Paphiopedilum subg. Polyantha

Paphiopedilum subg. Polyantha

April 07, 2024

Paphiopedilum subgenus Polyantha is a section within the genus Paphiopedilum. This group of lady slippers is particularly characterized by their ability to carry multi-floral inflorescences. They are native to various regions of Asia, including China, India, Southeast Asia, and the Indonesian archipelago, where they thrive in warm humid forest environments or cooler mountain regions.

Understanding the Environment and Temperature

Paphiopedilum section polyanthus orchids are native to Southeast Asia, where they grow in warm and humid environments. To replicate their natural habitat, it is essential to provide them with indirect sunlight, mid-high humidity levels, and consistent temperatures between 15-28°C.  These conditions are quite achievable for regular household, making these Paphiopedilum orchids a fantastic choice for home growers.

Watering and Humidity

These orchids prefer to be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. It is crucial to water them thoroughly when the top inch of the potting mix feels dry to the touch.  Using distilled or rainwater can contribute to the health and vitality of your Paphiopedilums, promoting optimal growth and blooming.

Light Requirement

Light requirements for Paphiopedilum are akin to those of a Phalaenopsis orchid—preferring bright, indirect sunlight, especially during midsummer.

Repotting and Potting Mix

These orchids should be repotted every 1-2 years to refresh the potting mix and provide them with fresh nutrients. Repotting annually stimulates root growth and if possible repot yearly! For a good mix, go for something fairly porous. Try approximately five parts of medium bark, two parts Canadian peat, and equal parts charcoal, extra coarse Sponge Rok #4, and ½-inch (1.25-cm) horticultural charcoal. Mix them up just right so your orchid roots get the support they need while still breathing easy and avoiding getting waterlogged.

Fertilizing and Feeding

During the growing season, which typically occurs in the spring and summer, it is recommended to fertilize your paphiopedilum with a balanced orchid fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing when there is no new growth or after a recent repotting.