Terrestrial Orchids

These beautiful and easy to grow epiphyte orchids dispel the mystique that orchids are too fragile and delicate for the average gardener.  These tough, resilient semi-tropical jewels grow in the ground in a wide range ordinary soil types and do not require any specialized products or paraphenlia to grow and thrive.

Terrestrial or Ground Orchids do not required the special media and conditions of other epiphyte orchids (meaning the ones whose native habit is to grow on the sides of trees in the rain forests).  These will do very well planted right into the ground, they are not finicky or fussy and will quickly naturalize.  This group of orchids is native to Southeastern Asia and the Philippine Islands and has become wildly popular in southern United States over recent years.  This one has been a popular pass along for many years.  It is another of those old plants that is now 'new' again. 

Ground Orchids have very pretty veined, strapped, lily like leaves.  They are constant bloomers throughout the warm season and come in a wide variety of colors. 

The flowers of Ground Orchids are born on long stems that wave above the plant and have a classic orchid shape in a miniature form, complete with the small spots and speckles.  They are semi-tropical, and must be protected from freezing temperatures. However, in cold climates they are easy to grow in pots so they can be wintered over indoors. 

Plant them in well drained soil, for the best results turn and amend the area with high quality well cured organic compost, dried leaves, and even some small rocks or gravel (although rinse commercial bagged gravel thoroughly to remove dust) to mimic their native environment. 

They will grow in full sun, but for the best bloom performance, plant in areas with filtered light, such as under trees or as a second layer planting with larger plants as a back drop (placed to cast shade in the afternoon). 

Start them out with a good quality slow release fertilize underneath the roots , and then feed periodically with an orchid fertilize or a bloom boosting formula . 

For potted plants use good quality commercial potting media and orchid mix combined at about 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 orchid bark. 

Water thoroughly and allow excess to drain out.  Heavy watering is essential for best result, but allow the plants to become almost dry in between watering.

These orchids quickly form clumps that can be divided or offshoots can be harvested for more plants.  They are propagated by tissue culture commercially.

 




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