Orchids are iconic garden flowers, used in weddings and cut flower arrangements of all types -- but they may not always be feasible or practical for home gardeners. Orchids are finicky flowers, notoriously difficult to grow. Rather stringent water and temperature requirements make orchids a very high-maintenance flower. If you don't want to do all that maintenance, turn to pink and white flowers that look like orchids.
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Alstroemeria caryophyllae, a specific type of the alstroemeria flowering plant, grows with vividly-coloured, variegated pink and white petals resembling those of orchids. Alstroemeria hookeri has pale pink and white variegated petals. The alstroemeria huemulina grows with pale pink flower petals that have white centres. The dark pink and white petals of the alstroemeria pelegrina are also richly-coloured. Alstroemeria flowers grow from tubers, reaching 8 to 12 inches in height. The flowers grow atop straight, upright stalks, blooming in spring and summer.
Bearded Iris is a hardy perennial that grows well with little maintenance. The six-petaled flower blossoms have three upright and three hanging petals, a style that gives the plant its name. Flowers blossom from April to June. Bearded iris flowers are available in several sizes, growing from 8 to 38 inches in height in dwarf, border, miniature dwarf, miniature tall and tall varieties. Pink and white bearded irises include Pink Bubbles, Predictions, Beverly Sills, Crystal Glitters and Champagne Elegance.
Gladiolus come in two basic sizes: mini and large. The large gladiolus are probably the most popular, and seen more often than minis at flower shows. Gladiolus are easy to grow in many different types of soils, though the flowers prefer sandy loam and loam above all else. The soil should be well-draining to prevent root rot and too much moisture. Plant gladiolus flowers where they will receive full sunlight; this is not a shade plant. Plant gladiolus flowers no later than July. The blooms appear 70 to 90 days after planting. Gladiolus grow 2 to 5 feet tall, with trumpet-shaped blossoms that look similar to orchids. The petals of many gladiolus varieties have a ruffled or waved look.
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