The Orchid is a floral plant that has conquered the world scene and an important slice of the floral trade thanks to its wonderful flowers: five petals with a non-trivial shape and not the same for each petal, choreographic combination of colors and transparencies, a slender body but of an intense green and suitably binding. All this has allowed this plant to make women fall in love with itself in a particular way, both because they are passionate about its care and are interested in its growth by following it step by step, and because the Orchid recalls female beauty and its knowing how to have. those particularities that attract attention in a special way.
Origins and environment
The Orchid is a plant native to the tropical and sub-tropical climate areas of America and Asia; this means that its evolutionary path has led it to adapt as much as possible to typically humid and warm conditions, even bright ones. In a nutshell, this is the Orchid's favorite environment, even the one that at this very moment is on the balcony or in front of the window of one of our readers. However, recreating the ideal situation is not easy, also because it is necessary to resort to artifices to overcome the evident differences that exist between the ideal climate and our climate; Above all, it must be considered that very often we keep Orchids indoors, and therefore we have particular humidity due to heating and cooling or to kitchens and rooms such as the bathroom.
The luminous component of the environment is something fundamental for the Orchid but also for all other plants, as we all know that it is precisely with the energy that the plant absorbs from sunlight through the leaves that it is able to accomplish chlorophyll photosynthesis (which gives it the nutrients and instead releases oxygen for us human beings). Obviously, given the more than twenty-five thousand species, distributed in about six hundred and fifty genera, in which the Orchids exist, there will be sometimes marked differences in the type of solar exposure that plants love. However, we can say that the greatest differences are to be found above all in the resistance to exposure to direct sunlight, and not so much to the quantity that is necessary for survival; for example, some species native to the Americas manage to spend more hours a day in direct sunlight without drying out or yellowing than others native to the Asian territories. However, by measuring the illuminance in Lux (symbol "lx", a unit of measurement of the International System which sees 1 Lux equal to 1 Lumen on 1 square meter) as per scientific duty, we can say that the orchid loves a light between 10,000 and 15,000 lx. In fact, it is not a lot if we consider that direct sunlight reaches even 100,000 lx, but it must always be remembered that the orchid loves half-light and shielded light.
Light in the house
How do we know which is the perfect light for our Orchid at home? A simple and effective trick is to photograph the place, the angle in which we plan to place our Orchidea with a normal digital camera, without flash (it's important!), If the photograph is clear enough then the place will be fine, but if it is not very visible then the place will be too dark. Exposures to the east and south-east are preferred, but avoid forgetting a transparent and transpiring curtain to be placed between the window and our orchid when the sun touches the plant directly with its rays.
Ventilation is a fundamental component for a correct care of our Orchid. It is a plant that has tropical origins and therefore humid and stagnant, but it sensationally loves those air changes that guarantee it never oppressive and therefore healthy humidity. This aspect is particularly important after irrigation, when we must guarantee the plant the right currents of fresh and new air that allow the pot and the roots to dry out and not stagnate with stagnation typically harmful for most plants. For this reason it is better to avoid placing our orchids near radiators and it is also right to place the pot with the plant in a large saucer, so as to be transpiring and quick to dry.
Orchid cultivation: Temperature
The origins of the orchid already mentioned give very clear indications on what is the temperature range that the plant considers optimal for living; in practice, the Orchid needs an environment that is always warm enough and above all without sudden downward swings. The differences between the various species are minimal, and in general the maximum bearable temperature during the day is 30 degrees centigrade or a little less, while the minimum bearable temperature at night is 10 degrees centigrade or a little more. What to remember: in changes of location that involve changes in temperature, allow a period of gradual adaptation to the plant.
Miltonia - cultivation orchid
There Miltonia it's a beautiful one variety of orchid grown in apartments for the beauty of its ribbon-like leaves and the size of its beautiful flowers similar to pansies.
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The cultivated varieties ofOncidium they are almost all epiphytes the most widespread produce flowers to be cut, which remain beautiful for a long time. They are grown in greenhouses or warm verandas with a minimum temperature of 13 ° C. Belonging to the family of Orchidaceae, this genus is ideal for decorating gardens and terraces.
Several varieties are known, which three the most cultivated and appreciated:
- thereO.cheirophorum it is a true miniature with a profusion of flowers bright yellow and capable of growing in pots of only 10 cm in diameter
- there O.flexuosumgrows rapidly and is ideal for baskets for orchids on bark. The numerous racemes of yellow flowers are spotted with reddish brown
- there O.lanceanum has long racemes of bluish yellow flowers, with reddish zoning. The labellum is in shades of purple and the leaves are spotted with reddish brown.
O.flexuosum has beautiful yellow flowers.
These orchids are grown in pots or hanging baskets for orchids with specific compost based on bark, or on pieces of bark to hang in the greenhouse. In the growing season, from March to October, they require a lot of humidity and light, avoiding direct sun, and frequent watering. In winter we ensure the maximum possible light and maintain them dry, with the exception of those with tiny pseudobulbs, or completely absent, which must be kept humid. They propagate by division when the pot becomes too small.
Always in the vegetative period it is good to administer a balanced fertilizer high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Diseases and treatments
To cure the pathological situations of orchids click here.
Multiplication of orchids
The multiplication of the orchid like the Miltonia variety occurs by seed or by the division of the tufts of adult plants.
Repotting orchids should be done when the roots come out of the water drainage holes and after flowering.
The epidendrum they are orchids native to South America and have about 400 different species. Most of these are orchids epiphytes that is, plants that grow on trees. However, there are many species terricolous and others that develop on rocks. The latter grow exclusively in Central and South America and since they cannot grow in a place other than their habitat, cultivation in our country is not possible.
The varieties that can be grown in Italy, and that we can find in nurseries, are about ten. These have no pseudobulbs and come with drums long and erect, similar to reeds. From these develop i flowers, smaller than those of the most common orchids. These inflorescences are very elegant and with various colors such as red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, white and green. The leaves they are ribbon-like or lanceolate and bright green in color.
Epidendrum orchids are grown by virtue of theirs decorative skills compared to other varieties they are able to bloom for several months. In fact, the flowers, after having withered, give way to other inflorescences. When this happens, it is good practice to remove the withered flowers with sharp and disinfected shears.
They propagate both for cutting, both for root division.
Epidendrums appreciate very bright environments, but the direct rays of the sun must be avoided as they can create problems for the plant.
In the dormant phase, ie during the winter, it is necessary to provide the plant with a habitat with a temperature not exceeding 15 ° C.
These orchids grow well in universal potting soil, even better when mixed with sphagnum is pieces of bark. This care allows you to maintain the right level of humidity to make the plant grow in health.
It is good to avoid too abundant watering, but it should be borne in mind that these plants are also very afraid of drought. For this reason it is necessary to provide constant but moderate irrigation. Failure to comply with this rule can cause shriveling of the leaves and subsequent fall.
In principle, irrigation must be provided when the soil is dry. Watering is usually done once a week in hot weather and once every 15 days in winter.
We also recommend spray water at room temperature on the leaves to recreate the humid habitat essential for plant growth.
In early spring it is good to administer specific fertilizer every 10 days until flower buds develop. At the appearance of the first inflorescences the fertilizations must be interrupted.
Epidendrum orchids can be attacked by scale insects, these must be removed with specific pesticides or natural remedies based on garlic, or Marseille soap.