Col Drewitt
ABN 99 633 824 681
"Bulbs & Trains for the Garden"
8-10 Henderson Hill rd Silvan 3795
Phone 03 97379827
Mobile 0419 504 432
Stock on this page available from
June to Mid August
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Pleione Orchids

Cultural Notes.

About Pleione Orchids


These rare and delightful little orchids are a cold climate pseudo-bulb native to the Himalayas, India, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Formosa. They are found at altitudes between 900 and 3000 meters where they are usually found growing in composted very well drained leaf litter.


In their natural environment they are well adapted to coping with severe cold, but with protection from frost. They are not an indoor plant and need to be grown outdoors in a cool shady environment such as a fernery.


The flower shoot emerges from the pseudo bulb in early spring, producing a startling orchid flower on a stems from 7 to 18cm in height. As the flower begins to die, the pleated spear -shaped foliage emerges and grows to about 25cm.


There are around 20 known wild Pleiones from which a modest group of hybrids have been bred.

Bulbs are available in winter when they are dormant and should be planted as soon as they are received. They should be grown in a high quality well drained organic potting mix .


We use a commercial potting mix designed for Pleione Orchid. The mix contains seven parts weathered pine bark containing fines up to 6mm, one part course river gravel, and one part Peat moss. And to one cubic metre of the potting mix we also add 3kgs of DOLOMITE, one kg of GYPSUM, one kg of WETTING AGENT and finally 0.4kgs of CALCIUM NITRATE plus BORON. You would need to scale down these additives to suit your volume of mix.


They prefer to have a deep root run to accommodate their root system and to prevent them drying out too fast in summer. We recommend that the pot or container should be at least 12cm deep. For drainage we use a layer of 25mm scoria. On top of the scoria a 3-4cm layer of potting mix and then a layer of pelletised organic poultry manure such as Dynamic LifterŽ that does not contain any extra additives or chemical fertilisers.


Finally fill the container almost to the top with another layer of potting mix. Then plant the bulbs on top of the mix, leaving about one third of the bulb above 'soil' level. See diagram for planting Pleione Bulbs below.


The bulbs will flower from mid-August to November depending on the variety and the season. Flowers are followed by the foliage.
Take care not to over-water them until the leaves are established.
Dead flower heads should be removed after flowering. If left on the plant they can  cause the foliage to 'burn' in the process of decomposing. Once grown keep the mix moist but not over wet.


At the height of summer we water twice daily in the morning and late afternoon until the water drains though the container. This prevents the build-up of certain elements in the mix which might cause premature die back in the foliage.


Pleione orchids are gross feeders and may be given a soluble fertilizer high in potash such as Phostrogen, about once every six weeks until the foliage dies down in late autumn. Do not apply on hot days and do not use granular fertilizer, it will  burn holes in the bulbs and foliage.


As the Pleione is a Pseudo bulb the bulbs you purchase will eventually die and new bulbs will grow and develop from the bottom of the foliage stems. Often bulbils will also grown from the top of the apex on original bulb.


When the foliage has died down, remove any bulbils first, and then bulbs may be removed from their pots and containers. Every care must be taken not to damage the new growth buds on the bulbs.


The potting mix or mulch should be carefully shaken off the roots along with the removal of last year's pseudo bulb which is now very dead. The roots should be trimmed back to within 3 cm of the base of the bulb with a pair of old scissors. Store the bulbs in a very cool pest free environment and definitely not in a heated house over winter. 


As with most things grown in the garden, there are the pests. The pests include birds (who scratch the bulbs out), rats (who love the taste of the most expensive ones), and snails slugs and millipedes. Before planting we always dip our bulbs in an environmentally friendly substance called Neem Oil which gives protection against aphid and mite.


This product is available online from Neem Oil Australia and can also be use as a spray for a whole range of insect type pests in the garden. The smell of the Neem Oil also acts as deterrent that warns off many would be insect pests.


Re-potting should be carried out in early winter before the bulbs commence their spring growth. Re-plant as per the original planting instructions. The bulbils can also be planted with the bulbs. And on the average these can take up to 3 or  4 years to grow to flowering size bulbs.

 Watch a video on potting Pleione Orchids at:

Please note that Pleione Orchid bulbs can only be sold during their dormant period  from the beginning of June to around mid August.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to email us at

Picture Guide to Planting Pleione Orchids

Pleione Orchid
  List for 2021

Pleione Alf Beecher:

Stunning dark purple petals the throat is creamy yellow with crimson-red tiger markings. Colours deepen as the flower matures.

 $18.00 each
2 for $32.00

Pleione Alishan: (P. formosana x P. Versailles)

A most attractive flower. The
Petals are a solid dark mauve-purple. The edge of the purple lip is softly frilled and the purple  throat is spotted with deep magenta markings.

$35.00 each
2 For $60.00

Pleione Aoraki 'Marjorie Elizabeth':

Raised by Harry Ronkin the flower opens pale mauve and gradually passes to a royal purple .   The lower lip of the labellum is spotted with orange red markings and the two lines of the callus are neatly zig-zag in formation. A very appealing flower.
$40.00 each

Pleione bulbocodioides:
A wild species with mauve pink petals and labellum, contrasted with cherry markings in the throat.
Colours intensify as the flower matures.
$12.00 each
2 for $20.00

Pleione Baritu 'Colleen Barbara':

Another first release seedling raised by Harry Ronkin. The petals and the labellum are mauve purple. The inside of the labellum has distinct heavy red spotting and the lip is very frilled.

$30.00 each

Pleione Eiger: (P.formosana x P. humilis)

The flowers are white suffused with lavender. The lip is white and heavily spotted with deep red blotching.

$25.00 each

Pleione Eureka:
Has a large flower. The petals and outer labellum are deep mauve. The inside cheeks of the inner labellum are a soft mauve-pink. This is contrasted by very strong red blotching on the lip, over a pale cream background. Colours intensify as the flower matures. A very hardy variety sold by some as Irazu Mallard.

$15.00 each
  2 for $28.00

Pleione formosana Alba:

Pure white flower with lemon markings in the throat of the labellum. The edge of the lip is very frilly.
$13.00 each
  2 for $24.00

Pleione formosana:

Ever popular with soft mauve petals and white labellum which is softly spotted with soft ocher-red marks on the inside of the lip.                           

$6.00 each
3 for $16.00

5 for $26.00

Pleione formosana Benita Collins:

The very attractive large flower has deep mauve petals and a large open deeply frilled labellum which has an attractive soft mauve flush around the outer lip.

$12.00 each
2 for $20.00

Pleione formosana 'Noojee':

Dark mauve petals with white labellum which has deep red spotting on the inside of the frilly lip.
$6.00 each
3 for $16.00
5 for $26.00

Pleione formosana 'Oriental Grace':
This variety is very similar to Pleione Priceii.  Has dark mauve petals a white labellum with darker ochre markings in the throat and a purple-mauve frilly lip.

$9.00 each
  3 for $24.00
Pleione formosana 'Priceii':

Ever popular with deeper mauve petals and white labellum which is spotted with ochre-red marks on the inside of the lip.  The outer lip of the labellum has a soft mauve border.                        
$10.00 each
2 for $18.00
Pleione formosana W2:

Also know as Pleione formosana Cairngorm. The whole flower is pure white with reddish markings on the inside of the frilly labellum.
$13.00 each
2 for $24.00

Pleione formosana 'Woodbank':

Originally came from Woodbank Nursery. Not sure of its true name. However the variety is very hardy, soft and sweet.

$10.00 each
2 for $18.00

Pleione Frosty: (Special Prayer for Children x Shepard's Warning) Raised by Max Akam.

Raised by Max Akam.
The flower has mauve petals and outer labellum. The colours deepen with maturity The inner lip has a soft cream base. The cheeks of the labellum are soft mauve pink with a frosty lip and deeper pink spotting. Keels are soft yellow.

$22.00 each

Pleione Hekla:(P. formosana x P. humilis)

The very first of our Pleiones to flower, usually early to mid August. The mauve petals and labellum  is contrasted well with dark blood red markings on the lip. Very attractive and scarce. A real stunner.
$30.00 each
Pleione limpritchii:
A species with mauve-pink petals and labellum contrasted with cherry red markings in the throat and fringed with a fine hair like ruffle. The flower darkens as it matures.

$18.00 each

Pleione Milgrove:

The flower opens with soft mauve petals. The lip has red spotting. Again the colours intensify with age.

$15.00 each
  2 for $25.00

Pleione pleioneoides: (syn P. speciosa)

One of my favorites, this wild specie has mauve petals. And the petal colour extends inside the throat of the labellum which is spotted with crimson red dots.
The colours intensify with age.

$30.00 each
Very limited numbers.
Pleione Rakata 'Madieson Eliose':

Flower is a soft mauve pink. The throat is  pink with red markings and a distinct orange-yellow Cali.
Only a very few to offer.

$50.00 each

Pleione Rakata 'Prince':

The petals are deep mauve-pink, and the inside of the  labellum and throat is a deeper shade of mauve, contrasted with blood red blotches  on the lip.

$20.00 each

Pleione Rakata 'Princess':
Mauve-pink petals with a soft pink Labellum. The inside of the inner labellum are a soft pinkie-pink that extends out to the very deeply frilled lip. The flower also has red blotches in the throat.
$20.00 each
2 for $35.00

Pleione Rakata 'Shot Silk':

The mauve petals tend to have an orange red blush. The very attractive lip is yellowish with orange markings in the throat.

$35.00 each
2 for $60.00

Pleione Shantung 'Canberra'
One of the better yellow Pleiones. With soft pale yellow petals. The Labellum is a much deeper yellow contrasted with dark red markings.
Very very few to offer
$135.00 each
Limit one  

Pleione Shangtung 'Natasha':
The white petals sometimes have a pinkish flush which is dependent on the amount of light when  flowering. The Labellum is also white and the lip is contrasted with deep cherry red markings
$50.00 each 
Pleione Shangtung (Norm Collins):

Has white petals often with  soft mauve flush. The labellum is white with a soft yellow lip and fine red markings

$50.00 each

Pleione Shangtung 'Peter Bradbury':
This variety has soft mauve petals with a flush of cream. The throat on the labellum is a creamy yellow with blood red markings inside the lip.


$50.00 each
Pleione Sinope: (P. scopolorum x P. chunii)

Opens with soft mauve purple petals with red markings and yellow cali. Hardy.

$12.00 each

Pleione Soufriere:  (P. Versailles x P. confusa)

A purple flower with a pinkish overtone. The inside of the lip is intensely pink and has a solid blood red blotching, contrasted by the yellow callus.
$30.00 each
2 for $55.00

Lip of a mature flower of P. S

Pleione 'Special Prayer For Mothers':
This variety is Autumn flowering  and no sooner than the foliage starts to die down does the flower spike begins to swell and commence growing. The non-flowering size bulbs are  available until mid July.
$15.00 each

Photo courtesy of Harry Ronkin
Pleione  Stromboli:
(P. speciosa x P. confusa)
As the flower matures the colour of the petals and labellum intensifies from soft mauve to a very dark purple shade. The red markings on the lip of the labellum also  increase intensify in colour, developing an almost bronze red hue, contrasting the yellow Cali.

$20.00 each

Pleione Tolima Meryl:
(P. speciosa x P. formosana)
Deep mauve petals and labellum contrasted with a bright yellow callus. The labellum has little or no spotting.

$15.00 each
2 for $27.50
Pleione Tongariro:  (P. Versailles x P. speciosa)
An outstanding dark purple flower on an above average upright  stem . The outer edge of the labellum has  red markings. Colour are far deeper than the photo suggests and intensify as the flower matures.
$15.00 each
  3 for $35.00

Pleione Tongariro 'Gwendoline':

The flower opens a mauve  pink and as it matures, the petals and labellum intensify to deep purple. The red markings on the lip of the labellum also  deepens with maturity.
$20.00 each
Few to Offer

Pleione Tongariro 'Stormy':
This variety is similar to Tongariro and for several years was sold as Tongariro. An outstanding  purple flower also on an above average upright  stem . The outer edge of the labellum has  large strong red markings.
Colours intensify as the flower matures,
contrasting with the white throat.
$10.00 each
3 for $25.00

Pleione Tongariro 'Thalia':
Has soft mauve pink petals and labellum. The outer lip of the throat has a deep mauve flush. The inner lip is marked  yellow orange and lightly marked  with red spotting. Colours intensify to deep purple as the flower matures, contrasting with the pure white throat.

Thalia received a Highly Commended Certificate by the Orchid Council of Victoria in 1994.
$10.00 each
3 for $25.00

Pleione Tongariro 'Theolia':

The flower has mauve purple petals and labellum. The inside lip of the throat is slightly darker with reddish markings. The flower also has red striping  on the inside top  of the back of the throat.

$15.00 each
Very limited Numbers 
Pleione Tongariro 'Trix'

The flower open mauve and intensifies with age. The throat is white with red spots.

$12.00 each

Pleione Tongariro Pot Luck Mixture:
A thorough mixture of  mauve and purple Tongariro varieties. Includes some of those already listed as named varieties. A very keen eye might be able to sort out the differences. Very good value. 

$6.00 each
5 for $27.50

Pleione Versailles Buckleberry:(P. formosana x P. limprichtii)
The whole flower is a soft purple. The inner lip of the labellum is white contrasted by cherry red markings.  Very easy and very hardy.
$6.75 each
3 for $19.00
  5 for $30.00

Pleione Vesuvius: (P. bulbocodoides x P. confusa)

Upon maturity the petals are mid dark purple and the lip is deeply freckled with red markings.
$15.00 each
2 for $25.00

Lip of mature P. Vesuvius

Pleione Vesuvius 'Ballarat':
Deep mauve petals with  open deep pink labellum with striated blood red makings on the lip, contrasted by the creamy white callus in the throat of the flower.

$20.00 each
2 for $35.00

Pleione Vesuvius 'Embers':

Deep mauve petals with  open deep red labellum with  an intense fiery throat
. Photo does not do justice to variety, which is a difficult one to photograph.

$35.00 each
Few to offer

Pleione Vesuvius 'Gembrook':

Mauve purple petals . The labellum has deeper purple marks on the outer edge of the lip and fine deep cherry red markings in the throat.

$22.00 each
  2 for $40.00
Pleione Vesuvius 'Otto Fauser':
Almost purple petals and labellum which is delightfully marked with blood red streaky dots . The lip on the labellum is deeply frilled.

$22.00 each
2 for $40.00

Pleione Mixture

A pot luck mixture of many flowering size varieties grown from small bulbils that were accidentally mixed up. There are a few treasures to be found in this lot. Again they are very good value.

4 for $20.00

Pleione Orchid Collection #1

Two Pleione formosana,
Two Pleione Noojee,
Two Pleione Versailles Buckleberry,

Two Pleione
  formosana Cairngorm
Eight bulbs in all, valued at $62.00
For only $53.00

A saving of $9.00

Up-Market Pleione
Orchid Collection #2

Two Pleione Alf Beecher, Two Pleione Tolima Meryl,
Two Pleione bulbocoides,
Two Pleione  formosana alba
Eight bulbs in all, valued at $103.50
For only $78.50

A saving of $25.00

Rare Rakata Collection #3
One Pleione Rakata Princess, One Rakata Prince ,
One Rakata Shot Silk

Three bulbs in all, valued at $75.00
For only $63.00
A saving of $12.00

Special Pleione Orchid Offer
Spend over $300.00 on Pleione Orchids, excluding postage, and receive  extra bulbs free to the value of a 10% of your order, your choice.
This deal does not apply to collections or other offers already discounted.

Other related Orchids

Slipper Orchid
(Paphiopedilum insigne)

Hardy. Ideal in a bowl or pot & enjoys a similar environment and potting mix to that used for Pleione Orchids. Has evergreen strap-like foliage and  a single flower in spring on a 16cm stem, typical of the photo. Sold as a bare rooted plant in winter. Needs to re-establish itself after purchase before it will re-flower.

Out of Stock

Bletilla striata
Chinese Ground Orchid

A hardy ground orchid. Blooms in spring. It has several deep mauve purple flowers with mottled throats, on each 20cm stem. Takes a season to settle but very hardy.
The orchid as the common name suggests is best grown in the garden in a well-drained loose soil in an open sunny position. Plant tuber so that the tip of the growth spike is about 3cm below the surface of the ground.

$5.50 each
3 for $15.00