For flower growers of the middle lane it has long been no secret that beautiful orchids can grow in the garden, and not only in a greenhouse or in a warm apartment on the windowsill. For this, it is important to know the characteristics of plants and choose the right types of outdoor orchids or terrestrial species for cultivation in open ground. After all, tropical epiphytes are completely unsuitable for this purpose.
However, there are plants that are not a drop inferior in decorativeness to exotic foreigners and are able to winter in the soil even in frosty winter. True, some garden orchids cannot survive such stress, so their pseudobulbs are dug up and stored until spring in a cool basement, like the familiar dahlias or gladioli.
Types of Outdoor Orchids
The lady’s slipper, or Cypripedium, is one of the oldest plants on our planet. Confirmation of this is a bunch of plants in the mouth of a mammoth preserved in the permafrost, found on the coast of the Berezovka River in Yakutia. Grows in deciduous, less often in pine forests and mixed forests of temperate and cold climates.
The rhizome is thick, superficial. Leaves are lanceolate, pointed towards the top. The flowers are single, large, as a rule, painted in bright shades, with a characteristic saccular lip, and have a pleasant aroma. Of the more than 50 species in the genus, about 15 are known in culture that have many hybrids and grexes.
Anacamptis (Anacamptis) is a genus of herbaceous perennials with spectacular spike-shaped inflorescences of purple-red, less often white or pink color. They grow in height from 25 to 65 cm. Tubers are elliptical, approaching spherical. The foliage is linear, deep green, shiny.
It is found naturally from Scandinavia to Ukraine, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. There are up to 34 species in the genus, but few are used in culture, the most common pyramidal anakamptis, suitable for growing on an alpine hill with soil enriched with limestone.
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Bletilla is an incredibly beautiful garden orchid native to East Asia with dense rounded pseudobulbs and soft broad-lanceolate leaves, green and sometimes variegated. Inflorescences appear in more southern regions in the spring, in temperate latitudes – by mid-summer. The flowers are small, of a classic orchid shape, with a faint delicate aroma, their color varies from snow-white to purple-purple.
In the genus, according to various sources, there are from 5 to 10 species, but in ornamental horticulture, only two are known – striped bletilla and brown-yellow, or ocher. In the middle lane, the plant does not hibernate; for the winter, pseudobulbs are dug up and stored in a cool dry place.
Pleione (Pleione) is a very delicate deciduous plant of short stature, originating from the mountainous regions of India and China. The distribution area covers Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal and Thailand. In nature, the flower grows at an altitude of 600 to 2800 m above the sea.
Pseudobulbs with a characteristic “beak”, from which 1 or 2 elongated-oval leaves are shown in the spring later than the peduncle.
The flowers are single, peacock-like petals surround the tubular lip, often covered with patterns of spots, streaks and streaks. The color of the flower is purple-pink, but among cultivars there are plants with pure white petals, and with pale yellow, and pink-coral. In the open ground of temperate latitudes, the playon does not hibernate; after the foliage dies off, its pseudobulbs dig out their soil and store it in a dry cellar until spring.
Dactylorhiza is an orchid common in North America, Eurasia and Africa. The height of perennials is almost 1 m. Previously, plants of this genus were included in the genus Orchis, but they are separated independently due to the structure of underground tubers: they are finger-separate in the palmate roots, and round in the orchis.
Leaves are lanceolate or oblong, in some species are spotted. Inflorescences are dense, spike-shaped or pyramidal, multi-flowered. Corollas are very delicate, lilac, light pink or coral shades, often with intricate patterns, sometimes even reminiscent of hieroglyphs.
There are about 40 species in the genus, all of them are very hardy, but their use in culture is complicated by the symbiosis of orchids with soil fungi. And, nevertheless, garden centers and nurseries of the middle lane offer up to 15 species for growing in gardens and on flower beds of personal plots.
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Orchis (Orchis) – plants of the genus grow in the moderately cold climate of the Northern Hemisphere. Their range extends to Asia, only a few species are found in North America. Most are calcephiles, that is, they prefer lime-rich soil, there are those that grow on mineral-rich or poor soils.
The genus contains more than 60 species and about 35 natural hybrids. Orchis grow in height from 10 to 50 cm. The leaves are broadly lanceolate, with the base covering the stem, tapering into a petiole. The flowers are small, from mauve to purple-cherry, collected in a very picturesque inflorescence-spike, bloom from April to August. They do not fade for 7-10 days until the insect pollinates, but after the formation of the ovary, they fade immediately.
Ophrys is a genus of almost one and a half hundred species of exotic herbaceous perennials of short stature with spherical tubers and a cylindrical stem. Leaves are grouped in a basal rosette, stems are smaller. Flowers form an inflorescence-brush, their coloring resembles some kind of insect in appearance, there are corollas that look like a wasp, bee or spider. The lip is large, often pubescent. Flowers have neither aroma nor nectar; pollinators are attracted by the pattern of petals.
Orchids of orchids are widespread in Asia Minor, North Africa, Central and Southern Europe, especially many species are found in nature in the Mediterranean. Many of them are in the Red Book. In culture, they are grown in Germany and Holland, from there they are supplied to customers in various countries. As a rule, tubers are sold mycorrhized, because the plant develops in symbiosis with soil fungi.
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Dremlik is a genus of orchids, consisting of 60-80 species distributed in the temperate zone of Eurasia and partly in North Africa, 1 species in each in North America and Central Africa. Their rhizome is horizontal, covered with brownish or transparent scales, with unbranched adventitious roots.
Stems are vertical, grow up to 15-60 cm, in some species – more than a meter. Leaves are lanceolate or obovate, arranged spiral along the stem, leaf blades are thin, with longitudinal venation, pointed towards the apex.
Inflorescences are multi-flowered, racemose, in some species there are up to one and a half hundred buds. Dissolving, they droop, as if “dozing”, there are fragrant and odorless. The color of the petals is purple, light green or white, in some species – lemon. In the culture of temperate latitudes, Royle’s dremlik, marsh and broad-leaved, are most popular.
Cephalanthera is a genus of perennial herbaceous plants from the Orchid family, common in Europe, East Asia and North Africa, consisting of 25 species. A few species grow in western North America, in particular Cephalanthera austiniae, devoid of chlorophyll, and in Western Asia.
The rhizome of these orchids is superficial, creeping, with filamentous fleshy lateral roots. There are few leaves, they are alternately placed on the stem. A racemose inflorescence with corollas of white, purple-pink or yellow shades crowns the stem. In culture, the red pollen head is most often grown.
Goodyera orchids, common in tropical regions of Africa, Eurasia, the Pacific Islands and Australia. The range of several species is the temperate forests of North America and Eurasia. There are about 100 species in the genus.
By the nature of their vital activity, goodayers are rhizome geophytes, that is, plants in which the buds of renewal endure unfavorable conditions in the soil. Centenarians with evergreen rosettes of leaves, representatives of this genus vegetate for several seasons. Stems are erect, covered with lanceolate foliage, sometimes very picturesque – with light or pinkish veins on the upper side of the leaf blades. In horticulture, species with variegated foliage are especially appreciated.
The inflorescences are crowned with the stems, the flowers have an interesting structure of the corolla: the upper petals are concave as if they cover the rest of the perianth with a hood. Fruits are elliptical or ovoid capsules. After they ripen, the rosette of leaves dies off, but not the whole plant.
Platanthera the Russian name of the plants of the genus is associated with the magical properties that the orchid was endowed with in ancient times, making all kinds of love potions and love potions from its tubers. Representatives of the genus are settled in Eurasia, North America, northern Africa, Japan and the Azores, in total there are from 120 to 150 species.
Lyubki are small sympodial orchids with stem-root pseudobulbs. Aerial shoots develop from their crown. The leaves of various species are round or linear. The spike-shaped inflorescence consists of 1-3 or a large number of flowers, sometimes up to 100. The flower is distinguished by a narrow-lanceolate or diamond-shaped lip, forming a spur at the base. The fruit is a capsule with small dusty seeds.
Gymnadenia is a genus consisting of more than 30 species of perennials with fleshy finger tubers and erect stems, found in Europe, Central and East Asia, including the Japanese Islands. The foliage is alternately located along the stems, has an oblong or lanceolate-linear shape, the base tightly covers the pagon. The flowers are spectacular, pink, crimson or purple-lilac, with a clove scent, forming a dense racemose inflorescence. The fruit is a cylindrical capsule.
In landscape design, it is valued for its aroma, but in growing it is difficult, therefore it is recommended for experienced flower growers. Ideally adjacent to heathers, conifers, erik and ferns.
Calypso is a rare orchid listed in the Red Book, representing a monotypic genus in the Orchid family. It is found in the cold and temperate latitudes of Eurasia and the North American continent. A short plant of about 20 cm with oblong-ovoid pseudobulb, thickened stems at the base and single basal leaves, pointed towards the top.
A single flower is formed at the top of the stem, spectacular, large and fragrant. The pink upper petals are radially directed upward, and the spotted saccular lip resembles a woman’s slipper, painted cream or yellow and covered with a pattern of small polka dots.
The plant is advised for cultivation by professional growers who can patiently grow it from seed, since it is not distributed in any other way as a “Red Book”.
Orchids in a garden of temperate latitudes are not at all a fantasy, but a real reality that any florist can realize with just a little effort, patience and hard work. Some are scared off by a certain difficulty in growing individual representatives of the genera growing in symbiosis with soil fungi.
It is important to purchase planting material in garden centers or nurseries that sell mycorrhized root tubers. And, of course, the most important thing is to choose the right type of orchid, which is suitable for the soil on the site and the growing conditions, and proper care will be fully provided by the owner of a summer cottage or country estate who loves the plant. Garden orchids are quite capable of decorating a country house and become that wonder that will surprise any guest.