Pleione cultivars


Indian Crocus

All  are terrestrial plants and  they are mainly from mild Asian climates. The pseudobulbs are corm-like. Each pseudobulb produces  omly either one or two leaves.

The plants usually produce only single relatively large flowers (compared with the size of the plant).  Once open, the flowers only stay open for a few days. The lip  of the flower is broader than the sepals and petals, and is 3-lobed with fringed keels.


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These ground orchids have small rounded pseudobulbs and deciduous leaves. Many forms grow well in cold climates tolerating night temperatures to 10oC (lower when dormant).
Flowers are large and colourful, and provided drainage is good they grow well in pots. A partly shaded position protected from extreme temperatures or cold winds is preferred.
For best results, repot plants annually after flowering, and never bury the pseudobulb when planting.
Only pot the plants in shallow containers in a mix of equal parts composted bark, chopped sphagnum and coarse sand. Provide good light, but avoid direct sunlight.
Commence feeding with a weak liquid fertiliser every two days, once a flower shoot is detected.


A healthy and vigorous pseudobulb will produce two new shoots each year, which can be separated after pseudobulbs form at the base of those shoots. The original (older) pseudobulb can be grown on then to produce a second pair of new pseudobulbs.
Unlike many other orchids that have pseudobulbs, the Pleonie pseudobulb usually only lives for around two years, then dies.


Cultivars include:

P. formosa has mainly pink flowers. The lip is heavily fringed, and has a yellow blotched centre. It flowers in spring.

P. hookereana has only one leaf, around 9 cm (3.6 inches) long, on each pseudobulb. The flowers are whitish to rose flushed, and the lip is brown to purple and yellow.

P. humilis has one leaf up to 20 cm (8 inches) long per pseudobulb. Flowers are mainly white with reddish to brownish markings inside the lip. An individual flower can be up to 10 cm (4 inches) across. Keep over winter in a dry cold position near freezing point, but avoid frost.

P. limprichtii has predominantly pink flowers.

P. maculata has two leaves, up to 20 cm (8 inches) long, per pseudobulb. The petals and sepals that are mainly white, but sometimes with pink stripes. The lip has pink, yellow and purplish markings inside.

P. praecox has two leaves to 20 cm (8 inches) per pseudobulb. The flowers are predominantly rose-purple with white, and a little yellow inside the lip. P. praecox is sometimes called "Mother of the Pleiades". It requires a definite rest period early winter, after which it flowers before growing leaves.

P. reichenbachiana has pseudobulbs to 6 cm (2.4 inches) long topped with one or two leaves to around 6 cm (2.4 inches). Flowers are predominantly pale rose to lilac with white margins and a white lip with purplish spots.

P. speciosa has a mainly a rich dark purplish pink, and slightly scented flower. It has yellow or pale ridges inside the lip.

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