Slipper (Paphiopedilum) — care at home
This species of orchids native to Southeast Asia but is now widespread around the world.
There are about 60 natural species and more than 1000 hybrids.
To Europe this Orchid came in the 17th century, and immediately won the love of European gardeners, who began the process of hybridization of this species.
A distinctive feature of the plant is a flower petal, concave in the form of a bag or shoes. In almost every language this plant is called lady’s slipper.
The genus name «Paphiopedilum» comes from Greek «Paphia», the Greek goddess of love (in Roman mythology, Venus) and «pedilon» – slipper. So we have a flower called «lady’s slipper».
The stem can be much shorter, which usually have one flower, or elongated with 2 or 3 flowers. The leaves of most species rich green plain, some with marble veins.
The leaves form a rosette of large, oval-acuminate. The petals are shiny, smooth. Back sepal of the flower is well developed. Two side gear hanging down.
The largest petal forms a «Shoe» with a smooth, slippery edges. The insect, attracted by the bright color, sits on the edge of the «shoes» slips and falls inside.
Back on the slippery surface she can not get out and had to get past the stigmas, which leaves the pollen brought from the outside, and then past the anthers, collecting from it the grains of pollen, which will be used for pollination of the next flower.
Location and lighting
Paphiopedilum – photophilous plant, but can grow in the shade. Does not tolerate direct sunlight. In the room, it will feel good in the Eastern and Western Windows.
Among the many types of Shoe is a heat-loving species and cold-resistant. For heat-loving plants should maintain a temperature of 18-24°C. in Winter, it can be reduced to 16-18°C.
Flower does not like sudden temperature changes. Cold-resistant species can tolerate temperatures of 12-16°C. the Ventilation has a beneficial effect on the growth of plants.
Watering and humidity
These plants are very sensitive to fluctuations of humidity in the substrate. It should always be slightly moist – not too wet and not dry.
Watering throughout the year is moderate. In the winter it is slightly reduced. The stream of water must not fall into the rosette of leaves, so as not to cause rotting. Humidity support, placing the pot on a tray with wet expanded clay.
Feed must gently 1 2 times per week, thus it is necessary to give half dose of flower fertilizer.
Transplantation and propagation
Slipper not tolerate transplanting. Therefore, transplant it every 2-3 years after flowering. The substrate can be made of hardwood sawdust, moss, humus, charcoal, or buy a ready-to retailer for flowers.
Reproduction occurs by dividing the overgrown Bush. Is necessary to separate carefully not to damage the root system.
Pests and diseases
Affected orchids are aphids, spider mites, scale insects. Wrestling – spraying plants with 0,1-0,2% solution of Malathion.
The appearance of dry brown spots on leaves may be the result of burns. Shading will help to correct this problem.
Soft brown spots, fungal infection. Carefully remove spots and treat the leaves with a fungicide.