Yellow Lady Slipper in Zone 3 - Winnipeg

Background: moved into a 1/2 acre urban property last fall, so everything that's coming up is a surprise, more or less. I remember a few things that were growing, but foolishly neglected to take pictures of the place (what can I say, it was a move-from-hell).
Also, it's been an extremely wet and cooler than normal spring, so I'm weeks behind in my planting schedule for my veggies.
So today, the first day without rain since who knows when, I crank up the wheels on my lawnmower to the highest position to attack the weeds before roto-tilling in the proposed veggie garden, and: lo & behold - I see some gorgeous yellow blooms. Almost mowed over them. Did a Google search, and apparently they are both rare and picky as to where they grow.
I'd love to transplant them to join my Hostas on the north side of the house, but I'd be devastated if they didn't survive the move. I could easily leave them where they are (hey, with 1/2 an acre, I've got lots of leeway) but they are so far from the house that they won't be enjoyed.
What to do??
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I have a little clumb of yellow lady slippers given to me by a friend from New England when he moved from his farm to San Francisco. I'm sure the native orchid realizes it is not in ideal territory here in the semi-arid inland Northwest, but my clump has now survived for 6 years and 2 transplants in a dappled shade relatively moist part of my garden.. My biggest problem now is that the clump is in the way of a japanese anemone that has decided to get aggressive..... Although some people talk about necessary symbiotic bacteria and so forth for these delicate little guys, I think they probably need some leaf mold every winter/spring, and adequately moist conditions. If I'm not mistaken, they often grow in or near ditches in the east and midwest.

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carbuff wrote:

1/2 acre in town? What a deal, must have cost millions. Nothing better than packing a picnic basket and hiking over to the Lady Slipper patch on the weekend.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Millions? Heh, this is Winnipeg, not Los Angeles. Our real estate prices would make grown men weep from any other large urban area.
Anyway, another thought I had about the Lady Slippers is: how are they propagated? Anybody know?

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I recently saw them at a garden centre in Ontario for $85.00 a pot. And only one to a pot! I have been looking for some in the wild for a long time. I am jealous! I'd say let them be. My ROM field guide says fibrous course roots but nothing on propagation. And of course the super scientific book doesn't even list them.
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Dana
www3.sympatico.ca/lostmermaid
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carbuff wrote:

If you are worried about killing them, leave them alone. Cypripediums can be fairly picky about soil composition, moisture and light. They have a delicate rhizome and roots. If you do transplant, do it in the fall after the foliage has died or in early spring before new growth. Be prepared for them to die or fail to bloom for a number of years. If you are not experienced with terrestrial orchids, I suspect that death of the plants is the most likely outcome.
If you get seed capsules, try sprinking the dry seed around your hostas. If the soil is good and the necessary fungus is present, some seedlings may result. Your best bet would be to purchase some artificially propagated seedlings to experiment with.
In the meantime, enjoy them where they are. They are lovely plants.
Nick
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