Easy Cool Growing Orchid Species

Following up on my earlier post about easy orchid species, here’s my list of easy cool growers. Unlike most orchid species, those listed below are as easy to grow as hybrids. Once again, this is not any sort of complete list, just a few that I know best. I’ve grown all of these varieties outdoors in the San Francisco Bay Area (although not all the plants in these photos are mine. A few are photos we took at orchid shows and botanical gardens.)

  • Bletilla striata – Often sold in bulb catalogs alongside tulips and daffodils, the Chinese Ground Orchid (first photo below) usually has purple flowers. The pink bloom in the photo below is one of many pastel color forms.
  • Brassia aurantiaca – Also known as Ada aurantiaca (second photo below,) this bright orange species from the Andes blooms reliably every winter.
  • Dendrobium kingianum – This tough Australian native (third photo below) flowers with a honey fragrance, as long as it has sun and a dry winter dormancy.

Bletilla striata, orchid species, Chinese Ground Orchid, grown outdoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaBrassia aurantiaca, aka Ada aurantiaca, orchid species, orange flowers, grown outdoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium kingianum, orchid species with fragrant flowers, Orchid Society of California Show 2010, Oakland, California

  • Dendrobium victoriae-reginae – This species (first photo below) is native to mountain jungles in the Philippines. Some varieties have a more blue hue.
  • Epipactis gigantea – The Stream Orchid (second photo below) has the distinction of being an easy-to-grow orchid species which is native to western North America, from Canada south through the USA to Mexico.
  • Laelia anceps – This sturdy Mexican native (third photo below) can handle hot temps as well as cool ones. Happy plants can bloom repeatedly during the year.

Dendrobium victoriae-reginae, orchid species, grown outdoors in Pacifica, CaliforniaEpipactis gigantea, orchid species native to western North America, Stream Orchid, grown outdoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaLaelia anceps, orchid species, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, California

  • Pleione formosana – Commonly called the Windowsill Orchid, this Chinese species (first photo below) needs a winter dormancy before it flowers. It can grow in rock gardens, alpine gardens, and seaside gardens.
  • Sarcochilus hartmannii – This tough Australian species (second photo below) is a reliable bloomer. Each flower spike can boast dozens of sparkly white blossoms.
  • Scaphosepalum verrucosum – This mini (third photo below) is one of the easiest Pleurothallids to grow. These small, yellow flowers can continue to open for months on end.

Pleione formosana, orchid species, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, CaliforniaSarcochilus hartmannii, orchid species, grown outdoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaScaphosepalum verrucosum, miniature orchid species, Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, UK

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Growing, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

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2 Comments on “Easy Cool Growing Orchid Species”

  1. Fiona Says:

    I love orchids I do!! This is a must read article!

  2. JR Mundil Says:

    I am extremely inspired to try some of these cool growing kinds. Thanks for the great pictures 🙂