I cypripedium prefer very bright positions, but fear direct contact with the sun’s rays, just as they cannot stand the heat of the summer months; it is therefore advisable to place them in a shady and well ventilated place, away from the sun and heat, especially in summer. These plants do not fear the cold, therefore they can be placed also in the garden, possibly at the feet of trees or shrubs, which guarantee a constant shade.
In places where the winters are very cold, it is advisable to mulch the plant, covering it with leaves or appropriate material, to protect the roots from the intense cold; if, on the other hand, it is cultivated in pots, the container can be placed in a cold greenhouse.
These plants need a dormancy period of several months at temperatures below 5-6°C, therefore in places where winters are mild it is advisable to extract the rhizomes from the ground and place them in plastic bags with little soil and sphagnum, then store the bags in the refrigerator.
- Some species of orchids have very special flowers, with a curved labellum, closed to form a kind of shoe; orchids with cup-shaped lips belong to three main genus of orchids.
- The genus cattleya orchids counts about fifty species of epiphytes and lithophytes, native to South America; they are equipped with fleshy pseudobulbs, which may have dimensions close to the 5-7 cm, with a …
- It is a genus that includes many epiphytic orchids, originating in the wetlands and mountains of South America, from Mexico to Peru. They do not have pseudubulbs and the leaves are long and narrow, they are not…
- The genus Laelia includes about 50-60 species of orchids, mainly epiphytic, native to Central America, very similar to the cattleya. These varieties form dense tufts of pseudobulbs, which are often found in the…
They need a good amount of water possibly distilled, be careful to prevent the soil from drying out, but without soaking it, to prevent rottenness. In summer, provide water often, even daily, and thin out watering until it stops in winter. These plants do not need too much fertilization, it is sufficient to provide a fertilizer for orchids once a month, or even less, in the growing season, dissolving a quarter of the recommended dose in the water of watering.
This kind of orchids includes only soil varieties, so they need a soil rich in humus, if you want also from composting, the important thing is that it is very soft and light, not to spoil the delicate roots of cypripedium; add to the soil a good amount of bark and perlite to increase drainage. Some varieties, such as C. reginae and C. formosanum like a slightly acidic soil, so add pine needles to lower the pH value.
Avoid too often handling the roots, which break easily, and remember not to bury them too deep when planting.
It happens by seed, but it is quite difficult, moreover the plants bloom only after 4-5 years. Sow in March in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts and keep for a few months the seedbed in the shade and covered with plastic or glass, to maintain moisture. In autumn, once the seedlings have turned yellow, cut to about one cm high, and place the seedbed in the refrigerator.
When the seedlings can be handled, repot them in single containers, which are to be kept in a sheltered place for at least a couple of years. If you decide to bury the cypripedium in the garden it is advisable to wait for at least 2-3 years, so that the plants become vigorous, and able to withstand adversity.
Cypripedium: Pests and diseases
They can be attacked by cochineals and aphids; if they are grown outdoors be very careful of snails that are fond of the fleshy leaves of these beautiful plants.