lady slipper planting?

Chrissouthjersey(6/south new jer)May 26, 2004

Hey All, Have lusted after ladies slipper for a while and finaly broke down and ordered one that I put in this week. Planting directions are abit unclear about how deep to "spread the roots" I planted it with the starting point of the roots 1/2 under the soil and spread the roots in a cone shape( not unlike a daylilly) while they are spread out the do point down ward. now 4 days later I read on here that the roots should be just below the soil surface. Does this mean ALL the roots or just the termionus? SHould I dig it up and spread the roots like a pancake. Its just in for 3 days now so is it too late to make corrections?

Thanx, Chris

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Which species do you have?(Color)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2004 at 2:25AM
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Chrissouthjersey(6/south new jer)

Hey razorback, the cypripedium species is "reginae" it has white upper petals and a large pink belly. Thank you so much for any advise you can offer!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2004 at 12:55PM
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Sorry, but don't grow that spacies. It requires a moisture retentive, porous, well drained, neutral to alkaline soil, which is difficult to achieve and maintain here in clay country. The general guideline for planting North American Cyp species is shallow, with the tip of the bud just showing above ground and the roots fanned out from it. Dr. Steele of Spangle Creek Labs has instructions for plantiog in pots and flats on their website. This would also be applicable to in-ground plantings. Link below. You might also be interested in the International Cypripedium Forum, for info about planting and growing Cyps. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cypripedium Gallery

    Bookmark   May 27, 2004 at 2:20AM
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Yes, do contact Bill Steele at Spangle Creek. He is a down to earth guy and his knowledge is NOT proprietary, unlike just about any other operation. He is a true conservationist who will fully tell you anything you want to know about cultivating these plants from A to Z.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2004 at 7:12PM
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where did you order it from? the only one i have seen in a catalog was $99.oo. yes, yu read it right.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 7:14PM
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I obtain Cyps from Spangle Creek Labs. Don't know if they offer blooming size plants or not. I buy unflasked, vernalized seedlings for spring delivery and grow them on in pots and trays until they are large enough to transplant into the garden. This requires some patience and attention, but they are vastly cheaper than buying from some of the mail-order sources. If you decide to go this avenue, you may need to now reserve the plants you want, as they often sell out the supply before their shipping season starts in the fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cypripedium

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 1:28AM
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Yes, cyps are very expensive. But they are worth every last dollar.

Hello Chrissouthjersey, I think this is totally doable. One thing though... these plants really shouldn't be watered with tap water. Use bottled distilled water or rain water. Next on the list would be to consider purchasing a decent sized container that has a depth of at least 12" but preferably 18". Dig a hole and recess the planter into the ground. Don't drill any drainholes. Place about 3" of rinsed sand at the bottom. Fill up the rest with sphagnum moss. To this mixture add rain water or distilled water and mix throroughly as the sphagnum is incredibly anaerobic. The sand will settle to the bottom and this is perfectly acceptable. You will want a consistency equivalent to a thick German Cake mix batter. Add a few teaspoons of regular vinegar and kneed in with your hands OR mix in some crushed white pine needles which would be preferable. Plant your cyps. They should now be able to overwinter and should actually thrive. One thing though, most cyps have died back by now, did you get a plant that is blooming? You might want to consider planting your species of cyp according to the directions provided by Spangle Creek as opposed to what you read here somewhere here.

Best wishes to you.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 8:12PM
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nankeen(z8b Portland OR)

Cyps should definitely not have died back by now and should remain vigorous without any signs of browning until the first frost. If your plants are dead, then something is probably wrong. You can read this thread with similar circumstances.

I would also say to definitely drill holes in any pot you plant them in. Drainage is THE most important thing to these plants in culture. This could be why yours are dying back 3 months early...


    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 7:43PM
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I dunno... I have a few friends around here who have cyps and ours bloomed earlier this spring and all of ours have shed their seed and are dying back right now. They also come back year after year and they really seem to like the acid. Could this be a difference in our zones? We have Cypripedium candidum Muhl while she does have C. reginae. I had no luck what so ever getting these to come back when planted in well drained soil. They may not like wet feet but they don't seem to like dry either.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 11:33PM
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nankeen(z8b Portland OR)

C candidum is slightly different and does like somewhat more moisture than many others, so it may be ok to have such a system for that species. But none-the-less, this would be considered early die back and the sign of an unhealthy plant. While the plant may survive, it's not necessarily good for it. Any other experience from those who have grown this species?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 1:19AM
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I realize that this is by now an old thread. How is your Showy Lady Slipper doing? I thought it was strange that someone sent one of these to you in May, for me, this would be the worst time to move LS, it wasn't bareroot was it?
C. reginae is very rare in the Mid-Atlantic, probably extirpated in my state. I have a wildflower photographer friend who goes to Canada to photograph such orchids. She finds them in neutral bogs and swamps in limestone areas.
I agree with the above posts about Spangle Creek Labs. The photos on his site are taken in Minnesota, did you ever see C. reginae look like that in mid-Atlantic?
I have purchased other ladyslipper species from New England Wildflower Society, these are always in containers. See link for C. reginae, two quart pot, @ $39.
My ladyslippers (and other orchids)still have their foliage and are slowly spreading. If C. reginae doesn't work out in the heat and humidity of S. Jersey, why not try one of the species native to your area. Do you know about the location of several acres of Calopogon tuberosa in NJ? I understand every Father's Day it is purple as far as you can see. Thats my kind of orchid!

Here is a link that might be useful: New England Wildflower Society

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 1:13PM
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tecumseh(z5 OH)

plants delight in North Carolina sells them for $45.00

I bought one last year and the plant has already doubled

Mixed lots of organic material in the hole before I planted. It was in a pot so it was easy to see what level in the ground I should plant.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 11:07AM
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