Tips for Repotting Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum is a group of orchids better known as lady slippers. While there are many paphiopedilum varieties, in general they need bright light, warm temperatures, moist soil and regular fertilizing. They also need to be repotted on occasion. Keep a few things in mind when repotting your paphiopedilum to grow a successful, blooming plant.

When to Repot

Wait until your paphiopedilum has finished blooming to repot it. Flowering can happen any time of the year and one plant can produce several blooms. Each bloom can last for one to three months. Cut off the flowering stems at the bottom when they fade and when no more arise, it's time to repot.

How Often

Repot at least once every 12 to 18 months. This will encourage your paphiopedilum to grow and bloom more. Signs that your plant needs repotting: the soil holds moisture longer than usual; roots are growing near the soil's surface (sometimes visible); the bark begins to strip and break; and the roots are root bound (look out the drainage holes for extending roots or up along the sides).

Root Trimming

After you take your paphiopedilum out of its current container, gently shake the soil away from the roots. Then cut off the roots that are dead or rotting. This is also the ideal time to divide large paphiopedilum if desired, but since this is a delicate process, you may want to take your plant to a nursery for them to do it.

Potting Soil

Use potting soil labeled for orchids, or a potting mix with well-draining elements such as fir bark, coconut husk chips or sphagnum moss. Then replant your paphiopedilum into the next size pot (roots should fit inside the pot comfortably). Spread the roots out and work the soil in between the roots. Plant to the same depth as it was previously planted.

Keywords: repotting paphiopedilum, repotting lady slipper, lady slipper orchid

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.