Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Featured Plant of the Day: Hardy Orchid

Bletilla striata
    Chinese Ground Orchid,  Hyacinth Bletilla,  Hardy Orchid

Type    Perennial
Hardy range    5B to 9B
Height    10" to 18" / 25cm to 45cm
Growth rate    Average
Form    Irregular or sprawling
Exposure    Partial shade or partial sun
Persistence    Evergreen

Bloom Color    Lavender
Bloom Time    Spring and Summer

This plant will grow in wet soil.
Suitable soil is well-drained/loamy.
The pH preference is  a neutral soil.

Leaf Color    Green

Landscape Uses
-    Container plantings
-    Rock garden
-    Woodland garden
-    Border
-    Specimen

Attributes and Features
-    Attracts birds

Propagation and Root Form
Propagation is from  division.
This plant grows from a  corm.

Culture Notes
Soil should not dry out, as this will cause less flowering on the plant the next season.   Mulch deeply when in the northern climates, but dig the bulbs when frost is near and store them inside.  Otherwise, a deep mulch will provide protection.  With milder winters, plant about 1" deep in the fall; otherwise, plant as soon as possible in the spring.  Keep cool and dry once the ribbed leaves have fallen.  The rare cultivar, 'Alba', will flower white.