My Poor Ground Orchid

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When I was with some friends at Cameron Highlands a few months ago, we saw lots of purple ground orchids and bamboo orchids growing wildly at the slopes by the side of the road. We stopped to dig out some to bring home...

When I reached home, I just put a little soil into a pot and planted the orchid into it, just like the original state. The plant came from rocky slopes with minimal soil. After about one month and with some good orchid fertiliser new shoots began to grow from the side of the roots. A flower bud sprouted too.

Spathoglottis Plicata is the botanic name of this orchid and it is native of Southeast Asia, to the Phillippines.

The flower bud took weeks to build up.

Then the bud unfolds...

Unfortunately, it got sunburnt one hot afternoon and the flower never get to blossom :-(

I learnt that it normally blooms throughout the year. The spent flower stem and dead foliages have to be cut off regularly to promote healthier growth.

Do you have a ground orchid at home? What precaution do you take in order for the flower to bloom nicely?

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  1. Oh! Stephanie, I have an Orchid with the same foliage, but I had no idea where it came from; perhaps it's native to your region.

  2. Hallo Stepanie
    Schöne Orchidee. Hier ist es streng verboten, so etwas auszugraben! Allerdings wachsen hier in der Kälte auch nicht diese zauberhaften Orchideen, sind alle schlichter.

    liebe Grüße Dörte

  3. Hi Stephanie.....thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment.

    The orchid is very beautiful...of course in UK they would be kept indoors or in a greenhouse.
    My sister in law collects orchids and has a conservatory full of them...

    I do hope that you can find someone to help with your query....

  4. I have done the same thing like you. They look sooo healthy in the wild. I plant them in a good draining soil, fertilize and give them water often. I once bought a yellow one from Miami Florida , it grew beautifully the first year then it died. I nearly cried. I am still on the lookout for another one.

  5. It's nice to read your comments on my blog. Who are those brave guys climb up the hill?

  6. I have 2 ground orchid plant that only put a lot leaves but never bloomed after the first show (that was when I got it)

    I found that used tealeaves helps to make the plant very bushy and healthy. It look more like a palm plant but still no flowers.
    Any heavy fertliser will kill the plant, so only use organic ones in minimum use.

    Im still looking out for those who got this plant successful, so if I find any new secret of these blooming will let you know ASAP.

  7. Haha.. I remember that time :) It was very fun! We were all standing in the hot sun by the roadside, I'm sure many people were wondering what on earth we were up to. But nothing illegal. I'm sure your orchid will bloom again!

  8. Beautiful! I'm getting to know about orchids from you.

  9. Oh, no! Sorry the orchid didn't fully open before the sun destroyed it. I look forward to seeing what the flower looks like next time you get a bud. I can't imagine why the ones on the bluffs are able to withstand the sun and bloom, but yours didn't. Maybe it just needs to get used to the new location. Good luck!

  10. This is a great post.. Very informative... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your every post that's why I think I'd come here more often. Keep it up! By the way, you can also drop by my blogs. They're about Vegetable Gardening and Composting. I'm sure you'd find my blogs helpful too.

  11. Oh, no... how could that happen? I have these ground orchids and have found them quite easy to grow, even in the hot weather of HCMC. (See the entry in my blog at here.)
    May I suggest that you cut off the flower stalk and wait for the plant to regain its strength and bloom again. I'm sure the plant will re-bound in no time.

  12. How cool is it to live in a place where these awesome flowers are just growing alongside the road. I'm really jealous!

  13. that's really pretty! I love how you just dug them up! I always thought it'd be a good idea to have a little trowel and bucket to dig stuff up as I see it! I'm too afraid of getting caught. Sometimes I daydream about dividing some of my neighbors plants in the dark after they're asleep. But I guess that would be called stealing.

  14. This orchid look like a beautiful orchid. Don't worry, Stephanie. Orchids are survivals, although they are quite unpredictable. Maybe this orchid is in recuperating mode waiting to bloom during Christmas or New Year. So, good luck!

  15. Hi Steph. Pretty little orchid. You have so many endemic orchids in your area that I am unreservedly jealous.

  16. Very pretty! I don't have any ground orchids. I hope it bounces back later:)

  17. I do have a few orchids in my windows, but I don't think they are ground orchid. The ones I have have to adjust to the same treatment as all of my Hoyas though, perhaps not the right thing to do but it is so much easier to treat them all the same way :)

  18. Thank you and noted all your good advice, concern and comments. Have a fantastic weekend!

  19. Hi Stephanie,
    This orchid is a species. They do not take to fertilizers well as nature takes care of them in the wilds. Our did well in our home. New plants were produced when their seed pods bursts. You can see ours at our website: also a HD Video shot and is posted at
    FYI, wild orchids have a flowering period. no amount of fertilizers can give 'extra' number of time unlike hybrids. Hope that info helps.
    Cheers and Regards
    Donald G. H Tan
    Orchidaceae Malaysiana
    Klang, Selangor

  20. Thanks for your good advice Donald!



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