A superb ground orchid from S. Asia. Variable in colour, our form is an attractive mid pink, with green tepals.
This grows from quite small tubers, 1cm to 1.5cm long at most. In spring a tiny shoot elongates and the plants can the be potted. Watering must be with care early in the season to avoid rotting the emerging tiny roots. As the leaves develop, a little more water may be given. When the leaves are present keep moist by watering just before the compost dries out completely. In summer Habenaria rhodocheila can take considerable humid heat but when the plant is dormant and the leaves have gone, then let it dry out - not bone dry , as the tuber hasn't got a protective tunic, but on the dry side. When happy this species doubles every year.
This makes a wonderful houseplant as it likes warmth and is tolerant of low humidity and different types of soil. It can be grown well in loamy or peaty mixes. The important thing is the physical structure of the compost - it must drain well and not stay wet for too long. On the windowsill a compost based on a mixture of fine graded bark, small pieces of Sphagnum, porous grit with a little loam works well.