A lady’s slipper came up in my yard. Someone told me it doesn’t like being moved or fertilized. Any suggestions?
—Rietta Hingston, Qu’Appelle, SK, Canada
That’s right—don’t move or fertilize it.
But do keep the soil relatively moist. The one thing that hardy lady’s slippers (Cypripedium spp.) won’t abide is dry growing conditions. Move the plant only if you absolutely must.
Since it’s unlikely the lady’s slipper would bloom in its first year or two, it has probably been in your garden for several years. Because there was no flower, you just didn’t notice it. That’s a positive sign; it means the location is providing a good growing environment. Water the area during periods of dry weather (which you probably do already), rake some leaves over the lady’s slipper in fall, and enjoy your good fortune in having such a lovely volunteer show up in your yard.