Have you ever dreamed of an easy care orchid? If so the Spathoglottis genus is your dream come true. Commonly known as ground orchids, these terrestrial orchids grow in general garden soil and only require a little tender loving care to thrive. It is one of the most hardy orchids available.
The Spathoglottis genus contains different species and inter-specific hybrids in shades of mostly purple, pink, yellow and white. They generally have crowded pseudobulbs and pleated palm-like foliage. The showy flowers arise on long spikes and open consecutively thus plants can be in bloom for months on end. Individual flowers don't last long but the flower spikes do!
This particular cultivar is compact and neat. The leaves are less than a foot long with medium-small flowers. The flower spikes are likewise shortish, making overall a well balanced plant, which looks great in containers. This cultivar produces many individual flower spikes so it is always full of blooms. The flower petals look like they have been airbrushed.
Plant in well drained soil, water and fertilize moderately. They must receive at the least very bright light. I have seen some cultivars grown in full sun but I grow them in morning sun and afternoon shade. If growing in containers use standard or larger type pots as their root system is quite vigorous. Pseudobulbs can be divided. From one initial clump you can end up with quite a few plants.
I have always liked caladiums. They are easy to grow and suffer from few problems. With varying shades of white, pink, red and green, some truly are eye-catching. Who needs flowers when you have foliage like this? Everyone is familiar with the American cultivars, with a few such as White Christmas quite notorious. In recent years Thai cultivars have become available. They were supposedly kept a secret from Western horticulture for a substantial number of years. Some are considerably unique, others are unbelievably beautiful. However, many of these cultivars are not as hardy as their American counterparts.
I got this Thai cultivar a couple of months ago. It had small rounded leaves. Only recently have the leaves gotten bigger and more elongated, and might I add more beautiful. It appears to be one of the more vigorous Thai cultivars. All caladiums basically require the same care. Shade or semi-shade is best unless it is a variety that can take full sun. Fertilize lightly as these plants are very sensitive to over-fertilization. Adequate water is needed for the leaves to remain at their best and to prevent the plant from going dormant prematurely. Most of these plants do go dormant at sometime or the other, lasting from a couple of weeks to months on end. They would be almost perfect if not for this trait!