If you think that orchids are all delicate and fragile, here’s a hardy Australian mini that will surprise you. This Sarcochilus is one tough species, related to Phals and Vandas. In the wild, it grows as a lithophyte, or rock plant. Its roots attach to cliff faces in eastern Australia, and they hold on despite strong ocean winds. It can handle a wide range of temperatures, and can even survive light freezes.

Sarcochilus flower and budsSarcochilus flowersSarcochilus flowers and leaves

I’ve had this plant for 6 years, and it’s been a reliable annual bloomer. A nasty hailstorm damaged it last winter, but it flowered on schedule anyway. The arching sprays of sparkling white blooms can last 2 or 3 months. They may show wear-and-tear from rain, wind, heat waves, or pests, but the flowers persist. This one grows outdoors on my back deck all year, where it receives bright light with some direct sun.

Sarcochilus flowersSarcochilus plant in flowerSarcochilus flower

Even though they’re lithophytes, they grow well potted in bark. Sarcochilus like regular water and fertilizer. Their leaves and roots are susceptible to damage from the slug and snail killer metaldehyde. However, snail baits with iron phosphate are safe for them.

Sarcochilus flower, buds and leavesSarcochilus flower close upSarcochilus flower

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Growing, Mini Orchids, Photos, Problems

Subscribe to the About Orchids Blog:
AddThis Feed Button

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Comments on “Sarcochilus”

  1. Ron Parker Says:

    Wonderful post, keep it up thanks.

  2. malka Says:

    Great blog!

  3. Aretha Maria Says:

    I like the photos. It certainly looks like a very healthy plant! After reading your blog post I browsed your website a bit and you have so many lovely photos. Keep up the quality posts.

  4. Tomas Sabo Says:

    Impressive pictures. I really like the first set. Its hard to take good pictures of white flowres sometimes. They reflect the light a lot, so you need to adjust for glare from sun on the camera.

  5. tia maria Says:

    hi!,I like your writing and photographs very much! Looking forward to seeing more.

  6. Jasemin Says:

    Whoa, whoa, get out the way with those sparkley flowers. I imagine they are even prettier in person.

  7. Jamie Ryan Says:

    Every time I come back here again and I don`t get disappointed..!!