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Wild Orchid Dactylorhiza.

Wild orchids are becoming much popular now days, more and more people are having a go at growing them in their gardens, either in pots or flower beds. You can buy many types of wild orchids from growers not many are seen in the garden centres, but some garden centres and nurseries are introducing them for sale. They vary in prices can be quite expensive depending on the orchid.  Dactylorhiza grow all over the country and across Europe, they have pink/purple flowers, the size of them varies depending on where they are growing, the leaves are sometimes spotted or just plain green.  Once they are established in the ground with their right conditions they make excellent garden plants, the roots are tuberous which after  while eventually becomes a clump, so you can have an overwhelming display.  Out in the wild they flower in May/June you will find them in grassland or open woodlands. The ones you find can only be photographed, not dug up, these plants are protected so must remain where they are.  There are many different species of Dactylorhiza  all requiring different growing conditions, some like sunshine out in the open, some prefer shade with just a little sun in the morning, others to be more damp. It may pay to look up the name of the plant and the conditions it needs to be put in before you buy it, hoping to get it right first time. When you grow them in containers keep the soil damp, do not allow it to dry out, compost must not be too rich, you can add loam, grit, or sand and perlite to your mix. Advise is not to feed the plants as it is incline to produce soft growth which can lead to fatal brown rot. Orchid seedlings need a certain fungi to be able to grow while more mature plants do not necessarily need this, and can be planted out in the garden.  March or April is when to plant out just as the shoots start to emerge, you can also plant out in October when the plant is dormant.  If you grow in pots then decide to put in the garden in flower beds, be prepared, as you may find they do not flower the next year until they settle in again. Dactylorhiza cam make a lovely superb display in your garden or pots once they are established , they also blend in well with other garden plants, so do not be afraid to have a go at them, they will reward you well, I know because I have been growing them for sometime.

Editor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 2012 Abridged

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