Bletilla striata 'Alba'
Bletilla striata 'Alba' is the white-flowering form of the well-known and very easy to cultivate terrestrial orchid. It shares the same pleated sword-shaped leaves that resemble the foliage of a palm seedling but in this instance they usually also have a white margin. Probably the easiest of all orchids to grow, it is a great choice for someone just starting with orchids or as a gift to get your friends or your children started in the vast universe that is orchid cultivation.
Bletilla striata 'Alba' appreciates an organic humus-rich but light, free-draining and friable soil achieved by the addition of pine bark, spagnum moss and perlite together with some sharp sand and grit to a mix of coir and potting mix. Mycorrhizal fungi can be added directly to the roots for very good results. Keep the plants just moist throughout the growing season with an occasional diluted liquid feed and then stop watering as the cold weather sets in and it goes into dormancy. The foliage turns brown in winter and if grown outdoors a thick mulch of leaves and bark will help to protect its corm-like pseudobulb. Planting in an understory of jungle or woodland plants gives both shade and extra winter protection. It is also ideal for container culture and a good-sized clump in a terracotta container looks fabulous. Growing it in a pot also makes it easy for you to bring it in under cover to keep dry-ish during dormancy.
|Synonyms||Bletia gebina, Bletia hyacinthina, Bletia hyacinthina var. gebina, Bletia striata, Bletilla elegantula, Bletilla gebina, Bletilla hyacinthina, Bletilla striata var. albomarginata, Bletilla striata f. gebina, Bletilla striata var. gebina, Calanthe gebina, Coelogyne elegantula, Cymbidium hyacinthinum, Cymbidium striatum, Epidendrum striatum, Gyas humilis, Jimensia nervosa, Jimensia striata, Limodorum hyacinthinum, Limodorum striatum, Polytoma inodora, Sobralia bletioides|
|Geographical Origin||Horticultural Origin: Selected form of naturally-occuring variant. Type species from Asia: Eastern Tibet, China, Japan, Korea|
|Cultivation||Best is partial shade but takes full sun once acclimatised. Loose, free-draining, orchid substrate. Hardy in warmer locations and ideal for container cultivation|
|Hardiness||Hardy. Keep dry during winter dormancy. A geophyte that appreciates some protection in heavy frost and long periods of sub-zero temperatures.|
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