General Discussion:

lady slipper orchids

Messages posted to thread:

Olivia Morris26-Jun-03 10:38 PM EST 6   
Susan27-Jun-03 05:21 PM EST 6a   
Olivia30-Jun-03 10:55 AM EST   
Nancy03-Jul-03 05:00 PM EST 5   
Doris21-May-05 11:23 AM EST 2b   
Patricia23-May-05 06:55 AM EST 5   

Subject: lady slipper orchids
From: Olivia Morris
Zone: 6
Date: 26-Jun-03 10:38 PM EST

Does anyone know anything about growing Lady slipper orchids? I would like to get some of these little darlings into my garden, but am not sure if you should start them from seeds or where to get plants. Any help would be welcome.

Subject: RE: lady slipper orchids
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 27-Jun-03 05:21 PM EST

I gather they're none to easy to grow from seed - they need a symbiotic fungus to germinate and the seeds are very tiny (apparently one seed pod produces 10-20,ooo seeds!) William Cullina, the manger of the New England Wildflower Society's Garden in the Woods says in his book Growing and Propaging Wildflowres that he leaves the seed growing to the experts and buys one year old plants to grow on to flowering size. Dominion Seeds had tissue culture pink Lady's Slippers in their spring catalog- quite expensive - I bought one this spring - it's very tiny - it's struggling at the monent but still hanging in there so far... The yellow ones are supposed to be harder to grow I think. There's a place in Ottawa that grows Lady's Slipperes from seed and culture. Got to:

Subject: RE: lady slipper orchids
From: Olivia
Date: 30-Jun-03 10:55 AM EST

Many thanks for your help Susan, I have contacted this grower and will see if he has anything available . Olivia

Subject: RE: lady slipper orchids
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 03-Jul-03 05:00 PM EST

The native Cypripedium orchids are indeed difficult to grow from either seed or tissue culture. It can take up to seven years to get a plant to flower, if it makes it that far. Most native Cyps require a symbiotic fungus and very specific moisture conditions to thrive, which is very difficult to achieve in a garden. The one Cyp that does reasonably well in the garden is the Yellow Lady Slipper, which doesn't seem to be as picky as the pink Moccasin Flower or the big pink and white Show Lady Slippers. I have one in my garden that is doing magnificantly. That particular plant was rescued from a friend's property where he was bulldozing through a new road.

The grower link that Susan has given you is a good, ethical one. You may be able to get more info from the North American Native Plant Society (

Beware of garden centres or growers that offer Cyps for what seems like reasonable prices. Many of these are likely dug from the wild, a practice that is decimating the wild populations in areas like the Bruce Peninsula. Except for the yellows, most of these plant will not survive for long in a garden setting. Ask questions as to how the plants were propogated .... if the response is that they were nursery "grown", this may only mean that they were dug up from the wild and held for a year or so in a nursery. Ensure that they are cerified as "nursery propogated".

Good luck in your search!

Subject: RE: lady slipper orchids
From: Doris
Zone: 2b
Date: 21-May-05 11:23 AM EST

Ibought a houseplant in march called calcelorid. It Somehow I think it is called slipper but not positive. It has a yellow flowere with some dark red (kind of looks like a slipper) dont think its an orchid though. I think I bopught with the idea of moving it outside not sure. I put it in a bigger pot not doing so good . looking for help db

Subject: RE: lady slipper orchids
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 23-May-05 06:55 AM EST

This is for Doris: the Calceolaria is a short lived but showy house plant with flowers shaped like little purses or perhaps slippers. As you rightly suspect, it has nothing in common with wild ladyslipper orchids. The calceolaria is not meant to be grown in a garden, it is intended just to provide a great shot of colour in a home for a short while. Enjoy it while it's happy and growing and when it's done, compost it.

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