Col & Marj Drewitt
ABN 95 566 865 338

"Bulbs & Trains for the Garden"
8-10 Henderson Hill rd Silvan 3795
Col's Mobile 0419 504 432
Marj 's Mobile 0437 675 764
Stock on this page available from
June to Mid August
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Pleione Orchids

Cultural Notes


These rare and delightful little orchids are a cold climate pseudo-bulb native to the Himalayas, India, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Formosa. They are found at altitudes between 900 and 3000 meters where they are usually found growing in composted very well drained leaf litter.


In their natural environment they are well adapted to coping with severe cold, but with protection from frost. They are not an indoor plant and need to be grown outdoors in a cool shady environment such as a bird proof  fernery or  green house.


The flower shoot emerges from the pseudo bulb in early spring, producing a startling orchid flower on a stems from 7 to 18cm in height. As the flower begins to die, the pleated spear -shaped foliage emerges and grows to about 25cm.


There are around 20 known wild Pleiones from which a modest group of hybrids have been bred.

Bulbs are available in winter when they are dormant and should be planted as soon as they are received. They should be grown in a high quality well drained organic potting mix .


We use a commercial potting mix designed for Pleione Orchid. The mix contains seven parts weathered pine bark containing fines up to 6mm, one part course river gravel, and one part Peat moss. And to one cubic foot of the potting mix we also add about 90 grams of DOLOMITE, 30 grams of GYPSUM, 30 grams of WETTING AGENT and finally 10grams of CALCIUM NITRATE plus a sprinkle of BORON.


They prefer to have a deep root run to accommodate their root system and to prevent them drying out too fast in summer. We recommend that the pot or containerbe at least 12cm deep. For drainage we use a layer of 25mm scoria. On top of the scoria a 3-4cm layer of potting mix and then a layer of pelletised organic poultry manure such as Dynamic LifterŽ that does not contain any extra additives or chemical fertilisers.


Finally fill the container almost to the top with another layer of potting mix. Then plant the bulbs on top of the mix, leaving about one third of the bulb above 'soil' level. See diagram for planting Pleione Bulbs below.


The bulbs will flower from mid-August to November depending on the variety and the season. Flowers are followed by the foliage.

Take care not to over-water them until the foliage is established.
Dead flower heads should be removed after flowering. If left on the plant they can  in the process of decomposing cause the foliage to 'burn'. Once grown keep the mix moist but not over wet.


At the height of summer we water twice daily, in early the morning and late afternoon, until the water drains though the container. This creates a 'Coolgardie' effect, that helps to keep the temperature down as the water evaporates during the course of a hot day. It also helps to eliminate elements in the mix which might cause premature die back in the foliage.


Pleione orchids are gross feeders. And commencing in late February, they may be given a weak soluble fertilizer high in potash such as Phostrogen, about once every few weeks until the foliage dies down in late autumn. Do not apply on hot days and do not top dress with granular fertilizer, it will  burn holes in the bulbs and foliage.


As the Pleione is a Pseudo bulb, the bulbs you purchase will eventually die and new bulbs will grow and develop from the bottom of the foliage stems. Often bulbils will also grown from the top of the apex on the original bulb.


When the foliage has died down, remove any bulbils first, and then bulbs may be removed from their pots and containers. Every care must be taken not to damage the new growth buds on the bulbs.


The potting mix or mulch should be carefully shaken off the roots along with the removal of last year's pseudo bulb which is now very dead. The roots should be trimmed back to within 3 cm of the base of the bulb with a pair of old scissors. Store the bulbs in a very cool pest free environment and definitely not in a heated house over winter. 


As with most things grown in the garden, there are the pests. The pests include birds (who scratch the bulbs out), rats (who love the eat the most expensive ones), and snails slugs and millipedes. Before planting we always dip our bulbs in an environmentally friendly substance called Neem Oil which gives protection against aphid and mite.


This product is available from several sites online in Australia and can also be used as a spray for a whole range of insect type pests in the garden. The smell of the Neem Oil also acts as deterrent that warns off many would be insect pests.

It is also recommended that the pseudo bulbs be dipped in a systemic fungicide as a precaution against fungal diseases that that can affect some varieties.

Re-potting should be carried out late winter before the bulbs commence their spring growth. Re-planting as per the original planting instructions. The bulbils can also be planted with the bulbs. On average the bulbils will take up to 3 or  4 years to grow to flowering size.

 Watch a video on potting Pleione Orchids at:

Please note that Pleione Orchid bulbs can only be sold during their dormant period  from the beginning of
June to around mid August.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to email us at

Picture Guide to Planting Pleione Orchids

Pleione Orchid
  List for 2024

Pleione Alf Beecher:

Stunning dark purple petals and the throat is creamy yellow with crimson-red tiger markings. Colours deepen as the flower matures.

 $16.00 each
2 for $29.50
Pleione Alishan: (P. formosana x P. Versailles)

A most attractive large flower born an a tall stem. The Petals are a solid dark mauve-purple. The edge of the mauve- purple lip is softly frilled and the throat is spotted with deep magenta markings.

$16.00 each
2 For $29.50

Pleione Aoraki 'Marjorie Elizabeth':

Raised by Harry Ronkin the flower opens pale mauve and gradually passes to a royal purple.   The lower lip of the labellum is spotted with orange red markings and the two lines of the callus are neatly zig-zag in formation. A very appealing flower.

Limit One

Pleione 'Brigadoon': (P. speciosa x P. confusa) Raised by Max Akam.

The flower has mauve petals which deepen in colour as the flower matures. The lip of the labellum has a cream base and is contrasted by the crimson markings.

$25.00 each

Pleione bulbocodioides:
A wild species with mauve pink petals and labellum, contrasted with cherry markings in the throat.
Colour  intensifies significantly to deep purple as the flower matures.
$12.00 each
  2 for $20.00

Pleione Baritu 'Colleen Barbara':

Another seedling raised by Harry Ronkin. The petals and the labellum are mauve purple. The inside of the labellum has distinct heavy red spotting and the lip is very frilled. Colour deepen with maturity.

$25.00 each

Pleione Eiger: (P. formosana x P. humilis)

The flowers are white suffused with lavender. The lip is white and heavily spotted with deep red blotching.

$29.50 each

Pleione Eureka:
A large flowering variety. The petals and outer labellum are deep mauve. The inside cheeks of the inner labellum are a soft mauve-pink. This is contrasted by very strong red blotching on the lip, over a pale cream background. Colours intensify as the flower matures. A  hardy, strong very vigorous grower. Sold by some as Irazu Mallard.

$14.00 each
  2 for $25.00

Pleione formosana Alba:

Pure white flower, with soft lemon markings in the throat of the labellum. The edge of the lip is very frilly. One of the last to flower.

$18.00 each

Pleione formosana:

Ever popular wild species with pale mauve petals and white labellum, which is spotted with soft ocher-red marks on the inside of the lip. Very hardy.

(Photo shows P. formosana naturalized on a Tree Fern stump).

$9.00 each
3 for $24.00

5 for $40.00

Pleione formosana 'Benita Collins':
A very large attractive flower, which  has deep mauve petals and a large open deeply frilled labellum with an attractive soft mauve flush around the outer lip.
$10.00 each
2 for $19.00

Pleione formosana 'Ida Collins':

Pure white flower with bright lemon markings in the throat of the labellum. The edge of the lip is very frilly. Flowers mid season.

$26.00 each
Limit One


Pleione formosana 'Noojee':

Dark mauve petals with white labellum which has deep red spotting on the inside of the frilly lip.
$9.50 each
3 for $27.00
5 for $40.00

Pleione formosana 'Priceii':

Ever popular with deeper mauve petals and white labellum which is spotted with ochre marks on the inside of the lip.  The outer lip of the labellum has a soft mauve border.

$15.00 each

2 for $27.00

Pleione formosana ' Snow White'.

Pure white flower with a splash of lemon in the throat of the labellum. The edge of the lip is very finely frilled. Flowers mid to late season.

$26.00 each
Limit One
Very very few to offer

Pleione formosana W2:
Also know as Pleione formosana Cairngorm. The whole flower is pure white with reddish markings on the inside of the frilly labellum.
$15.50 each
2 for $28.00

Pleione Frosty: (Special Prayer for Children x Shepard's Warning) 

Raised by Max Akam.
The flower has mauve petals and outer labellum. The colours deepen with maturity The inner lip has a soft cream base. The cheeks of the labellum are soft mauve pink with a frosty lip and deeper pink spotting. Keels are creamy yellow.

$22.00 each

Pleione grandiflora:

A wild species. Has pure white flowers with rusty red markings on the very frilled labellum. Slow to increase.

$95.00 EACH

Pleione Hekla:(P. formosana x P. humilis)

The very first of our Pleiones to flower, usually early to mid August. The mauve petals and labellum  is contrasted well with dark blood red markings on the lip. Very attractive and scarce. A real stunner.
$28.00 each

Pleione Hekla 'Marie': (P. formosana x P. humilis)

A slightly smaller, soft mauve flower. The lip is daintily spotted with red markings.

$60.00 each

Limit One
Few to Offer

Pleione Milgrove:

The flower opens with soft mauve petals. The lip has red spotting. The colours intensifying with age.

$15.00 each


Pleione pleioneoides: (syn P. speciosa)

One of my favorites, this wild specie has mauve petals. The colour of the petals extends inside the throat of the labellum, which is finely spotted with crimson marks. The colours of the flower intensify with age.

$33.00 each
Few to Offer
Pleione Baritu 'Princess Zahlia':

Raised by Harry Ronkin. Petals and outer labellum are purple. The lip of the deeply frilled labellum is yellow with heavy red markings.

Unavailable 2024

Pleione 'Piton'

A smaller very neat pale lavender flower, with lilac striping in the throat of the labellum.

Unavailable 2024

Pleione Rakata 'Jo Pinners Giant';

Grown well this variety produces a very large flower. Colour is somewhat more intense than the photo suggests.

Unavailable 2024

Pleione Rakata 'Madieson Eloise':

Flower is a soft mauve pink. The throat is  pink with red markings and a distinct orange-yellow Cali.
Only a very few to offer.

$55.00 each

Pleione Rakata 'Nutach'

The petals and outer labellum are mauve purple with a pink overtone. The outer lip of the labellum is a caramel colour, with heavy cherry red markings.

2 for $80.00

Pleione Rakata 'Prince':

The petals are deep mauve-pink, and the inside of the  labellum and throat is a deeper shade of mauve, contrasted with blood red blotches  on the lip. A large flower.

$20.00 each

Pleione Rakata 'Princess':
Mauve-pink petals with a soft pink Labellum. The inside of the inner labellum are a very soft pink that extends out to the very deeply frilled lip. The large flower also has subtle red blotches in the throat.
$20.00 each

Pleione Rakata 'Shot Silk':

The mauve petals tend to have an orange red blush. The very attractive lip is yellowish with orange markings in the throat. Photo does not do justice  to the variety!

$35.00 each
2 for $59.50

Pleione Shantung 'Canberra'
One of the better yellow Pleiones. With soft pale yellow petals. The Labellum is a much deeper yellow contrasted with dark red markings.

Very very few to offer

$175.00 each
Limit one  

Pleione Shantung  'Ducat'

Considered the best of the yellow Pleiones on offer in Australia. With creamy yellow petals. The Labellum is deep yellow contrasted with heavy blood red markings.

Very, very, very few to offer!

$185.00 each
Limit one 

Photo courtesy of Harry Ronkin (deceased)
Pleione Shangtung 'Natasha':
The white petals sometimes have a pinkish flush which is dependent on the amount of light when  flowering. The Labellum is also white and the lip is contrasted with deep cherry red markings
$48.00 each 
Pleione Shangtung (Norm Collins):

Has white petals often with  soft mauve flush. The labellum is white with a soft yellow lip and fine red markings

$60.00 each

Pleione Shangtung 'Peter Bradbury':

This variety has soft mauve petals with a flush of cream. The throat on the labellum is a creamy yellow with blood red markings inside the lip. A very very  attractive variety.


$55.00 each

Pleione Sinope: (P. scopolorum x P. chunii)

Opens with soft mauve purple petals with red markings and yellow cali. Hardy.

$15.00 each
2 for $28.00

Pleione Surtsey Piper:

A poor photo of an attractive flower. Mauve purple petals.. The labellum is cream with a strong yellow centre, contrasted with crimson red blotching.

$50.00 each

Pleione Soufriere:  (P. Versailles x P. confusa)

A purple flower with a pinkish overtone. The inside of the labellum is intensely pink, and has solid blood red blotching on the lip, highlighted by the yellow callus.
$20.00 each
2 for $35.00
Lip of a mature flower of P. Soufriere.

Pleione 'Special Prayer For Mothers':

This variety is Autumn flowering  and
no sooner than the foliage starts to die down does the flower spike begins to swell and commence growing.
The non-flowering size bulbs are  available until mid July. Grown well they should flower the following autumn. Best left undisturbed after planting.

$15.00 each

Photo courtesy of Harry Ronkin
Pleione  Stromboli:
(P. speciosa x P. confusa)
As the flower matures the colour of the petals and labellum intensifies from soft mauve to a very dark purple shade. The red markings on the lip of the labellum also intensify in colour, developing an almost bronze red hue, contrasted by the Cali.


Pleione Tolima Meryl:
(P. speciosa x P. formosana)
Deep mauve petals and labellum contrasted with a bright yellow callus. The labellum has little or no spotting, an unusual trait for a Pleione.

$14.00 each
2 for $25.00

Pleione Tongariro:  (P. Versailles x P. speciosa)
An outstanding dark purple flower on an above average upright  stem . The outer edge of the labellum has  red markings. Colour are far deeper than the photo suggests and intensify as the flower matures.
$18.00 each

Pleione Tongariro 'Stormy':
An outstanding  purple flower also on an above average upright  stem . The outer edge of the labellum has  large strong red markings.
Colours intensify as the flower matures.
$15.00 each

Pleione Tongariro 'Trix'

The flower opens mauve and intensifies to deep purple with maturity. The red marking in the throat also deepen as the flower matures.

$15.00 each

Pleione Versailles Buckleberry:
(P. formosana x P. limprichtii)
The whole flower is a soft purple. The inner lip of the labellum is white contrasted by cherry red markings.  Very easy and very hardy.
$9.00 each
3 for $24.00
5 for $40.00

Pleione Vesuvius 'Embers':
Deep mauve petals with  open deep red labellum with  an intense fiery lip
. Photo does not do justice to variety, which is a difficult one to photograph.
$45.00 each
Few to offer

Pleione Vesuvius 'Gembrook':

Mauve purple petals. The labellum has deeper purple marks on the outer edge of the lip and fine deep cherry red markings in the throat.

$25.00 each

Pleione Vesuvius 'Otto Fauser':
Almost purple petals and labellum which is delightfully marked with blood red streaky dots. The lip on the labellum is deeply frilled.

$30.00 each

Pleione Vesuvius 'Phoenix'

Deep Mauve petals petals. The velvety deep pink  labellum is delightfully striped with blood red streaky.  And the outer margins of the lip have a soft mauve-purple glow.

$30.00 each

Pleione yunnanensis

Pleione yunnanensis is one of the smaller flowered species, with attractive lavender-pink coloured flowers with deeper purple spots and streaks on the lip.
Very Few to Offer
Limit one

Pleione Mixture
A pot luck mixture of many flowering size varieties grown from  bulbils that were accidentally mixed up. There are a few treasures to be found in this lot. Again, very good value.
5 for $35.00
10 for $65.00

Other related Orchids

Slipper Orchid
(Paphiopedilum insigne)

Hardy. Ideal in a bowl or pot & enjoys a similar environment and potting mix to that used for Pleione Orchids. Has evergreen strap-like foliage and  a single flower in spring on a 16cm stem, typical of the photo. Sold as a bare rooted plant in winter. Needs to re-establish itself after purchase before it will re-flower.

Limited Numbers
$22.00 each

Bletilla striata
Chinese Ground Orchid

A hardy ground orchid. Blooms in spring. It has several deep mauve purple flowers with mottled throats, on each 20cm stem. Takes a season to settle in but well worth the wait.
The orchid as the common name suggests is best grown in the garden in a well-drained loose soil, in an open sunny position. Plant tuber so that the tip of the growth spike is about 3cm below the surface of the ground. Very hardy.
$5.50 each
3 for $15.00