I grow a couple of paphiopedilum niveums. Small and compact, they are relatively easy to care for and a delight to keep.
I have two varieties. The first was bought during a visit to Lum Chin nursery. The seller, whom I learned was the daughter of the proprietor (I forget her name now), offered it to me and stressed that it was the ‘last one’. With this kind of talk, how could I refuse? The plant came home with me in the backseat my Toyota and that, you could say, was when my love affair with slipper orchids began.
After few months of growing, it flowered (a big deal for me with slippers!). It had open (not round) petals which were indicative of the wild form found on the limestone cliffs of Langkawi island. Not quite the rounder, modern variants but personally, I like this a lot!
The second variety I own, has fuller, rounder petals. It was bought during my last trip to Bangkok which I wrote about it here. The seller told me that it was a Paph niveum var Ang-Thong. It’s VERY pretty. What attracted me to this one, and the reason why I picked this up out of the sea of white slippers in her shop, was the green anther-cap. It makes this niveum more unique.
I grow my Paph niveums in a mix of crushed charcoal, broken bricks, limestone and lava rock. To add humus, I sprinkle a bit of used coffee grounds over their media plus a small amount of small coconut chips. Since their habitat origins are moist limestone crevasses, I supplement their feeding with a lime water solution about once a month. So far so good!
These plants keiki readily after flowering, so you can expect make a few divisions as the new growths mature. Just remember to keep a new keiki attached to its mother plant.
Paph niveum comes from Langkawi island, Malaysia and other islands in South Thailand.