Monday, November 3, 2008

An Easy Terrestrial Orchid

Summering outside on a table under a tree along with the previously mentioned Begonia bogneri, among others, is this beautiful Habenaria rhodocheila. I am pleased that it has multiplied from the previous year, and it was quite colorful--though a close inspection will reveal a small snail or slug got a few nips out of some of the flower petals. I have pink and orange forms, but it does come in other colors--I'd love to get the red and yellow forms I have seen pictured elsewhere. Growing this is simple--forget about "orchid mixes"--plant in potting mix with perlite, and don't forget that it does demand a dry rest during winter. It will let you know when its ready, the leaves will die back around Sept or October, so let it dry out and keep a watch on it for sprouts as spring approaches. By late spring it should be in active growth, with flowering occuring in July or August. Since it is a small plant, it is not hard to find room for it, even for those of us who ran out of unoccupied space a long time ago!

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