The Earth Laughs in Flowers
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Flowers with a Face
How can you not love these pretty-faced orchids? They go by the scientific name of Paphiopedilum Clair de Lune ‘Edgard Van Belle‘ (paf ee o PED ih lum). There are three large green Paphiopedilum orchid varieties, each very similar, growing up to 5″ in width. You can distinguish the Clair de Lune variety from the more common Paphiopedilum Maudiae ‘The Queen’ by its lack of warts on the horizontal petal blade. The genus, Paphiopedilum contains 80 varieties of orchids. They have the common name Slipper Orchids, but are most often called ‘Paphs’ by orchid aficionados.
NOTE: Keep weather conditions in mind when ordering. Be sure to have someone available for pick up in the event of inclement weather.
Paphiopedilums can be easy to care for and they often can be coaxed to bloom twice a year.
Things to know about Paphiopedilums:
- Watering - Best to water in morning to give moisture time to dry off plant before sundown to prevent fungus rot. Do not get water in the pouch. Put pot in the sink to water and allow to drain completely. Paphs can be watered twice a week, depending on pot size. If you have a salt-based water softener, consider using rainwater or distilled water.
- Light - Paphs are not as picky as other orchid varieties. They do like a sunny window as long as the temperature does not get so hot as to burn the plant. They do fine in diminished light.
- Temperature - If you are comfortable with the temperature in your home, your paph will be also. Temps in the day time – 70-80 degrees, and nighttime can go as low as 55- 64 degrees.
- Potting - Replace potting medium once a year, Paphs do best when potting medium does not go stale. Plastic pots are preferred over clay because clay pots quickly dry out. Ceramic pots made just for orchids have cut outs to provide light and aeration for the plant and work wonderfully.
- Feeding – Use proper water soluble fertilizer such as GrowMore 20-10-20.
If you’re interested in growing your own orchids but don’t have a clue how to go about it, here are some good books to get you started. Both are good for beginners and orchid collectors alike.
Have a question about your Paph? Here’s a very informative forum for Paphiopedilum lovers:
Here’s an equally excellent forum full of helpful experts:
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Thich Nhat Hanh