The Lady Slipper plant is one of the more sought-out orchids. Its bulb looks like a slipper and can grow to the size of a chicken egg. This slipper’s bulb traps insects and gives them plenty of pollen for propagation. Growers can enjoy this as a houseplant or in an outdoor garden. Here is how to take care of a Lady Slipper Orchid!
What is the Scientific Name?
The Pink Lady’s Slipper plant has many different orchid species. There are many types of orchids. The most common orchid is scientifically known as the cypripedium acaule. Another common orchid, the Venus Slipper, is the paphiopedilum orchid.
Other Popular Names
This beautiful orchid is also known as:
- Pink Lady’s Slipper
- Slipper Orchid
- Showy Lady’s Slipper
What Soil Works Best for a Lady Slipper Orchid?
The Lady Slipper Orchid does not prefer acid soil compared to other orchids. It prefers an average pH soil of about 6.5-7.5. Use a potting mix to maintain that pH balance and use a soil testing kit to measure the levels.
It’s not as likely to find your potting mix to be too alkaline. Add some decomposed pine needles, peat moss, or fir bark if the soil is too acidic.
How Much Fertilizer to Use for a Lady Slipper Plant?
Luckily, you only need fertilizer when your plant is in active growth. Use a balanced fertilizer or an organic version. If you buy a generic orchid fertilizer, the balance should be 20-20-20 and contain everything you need for your plant.
How Much Sun Does a Lady Slipper Orchid Need?
These plants thrive best in bright shade. If you want your plant to have direct sunlight, limit it only to the morning hours. This plant is familiar with being in shady and cool regions of the woods, so you want to try and mimic that environment.
What Temperature Works Best for a Lady Slipper Plant?
A Lady Slipper plant can withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. You can even leave the plant outside during the winter when it gets frost without any issues. While this orchid can withstand extremely low temperatures, it doesn’t want intense hot climates.
Do Lady Slipper Plants Enjoy Humidity?
This plant thrives in humidity levels of 50-60% humidity. If your plant is indoors, consider getting a humidifier for it. If you don’t have a humidifier, add wet gravel or moist rocks on top of your soil.
You can also place this plant in a room with a shower for a short time. Keeping it in a room with a shower for a bit might give it all the humidity it will need to grow healthy and strong.
How Often Should You Water a Lady Slipper Plant?
It is best to water it about once every two weeks for the average orchid. This orchid needs adequate moisture, especially during the growing season. Unlike succulents, this orchid needs some wetness in its soil. If the ground gets too wet, the orchid will risk root rot.
Once the flowers bloom, you can reduce watering sessions. The easiest way to check for the moisture is to stick your finger one inch deep in your plant’s topsoil. If the water is too wet, it will stick to your finger.
What Size Does Lady Slipper Plants Grow to Typically?
The height of a Lady Slipper will be between 4 and 18 inches. However, the height range will significantly depend on the type of orchid you have in your home or office.
What are the Most Common Bugs?
As long as your orchid is healthy, you shouldn’t expect bugs. However, keep an eye out for slugs. Although they won’t cause long-term damage to your plant, they can eat away at tender leaves.
What are the Most Common Diseases?
The most common disease that a Lady Slipper has to deal with is root rot. Root rot occurs when the plant cannot absorb the excess water at the bottom of the pot. To help reduce root rot, you want the plant to be in a container with drainage holes and only water it when the top layer of soil is dry.
Can You Repot a Lady Slipper Plant?
Yes, you can repot a Lady Slipper plant. Here are the steps to take to for repotting it.
- Dig a hole in the pot big enough to keep the root system snug.
- Hold the bullet-shaped bud so that it faces up.
- Place the bud at least 1/4 inch below the intended surface.
- Cover the roots and bud with soil and water thoroughly. Don’t worry about fertilizing your plant at this stage.
Can You Propagate a Lady Slipper Plant?
Because the plant is slow-growing, starting new growth from the seed is not recommended. Instead, the best way to propagate a plant is to take a root division or trimming.
If you want to propagate using the division method, carefully dig up your orchid. Equally, trim the root system in half. Then, plant each division in its own container like how you would report a Lady Slipper Plant.
If you want to propagate using the trimming method, trim a cutting from its green stems. Let the trimming dry out until the cut end has been calloused over. Once dried, place in well-draining soil and water every few days. Gradually decrease watering to every two weeks or so.
What USDA Zone Works Best?
A Lady Slipper plant does best in a cool and hardy zone between 2 – 6.
Conclusion – How to Take Care of a Lady Slipper Plant
In summary, this plant will be enjoyable for a grower that wants a plant that’s a little more hands-on. When caring for this plant, keep in mind its natural habitat is in the colder states of North America. Think colder, more humid, and some shade for this plant always.