Warm-growing Cypripediums?

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Ray

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Ray, I'm interested in why you unpotted in winter and why you used a clay pot. Size and convenience for the latter? Mine are in gal. milk containers with the top cut off and holes in the side. As for winter, did you think it was too cold or wet in the pots? I'm thinking of taking mine into the unheated GH, which probably won't freeze or if it does, not by much, and let them go dry (and cool) for at least a few months. I'm also curious about how anyone sees the need for dormancy for these. Can I bring them into a warm GH say in January and have flowers for a show in March? Too early? And if they start growing earlier than "usual" do they also go into hibernation earlier than they would if I wait until normal "wake up" time (probably April or even early May her in the PNW). Much to learn. Mine are all NA species--acaule, kentuckiense and one of the yellow ones.
S/H in a clay pot enhances the evaporative cooling, as it occurs from the medium and the pot itself.

Plants were unpotted simply so they would take up less space in the fridge over winter. With them growing in LECA, it’s easy to do without root damage, and any pellets that stuck to the roots can just stay there.
 

Linus_Cello

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I’ll further add that I think good drainage is a must for cyps. Also, I think some “ground cover” or other vegetation around the plants helps to keep cyps cool in the summer (trying orchids like spiranthes as companion plants to cyps). I’ve recently started trying formosanum hybrids (e.g., lady dorine); hopefully they grow as well as formosanum.
 

Cearbhael

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I am from MN which is the area that Cyp. Reginae grows naturally. It is common in winter to reach -35°F but we have deep snow cover usually. I would guess that it would require similar conditions to grow well
 
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I have grown Cyp's in very hot summer temperatures in Connecticut - every year a few days over 100 F. The albaflora Cyp reginae clump at the top of the Cypripedium sales page at gardensatposthill.net was next to a stone wall facing due West and its oak tree shading was lost when the oak fell over. It grew many years with full, blazing sun from 1 or 2 pm to as late as 7 pm in July and with lots of heat radiating from the stone wall. Not something I would recommend but when we moved to WA it had 14 growth buds for the next year and is now doing well in the Seattle area. Another that I have here in WA that does well with too much sun is Cyp formosanum. I have a nice, expanding clump that gets full sun about 5 hours each day. The caveat for coastal NC though is that while temps get to 90 or so, it is only for 3 or 4 days in August most years. But many other summer days are low 70s and sometimes 60s (we are on the Sound) and even when it is 90 during the day it is 55-60 at night. This year was beastly, we had 3 days with sequential 101, 105 and finally 110 and 12 total days above 90. Those temps killed or maimed many trees in the area and we lost several prize Rhododendrons. However, the clump of formosanum and a neighboring clump of Sabine came though without even leaves browning. Sabine is highly surprising here in its sun tolerance. But WA is a magical place for Sabine. All of mine grow so fast that I am astonished each year. That was NOT the case in CT and some of the plants were the same ones.

You might want to take a look at Clark Riley's website cyps.us Clark lives in Baltimore. I lived there for several years and it is hot, hot, hot and humid, humid, humid. During the summer it is easily as hot and humid as Charleston SC where I grew up. Clark talks about plants with which he has had success.

It was mentioned to look into Plant Delights. They keep Cyps and a couple of years ago Tony wrote an article in Slipper Orchids describing the hybrids and species which grow well for him. If you join the Slipper Orchid Alliance you can download the past issues from their website. It is a worthwhile organization for anyone who is a member of this forum.

Good luck!
 

Linus_Cello

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The caveat for coastal NC though is that while temps get to 90 or so, it is only for 3 or 4 days in August most years. … However, the clump of formosanum and a neighboring clump of Sabine came though without even leaves browning. Sabine is highly surprising here in its sun tolerance. But WA is a magical place for Sabine. All of mine grow so fast that I am astonished each year. That was NOT the case in CT and some of the plants were the same ones.
Yes, Sabine is another cyp that does well for me in 7a. Reportedly Sabine alba grows better than the regular one; Ron can you confirm?

And when did you move to NC? ;)
 

Sky7Bear

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Thanks, Ray. Since I don't want to unpot them and don't see the need to do that here, I think I'll just protect the tops a bit and place them in the cool, unheated GH for a month or two and then bring them into the warm GH. I've seen them bloomed out of season ("forced") in shows before, so perhaps their dormant period is more determined by warmth than by day length. Wish me well. I'll let them go a bit dry in there. In the end, we experiment and see what works, as I am with S/H generally. Some risk is always involved with experiments.
 

Ray

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Another potential benefit of unpotting over the winter (that I just thought of in light of another thread in a different forum) is that it got fresh medium every spring, so the mineral and waste buildup was held to a minimal level.
 

corradoerina

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I am not sure what is your zone, and what is your maximum daily temperature in summer. Could you let me know? I would like to aply the same suggestions and recommendations to another area.
 
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