Cypripedium reginae, The Queen Lady Slipper

Cypripedium reginae, more commonly known as Queen Lady Slipper orchid or The Queen’s Lady’s-Spiller, is one of the most easily recognized varieties of hardy orchids. It has white and pink flowers and can grow to a height in the garden of 70-100cm when matured. The flowers are quite interesting, with a pink bucket shaped mouth, and three white petals that open outwards on top like a lid, and one larger white petal that falls to that back of the flower.

Cypripedium Reginae Queen Lady Slipper

The plant is known for its hardy nature, and its perennial, clumping habit. A great addition to a filtered light or partially shaded area, this orchid is a showy and impressive plant that is sure to impress.

The Queen Lady Slipper prefers semi-shaded or filtered light locations in your garden

Lady’s-Slipper orchids prefer to be planted in semi-shaded or filtered light locations of the garden. It is important to put them is areas of the garden that do not receive the hot afternoon sun because they are sensitive to the heat and will not be able to establish in an area where the heat and sun are too great. Their rhizomes should be planted in the ground in the early New Year, January to March, and bloom in April and May. The newly planted rhizomes will take time to adjust in their new environment and shoots of green foliage can be expected to begin showing in April. After about 5 weeks, once the foliage has arrived, blooms will begin to show and continue in through the summer until late June. It is important to make sure that your orchids have enough water during the hottest months of summer because they can become fatigued and may suffer permanent damage if they are left too long without enough water.

As with most other hardy orchids, a Queen Lady Slipper has very specific needs in regards to the soil that it is planted in. Being one of the more demanding species of orchids, it is important to achieve the right soil mixture to ensure that it can reach its potential and survive in the area that it is planted. Soil that is low in organic material and that drains quickly is very important for them so that their roots do not rot and they are able to aerate better through the soil. Soils that contain higher levels of sand or small pebbles are better suited. If the soil is too dense, breaking it up and adding sand or lava rocks will increase the chances of your rhizomes being able to adjust to they new environment.

The size of your Cypripedium reginae gradually increase

As a hardy orchid, once the blooms have faded, and the foliage has yellowed, usually in the fall, the orchids can remain in place through the winter with no need to be removed or covered. Hardy to a temperature of -30°C, these orchids make a great addition to gardens that typically endure colder temperatures during the winter months. Remove any dead foliage from the plant in early winter or late fall, and slow the watering because the plant will not need as much during dormancy. The following year, expect to see them up again in your garden. They naturally clump, and year-to-year you can expect to see the size of your Queen Lady Slipper gradually increase.

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