Peristeria Elata (Holy Ghost, Dove Orchid): Care (Guide)

For the first time, the dove orchid was found in 1826 in the vicinity of Panama. The locals called it the plant of the holy GhostPeristeria elata in Greek.

In 1831, when they began to grow at home, this name was explained. The flowers of this orchid are quite large, and inside the flower is an exact copy of a dove. The dove in Christianity denotes the power of the holy spirit. From this and received such a name.

peristeria elata dove orchid

It is considered the national flower of Panama and today is on the verge of extinction. It was in great demand among buyers, often plucked for bouquets. This orchid is temperate.

peristeria elata (Dove orchid) Description of species

  • It is extremely rare to meet in the wild.
  • In total, the genus Peristeria elata has 11 species and a large number of hybrids.
  • Today it grows in Central and South America, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela. It grows in tropical forests, at an altitude of 500 m to 1500 m. It occurs in deciduous forests in moist substrates.
  • Produces new growths from young pseudobulbs.
  • Pseudobulbs are large, reaching the size of a man’s fist. The largest among the Orchid family. After a dormant period, it begins to bloom.
  • Flowering occurs every year.
  • Foliage reaches 1 m or more. Grows in 3-5 pieces. from one height. More than 10 cm wide.
peristeria elata dove orchid look like
Peristeria Elata (Dove Orchid) Look Like

Peristeria Elata (Dove Orchid) care, Growing

A rare dove orchid is considered difficult to care for. But we need to figure out if this is really the case.

Being outdoors during the growth period she likes the most.

Dove Orchid substrate

Ideally, plant a pigeon orchid in a more moisture intensive substrate: bark of medium and fine fractions, perlite, peat, seramis, coal, sphagnum moss.

Since under natural conditions this orchid grows in the humus of fallen leaves.

When choosing a pot, it is necessary to take into account that it grows in breadth, like plant species of the sympodial type.

Dove Orchid Temperature regime

In summer, it grows at a temperature of 22-26 degrees in moist soil, in winter it needs a cool regime of 8-10 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it must be placed in a cool place.

In winter, provide a dry wintering with bright lighting.

This should always be taken into account when choosing a plant.

Dove Orchid Watering

During the dormant period, the dove should rarely be watered or replaced with spraying from above along the substrate. Allowing drying.

During the period of growth and flowering, it is necessary to water abundantly, without waiting until the soil is completely dry.

Dove Orchid Diseases and pests

Often attacked by ticks, scale insects.

Regular inspections for the presence of fungi should be carried out. Since the fungus appears where it is wet. It can also infect rot.

Therefore, for prevention, sometimes use insecticides and acaricides when watering in order to completely eliminate various diseases and pests.


The ideal moisture content for Peristeria is 50% and above. Only with high humidity will feel good at home.

Peristeria Elata (Dove Orchid) Bloom

Spike are thick and powerful, more than 1 cm in diameter. They grow from the bottom up and reach 1.5 meters. On one peduncle grows from 10 to 20 buds.

The flowers are white with dark purple patches on the “wings of a dove”, the diameter of the flower is 4-5 cm.

It has an unusual aroma – chocolate with menthol. After flowering, it goes into a dormant period and sheds leaves on old pseudobulbs. The duration of flowering is 2-3 months, every year.This is interesting!Writer Mark Twain in his biographical story described this extraordinary orchid. He wrote that in the calyx of the flower one can see a real snow-white dove in miniature.

top dressing

It is not necessary to fertilize until spring if it is in a dormant period. As soon as new growths begin to appear, it is worth watering with organic fertilizers with a high nitrogen content.

Then fertilize with a phosphorus-containing fertilizer for better pourability of pseudobulbs. For better absorption of phosphorus in the composition, other components such as molybdenum and magnesium are also needed.

When the roots grow enough, you can switch to top dressing with a high content of potassium. Alternate fertilizers with watering with succinic acid.


The dove orchid is considered a finicky flower, so it is suitable for growing only in suitable conditions for it from an experienced grower who has free space. Since the plant is not small and takes up a lot of space. For beginners, it is better to choose other types of orchids.

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