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Hardy British orchids

InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568
I would like to try and grow some . I have a nice sunny spot with low fertility. Our soil is clay and fairly acid, however. I am told the best option is for dry. sandy, chalky soil but if your conditions are unsuitable grow them in a pot and plunge it in the ground. Has anyone tried this method? Is the best genus Dactylorhiza?
Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.


  • We have acid heathland near us that is a habitat for orchids. From what you say about your site I don't see a problem with trying Dactylorhiza. Here's the link to the RHS page detailing its requirements.
  • I have the common spotted orchid growing self seeded. in various containers in my garden. Amongst other plants so I assume the seed must be in the compost, home made or commercial. No help from me.  I have no idea where the original single one came from, none growing wild in my area. They get sun baked, drowned but are in full sun
    i know they are not rare but I find they are a delight when the green spear hear pushes through and the purple flowers appear. I guess they also seed themselves in my garden now. Haven't found any growing in the garden though.
  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568
    Thank you for your help. I've found this is a bit of a minefield, however, as there are about 30 different species of hardy British orchids and they grow in a wide variety of conditions from acid peat bogs to chalk downlands. Some like full sun, others shade. I think I will have to study this!
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • I have grown the Common Spotted Orchid in my slightly acid clay and it was quite happy.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,714
    Not easy to find places that sell British orchids.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • As far as I am aware, they are protected and should not be transplanted from the wild. Presumably there are no rules concerning self seeding.
  • ZenjeffZenjeff Posts: 652
    The one I have grows next to our pond full sun added horticultural grit and ericaceous compost when planted comes up every year had it about 5 years now does not self seed though.There is quite a few places who stock them.Photo of mine

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