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Ground orchids are beautiful and delicate flowers that can add value to your garden. You can find them in shady environments; they grow best when planted under trees or shrubs. Unlike other flowers that die off after blooming, orchids’ life cycle is long-lasting. They are an excellent choice for people who want to enjoy their flowers year-round! So, how do you grow ground orchids? Read on.
Types of Ground orchids
There are over 200 species of ground orchids that you can grow in your garden. Here are the common varieties.
Spathoglottis Plicata (Philippine Ground Orchid)
This is a shade-loving plant, but it can thrive in full sun. Spathoglottis plicata is famous for its large and showy blooms in shades of purple, yellow, peach, or multicolored.
This variety of ground orchids thrives in warm and wet environments. They can perfectly grow in pots, along the walkways, and on the borders. This plant can grow to about a foot tall and slowly spread on the ground.
Chinese Ground Orchid
This variety is also known as the hardy orchid or Bletilla striata. It does well in a shaded or partly sunny environment with moist and humus-rich soil. The Chinese ground orchid has downward-facing purplish-pink flowers. They appear early in spring through the summer. If you fail to do proper mulching, the flowers may die because of freezing.
It has beautiful pleated leaves that can grow up to 18 inches in length. It is a perfect container plant.
Epidendrum Radicans (Reed-stem Orchid)
This is another fuss-free ground orchid that you can introduce into your garden. The flowers come in orange and reddish-purple shades. You can grow it indoors, in outdoor pots, or the garden.
Epidendrum radicans thrive in full sun, but they can also tolerate shade. Too much shade will prevent the flowering of this plant. This species can grow 2.5 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)
Rattlesnake plantain is one of the evergreen herbaceous perennials in the orchid family. They are common in acid woodlands. Their leaves have white markings resembling the skin of a rattlesnake. This species produces small short spikes of white flowers with downy coverings.
It thrives in spotty sunlight and moist acidic soil with organic matter. The best approach to propagate it is through root cutting. This plant won the 2016 wildflower award.
Brassavola Orchids (Lady of the Night)
This variety of orchids has white and greenish blooms that produce an exceptional citrusy fragrance in the evenings. They are fast-growing and seem to flower throughout the year, and their flower sizes are relatively smaller. However, their flowering season is in the fall or during winter.
They have long and tubular leaves that can measure a foot in length. Their drought tolerant nature makes them easy to grow and care.
Ground Orchids Care & Maintenance
The above varieties are in the category of terrestrial orchids. They flourish in tropical and subtropical regions of America. They require minimal care, and they can grow all year long as long as you provide them with the right environment.
Propagating Ground Orchids
You can propagate ground orchids from the stem and root cuttings or seeds. You should consider a six-inch distance between them when planting them because of their extensive rooting. Even though ground orchids thrive in full sun, plant the seedlings under a shade.
Ground Orchids Growth Conditions
Ground orchids require well-draining soil with average organic matter. Poor draining soil can cause root rot.
You should only water them when it is needed. A good practice is to water after every five or twelve days. Doing so allows the roots to dry before the next watering.
Ground Orchids Pests & Diseases
Apart from mites, ground orchids develop fungal infections due to excess moisture on the plants. You can control orchids’ pests and diseases by practicing good sanitation. If pests and diseases become rampant, consult an agronomist for the proper treatment.
Ground orchids are beautiful flowers for your indoor and outdoor garden. Identify the right variety for your home and introduce it to your garden.