Paphiopedilums are often called ‘slipper orchids’ because of their unique pouch. They are easily grown as houseplants and their care is very similar to african violets. 


Paphs generally enjoy the same temperatures that we do in the home; ideally, 16℃ at night and 25–30℃ during the day, however plants can stand temperatures from 4℃ to the 35℃ for short periods. Protect plants during cold temperatures by avoiding moisture on leaves or in the crowns and in summer from burning from the sun. 


Paphs belong to the ‘low’ light group of orchids. You can tell by the leaves if the plant is getting too much light. A reddish tinge on the edges means you need to provide more shade for your plant. If your Paph does not re-bloom, it may not be getting enough light. 


The growing media should be free draining whilst retentive of moisture. Some grow in fairly fine bark, some grow in sphagnum moss. Either way care should be taken to see that whilst even moisture is retained (Paphs do NOT have pseudobulbs) they are not so wet that roots tend to rot. 


How often you water will depend on whether your plant is potted in bark or a sphagnum moss mix and the amount of light and heat. Paphs need more frequent watering than some other orchids because they have no pseudobulbs to store water. Bark retains less water so will require more frequent watering. 


Any balanced orchid fertiliser (look at the numbers on the container, 20-20-20, etc.) can be used to fertilise your orchid. Weakly (half strength), weekly works well. Once a month use clear water to flush any accumulated salts from the potting mix.