Position – Part shade
Soil – Moist, well-drained
Flowering Period – Summer
Hardiness – Fully hardy to hardy
Dactylorhiza are deciduous, tuberous perennial plants that are currently under threat of extinction in the wild. Lance-shaped and bright green spotted foliage is often covered with bundles of purple, pink or white flowers, showing an array of colour throughout the summer months. They are best planted within flower beds and borders and will look fantastic within a wildflower meadow or informal garden setting. They are easy to grow, reaching an approximate height and spread of 45-60cm (18-24”).
When planting Dactylorhiza, ensure the roots are spread out in a pot with plenty of space to grow and develop. They are best placed in a position of part shade within moist, well-drained soil of loam or clay and in conditions that are alkaline, acidic or neutral. Mix in a generous amount of potting compost and dress the surface of the soil with fine grit to prevent rotting in the spring whilst watering thoroughly.
During early active growth, these plants should be fed with a dilute fertiliser. Some hardy varieties will require protection from severe frosts and cold weather, so it is recommended to transfer these plants to a greenhouse or similar environment that is well ventilated. There should be no need for pruning but you may deadhead spent flowers if necessary.
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