Orchid's can be quite fussy specimens which is likely to be one reason only a few are grown indoors. Fortunately the paphiopedilum perennial plant is one of the easier orchid type flowering plants to grow and maintain, although, they still can be quite particular about the conditions they reside in.
How it looks: The attractive dark green leathery textured and oblong shaped leaves have grayish green smears or blotches (known as mottled). The flowers that bloom are about 2 -3 inches in diameter with two wing petals, a larger upright petal and a kind of slipper shaped lip. One of the other common names for paphiopedilum's is the lady's slipper because of the slipper shaped lip.
The flowers (approximately 1 – 3) are produced from a stem covered in fine hairs which grows a couple of inches or so, above the foliage. These flowers are kind of yellow or cream colored with many small purple speckles, which add to its interesting look. Because the paphiopedilum (including the concolor) has very distinct and attractive looking flowers they continue to attract many plant collectors.
Flowering: A grower has to be patient with this plant to see them fully bloom, especially when buds appear which are in no rush to fully open. However, once they bloom (period: spring - late summer) you may enjoy these flowers for up to eight weeks, or possibly more.
|Names:||The one colored paphiopedilum, lady's slipper (common). P. concolor (botanical/scientific).|
|Max Growth (approx):||Height 6" max.|
|Poisonous for pets:||Not confirmed.|
|Temperature:||In their native countries the one colored paphiopedilum thrives in quite humid conditions which makes temperatures between 70-80°F (21-27°C) ideal without direct sun light. Temperatures will naturally drop during the night (and in winter), but do not allow them to drop lower than 50°F (10°C). Try and keep your plant away from cold drafts. In some climates it's fine to give your paphiopedilum time outside, although in more northern territories I would advise against this because of the extreme changes in temperatures and rainfall (which can be fairly cold).|
|Light:||A fair amount of light is advised and for as many hours that nature can provide. Direct sunlight should be avoided, which can cause leaf and plant problems. During the winter your plant will enjoy being given a few hours artificial lighting. A north facing window can be lacking in enough light, and south facing during the summer is likely to provide too much direct sunlight. With the south facing windowsill just bring the plant back away from the window a foot or so, and for the north facing you may have to provide other artificial lighting (if your unable to provide anything in between these extremes). Try your best lighted spots and if your plant has flowering or leaf problems contact me for advice.|
|Watering:||Keeping the soil moist is recommended and then re-watering again once it begins to dry. Watering with distilled or rain water, that's tepid is advised.|
|Soil:||There are many soil mixes that are fine, if they provide enough air space to the plant roots and drains well. Mixtures in stores that can be used may contain fir bark (or redwood bark or coco husk chips), perlite, and charcoal.|
|Re-Potting:||Quite simple, re-pot when necessary. A small amount of root showing through the drainage holes is fine, but any-more than that then I would re-pot with a slightly larger pot.|
|Fertilizer:||A balanced fertilizer should be used about once a week. This can be either a weak liquid or powered type.|
|Humidity:||Moderate to high humidity is preferred. Misting leaves regularly will help moisten the air alongside using a pebble tray that the orchid sits on. Providing good clean air circulation will support your plants growth.|
|Propagation:||Propagate paphiopedilum concolor plants by dividing - once it has matured enough (best in spring). You may need to do this once the plant gets too large and you could possibly create two new plants.|
Overall, this species of plant will need some tender love and attention, however, they're fairly easy to grow and are well worth the effort once a grower sees the first attractive bloom.