This lovely little cool growing orchid from China and Taiwan spends its time in our Temperate section with a minimum of 6C although it would happily go colder during its dry winter rest.
In nature Pleione formosana is often found as a lithophyte in moss over bed rock where plants experience constant damp during the summer and an almost completely dry winter. We have seen the related species Pleione humilis, hookeriana and praecox growing in Sikkim as epiphytes in moss (see below in dry season dry moss)
To replicate these conditions we repot bulbs into fresh compost in January and keep them just damp until growth starts (watering around the edge of the pots). Flowers are appearing now and these will be followed by single leaves in the spring. We water very heavily from the end of April onwards to grow good sized bulbs for next years flowers. From November onwards the plants are left completely dry until repotting time. Plants would be very happy outside during the summer in a shady spot – but kept really well watered.
Pleione formosana comes in pinks and whites (like Avalanche), and is one of the main species behind the many hybrids available.