Peristeria elata care infographicPeristeria Elata is a gorgeous orchid of the Coeliopsidinae subtribe that is on the verge of extinction because of trafficking. It is because of its beauty that the orchid is appreciated worldwide. But it is rare to find this orchid, and if you do, you would not want to lose it.

We have created this care and cultivation guide to help you know all about this beautiful orchid.

Peristeria Elata Care, Culture, and Growth Requirements

🌱 Key Points
  • Soil: Fast-draining soil medium.
  • Watering: Like a lot of moisture at the roots.
  • Light: Avoid keeping your orchid in direct sunlight at noon.
  • Temperature: Is a warm to hot-growing orchid.
  • Fertilizer: Do not fertilize during the winter season.
  • Humidity: Loves high moisture all the time.


Peristeria Elata is not a great beginner-friendly orchid. It has some very specific care requirements. But if you are prepared to take care of it, then it would not be too challenging to grow this beauty.

Caring Peristeria Elata

Read our comprehensive guide to learn all about its growth requirements.

LightLight Requirements

The Holy Ghost orchid prefers bright, indirect light to grow well. When the plant is young, it prefers low to medium light, and when it matures, it needs bright light. It has sensitive foliage which can burn quite easily in direct sunlight. So avoid keeping your orchid in direct sunlight at noon.

Indirect Light to Grow Peristeria

The light level should be the highest during the winter season, but avoid keeping it in the direct midday sun. The orchid also grows well under artificial grow lights. The flower spikes can grow very tall. So choose a space that is bright and can accommodate the plant.

During the dry rest period in winter, increase the amount of light. Increased light during this time helps in initiating blooms at the start of spring. You can provide morning and evening sunlight but not during noon as it can burn the leaves.

WaterWater Requirements

Dove orchids like a lot of moisture at the roots. Keep the watering frequency high during the active growing season as it likes to have the soil moist at all times. Reduce the watering sessions in winter but do not let the soil remain dry for too long.

If the pseudobulbs appear shriveled or wrinkled, it is most probably because the plant is underwatered. Round, full, and plump pseudobulbs are a sign of optimum watering. While keeping the soil moist, make sure not to overwater the plant as soggy soil conditions for longer periods cause root rot and other bacterial and fungal infections.

SoilSoil Mix

Since Peristeria Elata loves high moisture all the time, sphagnum moss works the best for its proper growth. We recommend using the New Zealand sphagnum moss because other mediums such as bark chips and coconut husk chips do not retain moisture as long as sphagnum moss does. In warmer areas, it becomes more important to use sphagnum moss over other orchid soil mixes available in the market.

Elata Loves High Moisture Soil

In cooler climates, loose and airy soil mixes with thick bark chips or fir bark with perlite or charcoal. A fast-draining soil medium allows the plant roots to dry rapidly and prevent problems like root rot and fungal diseases. Let the soil mix dry out a bit in between watering in the winter season to prevent root rot.


Peristeria Elata is a warm to hot-growing orchid. It needs temperatures lying between 65 and 70 F to grow well. It requires an average daytime temperature of 75 to 82 F and an average nighttime temperature of 60 to 65 F to grow well. The temperature difference between day and night is essential to help the plant bloom. Avoid temperatures below 60 F as it can be detrimental to the plant.


Peristeria Elata prefers humidity levels between 80 and 85 percent from spring to autumn and about 70 percent in winter. It is a humidity-loving plant.

Peristeria Elata Growing on High Humidity

So it becomes necessary to maintain good air movement with high humidity to prevent problems like root rot, red spiders, bacterial infections, and fungal diseases. Lack of air circulation causes immature flower buds to yellow and fall off.

FertilizingFertilizer Requirements

Fertilize the orchid once every week during the growing period from early spring to autumn. Apply one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose mentioned on a well-balanced liquid orchid fertilizer. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer from spring to midsummer and a phosphorus-rich one from midsummer to autumn. Do not fertilize during the winter season as the plant does not show any new growth during this period.

Repotting Peristeria Elata

The ideal time to repot Peristeria Elata is when new growth is just beginning to show. Early spring is a good time to repot the Dove orchid as it gives the plant enough time to establish its roots in the shortest possible time. Avoid repotting in winter as most orchids go into dormancy during this time and can die if repotted at the wrong time.

Repot the orchid if you have your orchid planted in fir bark or cork, and the soil mix has started to decompose. If it has outgrown the existing pot, it is time to repot. Whichever of these two happens first, you have to change the potting mix and plant your orchid in a fresh soil mix.

Avoid Repotting Peristeria in Winter

While repotting, remove the old soil medium completely as older soil mix can cause the roots to rot. Wash off any old media that is left. Be gentle in this process as its roots are sensitive and can break easily.

🌸 Fun Facts!

Peristeria Elata is also called the Holy Spirit orchid, Dove orchid, the Holy Trinity orchid, and Flower of the Holy Spirit. The British botanist William Jackson Hooker described the plant first in 1831.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I stimulate Peristeria elata to flower?

To stimulate Peristeria elata to flower, provide bright indirect light, keep the soil consistently moist, and use a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.

2. What are the common myths associated with Peristeria Elata?

Common myths associated with Peristeria Elata include its use in love potions and its ability to ward off evil spirits.

3. What is the cultural significance of Peristeria Elata?

Peristeria Elata, also known as the Holy Ghost orchid, is culturally significant in Central and South America, where it is considered a symbol of purity, beauty, and the Holy Spirit.


Peristeria Elata may not be the perfect windowsill or beginner-friendly orchid. But it sure is a gorgeous blooms that can attract anybody’s attention. If you have some experience growing other orchids, then you must give this orchid a try.

Given below is a list of all the necessary points you need to keep in mind before growing this pretty orchid:

  • Peristeria Elata or the Dove orchid is a large, terrestrial, or epiphytic orchid endemic to Panama.
  • It has beautiful, marble-white flowers that bloom from spring to autumn.
  • It prefers bright, filtered sunlight to grow well during the growing season.
  • Increase the light during the winter season to promote new growth and induce flowering.
  • Water and feed the orchid well during the growing season.
  • Water it frequently during the active growing season keeping the soil moist at all times.
  • The plant loves moisture, so use New Zealand sphagnum moss as a substrate for best results.
  • It prefers temperatures ranging between 65 and 80 F.Aavoid lower temperatures as it is a warm-growing orchid.
  • It prefers 80 to 85 percent humidity level during the growing season and 70 percent in the winter.
  • Fertilize your orchid weekly using one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose on a regular liquid orchid fertilizer. Do not fertilize the orchid in winter.
  • Repot Peristeria Elata in early spring when new growth shows.

We hope our guide has helped you find out the exact growth requirements of this beautiful orchid, and you get one of these beauties for yourself!

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