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Old 06-11-2008, 10:30 PM
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Bletilla striata

One out of the two Bretilla Striata I planted looks like it's growing. Anyone know how long to blooming size?
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:00 AM
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I have no idea. I had never heard of them before, but they like they will be beautiful from the picture on the tag
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:37 AM
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Bletilla striatta are what my little seeds were that died I've never grown them, however. I can't wait to see yours in bloom
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:59 AM
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Hi Solay.
I take it that you bought tubers or bulbs.
I grew them for about 40 years. they love a cool or cold resting period after all the leaves die off in autum.
If the bulbs are mature size the should flower in early spring.
They are then best left in a pot untill they become overcrowded the can easy be divided up and start all over again.
Also grow very well in the flower garden if well drain soil/potting mix is available.
I still love there flowers in early Spring.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:55 PM
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Thank you Ron. That helps a lot. Yes they were tubers and was kinda sad looking when I received them in the mail. I'm hoping at least one will bloom for me.

Patti, I saw that thread. Poor things. I hope mine grows and grows so I can share the tubers.

Kortney, I never new orchids just grew in the garden like regular plants until I saw one in a Sunset magazine and then I found it on sale on e-bay. If it works out I will try putting it in the ground with the rest of my plants.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:33 PM
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Neato! I didn't even realize it was an orchid, lol. I should have looked to what section the thread was in!
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:24 PM
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It depends on how big the bulbs are. I have had really large bulbs, ~2" across, bloom first season (fortunately, as it was not the advertised color, and I got a replacement the next season), and for really scrawny bulbs, or those that have sat in the package too long, 3 or more years. Unfortunately, many commercial suppliers are selling very undersized bulbs. The replacement bulbs mentioned above took 2 seasons of just green growth to get up to blooming size.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:26 PM
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Sounds like I have a long wait. The bulbs was pretty small and shriveled and only one seems to be growing.

Thanks Cynthia. At least I know not to expect blooms for a while.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:38 PM
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The Bletilla striata police are out! (note spelling)
I think that you can grow them under conditions that are pretty cold in the winter, as long as you mulch them.- I'm envious of those of you that can grow her. I think I'm too cold even with mulch. Zone 3-4.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:46 PM
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Patti, I can't even copy the words from the tag without screwing it up! LOL!!! I must be cross eyed.

Are the smilies back? Seems like everyone is using them except me?

I think I'm zone 9 and it rarely drops below 30 degrees here. I'm hoping it will do good. Still too early to tell.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:18 PM
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Solay, I think you can grow her outside-no-problem!

No, the smilies aren't back... I just love them so much, that I went to the "smilies are on" thing. - If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post, and click on the word smilies, you can get the codes that will bring them up. I copied them down( some of them, at least,) and just type the codes in when needed. It's harder this way, but I love the smilies...

I can't wait to see how your babies do!
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:33 PM
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bletilla in zone 7

I am in zone 7 just south of Washington DC in Arlington.

I have had bletilla in my back yard for 4 or more years coming back reliably and blooming each spring with a light mulch of leaves.

I have strewn the seed in the bed around them but nevery to my knowledge had any come up from seed. I have about a dozen seed pods and may try them in mix of peat and soil from the bed in pots this winter. I suspect seed have to be sown pretty fresh, and its almost thanksgiving. I better get started!

I bought one or two of the white bletilla and planted among my purples, never saw any white blooms to date. Those may not be as hardy?

The bletilla I have I paid about $8 each for in pots with about 3 per pot, blooming size from local nurseries. They're beautiful in bloom I think around mid May, the blooms last for 2 to 3 weeks.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:08 PM
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I'm in zone 6 and have had Bletilla in my landscaping for 5 years. You will be able to grow them outside no problem in Northern California, I just don't know if you need the cold to frost back the foliage each year or if they will just keep growing through the N.Cal winter; the temperature drop should still be more than sufficient to initiate flowering come Spring

Everything I have ever read about these "Hardy Ground Orchids" is that they are hardy to zones 6 and 5 since the "hardiness" pertains to whether you can keep the tuber/root zone above 25F.

I haven't seen any literature that notes anything other than that they prosper in warm temperate climates. So I think you will be very successful with Bletilla in your landscaping.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:45 AM
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Thanks for the info. I have them in the GH and so far still green but no sign of blooms yet. Maybe I should plant them in the ground instead.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:19 AM
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-dragging this back up-

so how are everyone's bletillae? i'm thinking of getting some if i can find them--they have them growing in the smithsonian gardens and they're pretty cool looking.

i am in maryland 6b--we can get down into the single digits over the winter. i was thinking of maybe having the blets as container plants on the deck; i stick them down behind the yew bushes over the winter with the clematis (also a container plant). good idea? bad? our "soil" is gross, or i'd put them in the ground... and the deer might think they're yummy. thoughts?
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:56 PM
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I've got a pot of them that I bought last year, when they were blooming. Last year, I had three 'bulbs', I guess, and it has now expanded to eight, I think. They are now about a foot tall and the leaves are nice and healthy looking, but they haven't bloomed! Not sure what I did wrong, perhaps they didn't get enough light. There is always next year though.
PS: I got them at Merrifield garden center, Janet, if you wanted to get some in your area, though that could be quite a drive for you? Mine are purple, but last year, at least, they had purples and whites, and maybe one other color. They weren't in the orchid area, either; they were with other perennials.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:11 PM
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I grew bletilla striata in my garden in Campbell, CA for several years, starting with one small pot that I got at an orchid show. They spread nicely and the ones at the edge of the bed bloomed, but the ones further into the shade did not. So they need some sun. They were growing under a cedar tree and the soil was rich with decomposed needles, which formed an effective mulch also. They seemed to like the acid condition.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:20 PM
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I also have had bletilla striata and bletilla striata alba for the last five years. They did not bloom the first year but put on green foliage. The second year I got a smattering of bloom and the third year a good deal. I have them in full sun, but next to the foundation of the house to give them a bit more warmth in the winter, as our winters also often go down to single digits. I mulch them well each fall.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:27 PM
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Can't wait to see these grow!
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:46 PM
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i know of one local nursery that has white ones at the moment, there may be others around. i may take a crack at these. thx!
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:38 PM
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Mine are still small. I bought them off e-bay and all it did the first year was put out a few leaves. They weren't doing so well in the pots so I put them in the ground near the greenhouse where I dump old bark sometimes. Here's a pic. Seems to be doing better now. Don't think I'll get blooms this year either.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:19 PM
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Solay, how are your Bletilla doing this year? I'd like to give them a try. I've never seen them in the local stores, so I assume I'd have to search the internet to get some. I like the idea of trying several different colors. I notice that most of the eBay vendors don't give any description regarding the size of the bulb/plant... I suppose that is a hint that they're quite small.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:46 PM
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i bought a pot of white and a pot of purple last year from a local nursery; stuck 'em behind the yew bushes for the winter, then brought them out this spring and am absolutely dumbfounded that the things grew and are blooming.

but those were established plants already potted up. call around to any real garden shops (not lowes, HD, etc); they may have some.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:27 AM
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Thanks! I'll check around before wasting money on shipping fees!
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:57 PM
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I thought I'd give this a bump and see what results people have had with them. I'm thinking of trying some in a container. Any chance I'd get some blooms this year? I'm in zone 6, and we got down below zero for a couple days this winter. I'd probably shelter them with my containerized blueberries up next to the house over winter.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:50 PM
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Mine are in the ground near the foundation of the house to keep them a little bit warmer. But even ice cold ground stays a lot warmer than a pot. In the winter you would have to throw a couple of feet of hay, straw, or mulch over the pot to keep it from freezing, if not give it indoor protection.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:01 PM
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Do you think these would bloom this year if I bought some? They're probably fairly small plants.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:09 PM
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I have a few of them, I purchased and planted last year. They were small sized, two pots with variegated leaves. I can't remember the colors right now. I have the tags sticking out of the ground. I hope mine survived and come back to bloom this year.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:11 PM
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JoBeth, so you got yours to bloom the first year?
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post
JoBeth, so you got yours to bloom the first year?
Sorry, no I didn't. I have the colors of what they are supposed to be on the tags. When I got them they were too small to flower I suppose. Hopefully this year.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:02 PM
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Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of...I planted a bunch of things last year, expecting beautiful flowers, only to discover that they won't bloom for a couple seasons. Live and learn!
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post


I thought I'd give this a bump and see what results people have had with them. I'm thinking of trying some in a container. Any chance I'd get some blooms this year? I'm in zone 6, and we got down below zero for a couple days this winter. I'd probably shelter them with my containerized blueberries up next to the house over winter.
How many backbulbs are on the plant? I don't think mine have ever flowered off a single backbulb. My plants usually flower after a chain of 2 or 3 pseudobulbs have built up. I tend not to divide below about 4 or 5 backbulbs for this reason but presumably the bulb nurseries are likely to sell single bulb divisions. BTW, they grow perfectly fine in pots.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:01 PM
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I bought some bulbs off of eBay last year from two different sellers. Though they were supposedly blooming size, I never saw even one flower. Hopefully the bulbs didn't totally die over winter and I can give them another shot this year!
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:04 PM
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Do you grow in soil?
Mine i put into mircle grow soil, and 2/5 bulbs rotted.
1 is just dormant while 2 are growing leaves, but really slowly?
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