GREEN HELLEBORINE ORCHID Epipactis
A cold-hardy orchid for northern climates, the Helleborine Orchid grows quite happily here in Ontario, Canada, and is tolerant of our dry, sandy soils. The flowers grow along 24" (60cm) tall stems, and should be planted close to a shady walkway for onlookers to admire it's delicate-looking pink and green flowers.
Type: Hardy Perennial
Location: or part
Hardiness zones: 4-8
Seeds per pack: 20
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done.
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium (see below), and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks after the warming period.
For the growing medium we recommend using a 50/50 mix of seed-start mix and rich garden soil, as garden soil it harbours the fungi that helps Helleborine grow. At least one study in Europe was able to demonstrate that over 60 distinct groups of mycorrhizal fungi were able to partner with this orchid. By opening itself up to a wider variety of fungal partners, the broad-leaved helleborine orchid is able to live in places where pickier orchids cannot.