There are many varieties of indoor plants with various colors, shapes, and sizes, one of the most unique and sought-after is the Venus slipper orchid. The flower is well adapted to lack of light and high humidity, so it can grow in different conditions.
venus slipper orchid Description
Slipper orchids are part of the orchid family, genus Paphiopedilum.
Unlike other varieties, these are semi-epiphytic or terrestrial plants, so their root system saturates the entire aerial part with the necessary nutrients and moisture.
The name “Lady’s slipper” in translation from Greek means “slipper from Paphos”. This is a town located in Cyprus, where the goddess Aphrodite, aka Venus, was born.
In the wild, the flower’s habitat is not Greece and Cyprus, but Southeast Asia, the Far East, Crimea, the Caucasus, Western Siberia, and the European part of Russia. It is found in tropical forests where humidity is high and there is no access to sunlight.
venus slipper orchid Facts
The main feature of the variety is its unusual inflorescences, which in appearance resemble a woman’s shoe. Therefore, people often call it a shoe.
- The stem is short, sympodial (grows vertically), does not form a pseudobulb during development. It grows in breadth due to young rosettes.
- The leaf plate is belt-shaped, elongated, of different sizes, depending on age and variety. In dwarf varieties, the length reaches 10-12 cm, in giant plants growing in the wild up to 60 cm.The color is varied – from rich green to marble.
- The root system consists of numerous thick yellow roots. Their surface is covered with nap and small roots that absorb moisture. With lateral growth in the area of the root collar, a short rhizome develops, from which a new rosette subsequently grows.
- Forms an erect flower arrow of various lengths – from 5 to 60 cm. At the top, mainly one flower blooms – revolving or normal flowering type. Some multi-flowered orchids produce two inflorescences per shoot.
- Flowers with a large lip that forms a pouch. Petals of various shapes, usually narrowed and elongated. Opened in the spring and summer. Duration of flowering is 2-3 months.
venus slipper orchid (Lady’s slipper) varieties
This species has several varieties that differ in color, shape, and size.
A popular hybrid form with unusual leaves – the main cover is green with a marble pattern.
The inflorescences consist of cream-colored pointed petals covered with purple-brown stripes.
There are streaks of the same color along the veins. The lip is purple or deep purple. Flowering type – revolving.
A hybrid of Thai selection with a peduncle up to 40 cm long. The petals are scarlet with a bright yellow border.
The lip is large – yellow inside, bright red outside. The leaves are green, dense, up to 10 cm in size. It blooms profusely.
It is an unusual plant with long hanging purple petals, reminiscent of thin ribbons.
A flower with a large lip, orange-yellow petals covered with numerous dots. It is a multi-flowered species that forms 3 to 5 inflorescences on one flower arrow.
The homeland of the orchid is Thailand. This flower loves to grow in tropical climates, it is distinguished by large inflorescences that reach 13-14 cm in circumference.
The lip is pale purple, the petals are light green with black specks.
First discovered in India, later they began to be successfully cultivated in Europe.
The sizes are compact, small with elongated flowers of a variegated color – the petals are white, contain longitudinal purple stripes. The lip is large.
The plant is native to Vietnam, later appeared in Europe in a cultivated form. Blooms in spring, differs from other varieties in large inflorescences. Color – green with blue tint.
It was brought to our country from Thailand. The size of the flower is small – up to 7-8 cm in diameter. The color is variegated – snow-white petals are covered with small, purple dots.
Spectacular plant with glossy, belt-like leaves growing arched. The peduncle is erect, thin, very fragile, therefore it needs support.
The inflorescences are large, reaching 20 cm in diameter. The petals are wide, greenish-yellow, covered with brown spots and stripes.
Tall orchid with high peduncles – up to 80 cm, glossy, dense, belt-like leaves. The length of the sheet plate varies from 40 to 60 cm, the width is 5-7 cm.
On one flower arrow, from 2 to 4 buds are formed. In loose form, a flower with narrow, yellowish, snow-white or yellow-pink petals covered with dark brown stripes. The lip is large, burgundy or chocolate colored.
A low orchid with spotted or monochromatic leaves, oval in shape.
Peduncles of medium length – about 30 cm, form one flower at a time, which delight with grace for two months. Petals are greenish-white or burgundy-pink with dark stripes. Diameter 10-12 cm.
It is an artificially bred hybrid form that is suitable for growing in backyards. The garden orchid grows rapidly. The inflorescence consists of beautiful variegated snow-white petals with a mesh pattern.
The color is dark purple with yellowish or green veins. The leaves are light green, dense, elongated.
lady slipper orchid growing conditions
This genus of orchids has a complex classification, which includes several subspecies – terrestrial, epiphytes, lithophytes. All of them require certain growing conditions.
For epiphytic subspecies, a substrate is used, as for conventional varieties. The soil mixture is sold at any flower shop.
For the cultivation of lifits, rocks are added to the purchased soil – limestone, flintstone.
Terrestrial varieties grow well in a store-bought mix mixed with peat or humus.
The optimum temperature for this plant of the Orchid family during the day is 20-22 ° C, at night it is lowered to 13-15 ° C. Such differences are very important for a flower – it begins to grow better and blooms for a long time.
For this type, high and stable air humidity is suitable – about 70-75%. The substrate should be slightly damp.
To ensure such a condition, the plants are periodically sprayed in the near-stem zone, avoiding the ingress of water on the leaves, flowers and stems. Also indoors, you can put a container with water or install a flowerpot on a pallet with wet expanded clay.
In winter, it is recommended to keep the flower away from heating appliances.
Orchid is a shade-tolerant plant. It grows well on windowsills from the north, north-east and west side. It is important that no direct sunlight falls on the leaves and stems, otherwise, they will quickly turn yellow and the flower will die from burns.
On cloudy days and in winter, it is worthwhile to provide additional lighting with artificial light lamps. The optimal duration of the LED is 10 hours.
transplanting lady slippers (venus slipper orchid)
The successful cultivation of any kind of indoor orchid depends on a properly selected pot, substrate, and planting time.
A purchased specimen is transplanted immediately, as soon as it fades, it is not worth disturbing the flowering plants, because it may not survive stress and die.
Usually, the time to plant in a new container is in the beginning or middle of spring, depending on the variety. They are planted in the phase of active growth, so the flower adapts better and faster.
Pot and soil
To grow paphiopedilum, wicker vases or pots made of bamboo sticks, twigs, tree bark of branches are used – in such a container, the roots will receive the required amount of oxygen.
A clear plastic pot or container with drainage holes will also work to drain excess moisture – then the root system will have access to sunlight.
You can fill the flowerpot with a light and nutritious substrate made of moss and pine bark. There is no need to add earth since the forest orchid naturally grows on trees.
They are planted in a new pot so that the upper part of the roots partially remains outside. Over time, the plant will take the required position. When laying in a container, it is important not to damage the roots, otherwise, they will begin to rot, which can lead to the death of the flower.
After planting, it is watered with standing water at room temperature, then transferred to a room where there are all the necessary conditions.
venus slipper orchid (Lady’s slipper) varieties Care
Observing the basic rules of care, you will be able to maintain health, decorative effect and ensure long-term, beautiful orchid flowering at home.
Transfer after purchase
The purchased plant is quarantined for 3 weeks to make sure there are no diseases and pests. The transplant procedure is started only after flowering.
venus slipper orchid repotting:
- prepare a landing container in diameter 2-3 cm larger than the previous one;
- a part of the substrate is poured onto the bottom (a mixture of moss and finely fractionated pine chips steamed with boiling water);
- remove the roots from the old flowerpot and gently transfer into a new one;
- sprinkle on top with a thin layer of substrate so that some roots remain outside.
Over time, the roots and soil mixture will settle, and the plant will grow. After transplanting, they are watered by immersion in a basin of water; you can also irrigate the aboveground part.
The reason for premature transplantation of a home orchid may be:
- acidity and salinity of the soil;
- the appearance of new shoots that can be transplanted during transplantation;
- if the plant is too cramped in the pot;
- more than 8 young rosettes have formed in the flowerpot;
- decay of the root system from overflows.
This is a moisture-loving culture, so it should be moisturized regularly, but moderately.
It is important not to allow the substrate to dry out, otherwise the roots will dry out, and behind them the entire aerial part of the flower.
You can determine the watering time by the color of the root system: if the roots are dark green, you do not need to carry out the procedure. Dry ones take on a grayish tint.
It is necessary to adhere to the wetting technique – this culture is not watered through the soil. The pot with roots is immersed in a container of water for 15-20 minutes. In the off-season, the frequency is reduced to three times a month. The procedure is carried out in the morning.
Additionally, irrigation of the aboveground part with water at room temperature is required – only the substrate is washed, avoiding stems and leaves. You can also wipe the leaves with a damp sponge once a week to wash away dirt and prevent the appearance of harmful insects.
Usually, top dressing is combined with watering, while first the flower is moistened through the substrate – this way the nutrition is better absorbed, and the risk of burning the roots is also reduced.
It is advisable to use fertilizers during the period of active growth – they use ready-made store preparations with an increased content of phosphorus and potassium. It is applied twice a month, the dosage is half the recommended dosage on the package.
In the resting phase, food is completely stopped.
Lady slipper orchid Pruning
Pruning is started immediately after flowering and complete drying of the peduncle. It is cut off along with faded buds, the places of the cuts are powdered with charcoal to prevent the risk of infection.
Also, throughout the year, they remove all yellowed and dried parts – leaves, shoots, since they can provoke the development of infections and the appearance of parasites.
Sometimes you can see how roots protrude on the surface of the substrate – they do not need to be buried in, because in the near future they may die off. It is necessary to wait until they die, then carefully separate with a sharp object to healthy tissue.
The rejuvenating procedure for the Venus slipper variety is very useful – it stimulates the growth of young roots.
venus slipper orchid Flowering increasing methods
Quite often it happens that a houseplant grows green mass over several years, but cannot bloom in any way.
To stimulate the process, you can replace root irrigation with a spray bottle irrigate the substrate. During such care, the flower is taken out to a shaded place – this will force it to begin to form buds.
This should be done during the period of awakening and the beginning of intensive development.
Another method is to lower the room temperature to 12-14 ° C for 3-4 weeks. In this case, the difference between night and day should be at least 10 ° C.
One of the common reasons for the lack of flowering in orchids is overfeeding with nitrogen fertilizers. To remedy the situation, it is necessary to exclude nitrogen-containing dressings and fertilize with a preparation with a high content of potassium and phosphorus.
venus slipper orchid Diseases and pests
The main cause of flower damage is violation of the rules of planting and care. The appearance of dense yellow-brown crusts or spots on the foliage is a sure sign of sunburn. Such a plant must be transferred to a place protected from the sun, and the damaged leaves must be removed.
Dents, damp and rotten areas on the leaf plate are a sign of fungal infection. The infected parts need to be urgently cut off, the cut off areas must be treated with Fundazol or Topsin.
If the aboveground or underground part is covered with mold, this is a sign that the room has too high humidity and there is no good ventilation. Moldy areas are removed, then the plant is treated with one of the fungicides. It is necessary to optimize the microclimate.
This orchid has several harmful insects. Without taking the necessary measures, they can destroy it in a short time.
- In the fight against spider mites, which often appear in hot and dry rooms, acaricides – Actellik or Aktara – help. Processing is carried out twice with an interval of 14 days.
- Aphids also love to feast on the sap of leaves, buds and flowers. You can destroy it with Fitoverm or Chlorophos.
- In case of damage with a scabbard, a toothbrush is used for cleaning. The wounds are sprinkled with charcoal, and the plant is transplanted into a new and sterile container.
- Actellik or Fitoverm will help get rid of thrips – double irrigation is required at intervals of 7 days.
- Mealybug is no less dangerous for this houseplant – systemic insecticides are used to destroy it. Before processing, irrigate with soapy water, then remove all dry parts and severely affected organs.
- Whitefly is one of the most common orchid pests. Actellik or Fundazol will help get rid of it. Processing is carried out twice with an interval of 7 days. The diseased plant is transferred to a separate room until complete recovery.
How to revive venus slipper orchid?
Many growers make a big mistake when disposing of a plant that has lost all its roots. He can still be saved, the main thing is to properly resuscitate:
- a rosette without roots should be divided into parts so that each has a petiole with a leaf and a growth point;
- the workpieces are slightly dried in a shaded place;
- if there are rotten fragments, they are cut off, then treated with a fungicide;
- immersed in chilled boiled water;
- put on a windowsill, where there is diffused daylight and a temperature in the range of 23-25 ° C;
- periodically, the leaves are removed and gently wiped with a sponge dipped in succinic acid so that they gain energy and segments;
- as the moisture evaporates, water is added.
After about two months of keeping the delenki, roots up to 5-7 cm long will be released – they can be planted in a container with sphagnum moss.
venus slipper Growing problems and mistakes
There are several problems in growing this plant, as a result of which it grows poorly, slowly releases green mass and practically does not bloom.
One of the most common reasons is the acquisition of a sick flower. You need to choose an orchid only in specialized stores; before buying, carry out a thorough inspection:
- the roots and the aerial part must be whole, healthy, without yellowness, mechanical damage;
- leaves are green, lively, without plaque, mold, punctures;
- it is better to take an already flowering plant – this is one of the sure signs of vitality.
When watering through a watering can, moisture may not evaporate for a long time, which will lead to the rotting of the roots. It is necessary to moisten only by immersion in a container with water.
Other common mistakes:
- Tightening with the transplant of a purchased orchid. The procedure is carried out immediately after flowering, otherwise there is a high risk of stem rot. Growers grow seedlings in a moist substrate that dries out much more slowly than bark and moss. It is concentrated in the region of the hilar neck. Constant moisture contributes to tissue rotting and flower death.
- Keeping on the windowsill on the south side, where the sun is especially active at lunchtime, causes sunburn on the foliage. The plant should be pruned – remove all damaged tissue and move to a shaded area.
- Leaf wilting and withering is caused by heatstroke resulting from increased indoor temperatures. Its indicators should be stable, observing the difference in the daytime and nighttime by 3-4 ° C.
- Planting a flower in ordinary soil. For epiphytes of this group, it is worth using a special substrate, which is sold in flower shops.
- Frequent airing, especially in the winter season, can provoke wilting and falling leaves. At this time, the flower is taken out to another room.
- Irrigation of the aboveground part is one of the causes of decay of internodes, stems, foliage. Spray so that moisture does not get on them. Moistening is allowed only on the surface of the substrate in the morning.