What are slipper orchids and how do I grow them?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 18 December 2013 12:53 pm

The Cypripedium family are undoubtedly the most sumptuous of all the orchids that will thrive in our British climate. Their cultivation goes back over 2,500 years to China but Victorian plant collectors brought them almost to extinction in the wild. Over the last few years their cultivation in nurseries has made great progress and we are now able to supply this species for our customers to grow in their own gardens.

We supply these orchids as plants in 1 litre pots whose roots are already 6 seasons old, so they'll flower in their first summer. They will thrive in a moist but well drained soil in full or dappled shade. As the plants become established the rhizomes will spread to form spectacular clumps.

The Cypripedium, Spiranthes and Dactylorhiza are very hardy and can tolerate temperatures as cold as -20C to -30C so will grow happily outside all year. Pleione and Calanthe can tolerate temperatures of about -10C but are not keen on being cold and wet so we'd recommend bringing them under cover in winter.

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