Peacock Orchids, known botanically and sold as “Acidanthera”, are a rare sight in gardens yet they are some of the most enticingly fragrant flowers available. Their elegant white petals and maroon-to-purple throat are highly appealing to both experienced and novice gardeners.
Acidanthera are very easy to care for, ergo their low maintenance is particularly appealing to people who would like to plant beautiful, fragrant flowers but don’t have a lot of time to care for them. It’s also important to note that this flower is not an orchid but is related to gladiolus and iris.
It won’t take long for you to know if something is wrong with your Acidanthera just by looking at it. They may be complaining’ of too-wet soil, or their need for lots of sun is not being met.
- Make sure the soil you plant your Acidanthera in drains well enough to prevent the flowers’ roots (or the bulbs upon planting) from resting in water because Peacock Orchids hate standing water. The soil should be at least 4 inches deep to allow for root growth.
- Peacock Orchids will thrive in the sunniest location you can provide for them. The sun does not need to shine 16 hours a day, but the more sun the more fragrant the flowers will become. Partial shade will work but with Acidanthera you can bring on the heat.
- Do not plant your Peacock Orchids with other fragrant flowers such as lilies. They are fragrant but you do not want the wonderfully clean fragrance to clash with other fragrances in the garden. Acidanthera can be paired with low-growing foliage like hostas, as their stems reach 2-3ft and droop lovingly over their lower growing underbrush.
- Use tweezers or another small instrument to keep weeds and other invading roots and plants from invading Peacock Orchids. You don’t want to allow your fragrant Acidanthera to be stunted in any way.
- The soil pH for Peacock Orchids should be slightly acidic to neutral.
- Keep your Peacock Orchids away from strong winds if possible. Protection from the wind can be achieved by planting them in bunches of at least 5 and preferably 10. Acidanthera prospers as a group flower.
- Peacock Orchids are perfect for planting in between rocks as a wonderful visual and scented display. They can also be grown against heat-reflecting walls.
- Don’t worry about deer gobbling up your Acidanthera, these wonderful, fragrant white flowers are known to be deer-resistant, as well as rabbit resistant.
- Peacock Orchids require minimal care and following these simple guidelines will produce several weeks of lovely, scented blooms 2-3 months after planting.
- Enjoy your Acidanthera with both eyes and nose!
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