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Paphiopedilum lowii

A semi-terrestrial, clump-forming, evergreen orchid with narrowly elliptic green fleshy leaves. Flowering stems that measure up to 1m in length, appear from the centre of the leaf rosettes and cary up to 5 flowers. Each flower measures apporximately 8 - 14cm. Pouch is brown, veined; petals are bright yellow-green with purple tips and dark brown spots. Upper sepal is yellow-green, brown-striped.

Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Purple Brown Green
Summer Green Purple Brown Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1A
Botanical details
Family
Orchidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Paphiopedilum are mainly terrestrial, and lithophytic or epiphytic. They lack pseudobulbs and produce short stems with strap-shaped leathery leaves. Each shoot ends in a solitary flower or racemes of 2-8 flowers each with a distinctive variably-shaped lip or pouch

Name status

Unresolved

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in terrestrial, bark based orchid mix, with added sphagnum moss and perlite, or crushed limestone chips. In summer, provide higher humidity and bright, filtered light. Average summer temperatures are between 20 - 25°C, with winter temperatures falling to 18 - 22°C. Apply fertiliser with every third watering. Avoid heavy misting or overhead watering. As the plant lacks pseudobulbs, it shouldn't be left dry for long time. Water plant as it approaches dryness, but avoid standing in water, or keeping wet for prolonged period. See Paphiopedilum cultivation for more detailed advice.

Propagation

Propagation by seed is only possible in a controlled laboratory environment. Mature plants may be divided when the plant overgrows its container. Each division should have at least 3 healthy, rooted plant rosettes with a suffient amount of stored energy and water, to support new growth and reduce stress after repotting.

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

No pruning required. Remove the flower stem after flowering.

Pests

May be susceptible to mealybugs but generally pest free

Diseases

May be susceptible to bacterial rots in the centre of leaf rosettes caused by overhead watering in combination with low temperatures but generally disease-free

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