Elvis Elvis

These are really neat orchids. They are from the jungles of the Far East and Indonesia. They typically grow in trees, pockets in cliffs, and on the forest floor in the humus or other material.

Don’t be afraid, they are easy to grow at home under proper conditions with artificial lighting or very low levels of sun.


They like potting materials that are fine to medium grade. This can consist of fir bark with additives like perlite, peat moss, sphagnum, coarse sand, and other like materials. The reason for these materials is that moisture retention combined with excellent drainage is needed.

Place in the pot by spreading the roots over a small amount of medium in the bottom of the pot and fill around the roots. Make sure the roots are buried at least ½ inch deep in the center of the pot.

The Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchids) Culture...


This type of orchid stores water in its leaves, instead of their roots like others. As a result, water needs to be available at the plant’s roots constantly. These orchids need a moist medium but not soggy.

Humidity & Airflow:

These orchids need humidity levels to be around 40 to 50 percent. This is lower than many orchids but can be set up the same way as with other orchids in your home. Do this by putting them on trays of pebbles with water filled just to the top of the pebbles.


Since these orchids like shady conditions, they are easy to grow with less sun light. They do like bright light, jut very little direct sun exposure. You could use artificial lighting or put them in an eastern or western facing window.


There are two primary groups of paphs. The ones that like warmer temperatures and the ones that like cooler temperatures. If you shoot for a middle of the road temperature range all of these orchids can be grown under the same conditions with good results. It’s when you go to the extreme temperature end for either plant that specifics are more important.

Warm-Growing Paphs: Daytime Temperatures of 75-85 degrees is best. Nighttime Temperatures of 60-65 degrees is best

Cool-Growing Paphs: Daytime Temperatures of 75-80 degrees is good with Nighttime Temperatures of 50-60 degrees.

The Extremes: These plants are temperature hardy and can stand night temperatures of 40 degrees and day temperatures of up to 95 degrees if necessary. The ideal growth of the orchid flowers will be affected y these extremes however.


Like all orchids, fertilizers can be applied on a regular basis (Be careful not to burn the roots). Fertilizer solutions of 30-10-10 with high nitrogen are recommended for this orchid especially when potted in fir bark mix. Note: Since this orchids roots can burn easily, it is important to flush excess fertilizer off once per month with clear water.