The Slipper Orchids
Note: many of the slipper orchid species can make good garden plants in the UK if individual species’ requirements are considered. As propagators and nurserymen, we do not personally grow Cypripedium in ground and would advise customers wishing to grow these lovely plants in their gardens to explore the considerable knowledge base available on the web.
In autumn pot mature plants into large pots. Place a layer of drainage material in the bottom of the pot to prevent waterlogging. Ensure open drainage at all times.
Many combinations of material may be used for the medium. As a general rule of thumb, a mature plant mix should comprise about 70% inorganic material to 30% organic, providing a free-draining compost. Elements could include Cornish grit, coarse sand, Perlite, pumice.
After filling the pot about a third with compost make a small mound in the centre and arrange the plant on top with its roots spread. When potting is finished the crown should be around 5 cms below the surface. A top dressing of grit is beneficial.
Mature plants will need re-potting every other year. This is best done after flowering.
Place pot in good light (but not noon sun). Cool greenhouses, garden frames are ideal. Water freely when in growth but keep just moist over Winter. Feed occasionally during the growth period using quarter strength McBean’s fertiliser.
It is essential that the potted plants experience cold conditions during the Winter (‘vernalisation’). They require no protection.