Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Bletilla Plant Profile

Bletilla Plant Profile

Bletilla (Bletilla striata) is also known as Chinese ground orchid, Urn orchid, or Hyacinth orchid. This beautiful perennial plant is known for its pink, purple, or white flowers that resemble a Cattleya orchid. It is in fact a hardy terrestrial orchid.

It stays in bloom for several weeks in the garden and makes a great cut-flower. This is an easy-to-grow and low-maintenance plant. When not in bloom, the plant has elegant tall, accordion-pleated foliage to admire.

Bletilla prefers to be planted in well-draining soils amended with composted material. Give it a top dressing of shredded leaves in spring and fall. It likes consistent moisture but not to sit in wet ground. It does well in part shade out of the harsh afternoon sun.

It is hardy to USDA zones 5-8 and it is reported to be deer-resistant.

Bletilla forms clumps over time that can be divided and moved around the garden. Plant them shallowly (about one to three inches in depth). It is best to buy mature plants. If you purchase them from bare-root pseudobulbs, note that a new planting can take two to five years to bloom.

Bletilla: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Video, audio, and text by Kathy Jentz

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~ Podcast: GardenDC


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