Flower of the Holy Spirit: All You Need to Know About Peristeria Elata Dove Orchid

The Peristeria elata gets its nickname from its resemblance to a dove, which is often associated with the Holy Spirit. The orchid is the national flower of Panama and is one of the most unique-looking flowers. Read on to learn more about the flower of the Holy Spirit.
Eva Blum
flower of the holy spirit

Flower of the Holy Spirit: Dove Orchid Description

The Peristeria Elata orchid, also known as the dove orchid, is a beautiful and unusual flower. Flowers grow from the bulb and can produce 5 to 12 flowers with an intense white color with purple spots. The plant can grow to be up to 4.5 inches long. Holy ghost orchids are not easy to grow, but they make a stunning addition to any garden. 

Where Does the Flower of the Holy Spirit Grow?

The Peristeria elata, more commonly known as the “Dove Orchid”, is a species of flowering plant that is native to Central America. Specifically, it can be found in Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The Peristeria elata gets its name from its distinctive flowers, which are white with purple spots and have a shape that resembles a dove. The plant grows best in warm, humid environments and can be found in both rainforests and cloud forests. Given the right conditions, the Peristeria Elata can thrive both as a potted plant and in the wild.

How to Grow Flower of the Holy Spirit?

The Peristeria elata blooms in the spring and summer, producing clusters of small, white flowers. These flowers are incredibly fragrant. In order to grow your own Flower of the Holy Spirit, you will need a few key supplies. First, you will need a sterile potting mix and a small container in which to plant your seeds. You will also need a grow light or some other type of artificial lighting, as the flower needs 12 hours of light per day to bloom.

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Planting the Seeds

Once you have gathered your supplies, you can start planting your seeds. To do this, simply place the seeds on top of the potting mix and lightly press them into the soil. Then, water the soil until it is moist but not soggy. Place your pot under the grow light and wait for the seeds to germinate. Once the seeds have germinated, you can begin fertilizing them with a diluted liquid fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer every two weeks and be sure to keep the soil moist.

Flower of the Holy Spirit: Care

Peristeria elata is not very easy to maintain and is better suited for experienced gardeners. They should not be planted in areas where temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


Peristeria elata requires sphagnum moss, soil-medium and fast-draining soil. Decaying plant material and grounds rich in humus are also good for this plant.


During the growing season, Peristeria elata should be watered about once a week. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Water less frequently during the winter months. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Keep in mind that this plant does not do well in direct sunlight, as it will scorch the leaves.


This plant prefers bright, indirect light, but can tolerate some direct sunlight. It should not be kept in an area where it will receive direct sunlight for more than 4 hours a day as this will scorch the leaves


Fertilize once every week during the spring and summer, using a balanced fertilizer. Cut back on fertilizer during the fall and winter months. Take care not to over-water or over-fertilize, as this can lead to leaf drop.

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Common Problems

Peristeria elata is susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. It is also susceptible to root rot if overwatered. To prevent pests and diseases, it is important to keep the plant clean and free of debris. Check the plant regularly for signs of pests or disease and take action immediately if any are found. Also, be sure to water the plant at the base rather than overhead to avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to fungal diseases.

The Meaning of the Peristeria Elata Orchid

This beautiful bloom has long been associated with innocence and purity, making it the perfect emblem for the Holy Spirit. The flower itself is delicate and relatively rare, with a pure white petal that resembles a dove in flight. Given its close association with the Holy Spirit, it’s no wonder that the white dove orchid is such a cherished symbol within many Christian traditions. It is also a national flower of Panama.

Flower of the Holy Spirit Near Extinction

The flower of the Holy Spirit is a species of orchid that is currently on the brink of extinction. There are only a handful of these beautiful flowers left in the wild, and their numbers are rapidly dwindling. The main threat to the survival of this species is habitat loss, as their natural habitats are being destroyed. Traffickers also collect Holy Spirit orchids to sell on the black market, which further contributes to their decline. This is why the commercial trade of the species growing wild is prohibited.

Where to Purchase the Flower of the Holy Spirit?

One can purchase the flower of the Holy Spirit at a few select locations. One can find it at a few nurseries that specialize in orchids and other exotic plants. It is also possible to find it for sale online from a few specialty retailers.

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Image source: Bernard DUPONT via Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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