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Chinese Ground Orchid
A deer-resistant, woodland beauty, Chinese ground orchid has small pinkish-purple flowers for weeks in spring. The petite blossoms reflect the plant name and look like orchids growing along thin stems that stand 18 inches tall. A great plant for rock gardens or the front of part-shade borders, Chinese ground orchids spread slowly to form a carpet of foliage.
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Colors of Chinese Ground Orchid
Unlike many spring blooming bulbs, Chinese ground orchid retains it foliage until it is killed back by frost. This trait makes it great for carpeting soil near the front of a flower border. The broad, orchidlike leaves are a complement to fuzzy lady's mantle foliage, finely cut astilbe leaves, and hosta leaves. Plant Chinese ground orchid near the base of black snakeroot or Rodger's flower.
How to Grow Chinese Ground Orchid
Chinese ground orchid thrives in organically rich, moist soil that is drains well. A part-shade location is ideal, although Chinese ground orchid will grow in full shade. Chinese ground orchid grows well in light, humus-rich soil such as found in the forest. Mimic this nutrient-rich environment by augmenting the soil in the selected planting location with a 4- to 6-inch-layer of well-decomposed compost.
Plant the cormlike bulbs of Chinese ground orchid 4 inches deep in spring. Water plants well throughout the season because regular moisture is essential for good growth. When planted in optimum growing conditions, Chinese ground orchid will spread to create a colony. Plants are marginally hardy in Zone 5 and benefit from a thick layer of mulch in winter.
A true orchid, Chinese ground orchids have a long vase-life. Harvest stems when one or two blooms are open. Plunge in a vase of fresh water. Replace the water daily, and the other blooms will open in following days.