Japanese Hardy Ladyslipper Orchid
This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.Shop Available Cypripedium
Item #: 2666
Zones: 4a to 7a, at least
Dormancy: Winter, Fall
Height: 10" tall
Origin: China, Japan
I'll never forget the time I saw my first Cypripedium japonicum orchid at the US National Arboretum. I had never seen anything quite this beautiful. The spectacular, heavily-pleated green leaves of Cypripedium japonicum resemble a Japanese hand fan opened horizontally atop a 6" tall stem. Held just above the foliage is a scrumptious pink ladyslipper-like flower. As you can imagine, the supply of these nursery-propagated plants is very limited. Cypripedium japonicum is not easy to grow and should only be tried by very serious gardeners and plant collectors. Plant in humus-rich soil and expect two years to establish well before flowering consistently.
Lady slipper orchids are maintenance free in the garden once they are established in the correct growing conditions.
Cypripedium prefer soils that are very well drained, and rich in compost. In containers, we like to add Permatill (popped slate) or a Pumice like product. Average moisture levels are great, but be certain soils do not remain waterlogged.
Lady slipper orchids are woodland plants, and most species do not have any sun tolerance. We have found that light, high shade is ideal.
Planting is critical, as roots must be spread horizontally just below the soil surface and not stuck deep in the ground as is the case with virtually all other plants. The growth bud should be planted just below the soil surface.
Bees are the primary pollinators for lady slipper orchids, since orchids have a complex pollination mechanism built into the flowers.