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

These were purchased at Mercer Society March Mart Sale

I occasionally see them at nurseries, albeit at a rather hefty price, I’ve not yet seen them in any chain store. eBay is a good source for unusual plants. Check the seller’s ratings carefully and stick with sellers that have been there a long time.

5 thoughts on “Ground orchid ( Spathoglottis Plicata )

  1. Bright but not direct sunlight, water when top of soil becomes dry -it wants to be moist but not sitting in water – and the more humid the better.

    It did just fine during our month and a half of dry windy weather when many plants around it got leaf scorch so I wouldn’t worry too much about humidity.

  2. These are settling in and slowly growing. I haven’t had any more flowers since the first batch. We’ll see if they bloom for me when the weather cools or next spring?

  3. I have 6 of these in a shady corner of my yard (Orlando, FL, on the line between Zones 9A and 9B). I planted them last summer and they all bloomed for maybe 3 months. We had a cold winter (for Cent Fl, that is) and we reached freezing 5 nights with a lowest around 29 F. The ground orchids lost all foliage but all have come back. Each clump has expanded from last year and will probably be large enough to divide the clumps next year. So far I haven’t been able to entice any blooms this year. I have been fertilizing them with Better Gro, alternating fertilizer and bloom booster.
    Anypne had any success getting these ground beauties to rebloom?

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