Posted by: Dawn
I really didn't know what a Chinese Ground Orchid was, all I knew about this flower was the fact it was marked down at Wally world for $3.50 a pot. Who can resist a bargain? I bought three pots. This was September of 2008, after this pretty flower had gone by. I could see remnants of a purple bloom but I really had no idea. I felt, all my life, how exotic it would be to try and grow orchids, I've heard so much about them.
Everything I read about orchids indicated "planting is above soil, or soil less", this is a beautiful flower that thrives with water mostly.
Well, I figured with three root bound pots divided into six clumps, how could I go wrong?
I had this bottom to a free standing humidifier that had gone bust. I thought it would make a perfect plant house one day, it also has wheels which is a plus. The above photo demonstrates what my foliage looked like after transplanting. Do you suppose I'd have a few living and thriving with these conditions?
You know....I thought if any one of these flowers survived I'd put them in my blue room which has an oriental feel to it. I still had no idea what these little flowers looked like.....maybe the pot will look awesome with bamboo shading glued up and down on the sides covering the bland black? A great idea but I just need to figure out how to waterproof the pot so I can wheel my orchids outside if they survived.
ANSWER: Here are my lovelies shortly after Christmas. Slowly, one by one each leaf turned brown which was nothing but an attraction to all my cats, what remained for greens were chewed on and suffered a beating at the paws of three felines!
I continued to be diligent with my watering and spent extra hours chasing cats away from the plants. I used my shears to snip any dead leaves that showed up.
By Valentines day I started to see a payoff.....here...
everywhere. I lost one little sprout out of about eight and I never did figure out what happened, two out of the six clumps met their demise.
I've read different information on Chinese ground orchids. Some sources say they like being planted and can be hardy to zero degrees with insulation layered on top. I think I'll wait and see if I can foster more growth before I go planting these outside because I really just would like to see the flower!
My large pot spent the summer on my deck. We had to carefully tip the rain water out several times during the summer. The leaves started looking pretty good and look what happened after about two weeks of being back inside the house.
A flower bud....can you see the water drop on it?
Here is a photo of two buds together. It's hard to see the one in front of the plant but it has 2 buds. Eventually I will pull all of the dead growth. I've left some because it's bulbous and is still tied to the living plant.
This was my flower 2 weeks later. Further information tells the grower these flowers will bloom for 3 months and I suspect had I had more live I'd be enjoying a purple show until Christmas. These are also native to China, Japan and Taiwan.
One week later, I get a glimpse of the true orchid appearance, see the two lower leaves in comparison to the middle part of the flower, classic.
Can you see the water droplets on the outer part of the flower skin and on the other buds?
Upon closer inspection I found another flower.....
I tried to capture the prettiness of the purple. Here we see a photo of the same flower without the flash.
Another closer look.....just perfect nested between the fan of the leaves.