Although certain species are very tolerant, this kind of orchid will be for people who are somewhat expert.

Growth Phase

Contrary to most other terrestrial orchids, these are characterised by a summer dormancy: the new leaves appear as of the end of the autumn or during the winter and persist until the blooming of the flowers in spring, to disappear as soon as the flowering has finished. No vegetation is usually visible during the summer.

Over the years and following the successive growth and dormancy cycles, Dactylorhiza not only become stronger but also multiply, thanks to the annual appearance of new bulbs.

Summer Dormancy

Contrary to most other terrestrial orchids, these are characterised by a summer dormancy. During this period, the plant persists in bulb form; no vegetation is usually visible.


Orchis appreciate soil that is low in organic matter and has good draining properties. Airing the soil is recommended, using a mineral substrate (at least 50%) such as sand, Argex, pearlstone or ideally lava stone (vulca). As organic matter, you can add a little finely crushed pine bark, or some compost based on coconut leaves or fibres.  

It is important not only that the rhizomes of the Orchis do not desiccate in summer but also that they are not immersed in winter. The various mineral substrates will ensure good moisture retention in summer while encouraging good drainage during the winter.

For an optimal result, we would recommend PHYTESIA compost (a pre-prepared mixture of peat, lava stone and bark chippings), which is specific for garden orchids.


According to the varieties, the ideal place will be sunny or semi-shaded.

Fertilisation and Pesticide Treatments

If necessary, protect the tender young shoots against slugs, during their emergence.