Pleione Culture

Pleione orchids are native to the cold climates of the Himalayas, North India, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Taiwan. The Tasmanian climate is ideal for them. The flower grows from a bulb which produces large leaves after flowering. Flowers range in colour, including soft mauves, pinks, white and yellow. The leaf and eventually the parent bulb will die in autumn after next year’s bulbs form.

Pleione
Conditions

These orchids require free air movement, summer shade and winter cold.  They can be grown in shade houses but the above conditions must be met.  Potted Pleiones are easy to grow outside in the shade and protection of garden greenery.  Protection from the summer heat is crucial, as is protection from frost on the bulbs and excessive winter rain.  It’s also rewarding to grow them in these conditions straight into the ground.  It’s suggested that before planting them in the ground that they are placed in position for twelve months while still in pots.

Potting Mix

The potting mix must be free draining. Every grower has their own formula.  To make it simple for new growers it’s suggested that a very good quality general garden mix is used with ¼ prorogation sand or course river sand.

Re-potting

Choose a pot to suit the size of the bulb. Large bulbs develop large roots so choose deeper pots but small bulb will require squat pots.  Take off 2/3rd of the roots.  The remaining roots will anchor the bulb.  Place the bulb 2/3rd into the pot.  Secure in the pot with course sand. Keep the bulbs moist but not sodden until flower spikes are open.

Flowering

Mid-September till October is the main flowering time. The flower will appear before leaves.

Watering

Water regularly after the flower opens.  The new leaves will grow quickly and requires regular summer watering. Lessen off the water as the weather becomes colder and leaves dies off.

Fertilising

Feed with commercial orchid fertilizer according to instructions.

Problems

Rats, snails, slugs, aphid, mealy bugs, scale. Treat with commercial products.