The Lady Slipper Orchid

Lady Slipper Orchids are distant cousins of the Orchidaceae family. They belong to the cypripedium genera, which is a genera under the Cypripedioideae family which is a sub-family of the Orchidaceae family. 

The Lady Slipper Orchid

They are native to the cooler regions of Europe and North America and are made up of over 50 different plant species with each species possessing a different appearance, or growth habit than the other. 

Slipper orchids get their names because of their beautiful blooms which resemble a lady’s slipper. Their height and spread might vary with each species and they are long-lasting perennials that produce blooms every year. 

Botanical Name Cypripedium
Common Names Lady slipper flower, Moccasin flowers, camel’s foot, and squirrel’s foot
Origin North America and Europe 
Family Orchidaceae
Plant Type Rhizomatous Perennial Flowering plant 
Full Size Ranges from 6 inches to 15 inches tall 
Sun Exposure Bright but indirect or dappled sunlight 
Soil Type Well-draining, well-aerated garden soil

Orchid Lady Slipper Types

Lady slipper genera are large with over 50 different species, these species possess different colors and traits, here are a few of them;

  • Yellow lady’s slipper orchid. 
  • Pink lady slipper orchid. 
  • Purple Lady slipper flower orchid.

Taking Care of the Lady Slipper Orchid

Lady Slipper Orchids have a reputation for being difficult to grow and care for. This is because their lighting, water, soil, and temperature requirements are different from most orchid types. Having a better understanding of these requirements can help in growing a healthy plant. 

Taking Care of the Lady Slipper Orchid
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Lady Slipper Orchids Light Requirements

Lady slippers are better grown in areas with sufficient bright but indirect sunlight. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight could cause the Lady Slipper leaves to be scorched. 

You can expose them to morning sunlight as the calm sun rays would promote healthy leaves but be sure to provide adequate shade to reduce the effects of the mid-day sun’s harsh rays. 

An ideal spot to grow Lady Slipper orchids would be in a room with a north or south-facing window, if the sun rays get too much, you can make use of a light curtain or cloth. 

Too little sunlight also has its negative effects on the Lady slipper plant as it could limit the blooms being produced by the plant. 

Water Requirements for Lady Slipper Orchids 

Frequent watering would be required for the exotic Lady Slipper plant. However, be sure not to overwater the plant as soggy soil could allow buildup of fungus or bacteria which could lead to root rot. 

Always water the exotic plant once every 5 to 7 days during hot seasons or during its growing season and be sure to use dechlorinated water that wouldn’t stress the plant’s root.

Limit the watering done during the winter season to once in 2 to 3 weeks and ensure you let the topmost part of the soil dry a little before watering. 

Lady Slipper Orchid Soil Requirement  

The best soil type to use for the Lady Slipper Orchid would be a well-aerated and well-draining soil with good moisture retaining abilities. 

Unlike most orchid species, Lady Slipper Orchids require real soil as artificial mediums might reduce their lifespan. 

A good gardening soil that is a little loose and light would be most suitable, place bare roots of the Lady slipper orchid in the mix and cover with a little shredded bark or mulch. 

Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Slipper Orchids

Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Slipper Orchids
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Lady slippers are sturdy plants that can survive harsh climatic conditions but they prefer a cool temperature and can even grow well in frost. High temperatures from 60 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided. 

The love moderate humidity as high humid conditions can be damaging to the health of the Lady slipper plant. 

Fertilizer Requirement of Lady Slipper Orchids 

Feed the Slipper plant every week or 2 weeks for best growth results, however, do not use an orchid fertilizer, as they lack the necessary nutrients required by the plant. 

Use a weak and balanced perennial fertilizer and be sure to fertilize the plant during the springtime. 

Propagating Lady Slipper Orchids

Slipper Lady Orchids can be propagated through three main methods, these are; 

  • Propagation through Stem Cuttings
  • Propagation through Division, and
  • Seed Propagation. 

Common Health Problems of Lady Slipper Orchids 

  • Slugs
  •  Root rot 
  • Scorched Leaves
  • Limited blooms

Frequently Asked Questions

Are lady slippers perennials?

Yes, Lady slipper flowers are perennial plants that can bloom year after year. 

Where do lady slippers grow?

Lady slipper plants are known to grow in Northeastern parts of North America and Europe. 

Are pink lady slippers endangered?

Yes, Pink Lady Slipper plans are fast becoming endangered. 

What is the rarest lady slipper?

The Ram’s head lady Slipper is the rarest lady slipper plant. 

Can you buy lady slipper plants?

It is illegal to pick Lady Slippers so purchasing them might be difficult but it is possible. 

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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