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, provide good drainage, and do not fertilize. 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 17 reviews

Looks healthy, plant was well packaged. Otherwise it’s in dormancy now so I won’t get to really see it until spring

Edgar Lowe

These plants looked very good. They had good healthy root systems and both of them had nice green plant buds ready to come up this coming spring. I got them planted and mulched and look forward to seeing them come up this spring. I know that they may not bloom this year but if they come up and produce healthy green leaves this year, then I think I can expect blooms next year. Again, I have several different kinds of slipper orchids in my garden and I know what to expect here and these were very nice plants. Thank you.

Sue Finley
Sent to Michigan in January

It is probably my own fault for not noticing that, unlike other nurseries, this one sends the plant when you order it rather than when it is best for your time zone. I received my lady slipper in a block of frozen ice from sitting on a cold truck and then in the mailbox until I got home from work. Additionally, it was only wrapped in paper and some plastic and not in a little pot. I immediately emailed the company and they told me that the plant is dormant right now and to keep it somewhere at 55 degrees until I can plant in the spring. It has been in the 20s here in Michigan (it is January). Even my garage won't go up to 55 degrees. I have nowhere in my home that I have a temp at 55 degrees to keep this plant dormant. This was just hugely disappointing that I would be sent this very expensive plant in the middle of winter rather than sending it when our zone dictates. Very unfortunate and I sure hope the plant survives because, again, it was very expensive.

Debra Lewis
Dream come true

I’ve always wanted a lady slipper and am so excited by this opportunity. The plant was healthy, the instructions detailed and VERY helpful (no wonder I’ve killed my orchids!) and the shipping well done. Highly recommend and I will be purchasing more!

Barry Rhinehart
Cypripedium acaule

The Cyp. acaule that we bought from you is blooming!!! Never did I think we could be able grow and bloom this species—Thanks for the growing suggestion!!!
Thanks very much,

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