Chinese Hardy Ground Orchids

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. 

Choosing a Planting Site

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. 

Soil Prep

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.  

When to Plant

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. 

How to Plant Chinese Ground Orchids

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.

During the Growing Season

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.

At Season’s End

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! 

Insider Tips

  1. Chinese ground orchid flowers grow in clusters of 3 to 5 per stems and last up to six weeks. Look for them in June.
  2. Add a light mulch for winter. Remove when spring warmth returns.
  3. When leaves yellow in fall, reduce watering. Dry conditions are ideal in winter.
  4. Ground orchids flower most profusely when the tubers are crowded. This makes the case for not dividing as your plants age. 
shop ground orchids
shop ground orchids

Success Snapshot

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

Guide: Chinese Hardy Ground Orchid Planting Guide

They Start Out Looking Like This: