Orchids (bletilla) offer a vibrant white or purple flower. With lancet shaped leaves the orchid is a popular and appealing addition to the garden. Growing these plants outdoors requires preparation and planning, to allow them to thrive year after year. Orchids are unable to tolerate temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, it is popular to plant in pots and simply move the pot indoors when temperatures dip. Planting should take place after the last frost of fall when planting outdoors, to prevent damage from cold temperatures.
Prepare a location in the garden out of the direct sunlight. Orchids prefer and thrive in partial shade. Planning is common under large trees and shaded areas of the garden. Spade an area of the garden, loosening the soil. Add peat moss to the soil and turn into the dirt. Apply a soil fertilizer with a ratio of 1-1-1 for optimal growth.
Dig a hole 6 inches deep. Place the orchid inside the hole, with the root system down. Fill the area around the plant with soil. Firmly press the soil around the base of the orchid. Repeat this process every 25 cm, until all orchids are planted.
Water the area well with a water-soluble fertilizer. Use a ratio of 20-20-20 for best results. Continue to water often, keeping the soil moist but not sopping wet while blooming.
Divide clumps of orchids yearly in the garden area after flowering. These plants multiply and will smother each other without thinning. Place divided plants in another area of the garden. Cut orchids at the ground after flowering is finished and all thinning as been completed. Wait until next spring for a full show again.