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Orchids have a reputation for being exotic, breathtakingly beautiful and often, diva-like. Still this huge family has many members and the Chinese Hardy Orchids are much less fussing than many of their relatives. These orchids produce stems of long lasting blooms and do well where winters are cold.
Chinese ground orchids prefer partial shade to bright shade. They do well in sites with a few hours of early morning sun and are happy in dabbled shade, but burn in full sun locations and when exposed to hot afternoon sun.
Chinese ground orchids perfer rich, loamy soil like that often found on a woodland floor. The soil should drain well and not hold moisture in puddles after a rain.
Plant in the spring after the danger of frost has past. Once established these plants can handle cold but when first starting out it's best to avoid significant chills.
Plant your tubers on their sides. Depth for planting depends on your region; plant about 1" deep in mild areas and 3.5-4" deep in zone 6. Cover and water to settle the soil. Water lightly until sprouts develop. Established plants need about 1" of water a week, from rainfall or irrigation.
Freshly planted Chinese ground orchids don't respond well to fertilizer so it's best not to give them any. Onece established, a light spring feeding is helpful. These plants have shallow roots so exercise caution when weeding to avoid pulling up the orchids.
As winter approaches, your orchids will wither and disappear; this is normal. Look for sprouts again as the warm days of spring encourage new growth.
Where happy, these plants grow into large clumps with many tubers and dozen of flower stems - quite a sight to behold!
Light: Bright shade or dappled shade
Soil: Fertile and well drained
Depth: Cover tubers with 1" soil in warm regions and up to 4" in cold areas
Water: Lightly moist, but not wet, soil
Uses: Woodland plantings
Tips: Site where you can see
They Start Out Looking Like This:
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