Lady Slipper Rescue
November 13th, 2019 by gardens_admin
By KMHS Intern Sofia
This past week was a pretty exciting one for the gardens, Ms. Lisa, and me. I had never heard of a plant rescue; I simply knew we were going on a field trip.
We arrived at the property of a garden volunteer who was moving. She found a very special plant in her backyard. She thought the plant might be rare and wanted it to be saved. So, Ms. Lisa, Jared and I went on a trip to “save the plant.”
Saving a plant consists of digging it out with the roots, then replantingit to a field or garden where it will be preserved. Master Gardeners or other plant enthusiasts often do rescues. Many native and rare plants can be preserved through a rescue before clearing land for new homes or similar projects.
Our mission was to rescue a Lady Slipper orchid. The name comes fom the resemblance the plant has to delicate and feminine slippers in pink, white, or variegated colors. They are a hardy perennial from the New England region, but have very specific growing requirements.
When we were digging the orchids, we madesure to leave the roots intact and to keep as much of the healthy mycorrhiza, a fungus on the roots, as possible. The symbiotic relationship between mycorrhiza and Lady Slipper orchid roots helps keep the plant alive.
I learned a lot about rescuing plants and Lady Slippers that day. I am excited to see if the plant will flourish in our garden (hopefully it will). Have you seen any Lady Slippers in your backyard?