With their unusually-shaped flowers and bright, bold colors, orchids create an exotic, showy feel to the garden. Grown in dozens of varieties, each one with its own distinct pattern and size, orchid flowers typically prefer shaded, moist areas of the garden. Tucked along a rock garden or nestled in a container, orchids provide a commanding landscape presence.
Chinese Ground Orchid
The Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata) is a perennial flower ground cover that has an upright, clumping growth habit. Growing over 1 foot tall and wide, the Chinese ground orchid flower is good a late spring-blooming flower to grow along a flower border because of its low form. The small flowers on Chinese ground orchids grow in a wide range of colors including, purple, pink, white and red. Chinese ground orchid flowers have pale green sword-like leaves that grow on clusters of 3 to 5 per stem. Chinese ground orchids prefer partial shade and well-drained soil that is nutrient-laden with a medium to wet moisture content. The USDA hardiness zones for planting are 6 to 9.
Green Fringed Orchid
Green fringed orchid (Habenaria lacera) is a perennial flower that emerges in summer to last through the fall, making these long-lasting orchid varieties ideal among a perennial garden. Often seen growing in bogs, swamps and meadows, green fringed orchids grow 8 to 24 inches tall. The fragrant, yellow to green flowers on green fringed orchids grow in spike-like clusters that shoot up the spike to create a fringed look. The foliage on green fringed orchids grows 2 to 8 inches long. Green fringed orchids prefer moist, well-drained soil. Plant in zones 4 through 8.
Chadds Ford Orchid
Chadds Ford orchid (Spiranthes cernua "Chadds Ford') is a perennial, deciduous orchid with a moderate growth rate. The fragrant blooms emerge in the end of summer to produce a vanilla-scented spire of white blooms. Long-lasting, the flowers on the Chadds Ford orchid bloom through fall and are ideal grown in a cutting garden or tucked along a flower bed or border. The linear leaves on Chadds Ford orchids grow 2 to 10 inches long. Chadds Ford orchids grow 1 to 3 feet tall and wide and require full sun to part shade to thrive. A moisture-loving orchid, Chadds Ford grows in a wide range of soil varieties and climates, including dry shade to wet and full sun spots. Chadds Ford orchids typically double in size every year and require a 1 to 2 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant. They grow best in zones 4 through 8.