There are only two methods to propagate Cypripediums. One is to divide an existing plant, the other is to grow the seeds in vitro, which is more complicated but will yield much greater results. We will explain how both are done.
Step 1. Only divide during dormant months, October through March.
Step 2. Select plants with only three or more eyes. It is best to divide a plant that has even more eyes.
Step 3. If you have a healthy plant the roots/rhizome should look like a bowl of spaghetti with out the bowl. On the topside in the center will be the obvious eye or eyes of the plant.
Step 4. Carefully examine the roots and look for an area between the eyes that is wide enough to cut them without damaging those two eyes. You will need a sharp knife to slice with. Be careful not to slice off extra roots because it’s easy to do. Now plant them.
Also, check out the following video from Frosch® on dividing rhizomes:
Planting Cypripediums in vitro
A Few Facts First:
Cypripedium seed is produced by the thousands in a pod. The seed has no seed coat and no endosperm (the nutritious part of the seed that allows the embryo to grow). The embryo is all that exist in side the pod. In nature, only one seed per pod may germinate successfully into a seedling that matures into a flowering plant. To get its nutrition the seed must get its nutrition outside of itself. This would be from the naturally occurring micoriza fungus present. In this odd germination process the tiny embryo actually feeds off of this fungus. Then the seed goes through several stages until it grows large enough to produce its first eye. All the while this process must happen without light. The small seedling must then be vernalized (in this case a three month cold period) in order to produce its first set of leaves. In most cases it will take about four years to produce a flower.
Planting Cypripediums in the garden
The following video from Frosch® is quite helpful on this topic:
(these instructions are in process of being completed, please check back often for completion)
Raising Rarities supplies lady-slippers to botanical gardens and the home gardener.
Raising Rarities ships plants in the fall when the plant is fully dormant and are guaranteed to be true to name and to arrive in healthy viable condition. The nursery offers single flowering size plants on a first come first serve basis.
The Cypripedium collection Raising Rarities offers are all North American species and hybrids. Cypripediums for sale here. We now accept major credit cards and electronic checking through PayPal.com.