Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, June 2018
   Cypripedium reginae album - by Heather Smith
 Cypripedium reginae is native to North America, and is the state flower of Minnesota.This white form, album, is a rare albino form - the type plant has a pink to magenta lower labellum.

To grow Cypripedium reginae album in a container, it needs a sheltered spot north or west facing. My orchid is kept north facing and is sitting where I put it after the 2017 show. The picture was taken in the first week of May this year.

All it needs is a weak feed once a year and not be allowed to dry out. Protection from slugs is essential, especially in spring when the nose starts growing. It was about three weeks later appearing this year due to the cold early spring.  The orchid has been in its pot since it was a single bulb nearly five years ago and now needs to be potted on if it is to expand. 

I have not done this yet (scared) so it still has four flowers like last year, but have to now when the foliage dies down. I have very open compost as it needs woodland style growing conditions - peat or wood chips, leaf mould, loam and added grit. I will keep as much as possible of the compost it is in. I have other Slipper Orchids and they are treated in a similar manner.

Hope all goes well as I love this orchid and watch anxiously each spring for the noses to appear.