The paphiopedilum plant is an Asian native orchid variety also known Old World Lady Slipper. The plant has tall stems that hold waxy flowers in the shades of green, burgundy, tan and white. Paphiopedilum grow naturally in a habitat that is shaded with high humidity, fast air movement and heavy rainfall. The plant is easy to grow in a home or greenhouse when given the proper growing environment.
Plant the paphiopedilum in a pot with a fine medium, such as fine fir bark mixed with perlite and charcoal. Repot the plant every two years or when the medium begins to decompose. Repotting is required when the plant has reached the edge of the pot.
Add a layer of dolomite lime to the top of the potting medium if your water has low calcium content. This will keep the medium at an alkaline level instead of acidic, which may harm the plant.
Place the plant in a shaded location, such as a window facing east or west. A shaded south-facing window is also acceptable.
Keep the humidity at a 40- to 50-percent level around the plant. Add a humidifier to the area if necessary.
Place a small fan in the growing area to provide air movement especially if the humidity increases. An increase in air movement may require additional water requirements.
When the medium begins to dry at the top, water the plant with a volume that is equal to the size of the pot. The roots should always remain moist.
Fertilize paphiopedilum with a balanced houseplant fertilizer mixed at one-eighth strength. Fertilize the plant weekly during the spring and summer months and every other week in the fall and winter months.