Pleione Peter Bradbury

C&M Drewitt
"Bulbs &Trains for the Garden"
8-10 Henderson Hill rd Silvan 3795
Phone /Fax
03 97379827

Stock on this page available June to Mid August

Pleione Orchids:
Cultural Notes
Updated April 2015

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

In their natural environment they are well adapted to coping with severe cold, 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 19 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 3 kgs of DOLOMITE, one kg of GYPSUM, one kg of WETTING AGENT and finally 0.4kgs of CALCIUM NITRATE plus BORON.

They prefer to have a deep root run to accommodate their root system and  to prevent them drying out too fast in summer. 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 Lifter® 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.

The bulbs will flower from mid-September to October depending on the variety, followed by the foliage. Take care not to over-water them until the leaves are established. Once grown keep the mix moist but not 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 that in some cases can 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 original bulbs will eventually die and be replaced with new bulbs and often bulbils that have grown from the top of the original bulb. When the bulbs are removed from their containers every care must be taken not to damage the new growth buds.

Re-potting should be carried out in winter before the bulbs commence their spring growth.

The potting mix or mulch should be carefully shaken off the roots along with the removal of last year's puedo bulb which is now dead. Trim the roots with a pair of old scissors and  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 4 years to grow to flowering size bulbs.

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 and slugs.  Before planting we also dip our bulbs in an environmentally friendly substance called Neem Oil which gives protection against aphid and mite.

This product is available from Bunnings 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 would be pests.

The Neem oil comes from the Neem tree which is native tree of India. I was told that the poorer people of India use the leaf from this tree to clean their teeth.  However I do not suggest that the Neem oil be used for that purpose.

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

Pleione Alf Beecher:

Stunning dark purple petals the throat is yellowish with crimson-red tiger markings. Colours deepen as the flower ages.

 $60.00 each
Limit one

Pleione El Pico Pheasant:
Dark almost purple petals . The labellum has deeper purple marks on the outer edge of the lip and deep cherry red markings in the throat.

$35.50 each
Limit one.
Very few to Offer.

Pleione Eureka:
(Previously sold as Ridgeway in error).
Mauve petals and outer labellum. The inside cheeks of the inner labellum are also mauve with red blotching on  the mouth and throat of the labellum.
$32.50 each
2 for $60.00

Pleione Formosanum Alba:

Pure white flower with lemon markings in the throat of the labellum . The edge of the lip is very frilly.

$12.50 each
Limit three

Pleione Formosanum:

Ever popular with soft mauve petals  and white labellum which is softly spotted  on the inside of the lip.   Very Easy.                           

$5.00 each
  3 for $13.00

10 for $44.00
Pleione Formosanum 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.

$35.50 each
Limit one.
Very few to Offer.

Pleione Formosanum Hekla:

The very first of our Pleiones to flower, usually in mid August. The mauve petals and
labellum  is contrasted well with dark blood red makings on the lip. Very attractive and scarce.

$50.00 each
Limit one.

Pleione Natasha:

The white petals sometimes have a pinkish flush which is dependent on the amount of sun light when  flowering. The Labellum is also white and the lip is contrasted with deep cherry red markings
$75.00 each 

Pleione Noojee:

Dark mauve petals with white labellum which has deep red spotting on the inside of the frilly lip.

$14.00 each
  3 for $30.00  

Pleione Norm Collins:

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

Limit one.

Pleione Otto Fauser:
Almost purple petals and labellum which is delightfully marked with blood red streaky dots . The lip on the labellum is deeply frilled.

$35.50 each
Limit one.

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

$15.00 each
3 for $40.00

Pleione Peter Bradbury:

This  variety has soft mauve petals with a hint of cream. The throat on the labellum is a creamy-yellow with blood red markings inside the lip. Very rare. Only a few to offer.  

$75.00 each
Limit one.

Pleione Rakata Princes:

Mauve pink petals with a soft pink labellum. The inside of the cheeks of the inner labellum are A soft pinky-pink that extends out to the very deeply frilled lip. The flower also has red spotted throat markings. Scarce.

$75.00 each
Limit one

Pleione Soufriere:
Deep mauve petals and outer  labellum . The inside of the "cheeks" of the inner labellum are a peachy pink  that extends out to the deeply frilled lip. The flower has deep blood red throat markings with a creamy mark on the bottom lip.
$40.00 each

Pleione 'Special Prayer For Mothers'

 This variety is Autumn flowering  and no sooner than the foliage begins to die down does the flower spike begins to swell and commence growing.  Bulbs are only available for a very short period of time between Mid to late April and early-May.

$50.00 each

Pleione Tongariro:
An outstanding dark purple flower on an above average upright  stem . The outer edge of the labellum has  red markings. The colour of the flower is actually deeper than the photo suggests.

Very few to Offer.
Limit one

Pleione Tongariro Thalia:

Seedling from Tongariro. 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.
$28.00 each
2 for $45.00

Pleione Tongariro Theolia:

Seedling from Tongariro. Has mauve purple petals and labellum The inside lip of the throat is slightly darker with reddish markings. The flower also has red stripping  on the inside top  of the back of the throat.
$28.00 each
2 for $45.00

Pleione Versailles Buckleberry:
The whole flower is a soft purple. The inner lip of the labellum has cherry red markings.  Very easy and hardy.
$6.00 each
3 for $16.00
  10 for $50.00

Pleione W2:

The whole flower is pure white with reddish markings on the inside of the frilly labellum.

$12.50 each
Limit Three

Other related Orchids

Slipper Orchid
(Paphiopedilum insigne)
Should be potted immediately upon receipt in a potting mixture similar to that used for Pleione Orchids. Enjoys a partly shaded position similar to Pleione Orchids and should not be allowed to dry our for any length of time. Ideal in a bowl or pot.

Has evergreen strap like foliage and a single flower on a 16cm stem typical of the photo. Needs to re-establish after purchase before it will reflower.

$20.00 each

Bletilla striata
Chinese Ground Orchid

This Orchid as the name suggests must be grown in the garden in a well drained loose soil in an open sunny position.
Plant the tuber so that the tip of the growth spike is about 3cm below the surface of the ground. It will take a year to settle down.
$5.00 each
3 for $13.00
6 for $24.00

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