How to tame a obstinate orchid (part 1)
Orchid is one of the largest plant families, which, according to various sources, has from 750 to 800 genera and almost 35 thousand species. And this is as much as a tenth of all the plants on our planet. Despite the difference in climatic conditions in which orchids grow, their survival mechanisms are almost the same. So, the vast majority of orchids are epiphytes, that is, plants, all parts of which are in the air. In the growth zone they occupy all the free space – in the crown of trees, on branches, in places of branching and crevices of thick trunks, they hang on vines. Anyone who has ever visited countries with a tropical climate clearly understands this picture. The drooping roots of such orchids perform several functions at once – they fix the plant on a tree, collect moisture from the air and photosynthesize along with the leaves.
Orchids are not parasites, as many would think when they learn that they live in trees. They use the tree only as a habitat, their home, and, unlike parasites, they do no harm to the plant that has given them shelter. Orchids themselves are fed by themselves, photosynthesizing in all their parts and waiting for the different carrion to decompose completely (i.e., long-fallen fruits and decayed leaves, fruits or seeds), entangled in their roots. But there are orchids that live in the soil. These are decorative and deciduous orchids, the so-called precious, and orchids of moderate latitudes, which winter in the soil in the form of rhizomes.
Hybridization of orchids has been going on since 1856, so we can grow many unusual varieties at home. Funny for me is the fact that until the beginning of the 19th century, orchids were used simply as packing material when transporting other plants, clogging voids between them. Only with time did people realize their wasteful behavior towards orchids, thanks to an experiment by William Catley. Interested in a strange plant, he first planted an orchid in a pot. After it bloomed with unusual flowers, the orchid began a march through Europe, and in honor of the enthusiastic florist an extensive genus of orchids, the cattleya, was named. Today it is a welcome guest on our windowsill.
This is a list of the best orchids for indoor culture, observing some of the features of which you can enjoy their regular and long flowering.
This is the most popular kind of orchid, represented by many colorings of flowers and their combinations. They come with miniature, medium or royal (very large) flowers and bushes of the same size. They are invariably grown in transparent pots with shallow bark instead of substrate, because in nature they grow simply on tree trunks, clinging to them with their roots. These orchids can bloom almost continuously, replacing one peduncle with another. The flowering period of one peduncle is at least 3 months, and often lasts up to 6 months. It is easiest to make friends with phalaenopsis, and it can be safely recommended to a beginner grower.
The disadvantage of this orchid is a very rare and weak breeding, so the only way to get yourself a new pet is to purchase an adult plant grown in advance in Holland.
Perhaps the second most accessible, popular and lightweight content on the windowsill. In home culture, it is represented by several species, the most popular of which is Dendrobium nobile, a noble dendrobium. This is a stately orchid with thick shoots in which it stores water and thickened opposite leaves. From each sinus of the leaves a peduncle, consisting of 2-3 flowers, blooms. The flowering period is about 1-1.5 months, resembling a lush bouquet in this period. The plant blooms again after a short dry period. It feels good in clay or plastic opaque pots and a light wood substrate.
Often found on the shelves of flower shops, but is not as easy to care for as its two predecessors. The best solution for growing is Orchidarium – a mini-greenhouse with constant humidity. Cattleya is highly regarded for large, up to 13-14 cm in diameter, fragrant flowers. The plant forms moisture-storage pseudobulbs with one or two sheets.
During flowering, one adult plant produces up to 10 pieces of peduncles, which last for more than a month, and subject to sequential non-simultaneous blooming of flowers, even longer. Flowers are laid in the autumn, when daylight becomes shorter, and temperatures drop to 14-16 ° C. At this time, stop watering and resume it after the appearance of the first peduncles. It is grown in a mixture of bark and moss-sphagnum.