Get easy to garden Lady Slippers orchids

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“ I used to travel in the North of England just for taking photos of the Lady's slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus). I purchased one at Phytesia in 2013, and I can see 6 of them in my own garden. I look forward next Spring for new shoots. ”
Myriam
- Nottingham

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What's better than a Tulip or a Rose for your garden?

Stand out with the Hardy Orchid rather than tulips and roses!

Tulips and roses make beautiful garden flowers, but if you are looking to really stand out, you should consider the Hardy Orchid Cypripedium, ‘Ulla Silkens’, also known as Ulla Lady’s Slipper orchid. Hardy garden orchids are easy to plant, easy to care for, perennial, and amazingly beautiful in the garden. Hardy garden orchids are a favourite among gardeners because of their simple care, their beautiful colors, and their resistance to cold environments. If you are looking for something to plant in your garden this season that is colourful, unique, rewarding, and easy to maintain, then the Ulla Lady’s Slipper hardy orchid is for you.

More glamourous than a rose

The Ulla Lady’s Slipper orchid prefers a sheltered location with filtered light in the yard, avoiding both full sun and profound shade. They are hardy orchids, which means that they can withstand temperatures of -30°C during the winter. Once you have selected a place in your yard for your hardy orchid, prepare a soil mixture that is not too heavy, and that drains well. Orchids prefer a soil mixture that is not composed of heavy organic materials, like compost, but instead one that is mixed with sand or small stones to aid in drainage. It is recommended that the mixture be one half sand, or stones, and the other half soil. Volcanic stones or small pebbles will also work too. The perfect soil mix will ensure that your orchid is able to retain enough moisture in the summer while at the same time, avoiding overwatering in the winter months.

More majestuous than a tulip

Once the soil mixture is prepared, and added to the planting location in your yard, plant the rhizomes in late winter to early spring. The leaves begin to show in April and grow quite vigorously. The flowers begin to appear in May and June and are a pink-mauve color. Once the flowers have faded in late summer, the foliage begins to yellow as the days become hotter and longer. The foliage will then quickly disappear and the orchid plant will retreat into rhizomes that can be left in place preparing for their winter dormancy. The ability to leave these hardy orchids in the ground though the fall and winter months makes them the perfect addition to low maintenance gardens. They also do well in potted gardens, patio gardens, and container gardens. It is important to make sure that they have enough space to grow and that the pots or containers that they are in have enough drainage so they do not freeze or drown in their soil.

Phytesia Ulla Silkens

Every year that your hardy Ulla Lady’s Slipper orchid returns in the garden, it will come back stronger and larger. Their rhizomes allow them to strengthen and spread moderately underground allowing for new shoots to appear annually. Phytesia ships orchids everywhere in Europe and the United Kingdom. If you live outside these regions, contact them before placing an order. Your hardy Ulla Lady’s Slipper orchid will arrive in a one-liter container as a flowering size plant with 1-2 shoots, ready to be planted in your garden.

If you are looking to add something new to your garden, and are looking for a plant that is easy to care for, unique, hardy, and low care, then the hardy Ulla Lady’s Slipper orchid is the right choice. The pink-mauve colored, slipper shaped flowers, are a welcome addition to any garden. The plants ability to withstand cold climates and its perennial nature make it a rewarding addition that is easy to enjoy during the springtime, and easy to care for during the fall and winter.

Don’t follow the herd, and dare to plan garden orchids rather than roses and tulips. 😉

Planting the Cypripedium Ulla Silkens

Cypripedium prefer soil that is low in organic matter and has good draining properties. Airing the soil is recommended, using a mineral substrate (at least 50%) such as sand, Argex, pouzzolane or ideally lava stone (vulca). As organic matter, a little finely crushed pine bark or some compost based on coconut leaves or fibres could be added.

It is important not only that the rhizomes of the Cypripedium do not desiccate in summer but also that they are not immersed in winter. The various mineral substrates will ensure good moisture retention in summer while encouraging good drainage during the winter.

Exposure

In the garden, we recommend planting Cypripedium in a cool, shaded or semi-shaded place. Sunlight at the hottest hours of the day is to be avoided.

 

Growth Phase…

During the winter, the plant persists in rhizome form and does not require any special protection.

The new Cypripedium shoots usually appear during April. Once started, the vegetation grows very quickly; in 3 to 5 weeks, the foliage has opened out. The flowering extends from the end of April to June. At the end of the summer, the foliage yellows then fades before disappearing completely. Cypripedium then go into their winter dormancy.

Over the years and following the successive growth and dormancy cycles, Cypripedium not only become stronger but also multiply, thanks to the annual appearance of new shoots.