How to Plant a Bamboo Orchid Plant

Overview

Bamboo orchids are terrestrial orchids with grasslike leaves that are native to Asia, India, and the western Pacific. They hold their showy, purple and white, catteleya-like blooms on lanky stalks, from 8 inches to 6 feet tall. These orchids respond to minimal care with a profusion of nodding flowers up to several times a year. In frost-free areas, they can be grown year round in the garden. They are easily grown in pots as well.

Step 1

Choose a place to plant bamboo orchids outdoors in groups, in a spot that receives full to partial sun and is well protected from strong winds. Amend the soil so that it drains well, or use a well-draining soil mix in pots.

Step 2

Cut back the stems of the plants by half just before planting. If you are starting with a rooted division, place it so the soil is just over the root crown, at the same level it was previously growing. If you are planting side shoots that don't have any roots yet, place them 1 inch deep in damp sand. Keep them moist and in the shade until new growth appears.

Step 3

Tie the long stems to stakes to prevent wind damage and to keep the flowering tips upright. For large plantings, you may prefer to attach the stems of the outer plants to low, metal garden fencing around the perimeter of the bed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bamboo orchids are considered a pest plant in the State of Hawaii were they escaped cultivation in the 1940's. (See Reference 3)

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • 8-inch pot
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden stakes
  • Cotton twine

References

  • University of Florida
  • A Tropical Garden Flora; George W. Staples and Derral R. Herbst; 2005
  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Keywords: planting orchids, bamboo orchid care, Arundina graminifolia

About this Author

Malia Marin is a landscape designer and freelance writer, specializing in sustainable design, native landscapes and environmental education. She holds a Masters in landscape architecture, and her professional experience includes designing parks, trails and residential landscapes. Marin has written numerous articles, over the past ten years, about landscape design for local newspapers.