Position – Part shade
Soil – Moist,well-drained
Flowering Period – Spring and summer
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Cypripedium is the rarest orchid in the UK. Commonly known as ‘Lady’s Slippers’, they are the most desirable and sought after plant of its kind. They are a fantastic addition to an informal, cottage or wildlife garden setting and are easy to grow. Cypripedium are highly attractive plants with bright green leaves adorned on erect stems, bearing dark purple flowers evolving into twisted yellow petals in late spring to early summer. These plants will grow to an approximate height and spread of 45cm (18”).
Cypripedium are happy planted in both borders and containers. When planted in grassy areas, these flowers will naturalise into attractive drifts. They are best suited to moist, well-drained soil of loam. Conditions of this sort should be improved with minerals such as crushed clay pebbles. This will also improve the drainage level if the soil is naturally too wet. Cypripedium should be positioned in an area which can absorb light bouts of sunlight, avoiding the full glare of the midday heat. Take care when planting near other trees and shrubs as Cypripedium roots are greedy for water and nutrients.
Ensure that your soil never dries out completely - safeguard your plants in times of drought by watering thoroughly. Use a fertiliser regularly in spring which is a necessity for these plants to encourage strong growth. Leaf coloration is a good indicator of plant health. Foliage should always be a vibrant shade of green when at peak health. If this is not the case, this may warrant a requirement for additional nutrients. Remove dead shoots in the autumn by pulling them out of the ground or by cutting off the stems.
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