I Do Not Discriminate

by Cynthia

My love for plants runs very deep and I must confess that I do not discriminate over which plants I love. In fact I seem to love too many depending on who you ask! It is borderline obsessive really.

That love extends to the plants I grow indoors, mainly my orchids. I do not have as large of a collection as I once used to. When my daughter was born it became too hard to care for the large amount I had. The few I have left though I truly cherish. I especially love Lady Slipper Orchids (Paphiopedilum) and two of mine happen to be in bloom right now.

Paphiopedilum Maudiae

Paphiopedilum 'Maudiae'

I personally do not find orchids to be all that fussy. I water mine once a week (Wednesday is orchid day around here) and feed them with worm tea about twice a month. They absolutely love the worm tea! I do cut back on feeding during the winter months to about once a month or so. But during the growing months I am pretty strict with watering them with the worm tea every other week.

I do not know the name of this pretty Lady Slipper as she was only labeled Paphiopedilum.

I do not know the name of this pretty Lady Slipper as she was only labeled "Paphiopedilum".

Another thing I do with my orchids that keeps them very happy is I fill a tray (found it at a thrift store!) with small stones that is then filled with water. I then place my orchids on top of the stones in the tray. This helps with supplying extra humidity around the plants. This is also what I do with African violets. The extra humidity becomes very important during the winter months when the heater is running.

I try to avoid the plant section of Trader Joe’s whenever I shop there as the orchids they sell are usually very reasonably priced and healthy. Thankfully I no longer live conveniently close to this fun store or my orchid collection would once again be too big for me to manage.  

Caring for Paphiopedilums

  • Temperature: should be kept between 55-80° F.
  • Light: they can be grown in lower light intensities but a stronger light will produce more growth.
  • Watering: should be frequent as Paphiopedilums like more moisture since they continue to grow all year.
  • Other tips: good air circulation is important and Lady Slipper orchids do benefit from being repotted once a year.
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