Orchid is a beautiful flowering plant. The symbol of the arrival of spring. The flower is especially loved in China. It was from there that the first specimens of orchids appeared, which can be grown at home. The difficulty is that orchids grow well only in conditions close to natural and therefore it is believed that the flower is too capricious. The main disadvantage is the short flowering period. When it ends, the orchid is lost among the collection of other plants. But there is a beautiful exception - precious orchids. They are fresh and attractive at any time and are loved by many flower growers.
What are precious orchids, their common characteristics. Species suitable for indoor culture
Precious orchids belong to the Orchid family... In Madagascar, in East Asia, they can be seen in their natural habitat. More often there are specimens of leaf plates which are colored green. But there is a species with variegated leaves. Precious orchids belong to this very species, and have received a second name, which is not so sonorous - "variegated orchids".
The beauty of the leaves immediately attracts attention. Not surprisingly, precious orchids are not grown for their flowers, but for their gorgeous leaves. Inflorescences of precious orchids can be called nondescript, but they exude a very subtle, heady aroma, different for each type of orchid.
The color of the leaves depends on belonging to a particular species and can be cherry, silver, black or dark green with sparkling veins. They are clearly visible on the velvety surface of the leaf and are woven into bizarre patterns of threads from copper to silver. Often, precious orchids are called "miracles of nature."
Despite the abundance of species of orchids with variegated leaves (about 200), the group of plants that can be grown indoors includes only 6 species.
This is not to say that they are all popular. The leaders in this list are Ludisia and anoectochilus. Many growers prefer to breed Macodes in their greenhouses. Species such as dossinia and goodyera are less common in indoor collections, but the color scheme of the leaves of these precious orchids is also admirable.
Precious orchids for beginners
Orchids are a unique family that can grow in a wide variety of climatic conditions. The whimsical leaves of the precious orchids attract amateur flower growers. They make not always successful attempts to breed these unusual plants at home. Unfortunately, orchids are very finicky, they require constant attention and knowledge of some nuances. Beginners should be aware that this is not a cheap pleasure. The plant grows well only on special substrates. To maintain humidity in the room where the orchids grow, you will need to purchase air humidifiers. In addition, special containers will be required where precious orchids will grow.
If you are not afraid of the difficulties of growing and the high cost of this hobby, feel free to start creating your collection of precious orchids.
Even experienced growers are forced to re-learn some of the orchid care techniques. therefore for a start, you should not chase rare orchids, but opt for the most unpretentious specimens orchid family. It will take time to learn and get used to the peculiarities of indoor orchid cultivation. It is no secret that many of these gorgeous plants die already in the first time after purchase, and disappoint inexperienced growers.
Get your first precious orchid from a trusted flower shop.
It is there that you can buy a hybrid adapted to the conditions of the apartment.
Pay attention to the condition of the plant:
- the leaves should not have dried edges and brown spots;
- make sure the potting medium is free of mold;
- sometimes roots are visible in a transparent pot. Healthy ones do not have a flattened dense appearance;
- it is worthwhile to first study the information about the flower you like;
- stock up on a spray bottle, and if necessary, a lamp for additional lighting;
- buy a substrate. It includes pine bark.
Don't buy your first mail-order orchid. The resuscitation process takes experience. There are many features of plant recovery after conservation.
The first orchid in your collection may well be Ludisia.
Another name for the flower is "Diamond". Compared to other representatives of this species, it is not so miniature. The foliage of the plant resembles an oval in shape, but with sharp tips. The pattern attracts with its contrast. On a leaf blade of olive or purple color, silvery streaks, symmetrical relative to the center of the leaf, appear.
The flowers of Ludisia are small and slightly creamy, which gives the plant a special sophistication and grace.
Several varieties of the flower are known:
- Ludisia "Discolor". This specimen is considered quite rare among precious orchids. Characteristic features: creeping stem, silvery velvet leaves with veins forming a peculiar pattern;
- Ludisia "Tanlaniana". The leaves of the plant are wide with a mesh pattern in the center.
- Ludisia "Alba". Looks simpler than other relatives. There are no dark shades in the color. Longitudinal leaves are decorated with white stripes.
- Ludisia "Velvet". The plant is distinguished by velvety emerald leaves. Thin red streaks run through both sides of the marvelous leaves.
Precious orchids for experienced flower growers
Experienced flower growers cope with the cultivation of more capricious specimens of precious orchids and do it with great pleasure. According to them, precious orchids are those plants that must be seen alive in order to appreciate all the beauty of this amazing flower.
This is a kind of creeping precious orchid. The height of the shoots reaches eight centimeters. A feature of the plant is intense branching. The leaves of the plant are in the form of an oval. They are bordered by a velvety, amazingly beautiful edge. It seems that the plant is enveloped in golden lace.
The leaf is almost eight centimeters long. Leaves range from light green to dark green with gray and emerald splashes.
Peduncles of "Makodes" are long with small beige flowers.
This is one of the miniature representatives of precious orchids. Its height barely reaches 150 centimeters. The leaves are green with a deep brown tint, adorned with sparkling gold and silver veins that accentuate the glossy texture of the leaf plate. The plant is characterized by a dense rosette with large leaves.
Features of growing and caring for precious orchids at home
When caring for precious orchids, every effort should be made to delay the flowering period. Although there are amateurs who keep the inflorescence. Most growers are of the opinion that this hopelessly spoils the appearance of the orchid. If you maintain a certain temperature and light, you can achieve a delay in flowering, but sooner or later a modest flower appears at the top of the plant.
Precious orchids are very sensitive to light intensity. They tolerate sunlight well only in the morning and evening. A lack of light provokes a strong elongation of the shoots, and an excess leads to a loss of bright color of the leaves.
It is especially beneficial to grow orchids on east-facing windows.
Advice! Protect your precious orchid from direct sunlight.
Almost all orchids of the variegated family prefer artificial lighting. The plant can thrive well in unlit areas. If there is not enough light, sparsely located small leaves will begin to appear.
It is better to water the plants in the morning or afternoon and do it with care, avoiding water getting into the leaf axils.
If the orchid grows in a closed small greenhouse, watering should be reduced to a minimum (no more than twice a month), since the substrate retains water for a long time in a greenhouse. Many growers prefer bottom watering to orchids when the soil is getting moisture through the drainage holes. In low humidity, the tips of the leaves begin to fade. The orchid should be regularly sprayed with water.
At different times of the year, the plant needs its own temperature regime. Are considered favorable for summer 25-28 ° С - during the day and 18-22 ° С - at night. In winter, it is permissible to maintain the temperature within
22-24 ° С during the day, 18-20 ° С at night.
Violation of this regime provokes the appearance of inflorescences. This means that the shoot stops growing. New leaves stop appearing and the plant quickly loses its beauty.
Containers and soil
Orchids grow well in low and wide bowls. At the bottom, as a drainage, lay out small pieces of foam and cover them on top with a substrate, on top of which sphagnum moss is lined. A pot change is needed every few years, as the plant develops.
You only need to fertilize orchids with special fertilizers, which can be bought in specialized stores. The dosage should be adhered to, avoiding excess. Fertilizers are added no more than once every two or three weeks. If the orchid is overfed, the pattern on the leaves loses its beauty.
Orchids growing at home need to be replanted annually. Some types can be retaken after two years. The composition of the soil is complex, therefore it is recommended to purchase it in specialized stores.
The approximate composition of the mixture: peat, pine bark and needles, humus. Styrofoam balls work well as drainage.
After transplanting, the flower needs comfortable conditions. To do this, transfer it to a room with high humidity. Keep it warm and draft-free. Return the plant to its original location after a week.
There are several ways to propagate precious orchids. For planting, a stalk of an adult plant or part of the stem is taken. Another way is to divide the bush. It is used when a plant is going to be transplanted. The overgrown bush is divided into several parts. It is important that each part of the bush includes three branches. The soil for planting is prepared in advance.
Improper care is the main cause of plant diseases. Besides orchids can be affected by root rot... This is reflected in the yellowing of the leaf plates and the appearance of an unpleasant odor from the roots of the plant. Stem rot affects the stem of the orchid itself. Plant transplanting can help. White rot attacks the stem from the inside. Unfortunately, saving an orchid affected by white rot will not work. It must be destroyed. To prevent such a formidable disease, you need thorough disinfection of the soil and pots, regular watering, and fertilization of the flower.
Not every florist decides to add a precious orchid to his collection. Apparently the reason is that it belongs to the very demanding and capricious plants of the Orchid family. It is worth noting that this characteristic does not apply to Ludisia. Following the recommendations, you can grow a healthy plant that will delight you with the beauty of the leaves, shining like precious crystals. Of course, considerable efforts will be required, but they will be justified by the result obtained.
Orchid culture is special - starting from the pot and the substrate, ending with daily temperature changes and regulation of the duration of illumination throughout the year.
Orchid family. These decorative flowering plants are allocated to a special group. It is the largest and oldest family of flowering plants. It numbers more than 40 thousand species, and all new species continue to be found.
Orchids are perennial herbaceous plants, various types grow in all climatic zones, but most in countries with tropical and temperate climates. Most of all found and described various types of orchids in the countries of South and Central America, as well as Asia.
The habitat of orchids is very different. Many species grow in tropical forests at an altitude of 1000-2500m above sea level, where fog and dew are characteristic. Some grow in plains, forests and valleys in open areas. Many types of orchids grow in rocky areas or in savannas, where dry periods are long.
The habitat of orchids has left a certain imprint on their appearance and growth form. The vast majority of orchid species are epiphytes or semi-epiphytes. They grow on trees, trunks and branches, on stumps and snags, in crevices of rocky surfaces. Their roots are almost completely open and perform many functions: they hold the plant on a suitable surface, clinging to bark and stones, grow "tentacles" (grow in all directions) to capture leaf litter for nutritional purposes, trap moisture from the air and raindrops, participate in the processes of photosynthesis.
Another form of orchid life is terrestrial. This is a group of orchids that have underground rhizomes or tubers growing in a substrate more like ordinary soil. But nevertheless, it differs from the land on which potatoes or, for example, palm trees grow, in the presence of large fractions - bark, roots, stone chips, in a word, components that make it extremely loose, breathable and moisture-permeable, and some terrestrial orchids grow at all not in the ground, but on the surface of the earth on mossy roots of trees and roots, among the leaf litter, which consists of fallen leaves, branches, moss growths, broken pieces of bark and stones. In this case, the roots are in the upper layer of the earth, and part of the rhizome runs horizontally along the surface, therefore, in principle (in structure), the root system of terrestrial orchids does not differ from epiphytic ones. And often terrestrial orchids can be grown as epiphytes.
Sympodial Orchid Miltonia Miltonia
Monopodial Orchid Vanda Vanda
Orchids are classified according to the type of shoot growth.
These are sympodial and monopodial orchids. To understand their difference, it must be said that the orchid has an apical growth point - the place from which new leaves develop and the shoot continues. So, monopodial orchids, as the most vivid example - phalaenopsis, have an apical growth point throughout their life, if it is not damaged by anything, the orchid grows in one direction, while it has a stem of different length and density - in phalaenopsis there is actually a rosette, very densely planted leaves, the shoot is short, while in vanilla, on the contrary, the leaves are sparse, and it is a liana.
Sympodial orchids have a peculiarity - the growth point has a certain lifespan, so it is genetically laid, having reached a certain size, a peduncle is formed at the end of the shoot, or, if the conditions are not good enough for flowering, it simply dies off, so the shoot does not grow more than a certain length. But at the base of each shoot is a new growth point. There is a main shoot and shoots of the second and third orders, and the plant has several development cycles, during which the stem and leaves grow.But unlike, say, an orange, whose growth is horizontal and it looks like a tree, in sympodial orchids, the new growth of the stems first has a horizontal arrangement, then the stems rise up. The horizontal part of the shoot is called the rhizome, and in different types of orchids it can be more or less long. In some, it is so short that it is almost invisible, such as in miltonia, it seems that the leaves grow from one place.
In addition, in sympodial orchids, the stems are modified - they have thickenings that resemble bulbs or swellings, rounded or flat, serving to accumulate water and nutrients and are called pseudobulbs, tuberidia or simply bulbs. Inflorescences on sympodial orchids can be apical or lateral. The most common representatives of sympodial orchids are: Dendrobium Dendrobium, Oncidium Oncidium, Cattleya Cattleya, Lelia Laelia, Bulbophyllum Bulbophyllum, Coelogyne Coelogyne, etc.
Wonderful miniature plants are painted in different colors.
Among succulent plants, you can find specimens of different heights, with leaves and thorns, with swollen leaves or trunks. The division of these plants into two separate groups is accepted:
- Stem succulents - plants store moisture in a ribbed or thickened stem, the leaves are usually round, small, often reduced into spines. All steppe cacti belong to this group.
- Leafy succulents - the reserve of moisture is stored in thickened leaves, the stem is reduced. This group includes lithops, haworthia, echeveria.
Growing precious orchids
To grow exotic precious orchids at home, you should know the features of care. On the windowsill, only precious orchids from the genus Ludisia will delight you with flowering. The rest of the species are moisture-loving, so a florarium or a closed aquarium is suitable for breeding them.
Precious orchids are ground cover plants, in contact with the surface of the soil, the stems root themselves, so shallow wide containers are used for planting. The holes in them should be located not only at the bottom, but also on the sides. For variegated plants, air access to the substrate is important. For Makodest Petola, a container of no more than 6 cm is needed.
Growing precious orchids with seeds at home is almost impossible.
Reproduction of precious orchids takes place with the help of shoots. When five leaves and four internodes appear, a root appears under the first leaf. As soon as two leaves grow under the place of root formation, and above two internodes, the shoot is cut off for rooting. The place of the cut is sprinkled with charcoal and placed in a special substrate for the Orchid genus. The shoot takes root and grows quickly.
Line the bottom of the pot with a layer of drainage, no more than 3 cm thick. Fill the container halfway with the substrate and place it in water for 2 hours. Add potassium permanent for disinfection.
In water, using a sharp knife, cut off all dry and rotten roots. Sprinkle the slices with activated charcoal and dry. Place the rhizome in a new container and sprinkle with fresh substrate. To distribute the soil evenly, shake the pot. Cover the top layer with moss, pre-soaked for 1.5 hours in warm water. Remove the transplanted plant for 5 days in a warm, constant humidity, draft-free place.
To grow exotic precious orchids at home, you should know the features of care
Substrate for precious orchids must be moisture and air permeable. Consists of moss, leafy soil, pieces of pine bark and charcoal, coarse sand and perlite. For disinfection and softening, moss and pieces of bark must be soaked in boiling water. After planting the orchid, the soil surface is covered with sphagnum moss.
Blooming of precious orchids occurs in the autumn-winter period. In young plants, it is recommended to remove peduncles, because during flowering, the stem lengthens, and the lower leaves give off nutrients and die off. After flowering, the growth of the plant stops for a while.
Precious plants are representatives of the tropics, therefore, shade-tolerant. Florists recommend finding a place in the apartment where direct sunlight does not fall, for example, windows facing north, west or east. Makodes and goodiera grow well under twelve-hour artificial lighting, the distance from the phytolamp should be at least 30 cm. They are grown in shaded areas or in the bathroom. Lack of light leads to stretching of the plants and the formation of a large space between the leaves. In good light, the plants will be squat with small stems and internodes.
Orchids of precious varieties thrive at room temperature. However, they do not tolerate cold snaps up to 18 ° C and tolerate heat very well. Lowering the temperature leads to premature flowering and loss of decorative leaves.
Peduncles will last longer if the temperature is maintained within 20C during the flowering period.
Orchids of the genus Ludisia prefer to lower the night temperature by 4 ° C.
After flowering, anectochilius needs a dormant period, for this it is recommended to reduce the temperature by 2-4 ° C for the winter.
Watering and humidity
In caring for precious orchids, watering and air humidity are important components. These plants require intensive watering at short intervals. Do not allow the soil to dry out, even in the middle part. Plants grow well with a constant medium-high substrate moisture. Watering is carried out either by the classical method, or by saturating the soil when immersed in water. To prevent moisture from stagnating, you need to fill the pot by a third with drainage - pieces of foam or expanded clay. To remove salts, it is recommended to boil or filter the water, preferably using melt and rain water.
Orchids require intensive watering at short intervals.
In the florarium, the humidity of the air increases due to evaporation from the soil, therefore watering is carried out once a week.
In cold weather, watering is adjusted as the soil dries out, and for anectochilius, it is halved.
Fertilizers for precious orchids are applied along with water during irrigation. A similar procedure is recommended to be carried out in the spring and summer once every 3 weeks, and in the cold season, once every 5 weeks. The recommended dose is advised to be divided into three times and applied gradually, this optimizes the accumulation of nutrients and promotes the formation of effective greenery.
- To keep this flower, it is best to choose an eastern window so that in the hottest daytime the scorching sun does not fall on the orchid leaves.
- Watering occurs as needed, but not more often than once a week. It is best not to water the plant directly, but place it together with a transparent pot, which has a sufficient number of holes, in a container of water for half an hour. This method of watering will prevent excess moisture from entering the flower.
- After the orchid has faded, all dried branches must be removed. Attach half of a crushed activated carbon tablet to the cut, this will prevent the ingress of parasites and the development of diseases.
- In addition to peduncles, yellow dried leaves must be removed from time to time.
Orchid transplant is done as needed. If the pot for your plant is already small, then the orchid, of course, should be transplanted.
Before transplanting, we remove all dry peduncles and dried roots that no longer feed the plant. We do not touch the living roots.
We use only purchased primer. Typically, this is a drainage from the bark of trees for orchids, moss and a small amount of peat. The soil itself is porous in structure, which allows excess moisture to drain off instantly.
When transplanting, the roots are not cleared from the substrate, but are placed in a new, more spacious pot along with the soil. After placing the plant, fill up our drainage along the edge and crush it with our fingers. And the last step is to shed the plant.
That, in general, is all the features of caring for these fabulously beautiful flowers.
Orchids at home do not require special care and extremely difficult conditions. Follow these simple guidelines and enjoy your favorites!
Ordering orchids in the nursery
Confusion in the names (or lack of them on the label) is extremely rare for those who receive orchids from specialized nurseries to order. The catalogs of such companies delight with the abundance of names of orchids available for purchase. By making an application, you will receive exactly the types of orchids that you ordered yourself. Unfortunately, shipping plants as luggage is a very risky business, and this risk is borne by the buyer, which bona fide suppliers warn about. Payment for the order must be made in advance. Having received the money, the nursery packs the plants and sends them to the desired address, but does not guarantee the safety of the plants on the way. Usually a small part of the plants dies during the shipment, another small part comes to the recipient in good condition, most of the plants need careful nursing, and it depends only on your diligence whether you can save them or lose them. Despite the difficulties, experienced orchid lovers willingly order plants from catalogs, believing that the inevitable losses are more than compensated by the opportunity to acquire interesting and rare species and varieties. Having decided to order orchids from the catalog, contact only those suppliers about which you have positive feedback.
Orchids can be purchased in different ways. A fairly large selection is now offered by flower shops and garden centers. Orchids can be ordered abroad through the clubs of indoor plant lovers, which are today in many cities. And, finally, in our country there are many collectors of this culture, who advertise in newspapers, magazines and the Internet, they sell a number of plants to those who wish. The opportunity to make a face-to-face acquaintance with an experienced orchid collector and purchase plants from him is a good luck, he will be able to get strong and healthy plants, not damaged as a result of the shipment, along with the exact names of the species and recommendations for care.
A friend bought Dendrobium Nobile five years ago. Then she gave me a couple of bulbs for planting, said to plant in the moss. Now I can say that of all orchids, these have become the most beloved. Very easy care, cool conditions are suitable, rarely gets sick (well, at least for me). I have already bought several hybrids myself, all bloom once a year, magnificently and beautifully.
Nina, Saint Petersburg
I had been eyeing orchids for a long time, but it was scary - whether I could grow such beauty myself. I bought two flowers for the occasion, as it turned out - Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium. The first one did not please me a lot, perhaps my inexperience when leaving was affected. But I have even planted Dendrobium in three pots, picked up the pots for them. Bloomed beautifully - lilac with white and yellowish color. All the shoots are covered with flowers, I have never seen this. I urgently bought literature, found all the information. I want to breed more of these beauties!
Dendrobium Nobile is a luxurious representative of the Orchid family, attracting flower growers with simple care and bright, abundant flowering. Providing the plant with the necessary conditions, even a novice amateur will be able to grow an exotic plant at home.