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  #1  
Old 04-20-2019, 05:44 PM
neophyte neophyte is offline
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hello, i just received three small (but healthy-looking) bletilla striata plants through ebay. i am not sure how deep to pot the tuber/bulbs in the soil. i have just potted them with the tubers barely a centimeter below the soil because i did not want to cover up any of the leaves/shoots with dirt. however, several websites are telling me to pot deeper in the soil. one website said 5 - 10 cm, while another said 5 - 6 in! what is the correct potting depth? also, is there a chance that the plants will flower this year? if not, when would the leaves die back?
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:27 PM
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First, where do you live? I pot them with tubers near the surface, cover just to the base of the leaves. They will send their roots down into the medium. I go with the first reference, I would never pot them 5-6" deep! Unless they are already spiking, I think you will have to wait until next year. Leaves will die back in the fall. i live in a frost-free area, and I have found that they actually do better in the ground than in pots. I started a clump in the ground (dug a hole, added some good potting soil) and it has expanded far beyond that "good" spot into the dense clay soil that characterizes my yard. In fact, I think the only thing that has stopped it is a cement walkway... they are tough but not THAT tough. They will tolerate light to moderate frost. (I don't have that issue, but a nursery in North Carolina that sells all sorts of terrestrials sells this one too, and considers it hardy to USDA zone 6a.)
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Last edited by Roberta; 04-20-2019 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:32 PM
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thanks for the quick reply and advice! i live in norcal (san francisco area) where there is just a little frost in the winter. i am more worried about heat killing the plants, but i'm sure it's hotter in socal in the summer than here, so i will try planting one of the plants in the garden. i will be looking for blooms next year then!
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:37 PM
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I'm coastal, so triple-digit F days are rare but we do get some. I have friends that grow them inland where it gets a lot hotter for a lot more days. So I don't heat will be a problem at all. They are really durable. If heat (or bugs) make leaves ugly, no worries, it'll drop them and grow pretty new ones on the spring.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:58 PM
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thank you! just to be clear, you leave the bulbs/tubers in the ground over winter, right?
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:16 PM
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thank you! just to be clear, you leave the bulbs/tubers in the ground over winter, right?
Definitely. There is no need to keep them dry, either - mine get rained on if it happens to rain, hit by the sprinklers if it doesn't rain because they are either i the garden or in pots with the general population. It doesn't seem to bother them to be dormant and wet.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:40 PM
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i initially planned to keep two plants indoors and one plant in the garden, but i think i will move all three outside. i was worried that the sprinklers would eventually turn the tubers into mush, but upon re-reading your post, i think it will be fine.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Definitely. There is no need to keep them dry, either - mine get rained on if it happens to rain, hit by the sprinklers if it doesn't rain because they are either i the garden or in pots with the general population. It doesn't seem to bother them to be dormant and wet.
I support Roberta's experience. Mine are always outside without any protection. They get everything nature throws at them.
Here's the result this year:



About your initial question, I really don't remember what I've done when I pot them but I think I've just put them bellow more or less 1 cm deep.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:16 PM
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Just for grins, this is the one I put in the ground - which is much bigger and more floriferous than any of the pots. The purple flowers with white centers are Statice, that is next to the pink Bletilla striata, which is growing into the clump of Statice. This was one of the wettest winters in recent history, and the soil is mostly hard, heavy clay - doesn't drain well at all. So it is pretty clear that the Bletilla doesn't care what nature throws at it.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:01 AM
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thank you for the helpful responses and pictures
i really appreciate y'all's advice.

rbarata and Roberta, those are some beautiful plants!

Roberta, do you think maybe the plants you have in soil are doing better because of soil mycorrhizae? Just wondering.
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