Orchid Growing Tips, Types of Orchids

Propagating the Pink Lady-Slipper: Taming the Wild Orchid


Pink Lady SlippersThe Lady-Slipper orchid is a rare and beautiful flower. It grows in the wild in Canada and parts of North America. This flower produces a large amount of seeds in giant pods. This happens after it blooms. However, most of the seeds do not make it to germination.

Understanding the Pods

These large seed pods have as many as twenty thousand seeds within each one. So why is this plant so rare? You would think that out of thousands of seeds, many will make it to become mature plants. Not so fast my friends. You may be jumping the gun just a bit.

These seeds are not designed to simply fall on the ground and start to grow. These orchid types have seeds that are made to drift in the wind and gently settle down into many different locations.

Why so Many Seeds?

The seeds do not have an important ingredient called endosperm. Without endosperm,the seeds will not germinate and grow. They will remain sterile and very light in weight.

However, once in the soil, some of the seeds are able to take on magical properties and become fertile and grow into lovely orchids.  Some of the seeds will contract a fungal infection. You might think that is a bad thing, but this is not the case. It is a very good thing. In fact, the fungus is what gives the little seed life.

How the Seeds Come Alive

The little seeds are able to start digesting the fungus. This gives them necessary nutrients that they need to germinate. However, there is a better way for wild orchid propagation.


You can propagate this wild beauty by rhizomes. This is the same way that asparagus and irises are propagated. You can take a cutting and plant it in the ground. Many have tried to raise the wild orchid in captivity, but for some reason, it is better off if propagated out of doors, where it belongs.

Take a look at this lady-slipper discovery found during a nature walk.


Lady-Slipper orchids are a rare and beautiful sight. The seed pods contain thousands of seeds but they need a certain fungus to grow. They can be propagated by rhizomes. If you grow them, they will do much better in their natural environment where they grow on their own.

Want to discover the #1 method for propagating orchids? Then go here to read my latest article: “Orchid Propagation Secrets”.

Your Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Marriane Scott says:

    That is a very lovely orchid. I want to be part of the team who helps grow them. I want to learn the use of rhizomes. I’ll do it at home and I’m sure it would be attractive at my garden. I hope a lot more people will be aware of this idea. That’s Ill spread this news to encourage more orchid lovers out there.

  2. Emmy Jones says:

    Wow! I should grow some of this kind. It is very attractive and rare. But I really want to help too in spreading the idea. This kind of flowers should exist until forever. It’s lovely like a rose. And i would love to have some at my garden. I’ll research on how to use the rhizomes.

  3. Mary Ann says:

    Marrianne and Emmy –

    Thanks for spreading the word. 🙂 If you haven’t already, don’t forget you can tweet this article out or post it on your facebook pages. Thanks again!

  4. Cindi says:

    I have about an acre and a half of woody yard and was thinking about trying to grow these on my property. I would love to know where to get Rhizomes and any more information about growing them.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Do you have a local orchid society? Or an orchid grower in your area? Even if you check with a local greenhouse, they should be able to point you in the right direction. 🙂 Good luck! – Mary Ann

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