Other common names: Bird Orchid, Kinta Weed, Phanyar, 竹兰, 竹叶兰
Bamboo Orchids are a hardy free-flowering plant that is commonly seen in rewilding areas, nature parks, in roadside gardens, and biodiversity-attracting gardens. The flowers can be stir-fried, and have a taste similar to Bitter Gourd. This plant is also native to Singapore and is naturally found growing along forest streams and grassy areas.
Sun and soil needs:
This plant thrives in 4-8 hours of direct sunlight, but can also grow in at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight but may flower less. Plants do best in loamy soil at least 15cm deep or in true ground. These plants are vulnerable to root rot, so ensure that your pots drain well, and that your soil has plenty of organic matter to let the roots breathe.
Bamboo Orchids are rapid growers and generally does not need fertilizing. They naturally grow in clumps and produce suckers that can be propagated by division. Regular pruning and division to promote airflow will keep the plant healthy and neat.
The plant can be harvested for the flower at any time.
Bamboo Orchids produce wind-dispersed seeds from cigar-shaped seed pods. Seeds can be harvested for planting when the pods are dry and begin to crack, or after they begin to split open.
Common problems & solutions:
This plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.
If your plant has few to no flowers, you can fertilise the plant with fertilisers high in phosphorus and potassium.
If the plant does not receive enough light, it will stop producing flowers. Prune surrounding plants or move the orchid to a sunnier spot to promote flower growth.
Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Whiteflies, and Spider Mites often infest the plant if it has underlying problems like repeated wilting from heat stress. Mechanical pest control methods like pruning the infested parts are the best methods for managing these pests in the short term, but resolving the underlying problem will prevent them in the long term.
Wilting may occur during periods of hot weather or from the lack of watering. Regular wilting will stunt plant growth. Increase the number of times a plant is watered, or use mulch to retain moisture in the soil.