Paphiopedilum helenae

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Grand Chupacabra
Dec 26, 2012
Reaction score
Central North Carolina
Paphiopedilum helenae

This diminuative Paphiopedilum species from Vietnam is one of the smallest ladyslipper orchids in cultivation. I lucked out and got a fantastic deal on this plant many years back when legal offerings were still hard to find and somewhat expensive. It's currently a bush, growing in a 2.5 inch (1 cm) pot.

It went for years growing and growing and growing, but never blooming. Then last fall I saw the first signs of a spike, so I moved it to a cooler spot next to a window since I'd read that they need cool night temperatures to bloom. Very exciting. After that single flower finished blooming, I set the plant back on the shelves, thinking I'd try to give it another cool down this fall in hopes of getting it to bloom again. Imagine my surprise when I saw multiple sheaths developing back when the temperatures started soaring in late spring, no cool nights necessary.

The way I've been growing it is that it is planted in a plastic pot, which I set down into 2 stacked clay pots. When I water, I usually let the water collect down in the saucer, and the clay pots wick that up while also keeping the roots and potting mix from standing in water. I imagine this set-up also provides some evaporative cooling around the root zone, which may help counteract the warmer temperatures in my growing area.

Anyway, I'm just excited to see 6 spikes on this little plant! The flowers are small, but that big bright yellow dorsal sepal is nice and cheery. I'm looking forward to all of the flowers being open, but I wanted to post this now in case I'm too busy to photograph it (and post) once they are all open.




Great contrast in colors. Cooler roots is probably the trick to growing and blooming many of our slippers.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Latest posts