Lady's Slipper - Pink


Ease to Grow: Moderate
Dormancy: Yes
Native Range: Woodlands of Eastern North America.
Zones: 3-8 (2-9)

Lady's Slipper Orchid, Cypripedium acaule, is one of the best known of all the hardy orchids. Lady's Slipper plants have large (2-3") pink, moccasin shaped flowers resembling a swollen egg. The pouches are pink with raspberry colored veins, and an opening through which pollinating insects travel. There is no nectar, and insects have to find their way through the pouch and out the back. They probably soon learn there is little nectar available in Pink Lady's Slippers and avoid the flowers, which may be why so few are pollinated in the wild. Flowers are singular on medium height spikes, and topped by green and brownish maroon sepals. It is a late Spring, early Summer bloomer, and flowers can last up to a month or more. Lady's Slipper flower spikes benefit from staking, and protection from the wind. Two wide, long elliptical leaves rise from the base of the plant. They are rich green above and silvery green below. They are corrugated by thick, parallel veins. In their natural habit, Pink Lady's Slipper Orchids grow in open, upland woods, above bogs and fens, usually under pines. The soil is typical low nutrient, loose, well drained and humusy. It is consistently moist, but not saturated. There is frequently a layer of decomposing leaves on the soil surface. Light is shade or dappled sunlight. Plants tolerate full sun, but do not look their best. Seeds are very fine and can be a challenge to germinate. It is winter hardy, and should be protected from rodents during dormancy. Mulch with 4+" of pine needles in the Fall. Leave at least a 1" of needles after spring cleanup. The rhizomes can be stored in damp sphagnum at 35°F (2°C) in a refrigerator for 3 or 4 months. Water with rain/distilled water, they are sensitive to mineral buildup. Do not over water, and be sure to keep the soil slightly moist during the peak of summer. Keep soil acidic and provide good drainage. Fertilizing is beneficial during the formation of Spring shoots. Consider 3 month slow release 14:14:14 Osmocote. It does well in beds and pots, and makes a charming addition to the bog garden.

Our plants are not collected from the wild, and are propagated from root divisions of plants in our collection.

Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. In its dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant root/rhizome. Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific lady's slipper orchid for sale.

Height: 4" - 10"
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate
Soil: Lady's Slipper Mix
Soil pH: 4-5
Light: Partial Sun to Dappled Light
Use: Grows best outdoors in the bog garden or pots

Customer Reviews

Based on 25 reviews
Renee L
Pink Lady Slipper

I have to say that I was very pleased with my experience ordering from this nursery. My order arrived far sooner than I expected, considering how far it was traveling. The plant itself arrived in perfect condition and has now been planted in a suitable place. I look forward with eager anticipation for a flower to emerge at some point. I see myself ordering more in the future. Thank you very much for the great customer service!

One of my favorite native plants, 2 year update

This is a plant I've always wanted to try keeping, but shied away from. Living in a suburb, and on a road with lots of traffic, and frequently bad air quality alerts, I was anxious, as I've heard they are pretty sensitive to air pollution. I took a leap and purchased one here a couple years back. I planted it in a pot with a reservoir, and placed it in the shade of a tree. It bloomed the first year, survived winter, bloomed again this year, and made a new fan!

Eventually when I have more fans to work with, I'll attempt growing it in the soil too.

Tim Edwards
lady slipper

the lady slippers arrived perfectly wrapped and have already grown new leaves. everything has been exactly what I was looking for.

No rating! Please read the review.

I planted the plant and kept it indoors and watered it as I felt necessary after reading the instructions. Soon the two leaves curled up and fell off. So no photo because now there is nothing to see but dirt. It is still planted and I am hopeful that what ever is left in the soil will begin to grow. I am watering it with rain water, not tap water.

Wendy Marks
Hope springs eternal!

Took an optimistic leap of faith and ordered a single Lady Slipper. It arrived in beautiful condition, carefully wrapped. I planted it and just hoped it would take. It has and is poking up through the floor of my woodland garden. It is growing and I'm excited to see a bloom. Maybe this year, maybe next!

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