Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Giving native orchids a shot

I am very proud of my friend Cheryl for finding this website for sustainably buying native orchid seedlings. This is exactly the kind of thing that keeps me excited about gardening—new challenges. Neither of us would even try if we had to pay $50 and up for these but we’re willing to roll the dice (as a Rant commenter put it) for some reasonably-priced seedlings. If they do naturalize, that might be too good to be true.

These are meant for Northern climates—they don’t do well south of Iowa, according to the website. And many of them used to be much more commonly found in the woodlands of the Northeast. I have to say I have never seen a wild orchid. How sad is that? But then, I don’t get out into the parks and preserves around here as often as I should in the spring, when the weather can be iffy. This spring: wildflower walks for sure. I understand there are some great places.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Unfortunately I am too far south for these. It would be fun to try them. I haven't seen them in the wild either.

GardenJoy4Me said...

I would love to have these in my garden .. I don't know if I am far enough north so that our heat and humidity in the summer won't freak them out though.
Gorgeous pictures !

Layanee said...

Great pictures! Love'em!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I've never seen a wild growing orchid either & I'm a frequenter of forest preserves & wild places. I think the reason we haven't seen any is because all the orchids in accesible places were dug up, & the only remaining colonies are now a well-kept secret of the preservationists. Thanks for this info. I'd love to have orchids, but I'm not sure my soil will support them.

The County Clerk said...

I am going to have to try these too.

Thank you for telling us about these.

Which one's capture your fancy?

EAL said...

CC: I haven't decided, but I guess I like the ones in the second picture. I'll obviously be researching further, as they can't be ordered until the fall.

However, I must copy and paste this comment from Garden Rant:
I've grown several Cyp species for years, and I'd definitely recommend biting the bullet and starting with mature plants. Seedlings are touchy little critters, and take years to reach the point where they can be trusted in the open garden. Good sources for these plants (not cheap, but very trustworthy and informative) are the Wild Orchid Company (Dr. Bill Mathis is a wealth of info on growing these plants), Raising Rarities, and Hillside Nursery, all of which have good, informative websites. Stick to the specialist growers when purchasing these, for sure; general bulb brokers are not equipped to offer these plants the care they need in order to arrive safely in your garden, in my experience.

Ki said...

Very beautiful orchids. I've been wanting to try them too but the one's for sale have been too expensive. I found this online nursery -Shooting Star Nursery- that sells them at a very cheap price and the plants are green house grown rather than wild collected so it makes buying them guilt free too. Here's the website.

If the link doesn't work, here it is so you can cut and paste:

$15 to $20 for an orchid. Darn cheap when some of the nurseries are charging over $100. Hurry and order though. They may run out quickly at those prices.

Katarina i Kullavik said...

Imagine having those in your garden...what a treat!
Katarina at Roses and stuff

Mad Man Bamboo said...

Wow, native orchids, eh? Beautiful!


Jon said...

Wow! Double wow!! What a great post with such sharp photos. I wish I could grow these down here in the hot, humid South. Enjoyed my visit to your great blog, which inspires me. Jon on 3-9-08 at

mightymatt1313 said...

I would love to see these grow in Florida!

Stratoz said...

I look forward to hearing how this experiment goes. I have seen lady slippers in the wild, but the most memory is of seeing Goodyera pubescens.

lisa said...

Good luck with your orchids! Very exciting to enjoy them in the wild, and moreso in the garden, IMO! I consider it a responsible conservation effort to try and grow these, since they're so endangered in the wild.)As long as they aren't wild-collected, of course! And yours are not.)

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