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Does Ghost Pipe Grow In Ohio?

The rare habit of the Ghost Pipe plant absorbing nutrients from fungi might have you wondering if it can grow in every place in the state, including Ohio.

Generally, growing a Ghost Pipe is not an easy task in your home garden as they require a damp area around some trees to grow in the wild. But the environmental condition in Ohio matches the requirement of the plant. 

Besides, a little attention to its basic care, watering, and temperature can help you grow them in your home.

So, read on to find in detail how you can grow Ghost Pipe in the Ohio home garden. 

How Rare Is Ghost Pipe Plant?

The Ghost Pipe Plant (Montropa uniflora), also known as Indian Pipe, are herbaceous plant prized for their unique white waxy blooms.

Belonging to the Ericaceae family, these plants share the family with Blueberries, Cranberries, and Rhododendrons. However, they are not as abundant as the rest. 
A portrait of a Indian Pipe.
They look almost transparent, hiding in the shade, and so are hard to spot.

Unlike your regular plant, this native North American and European wildflower does not contain chlorophyll, and neither do they produce any foliage. 

If you are wondering how they actually survive, then it’s because they are mycoheterotrophic, getting nutrients from a symbiotic relationship with fungi. 

Basically, Ghost Pipe attach their roots to the host tree’s roots and steal nutrients from the tree’s mycorrhizal fungi. 

P.S: The host tree is not harmed by the association with Ghost Pipe beacuse the plant does not take a huge amount of nutrient from them. 

Due to their unusual growing habits in connection with fungi, they cannot grow everywhere, so they are considered rare.

Apart from their specific habitat requirement, their slow-growing nature and risk of being collected for several benefits make them rare. 

However, the U.S. has not listed it as dangered or threatened, but rare in some states such s Alaska, California, and Florida.

Does Ghost Pipe Grow In Ohio?

Yes, Ghost Pipe does grow in Ohio due to the diverse woodland habitat suitable for the plant’s growth. 

The range beings from deciduous forests to mixed woodlands, commonly with shaded and moist conditions. 

Generally, the state experience relatively mild temperatures with an average summer temperature of 77°F and winter of around 27°F. This average temperature is similar to what Ghost Pipe needs during its growth, i.e., 65 to 80°F, and it can also tolerate as low as 15°F.
A portrait of Ghost Pipe plant growing in the wild.
While you can still grow them in the wild, growing them in the wild is difficult.

Moreover, Ohio’s forests likely have a range of tree species like Hemlock, Pines, Oaks, Maple, and Briches that could form symbiotic relationships with the plant and its associated fungi.

Not to mention the warm summer in Ohio, which is the best time to witness the Ghost Pipe blooms.

Despite the suitable growth environment, you’ll still need to work on the plant’s care to help them grow in Ohio.

Tips To Grow Ghost Pipe In Ohio

In its natural habitat, the Ghost Pipe plant loves deep, shady places with nutrient-rich, moist soil.

Similarly, to make the Ghost Pipe grow in Ohio, you’ll need to create conditions that mimic its natural habitat. 

  • Start by getting a healthy rhizome of the Ghost Pipe from a reputable source. We recommend you get them from a reputable source. 
  • Choose a location in your garden that provide shade for most of the day. Make sure the temperature around the plant does not exceed 85°F.
  • Since Ghost Pipes rely on fungi for nutrient exchange. Select a planting location near Oaks, Maples, or other compatible host trees if possible.
  • Amend the soil with peat moss or leaf mold to create a slightly acidic environment for the plant. The ideal pH to grow the Ghost Pipe in Ohio is 5.5. to 6.5.
  • Try incorporating organic matter in the soil to boost the mycorrhizal fungi and the plant’s roots. 
  • Water the plant once a week during the spring and fall. Increase the frequency during the summers, the Ghost Pipe adores moist soil.
  • Do not apply fertilizer to the Ghost Pipe plant, as they do not absorb nutrients directly from the soil. Instead, applying fertilizer could potentially disrupt the balance of its mycorrhizal relationship. 
  • One of the most important things with the Ghost Pipe plant in Ohio and even in any other region is patience. They may take a little longer than you irregular flowering plants to grow and mature. 

From Editorial Team

Be Aware Of The Legality!

The legality of growing and picking Ghost Pipe in the U.S. varies from state to state. 

Some states strictly forbid picking this rare plant, but in Ohio, it is legal to grow the Ghost pipe if you have a permit.

However, we recommend you consult your respected State government before you plan on getting the Ghost Pipe. 

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