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Paphiopedilums or Lady Slippers are popular and easy-to-grow orchids. They are found in a broad range of flower colors and many of them have gorgeous foliage. These orchids have modest light requirements. Place them in a bright window, usually with an eastern exposure. Do not place in direct sunlight. They have about the same light requirements as African Violets and perform well under fluorescent lights.
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These are some examples of complex Paphiopedilum hybrids.
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A relative humidity of 55 to 70% is best for Lady Slippers. Placing the pot on a tray full of moist sphagnum moss or pebbles will help regulate the proper humidity around the plant. A daytime temperature range of 70 to 85 degrees F. and a nighttime range of 50 to 65 degrees F. is preferable. In general the plain leafed forms do best at the lower end of this temperature range while those with mottled foliage do best at the higher range.
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Due to the absence of water storing pseudo-bulbs, Paphiopedilums should be watered often enough to keep them evenly moist but not soggy. Crown rot may become a problem if the crown is kept moist. Wait until the top inch or so of the medium is dry before watering. Paphiopedilums benefit from being misted regularly with a spray bottle.
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Any water-soluble orchid fertilizer that is high in nitrogen is suitable for Paphiopedilums. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for frequency and amounts to use. Since these orchids have sensitive roots, it is important to flush the potting material with fresh water once a month to prevent buildup of fertilizer salts.
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Paphiopedilums should be repotted every two to three years. A mix of fine and medium grade fir bark with various additives like charcoal and sphagnum moss, works well as a planting medium. Alternatively, commercial terrestrial orchid mixes can be used. Be sure that the base of the growths are planted no deeper than " in the medium.