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Against All Odds - Lady Slipper Seedlings - Help!

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I was utterly astonished to find that some Lady Slipper seeds I planted actually germinated! I started them off about 2 months ago and kept them in the air conditioned house until the nighttime temps got consistently into the mid 60's or below. The seeds were literally dust and really had no hopes of them ever germinating from what I had read about starting them.

I have no idea what the species is and am absolutely 110% a beginner with this Family of plants and have not the first clue as to what to do. At the moment they are in my Woodlands corner that gets early morning sun in an unsealed plastic bag that covers the pot.

The picture is not very clear cause Frankenstorm is visiting and I'm a bit hesitant about exposing them to stronger light. Someone please .. please tell me how to keep these guys going!



Thumbnail by Xeramtheum
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm about to travel and have limited internet access but have expert friends who can help. I'll ask around and be back with you. I have not grown slippers from seed. If you are concerned about current weather I'd suggest covering them with first with leaves and then plastic until the weather passes. They are surely hardy in regards to temperature but if you have managed to sprout them at a time not consistent with their normal germination things might be a bit more complicated.

How did you come by the seed pod/s? What was their location? I am guessing you have not seen the plants in bloom if you can't ID the species.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks! I received them as a bonus from someone in PA in trade along with some Wintergreen which has come up too. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they can survive a zone 8 summer if I can keep them alive that long.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I'll let you know. That's a weird trade. What wintergreen did you get?

I have a friend here in Atlanta who specializes in terrestrials. Another friend has a connection with a Kentucky specialist who I recall is state employed to save terrestrials. I will poke around for answers but in the meantime you can point your question to the Mid-America Orchid Congress. http://www.midamericanorchids.org/ Write Aileen a brief note and she might hopefully point you to some help if I can't answer your question soon enough. I will not necessarily be able to get you answers for a few weeks because of my limited internet access and travel but will work on it.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

The trade was actually for some passiflora .. the trader included the Lady Slipper and Wintergreen as a surprise because I'm always looking for Woodland plants. I don't have a clue about the Wintergreen either. As I said, I really didn't not expect success since with both, the seeds were like pinches of dust .. I've got a lot of experience starting plants from seeds but no experience with orchids or wintergreen so after reading up on the two I went with my best guess at how to start the microscopic seeds because I did not know how long they stay viable and fresher seeds for the most part have a better chance at germinating.

Thanks for the link and I'll be looking forward to hearing back from you.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I have mailed my friend your request and will communicate when I can. You might hear from me by DM only.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)


Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I thought perhaps the process for germinating Lady's Slippers might be different than other orchids but it is the same. The seed spends up to a year underground developing a protocorm or is brought to that stage in vitro. Google "Lady Sliiper protocorms" to understand the developmental stages that orchid goes through. It's not possible that what you are growing is an orchid.

Best to you in the storm.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks .. might be I got two zip bags of wintergreen.

Fridley, MN(Zone 4b)

The plants in your picture looks like liverworts.

north coast nsw, Australia

yes i dont think there paphiopedilums growing but would be awsome if they were.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Could they be Cypripediums ? They are also know as Lady Slipper Orchids. Check out this link.


Cypripediums are very beautiful woodland flowers.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We are referring to Cypripediums, aka Lady Slippers. I try to use the terms posters use for their understanding.

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