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Dove Orchid (Peristeria elata) Care Sheet

Peristeria elata

This rare and beautiful species is native to Panama and surrounding countries.  Plants are usually seen growing at or very close to the ground in layers of rich humus and decaying plant material.  Known by many nicknames 'Dove Orchid', 'Holy Ghost Orchid', 'Holy Trinity orchid' due to the fact that if you look inside the blooms you will see the shape of a small white dove. Waxy, fragrant white blooms are held on tall, upright stems.  Inflorescences can be upward of 3 feet tall and hold over a dozen blooms.  Flowers appear in late summer and early fall although spikes can take months to reach maturity.

Growing Suggestions: We do not suggest this offering for beginner growers, or for those growing inside on windowsills.  Peristeria elata should be grown in warm to hot conditions with a minimum year round temperature around 65-70 degrees. As young seedlings, light should be low to medium and as plants mature brighter light should be available.  Foliage can burn easily in extreme temperatures or bright light so constant moving air is recommended. Water and feed well during the active growing months. As growths mature reduce fertilizer/water but do not allow roots to become dry for long periods.  As with many terrestrials, roots are fuzzy and must have some moisture at all times. This plant can and will defoliate older growths.  Many times the only foliage on plants is the current years leaves.