Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Species Orchid, Ground Orchid, Large Purple Orchid, Pleated Leaf Spathoglottis
Spathoglottis plicata

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spathoglottis (spath-oh-GLOT-tiss) (Info)
Species: plicata (ply-KAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Bletia angustifolia
Synonym:Calanthe poilanei
Synonym:Paxtonia rosea
Synonym:Spathoglottis angustifolia
Synonym:Spathoglottis daenikeri

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 35 photos.
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4 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive GulfwaterLily On Oct 14, 2013, GulfwaterLily from Naples, FL wrote:

I just bought this plant 4 days ago (only $6.98 for a 1.27 gallon pot at Walmart!).It is beautiful! I have been looking for one for years. The.tag in the plant container said it needed 4-8 hours of sun a day, so I put it in an area where it gets almost 7 hours of sun daily. Well, THAT'S TOO MUCH SUN!!! At least it is here in southwest Florida (zone 10a). When I went out to my garden this afternoon, I noticed a few of the leaves have burned after only 4 days. I guess I should have checked Dave's Garden's Plant Files first! Lesson learned. The plant is in bloom and has many more unopened buds..The flowers are a bright magenta color which contrasts beautifully with it's long, medium green leaves. Unfortunately, I bought it towards the end of it's blooming period (that's probably why it was so inexpensive).I am a bit concerned about what I have read in a few of my Florida gardening books...that it's leaves turn an unsightly yellowish/brown color in the winter. Any suggestions on how to handle this? Should I cut back the discolored leaves when this happens or do I leave them alone? I will update this post in the future after I have more experience with it. Until then, I am so excited about the latest addition to my small garden! :)

Positive hawkarica On Aug 26, 2010, hawkarica from Odessa, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Very attractive plant that blooms from May through November here. I grow them in large pots under a big live oak tree. They come in a variety of colors from reds to yellows and multicolored as well. They will take temps down to freezing but 32 degrees seems to be the cut off. I feed them 4 times a year with a regular 6-6-6 fertilizer. Rainy weather will sometimes cause leaf fungus but it is easily controlled. It is a nice addition to a subtropical shade garden.

Neutral GardnGator On Aug 12, 2009, GardnGator from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I loved the look of this plant and so bought several, but the winter must have been tough on them, because half didn't come back at all, and those that did haven't bloomed. From your comments, it sounds like I needed to be more vigilant about watering them where I planted them in the yard. We had a colder than usual winter (for the 21st century, anyway) here in Big Bend Florida, so that may have done them in. Wish I could have more success; I'm trying curcuma this year.

Neutral hht On Feb 2, 2008, hht from Bradenton, FL wrote:

I live in sw fl and had the plant in full sun; seemed too much. So i moved it to partial shade. The foliage appears better, however, i can't get it to bloom. Any suggestions for a fertilizer?

Neutral JaxFlaGardener On Jun 7, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These plants were recently offered in the dozens at Lowe's for about $17 each and I couldn't resist buying one, but there was no cultivation information provided with the plant. From the reports above, it looks as though I might have to remove it from the ground and keep it through the winter as a potted orchid in my greenhouse (Zone 8b/9a borderline here). I successfully grow other Chinese ground orchids outdoors and was hoping this one would also survive our winters with occasional hard freezes. I would appreciate hearing from other gardeners that may have had success with this orchid outdoors in colder climates.

Neutral Monocromatico On Oct 23, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

A small ground orchid, almost stemless, with arched, pleated leaves. The flowers are medium sized (for an orchid), pink, with a red spot on the labellum, coming from the top of an erec inflorescence.

I tried to cultivate this one, but found out too late that it requires a moisture that I could never give it in my apartment. In the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, there are lots of them planted next to small lakes and creeks, inside the orchidarium, so I guess thatīs how much moisture it needs to survive. Also, it must be planted on rich organic soil, and avoid direct sunlight. High air humidity, and high temperatures are needed too.

Positive Lophophora On Oct 19, 2002, Lophophora from Tokyo
Japan wrote:

You often see this orchid planted in large beds in such places a Singapore and Jakarta, where they bloom continuously. Unfortunately for us in non-tropical climates, the plant is very tender - I've lost pots grown from seed (germinates readily in a leaf mould/garden loam mixture at 28-30 degrees C.) after outside temps have dropped below 8 C. Appreciates *excellent* air circulation and very bright light, as well as hot sweaty temperatures, and therefore does not usually thrive as a window sill orchid. Unless you live in the tropics or subtropics, you'll probably need a green house to grow this plant to its full potential.

Positive IslandJim On Oct 19, 2002, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wonderful little plant. In my garden, it starts blooming in April and continues on into November. It also spreads, but slowly.

Neutral Dinu On Feb 14, 2002, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

The flowers will be in bloom for nearly 2-3 months.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Apopka, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hialeah, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Homestead, Florida (2 reports)
Jacksonville, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida (2 reports)
Merritt Island, Florida
Miami, Florida (3 reports)
Miccosukee Cpo, Florida
Naples, Florida (2 reports)
New Port Richey, Florida
North Port, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Odessa, Florida (2 reports)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Kihei, Hawaii
Ookala, Hawaii
Maurepas, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Florence, Mississippi
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Mooresville, North Carolina
Salinas, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Beaufort, South Carolina
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
Spring, Texas

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