Orchid Brassavola (lat. Brassavola) is a herbaceous perennial, belongs to the ancient Orchid family (Orchidaceae). It is divided into epiphytes, which are attached to trees, and lithophytes, decorating rocky terrain with their flowers. Homeland - Central America, less often found in Mexico and Colombia.
It is valued for its elegant foliage and chic flowering, as well as its unpretentiousness to growing conditions. Succulent leaves are elongated, sharp, fleshy. On the peduncles there are from one to six flowers, fragrant with a pleasant aroma, which are similar in shape to stars.
An exquisite, sophisticated aroma intensifies with the onset of darkness. The color of the flowering depends on the species: white, greenish, lemon, the original lip adds uniqueness, it comes with a wavy or fringed edge, sometimes decorated with small pink spots.
Other names: Brassavola, Lady of the Night (Lady of the Night).
Brassavola - popular types:
Brassavola nodosa (Brassavola nodosa) is a small plant with pleasantly smelling flowers about 12 cm. It is most popular among collector gardeners. Differs in uniform growth even in winter.
Brassavola nodule (V. cucullata) - inflorescences with one flower, 15-18 cm in size. Unusual long, hanging flower petals that look like a jellyfish or a small octopus.
Brassavola (rhyncholelia) Digby (V. digbyana or Rhyncholaelia digbyana) - lives in the Mexican rain forests. Beautiful flowers 13-15 cm in size have a fringed lip, but for them to appear, the plant needs to go through a long period of rest.
Not too demanding to care for. The main thing is to provide sufficient humidity and choose the right location for the comfortable well-being of an exotic guest.
Grown in hanging pots, flowerpots or blocks with an open root system. The best place to place Brassavola is in a well-lit part of the apartment, near the southern or eastern windows.
A flowerpot with an orchid in the center of the living room will emphasize the refined taste of the owners. In the bedroom, an excellent place for Brassavola would be a decorative tray near the mirror or dressing table. A stylish chest of drawers or a coffee table near the window will also serve as a good stand for this plant, fragrant with freshness.
Lighting. The bright light of morning and evening rays is preferred, but at noon, at the peak of solar activity, the plant should be shaded so that burns do not appear. The day of the "lady of the night" should last at least 10 hours, this is necessary for successful flowering.
Temperature. For the successful cultivation of an ornamental tropicana, the air temperature at night must necessarily drop by 5-10 degrees. Otherwise, the orchid will not bloom. Brassavola in its natural environment is accustomed to a moderately warm climate, therefore it is able to withstand temperatures up to 30-36 ° C during the day. In winter, the thermometer should not be below 18-20 ° C during the day and 12-14 ° C at night.
Air humidity. Humidity needs to be high, maintain 55-80%. If the flower is contained in the substrate, 55-60% moisture is sufficient, when grown on blocks without soil - at least 70-80%.
Use a hygrometer to accurately determine the relative humidity (below 20% is dry air, 40-50% is normal humidity, 70% and above is high humidity).
The hotter it is in the room, the more often you should humidify the air around the orchid and spray the flower with settled water. To avoid decay of the root system, ventilate the room more often.
Do not place a flowerpot near a central heating radiator, as this will cause the plant to overheat and wilt.
Watering. From spring to autumn - abundant.
Orchids growing in pots respond well to watering with a hot shower at 50 degrees for 20-30 seconds. This promotes frequent flowering and improves the brightness of the leaf plate, the color becomes rich green. The procedure is repeated every 1-2 months, after preliminary watering, in summer more often - once every two weeks. At the same time, make sure that there is no stagnation of water; the soil must dry out before re-watering.
When growing in blocks, water every morning to dry the roots by evening. Use purified water for watering and spraying.
Top dressing. During the period of active growth and flowering, from spring to autumn, fertilizers are applied every three weeks. To do this, use specialized fertilizers "For Orchids".
Transfer. It is advisable to transplant as needed (every two to three years), for example, if the flowerpot has become too cramped and the roots hang strongly outward or the substrate has become unusable. After removing from the pot, carefully inspect the root system for damage or rot, carefully cut off the damaged areas. Disinfect the cut sites, you can treat it with activated carbon powder.
After the root system has dried, place the plant in a pre-prepared pot with holes and a good drainage layer. The substrate for the orchid should not obstruct air circulation, consist of bark, coconut chips and sphagnum moss.
In order not to expose the delicate root system to frequent transplants, choose a basket of the appropriate size, with a margin for the growth of the rhizome - rhizome.
Trimming and shaping. It does not need additional shaping. Remove faded peduncles in a timely manner. Do not prune old, unattractive pseudobulbs until they are completely dry, as they contain the supply of nutrients the plant needs.
Bloom. Fragrant flowers are fragrant from dusk to dawn and look very elegant. During the day, the smell is less pronounced. Flowering lasts from several weeks to several months, depending on the species.
The peak of flowering is in autumn, as well as in spring in the month of March. An adult plant, subject to the rules of care, can bloom all year round.
Reproduction. In indoor conditions, as for other sympodial plants, only a vegetative propagation method is used, by dividing the bush into parts during transplantation, preferably in spring.
At the same time, it is important that 3-4 pseudobulbs remain on each section. Delenki are installed in separate containers, in the future they are looked after in the same way as for adult orchids.
Diseases and pests. Brassavola is resistant to diseases and pests.
Problems arise from improper care:
Sometimes the flower is attacked by such pests: thrips, spider mites, scale insects. To combat them, spray the plant with Fitoverm or 3% Chlorophos solution. Pre-remove the affected areas and treat with a sponge dipped in a solution of laundry soap.
Brassavola in winter. The air temperature in the cold season should be 14-20 ° C. Watering is moderate.
Species that do not have a dormant period, such as Brassavola nodosa, must be supplemented with artificial lighting so that the daylight hours for the flower lasts at least 10 hours. This is essential for successful flowering.
Interesting Facts. The flower was first written about in the early 19th century. The plant got its name in honor of the Venetian botanist and professor of medicine Antonio Brassavola.
PHOTO OF BRASSAVOLA (Brassavola)