Fragrant peacock orchids are actually part of the gladiolus family; they're not orchids at all. They grow from a corm, or underground stem with a bulb at its top. To plant peacock orchids, you need sufficient time for its long growing period. For colder areas of the country, start planting indoors and then replant in your yard after the last sign of frost. Look for well-drained soil and group in clusters for a dazzling display.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Peacock orchid croms
- Well-drained soil
- Gardening shovel
- Gardening gloves
Dry the corms of peacock orchids and plant about 20 weeks before you want to see them bloom. If you want them to bloom in the late summer, plant them in late spring. Planting outdoors in late May is a good option for most regions.
Plant your peacock orchids in clusters of 10 or fewer to create a vivid garden display.
Find an area with well-drained soil and plant the corms about 3 to 4 inches deep and up to 8 inches apart. You can also grow them for up to 1 month indoors on a sunny windowsill and planter before the last winter cold snap in your region, then replant them in your yard. Check the peacock orchids regularly. If the windowsill isn't light enough, try a fluorescent light fixture about 3 inches above the plant.
Cover your orchids in mulch if another cold snap hits after you've planted them outside. Peacock orchids will wither away in frost.
Water your blooms generously throughout the season and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Peacock orchids generally flower through summer to fall until the first cold snap.
During fall, dig out the corms and store them in a container with sand. Look for new bulbs that may have sprouted and separate them for later use. Leave them dry and sealed in a room or garage with temperatures around 15.6 degrees C. Some gardeners leave their corms in the ground until the following season.
Tips and warnings
- Peacock orchids can grow several feet and overshadow your garden. Plant them away from other blooms that need direct sunlight.
- Peacock orchids may be too fragrant for indoor use.
- Keep corms dry when storing or handling to avoid rot.
- Parts of peacock orchids are poisonous, so plant them away from pets and small children and wear gardening gloves to avoid skin irritation.
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