Orchid Bulbophyllum (Latin Bulbophyllum) belongs to the Orchid family (Orchidaceae). Homeland - African rainforests. This is one of the largest representatives of its family, a very numerous genus, in total there are more than 1000 species.
Evergreen epiphytic plants with creeping or drooping root systems. Most species have thickened pseudobulbs, in which water is stored and nourishes the plant during drought, sometimes they are not very developed, they are successfully replaced by fleshy leaves.
In their natural environment they settle both in lowlands and at altitudes of about 2500 m above sea level. Inflorescences are mainly multi-flowered, racemose, originating at the base of the shoots. Flowering can be both large and very small, similar to densely scattered beads.
The flowers are fragrant, fabulously beautiful, in some species they resemble jellyfish or other marine inhabitants. They can be of very different colors: red, pink, white, purple, yellow. The leaf plate is oval, leathery, reaching 15-18 cm in length.
Other names: Bulbash, Bulbophyllum, Tsirropetalum.
Bulbophyllum - popular types:
Bulbophyllum careyanum (Bulbophyllum careyanum) - grows up to 20 cm in height and about 30 cm in width. Differs in spherical pseudobulbs and linear, oblong leaves. Blooms in summer, flowers are orange, yellow or green with a red tint, purple lips, exude a delicate pleasant aroma.
Bulbophyllum Guttulanum (Bulbophyllum, Cirrhopetalum guttulatum) - the leaves are oval, narrowed, small, spotted yellow or green flowers with purple lips are formed on straight umbellate panicles. Grows up to 25 cm in height and width. Blooms in summer.
Bulbophyllum lobbii (Bulbophyllum lobbii) - originally from Thailand, is distinguished by ovoid pseudobulbs of yellow-green color, which are located at a distance of 5-7 cm, narrowed leaves, 20-22 cm long. Flowers are pleasantly smelling, pale yellow, waxy. The lip is short, heart-shaped. Flowering occurs in mid-spring
Bulbophyllum Beautiful (Bulbophyllum ornatissimum Rchb. F.) - found in India. The tetrahedral bulbs are located close to each other. The flowers are fragrant with small yellow petals and reddish veins. The lip is purple in color. Flowering period - autumn, early winter.
When deciding to purchase such an unusual and exotic plant, you should familiarize yourself with the conditions of its maintenance. For lovers of indoor plants, it will be easy to remember and regularly implement the basic rules of care. The main thing comes down to observing the watering conditions, the flower may suffer from too dry air.
Bulbophillums need a moderately warm, humid climate. It is best to grow them in hanging baskets, elongated bowls. Miniature species of these orchids thrive in special wet terrariums.
Lighting. These flowers need diffused light, since in natural conditions they settle in places sheltered from bright sunlight. Therefore, "Bulbashi" feel great even under artificial lighting.
Temperature. In the warm season, the optimum temperature is 25-28 ° C. In winter, a temperature drop of up to +14 degrees is permissible.
Air humidity. The recommended air humidity in the room where the bulbophillum is located is 70-80% in the summer and about 60% in the winter.
The plant responds well to good ventilation of the air, in the wild, the wind always accompanies their life. Fresh and moving air is one of the basic requirements for successfully growing an exotic beauty at home. To maintain the desired humidity, install a humidifier in the room.
Watering. In the summer, 2 times a week, as the substrate dries, but not until it crunches. To do this, use purified water slightly warmer than room temperature. In between waterings, you can spray the plant with soft, settled water. With the onset of winter, watering is reduced.
Top dressing. From the beginning of spring to autumn, the perennial should be fed with complex fertilizers for orchid plants, which must be previously dissolved in water, preferably diluted with more water than for other orchids. Top dressing is repeated every two weeks.
Transfer. An exotic guest is reluctant to transplant; it is worth subjecting the plant to such stress only if absolutely necessary.
The reason for transplanting is a strong overgrowth outside the basket, as well as root decay. In this case, carefully remove the plant from the container, remove the affected parts. Then install the flower in a new pot, after laying the drainage on the bottom, it can be crushed foam. Fill the remaining space with a new substrate, which consists of a mixture of bark, charcoal and perlite.
If the old substrate has not decomposed, it can be reused. To keep the rhizome (rhizome) of the flower in the desired position, fix it with a special or self-created device.
Trimming and shaping. A gorgeous plant does not require special formation, it is enough to monitor the growth and replant in a timely manner, if necessary, remove wilted, affected areas.
Bloom. Flowering differs depending on the type of bulbophyllum. Colors can be of a wide variety of shades and color combinations.
The aroma is also special for each species, and in many Bulbash it is refined, sweet-vanilla or fresh, fruity, but there are also not so pleasant smells, for example Bulbophyllum fletcheriona - it smells like boiled cabbage, and Bulbophyllum leysianum - like raw mushrooms. Therefore, before buying this unusual and undoubtedly luxurious plant, ask about its aroma.
The flowering period is predominantly summer months, but some species please with the appearance of flowers in the winter.
Reproduction. The most common available breeding method is by dividing the bush. Carefully removing it from the pot, clearing the rhizome from the substrate, divide it into several parts with a secateurs.
A prerequisite is that on each part of the division there are at least two pseudobulbs. The cut should be treated with charcoal and dried. Next, plant each of the plants in a pre-prepared pot. Then take care of this type of orchid as usual, water, spray.
The plant is considered rooted after the emergence of young shoots.
Less commonly propagated using pseudobulbs and seed method.
Diseases and pests. Differs in sufficient endurance and resistance to diseases and pests. Caught in adverse conditions, it can suffer from fungal or bacterial rot.
Bulbophyllum's main enemies are aphids and spider mites. Aphids infect the plant stems, you can get rid of the parasite by washing off with a damp sponge moistened with soapy water with the addition of a special preparation "Actellik". To do this, dilute 30 grams of laundry soap and 2 ml of Actellic in 1 liter of water.
The spider mite is clearly visible on the underside of the leaf. White dots - bugs and transparent cobwebs are removed in the same way as aphids.
Possible problems indicating improper care:
Bulbophyllum in winter. The air temperature must not be lower than +14 ° С. Remove the flowerpot from drafts. Watering is moderate, as the substrate dries. If in the warm season your plants were on the balcony, then during the cold weather move them into the room.
Interesting Facts. The plant attracts pollinating insects with its rich aroma and imitation of other flowers, placing bright petals in a circle.
The lip of the flower also serves for these purposes: when a moth or a fly hits the swinging lip, it finds itself inside the flower. And while the insect gets out, the pollen on its legs pollinates the plant.
PHOTO BULBOFILLUM (Bulbophyllum)