Some of the most beautiful orchids belong to this group of Cypripediums. They have always been regarded as among some of the best plants for the shadier parts of the garden. It is only recently that they have become readily available and this has led to a number of exciting new varieties being introduced over the years. We provide Cypripediums that are supplied in pots and as such are easier to get established.
Besides the old favourites, new varieties have burst on to the scene in the past 10 years. The most popular of these is Cypripedium reginae which is one of the most attractive of the whole genus.
Cypripedium are best planted in the cool shady parts of the garden in compost comprising of equal parts of peat, leaf mould and loam mixed with gritty sand. Ensure they have plenty of moisture during the growing season but do not over water. They also thrive very well next to bog gardens. Cultivate the soil to a depth of 25cms if possible adding grit to improve the drainage in heavier soils. When planting them spread the roots out into the top 10cms of the soil, keeping the plant about 3cms below the level of the soil surface, but with the growing tips just showing above the soil surface.
Ensure the soil always remains moist, especially of course in the summer months.
Cypripediums are very attractive to slugs and snails and as such should be well protected when the shoots start showing. Feed the plants in the spring with a diluted all-purpose fertiliser at half strength.
Plants are pretty hardy and will tolerate temperatures down to -10c. To give them extra protection, provide them with a 5cm layer of mulch before the winter sets in.
Ensure plants are planted in shady areas and do not get any direct sun light at midday, as many Cypripediums are woodland plants and thus prefer cool sites.