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Thread: Cypripedium acaule

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    This will be my first experience with Cypripediums and I've read that these create large root systems however the two I have received today are in 4" nursery pots with about 6-8" leaf spreads.
    Are these pots suitable for this years growing or should I transplant them into larger containers?
    Are these guys finicky about direct transplanting (i.e. not washing off the soil just putting the whole rootball & soil into a new container/soil mix)?

    Thanks for any thoughts!

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    Why dont you put it in the ground Josh? As Im sure you know they are native to MN.
    I go to the Apostle Islands ever year (technically this is Wi)
    There is a bog on the Island we stay on and Ive found 3 species of orchids there so far. Cyp. acaule is most abundant.
    Out of the 3 different habitats Ive found them in they seem most abundant and robust in the sand dunes underneath the Pines roughly a hundred feet or so from the bog. I found very few actually in the bog, most of what i found in the bog was right on the edge. Plants observed in the forest were usually far and few between, when they actually were sited most were very small plants with usually no more than 2 growths per plant. When compared to plants in the dunes which averaged 4 growths per plant that were usually twice the size of forest specimens, its clear to see they would be fairly hardy once established in most any conditions.
    Do you know if your plant was collected or cultured?
    If the plant is wild I would be much more inclined to leave as much soil around the root-ball as possible so as to hopefully transfer as much beneficial fungi as possible, that is if there are any present. Most plants from the wild would already be infected so this may actually be more of a growers preference and safety precaution inorder to assist a stressed plant.
    Personally Id direct transplant it, most terrestrial Orchids do resent root diturbances.
    Did you get it from OL?
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    there is a forum for Cypripedium at cypripedium.de, I have heard that Cyp. acaule are almost impossible to grow...
    best regards Bjørn in norway




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    swords's Avatar
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    It's an Ebay find so no I don't know too much details from the seller about how/where it is from. Each plant is one growth of two leaves 4" in length. I doubt it's in "real" soil as the top of the pot looks like bark, peat and vermiculite. I haven't dug into the pot to see what's beneath the surface. What are the signs of decline that I should watch for if it has lost it's fungal partner?

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    I couldnt say as Ive never grown this plant. The main problem we had at OL with Cyps were slugs and rot but the rot was limited.
    Perhaps Ill have to examine the soil the Cyps are growing up there. Maybe Ill collect a small sample for you Josh. I dont go up till September though.
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    From the book Orchids of Minnesota,

    HabitatUbiquitous in a wide variety of northern forest habitats, from dry sandy pine forest to the wettest coniferous bogs/swamps. The only obvious requirements are shade and an acidic, nutrient poor sustrate.

    lets skip ahead
    Commentsthis is one of the most common orchids in minnesota, and certainly is the most frequently seen lady's-slipper. It is also one of few orchids for which we have any life-history information. According to Curtis (1943), the seeds may remain dormant for several years before conditions are favorable for germination. Following germination the young plant (corm) undergoes a remarkable devlopmental period entirely underground, nourised by a symbiotic (possibly parasitic) relationship with a specialized fungus. During the third or fourth year after germination the plant may send up its first green leaf, and sometime after the eighth year it will produce its first flower. It is not known how long individuals can live, but it is likely that they can survive for decades if their habitat is not disturbed.

    These guy they are easy to find in the Grand Rapids area. I've seen them grow in sandy/bog lke soils.

    Chris

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    I bought one last year from a local nursery and put it in the ground in a shaded spot under a pine tree. I amended the soil with pine duff (composted pine bark & pine needles), long fiber sphagnum and sand. It's coming back this year! It's poking through the soil! I searched the web for all of the info I could find since this is a notoriuosly difficult plant to grow. Most peole recomend watering with water and viniger. I forget the ratio. They need highly acidic soil.

    Botanical Wonders sells them and I found them at a local nursey for 2.99 each! so I planted two more, all they had left. Most of the root ball looked dead except for one. We will see what hapens, the price was right.

    Do some searching on the web for info and if your plant didnt cost you a small fortune, plant it outside.

    Well that s my two cents.

    Glenn
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    PS I live in Michigan so my conditions should be somewhat similar to yours.

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    Exclamation

    oops one more thing. I'm not an expert but most of what I've read says that the fungal partner is only important for seed germination not growth of mature plants.

    Glenn

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