Orchid lovers do not have to be confined to a greenhouse -- there are several hardy orchid varieties that can be grown outside in temperate zones. When looking for a hardy orchid, there is no need to be intimidated. Hardy orchids range in difficulty to grow, so anyone from the gardening novice to the master gardener can experiment with them.
Of the hardy orchids for sale, bletilla and calanthe are both fairly easy to grow. Bletilla are hardy orchids that prefer well drained, moist soils. Bletilla flowers well in part sun, and they usually bloom in the spring and summer. Calanthe are hardy orchids that prefer light shade, but they will also tolerate darker, dry shade. Calanthe have multiple, small flowers that are often fragrant. Several species of calanthe also have evergreen foliage.
Cypripedium (also known as lady slipper) hardy orchids are more particular than bletilla or calanthe. Roots of cypripedium are shallow in the ground, and it is best to cover them with a well-prepared mulched surface with good drainage. It should be kept in mind when looking for these hardy orchids for sale that they come from a nursery that propagates cypripedium instead of digging them in the wild. This helps protect them from being overharvested, and a nursery propagated lady slipper has a greater degree of survivability than a wild one.