How to Care for a Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid


A striking addition to your garden, the rattlesnake plantain orchid gets it name from its broad, round leaves. Because of their white blossoms that grow down the stem of the plant, gardeners highly value these plants. Rattlesnake plantain orchids can be found in the wild growing among moss and rocks, blooming from July through August. It is hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 10. By following these few steps, you will be able to successfully care for this orchid in your own garden.

Step 1

Select an area in your garden that receives partial shade during the daytime hours. These orchids originally grow in the forest, thus trying to mimic their natural habitat is a must. An area mostly sheltered by tress or other plants will suffice.

Step 2

Perform a pH test on the soil where the orchid will be planted in your garden. Rattlesnake plantain orchids require a pH of 5.6 to 6.0 to grow properly. You can purchase a pH test kit at your local garden specialty store.

Step 3

Use a small garden shovel to dig a planting hole twice the size of orchids root ball. Place the orchid into the hole and fill in around the roots with loose dirt.

Step 4

Water the planted orchid thoroughly. The soil around the orchid should always be moist 2 inches below the surface for proper growth. If the top soil is constantly moist, the possibility of fungal growth is increased. Rake back the soil every couple of days to check for proper moisture.

Step 5

Fertilize the orchid bi-weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer. The fertilizer will ensure the orchid has the nutrients it needs to grow properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Rattlesnake plantain orchid
  • pH Test Kit
  • Small garden shovel
  • Water
  • Water soluble fertilizer


  • Connecticut Botanical Society: Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid
Keywords: Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid, Orchid Care, Caring for orchids

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.