Spathoglottis, or Ground Orchids, are staples of the tropics. They’re sturdy enough to serve as landscaping plants in shopping plazas, like these orchids on the island of Kauai. Grown alone in pots, or in flowerbeds with other tropicals, they make gorgeous displays.
These terrestrials are easy to keep in the tropics, but hard to grow elsewhere. They need lots of direct sun, warmth, water, and fertilizer to bloom. For tropical gardeners, and others with warm greenhouses, there are several species and an ever-expanding number of hybrids to choose from. Many can become large plants, but there are smaller varieties available, too.
The next photo below shows the only one in this post that’s not part of commercial landscaping. The bloom belongs to a wild plant next to a desert stream in Waimea Canyon. The Philippine Ground Orchid, Spathoglottis plicata, has naturalized in Hawaii. Surviving in a hot, dry environment, it’s demonstrating the same toughness that allows its relatives to thrive in a concrete planter near a parking lot. For gardeners in the tropics, Ground Orchids can provide great blooms for tough spots.
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