Alphabetical Plant Listing

Phaius tankervilleae (Nun's Orchid)

Nun's Orchid, Veiled Orchid, Phaius grandifolius


Phaius tankervilleae (Nun's Orchid) is a fairly large, terrestrial orchid species boasting multiple flower spikes densely packed with up to 10-20 fragrant flowers. Blooming in late winter to early spring, the showy hooded blossoms, 5 in. across (12 cm), are rusty brown with a purplish lip. Each inflorescence opens over a period of up to six weeks, and the flowers last for about a month. Nun's Orchid produces ovoid or conical, green pseudobulbs bearing a few large, thin-texture, pleated leaves which can reach about 3 ft. (90 cm). Native to Subtropical and Tropical Asia, Nun's Orchid is a hot to cool growing orchid species found in grassland and open forest at elevations of 1100-5300 ft. (350-1600 m). Adaptable and easy to maintain, this attractive orchid is considered easier to care for than most other orchid varieties. In frost-free areas, this orchid can also be grown outdoors.

  • Grows up to 36-48 in. tall (90-120 cm).
  • Easily grown in a well-drained but humus-rich compost in bright light to light shade, but not direct sun. Provide supreme air circulation year round to prevent Botrytis fungus.
  • Requires hot to cool temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C).
  • Maintain adequate humidity (50%) for most of the year by standing your container in a tray of damp pebbles.
  • Keep your Phaius orchid evenly moist, allowing slight drying between waterings.
  • Feed with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to half-strength once a month, or apply a slow-release 20-20-20 fertilizer once every three months.
  • Propagation: after flowering, split clumps of pseudobulbs from established plants (leaving the roots attached) or root the expended inflorescence (lay it in a tray filled with damp sand. Maintain a moist environment with reduced light for two to three months).
  • Once the flowers have faded, remove the spent flower spikes.
  • Repot after flowering, splitting growth into four pseudobulbs per pot.
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for aphids, glasshouse red spider mite, mealybugs, root rot (excess moisture).
  • Native to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Pacific Islands, Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • This species has become an invasive species in some countries such as Jamaica and Hawaii.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers

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