Poor Man's Orchid

Schizanthus pinnatus

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Schizanthus (ski-ZAN-thus) (Info)
Species: pinnatus (pin-NAY-tus) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bright Yellow


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Baywood-los Osos, California

Escondido, California

Fortuna, California

Long Beach, California

Lewiston, Idaho

Barbourville, Kentucky

Stephenson, Michigan

Perham, Minnesota

New York City, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Chewelah, Washington

Cosmopolis, Washington

Spangle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 6, 2010, evelyn206 from Escondido, CA wrote:

I bought seeds for this at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. Have never grown it before, but all the seeds germinated and the plants are simply stunning. I have them growing in individual pots and also in combination with calibrachoas and lobelia. Beautiful, delicate flowers in ranges of pink and magenta. Great for window boxes or other places where they can trail. Will definitely grow this again. I garden in zone 9.5.


On Apr 21, 2009, LJeske from Spangle, WA wrote:

In zone 5a/5b (Spangle, WA) seeds are sown inside an unheated greenhouse in early spring. Seeds are sown on top of soil with tray covered for darkness. Once seedlings appear, seedlings are set in diffused yet brightly lit areas. Plants grow well in shaded greenhouse or full sun. Foliage is greener and fuller in shaded area. Beautiful plant with continuous flowers for hanging baskets and window boxes. Seeds are easy to collect if seeds are allowed to dry, open and fall in to some sort of tray.


On Feb 13, 2005, Ursula from Santiago,
Chile (Zone 9b) wrote:

This beautiful Chilean Native meadow annuals are best sown directly in early Spring on a previously prepared soil mix of equeal parts of compost and river sand. They require full sun and moderate water.


On Aug 30, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Half-hardy Annual. Also known as Poor Man's Orchid. Bushy, upright annual with fern-like foliage and clusters of miniature, orchid-like flowers in purple, mauve-pink, yellow or white, with markings in white, yellow, black or red. Needs rich, moist soil and will flower best as a pot plant or a greenhouse specimen. Pinch tips of young plants to encourage bushy growth. Sow seeds in late summer for pot-bound flowers in late winter or spring. Susceptible to aphids. 'Disco' is a recommended hybrid variety on neat, compact plants in intricate, pretty colors.


On Jun 24, 2001, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

Profuse orchidlike flowers in pink, rose, lilac, purple, or white, all with markings in various colors. Blossoms look quite showy against the ferny foliage, make long lasting cut flowers. Give well drained, rich soil in a wind sheltered site. Good potted plant.