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Bletilla striata Alba

AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

My toddler grandson brought me a lovely gift home from his visit to the RBGE today.  A small pot of Bletilla striata Alba.

I have googled and have found sites that describe it as either half hardy/fully hardy/needs bringing into a conservatory for winter.  Advice out there is obvioiusly contradictory.  Since a gift from Olli I'd love to keep it going.

Does anyone else have experience in keeping more than a single season?  I am in East central Scotland just in case that information is relevant.


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,870

    I have grown Pleiones that like similar conditions to Bletillas but I grow mine inside and never risk them in the garden. I am in the North West.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Interesting Ladybird.  The label says it's a water plant.  Which is why his mummy bought it for our pond. 


  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,193

    I am trying to grow several bletilla plants at the moment.  I ordered 5 last year from Hayloft Plants, and they all failed to thrive.  Hayloft promised replacements this year, and above and beyond my expectations, they sent them - in much better condition than last year, and I currently have them protected in the GH - planted low down so out of any direct sun, but well protected from frost in particular and bad weather in general.  All but one (which died) are putting on slow growth.

    They are doing OK-ish.  But further advice from experienced growers of these would be interesting.  They certainly weren't sold as "water plants" but they seem to be a bit picky with regards to site/location etc. And even here in the generally mild South West they don't seem to be making the progress I had expected.

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,870

    That is very curious Angie.  Bletillas are terrestrial orchids and are definitely NOT water plants. That label is incorrect.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Ladybird, this was bought at the shop in the Royal Botanics here in Edinburgh. You'd have thought they would get their labels correct wouldn't you? I may give them a phone tomorrow to see what they say. I'm sure their shop is staffed by RBGE staff. 

    Shrinking Violet, I will resign myself to losing it but wish yours well and hope they improve and thrive for you. 

    Maybe others will share their experiences. We shall see. 

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,870

    Angie, they have probably bought that plant in in bulk without really checking the packaging. I will be interested to hear what they have to say about it. Meanwhile you can check it out on here:

    where Shrinking Violet bought hers.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • I was given this plant as a pond plant and have treated as such  am I killing it ? should I try to retrieve it from pond?
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,594
    Angie R.   May we see a pic of the new plant.
    Leaves showing behind label just don't look right for  Bletilla striata Alba.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • clarke.bruntclarke.brunt Posts: 215
    edited March 2021
    Old thread, but I wonder how this ended. Searching for "Bletilla striata water plant", there is plenty evidence of it still being sold as a 'water plant' (the normal purple kind, as well as the white 'Alba'). You can find photos of those very same labels. I wonder how this started. As far as I know, it's not even remotely a 'water plant'.

    I grow them in pots outside all year (near Cambridge). I've split the potfulls occasionally when they become very crowded. Last year, I got a couple of seed-pods on them - I sowed them in the propagator a month or so ago, having read that they are one of few varieties of orchid which will germinate in 'normal' conditions (i.e. without a  special fungus, or lab. conditions) - I was sceptical, but sure enough - now have a pot of zillions of the things...
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