Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Ground orchid ( Spathoglottis Plicata )

Ground orchid Spathoglottis plicata

Ground orchid Spathoglottis plicata

Once your ground orchids are settled in they will bloom from three months to the entire spring/summer/fall depending on growing conditions. Mine were blooming when I brought them home, bloomed about a month and stopped. But that is not unusual for new transplants.

These are tender plants only rated for zone 11, damage can occur below 45’F and most certainly below 40’F. Dig up the bulbs in the winter or hope for a mild one. Or better yet, grow it in a pot that you can bring in during the winter.

We had several long hard freezes last winter, about half my ground orchids died back to the ground but re-appeared in March-June. So I gather they are more cold tolerant than most people believe.

Despite the ‘ground’ in the name it will not take over your garden. It is slow to spread.

It prefers damp soil, high humidity, and light shade. It will cook in full sun.

The plant with flowers is about 18″ tall. But flower stalks can go as high as 36″.

Flowers come in white and yellow besides the more common purple.

Propagate by division.

Also know as ‘boat orchid’.

Ground orchids are originally from Borneo.  After the Krakatoa volcano this was one of the first three species to return.  By  1906 it has re-established itself across the island.

Note: Surviving but barely, no blooms, summer 2011 extreme heat and drought