Hillside Nursery

Growers of Lady-Slipper Orchids and select Woodland Wildflowers.

Cypripedium Orchid (Lady-Slipper) Planting Guide

Below are a few photos we took while planting a potted lady-slipper.  To plant a dormant lady-slipper (how we ship them to you), you can follow the same steps.  The last photo on this page gives more detail for dormant plants. To see a larger image, click on the picture.

These planting methods are what we do here at the nursery, there are other ways that work as well depending on the type of soil you are starting with. What is most important is that the plants stay evenly moist and do not get soggy or dry out.  For more information about soil type and other conditions click here.


Here you can see that this hole has been dug so that it is about 16 inches across and 8 or 10 inches deep.  The soil in the hole was amended with a sand/grit mixture. 

Remove lady-slipper from pot.


 Remove Soil from roots.



 Spread roots out horizontally in hole.  Some of the soil from the pot is ok, but not necessary.



  Fill the hole by covering the roots and crown with the amended sandy loam or
coarse gritty sand.


Here we have covered with a coarse grit to protect the crown from excessive moisture.


The grit can be covered with a bark and/or pine needle mulch. 

This mulch layer is very important to help keep the soil evenly moist.  



Planting dormant lady slippers. 


  This is how we plant our lady slippers in their raised beds here at the nursery.  They are planted in a gritty sandy loam that also contains about 25% composted bark mulch.  Notice how the tip of the bud is about half an inch below the surface of the soil and is covered by about three quarters of an inch to an inch of fresh bark mulch that will compact to about a half an inch over time.  We like to put a layer of pine needles on top to keep the soil cool. If you're planting in the fall and live in an area that has wet winters, it is good idea to cover the newly planted and semi-established plants with plastic or plywood to keep off the rain so they don't get soggy over their first winter.  Just don't forget to uncover the plants in early spring.

 Click on image to view larger picture.