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Phragmipedium

This page is meant to give you information and some useful tips about the care of the Phragmipedium. You will also find all the Phragmipedium species we offer in our assortment.

» Straight to care

Derivation of the name

The name of this gender derives from the Ancient Greek words ‘phragma’ (separation), which refers to the tricarpel ovary and the ‘pedium’ (shoe) refers to the remarkable, shoe-like shape of the lip.

Features and origin

Phragmipedium is a gender with around 30 species spread throughout Central- and South-America. Most Phragmipedium species grow in the mountains and are fairly large, terrestrial orchids, but some are epiphytes and lithophytes.
They have an upstanding stem that can grow up to 80 cm long, with lanceolate leafs with two to three remarkable flowers. The sepals are bent downwards and fused with each other. The petals are extremely long stretched with some species. The lip is blown up to a pouch-shaped structure; the edges are pleated inwards. The gynostemium has two fertile stamens and a big shield-shaped staminodium. Furthermore, the ovary is tricarpel.

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Care tips

Place

Phragmipedium need a place with lots of shadow. In winter however, they need as much light as possible. In summer, cool Phragmipedium may also be kept outside under a roof.

Temperature

The temperature by day can be around 18,5 to 22,5°C all year round. In summer the temperature can be higher, as long as it cools down as much as possible at night. At night it should drop to about 15°C.

Humidity

We advise a humidity between 45% and 85%. This differs per species within the gender and depends on the size of the plant.

Water

Keep the soil constantly humid in summer. This means that you water the plant at the moment the soil has almost dried up. In winter, Phragmipedium may be watered a little less.

Fertilizer

During the period of growth, in spring, you can fertilize lightly every 14 days. In summer, you can fertilize every 7 days. This stimulates the flower arrangement. In winter, fertilizer is not necessary. The fertilizer is important, because there won’t be enough sunlight for the Phragmipedium . Normally, the sunlight provides the Phragmipedium with sugars that are essential to create the growth of flower branches. Therefore it’s harder for the Phragmipedium to start blooming without the fertilizer.

Repotting

Phragmipedium require to be repotted every two years in a mix of rough bark(50%) and sphagnum(50%). Cymbidium mix may also be used, or a mix of bark(60%), sphagnum(30%) and 10 % oak leaves. This depends on the care that is being applied.