Phalaenopsis Orchid (Orchid family, Latin Orchidaceae). The word "orchid" comes from the Greek "orchis", in Russian "egg". Homeland of orchids: Indonesia, South China. Also common in Northeast Australia. In the wild, they grow on trees, rocks, because are epiphytic plants.
Phalaenopsis Orchid is most suitable for indoor cultivation.
These orchids are not as whimsical as other species, the flowering period is quite long - up to 3 months, with proper care, it blooms twice a year. Phalaenopsis is a perennial plant that lives up to 7 years. The flowers have a wide variety of colors: pink, yellow, red, white, purple, green.
By height, phalaenopsis are divided into three types - miniature (mini, 15-20 cm), medium (midi, 40-55 cm) and standard (standard, 60-70 cm).
Other name. Phalaenopsis are also called butterfly orchids.
Popular Phalaenopsis varieties:
Phalaenopsis horse or equestrian (Ph. Equestris Rchb. F.) - has small purple-violet flowers 2-3 cm, flowering: February-April and September-November;
Phalaenopsis deer-horned (Ph. Cornu-cervi Blume et Rchb. F.) - got its name from the flattened tip of the peduncle with comb-like outgrowths in places where flower buds form, golden yellow flowers with brown spots measuring 3-5 cm;
Phalaenopsis pleasant (Ph. Amabilis Bl.) - 20-30 white flowers can grow on the peduncle, 8-10 cm in diameter, blooms in May-June
Phalaenopsis Stuart (Ph. Stuartiana Rchb. F.) - variegated epiphyte, flower diameter - 3-5 cm, flowers white-yellow with purple spots, flowering from January to March;
Phalaenopsis Schiller (Ph. Schilleriana Rchb. F.) Is a variegated orchid with large purple-pink flowers (up to 7 cm), blooms in December-March.
Lighting. For comfortable development, Phalaenopsis need a well-lit, warm place without direct sunlight. These plants also grow in good artificial light. Attention: with a lack of light, buds may fall off.
Temperature. The optimal temperature regime for this plant provides for a difference between day and night temperatures of about 4 ° C. To ensure such a regime, at night in summer, you need to open the window to reduce the temperature, and in winter, limit the heat from the batteries. You also need to take into account that phalaenopsis can get sick if the night temperature drops below 16 ° C. The maximum daytime temperature should not exceed 32 ° C. The most comfortable growing temperature is 20-25 ° C.
Air humidity. Orchids love moist air. To increase moisture near the plants, you can place pallets with damp pebbles. Spraying 2-3 times on a hot day will help, the main thing is to carry it out in the smallest spray mode so that the water falls on the leaves in the form of fog. Make sure that no water gets on the flowers of the plant. The procedure is best done in the morning, so that the phalaenopsis has time to dry out by the evening. Orchids can be bathed periodically (2-3 times / month) in the shower to remove dust and unnecessary microorganisms from the leaves.
Watering. For watering, you need to use soft water at room temperature. To soften the water, you need to either boil it, or add citric acid or a bag of high peat to it overnight. In the latter case, the water is also acidified, which is also important. The softened water that has settled during the day also needs to be used not all, because a salt precipitate forms at the bottom. Water with a high iron content is dangerous for orchids; when standing, such water becomes cloudy.
Watering from a watering can - in a thin stream, moving over the entire surface of the substrate until water begins to pour out from the drainage holes. The water accumulated in the pan must be drained and the procedure repeated with watering and draining. Make sure that no water gets into the axils of the leaves and the growth point. If this happens, you need to blot it with a napkin or blow it out.
Between watering, the substrate should dry out to a thickness of 2-3 cm; for normal existence, the roots periodically need air.
Video - How to water orchids
Watering is also common by immersing a pot with a plant in a container of water for 15-20 minutes. After the roots are saturated with moisture, the pot is removed, allowed to drain and put back in the planter.
The frequency of watering the orchid is 1 time in 7-10 days.
Top dressing. For more abundant and lush flowering, it is recommended to fertilize Phalaenopsis after every fourth watering, but not more often than once every 2 weeks. After watering, the pot with the orchid is placed in a bowl of soft water containing a solution of liquid (half dose) or dry fertilizer (no more than 1-1.5 g per liter). Phalaenopsis can be fed all year round, except when the plant is sick or has just been transplanted.
Transfer. There are several rules that must be followed when transplanting phalaenopsis:
The transplant substrate can be prepared by yourself 6 hours of coniferous bark, 2 hours of sphagnum or peat, 1.5 hours of polystyrene, 0.5 hours of charcoal, or you can buy ready-made.
It is better to take the pot transparent (to control the health of the roots) and slightly larger in size than the previous one. Moisten the substrate well, carefully remove the moss from the roots (if any), remove dry and damaged roots. Place the orchid in a pot and fill the space around the roots with substrate.
Orchids are recommended to be replanted no more than 1 time in 2-3 years. However, phalaenopsis can be transplanted annually up to 3 years of age, changing the substrate has a beneficial effect on its development.
Video - Orchid transplant in 7 minutes
Trimming and shaping. The orchid does not need formative pruning. Only faded peduncles are cut off.
Bloom. The hybrid phalaenopsis can bloom at any time of the year, the flowering duration is from 2 to 6 months. Some species bloom 3 times a year. Epiphytic orchids bloom immediately after the growing season. Therefore, if the orchid does not bloom for more than 8 months, it is necessary: a) to reduce watering by 2 times (thus stimulating flowering); b) inspect the roots, stem and growth point for damage - the plant strengthens the root system or grows lateral processes and postpones the flowering period.
The height of the peduncle of standard phalaenopsis is 0.7-1 m, miniature - 30 cm.
After flowering, when the tip of the peduncle has turned yellow, blackened or withered, the peduncle must be cut off.
Reproduction. This type of orchid reproduces mainly by children, lateral processes that form on the stem or peduncle. Shoots appear mainly in summer, which is facilitated by increased temperature and humidity. For transplantation, shoots are removed from the mother plant, which have their roots 5-7 cm long, and transplanted into small pots filled with a substrate for orchids.
Diseases and pests. If the plant is kept in dry air, it can be damaged by scabbards. At bay, phalaenopsis is threatened with decay of the root system. Excessive overdrying of the substrate leads to lowering, thinning and wrinkling of the leaves.
Phalaenopsis does not tolerate drafts, strong air currents lead to the cessation of flowering and the fall of buds.
Plants in winter. Do not overcool the plant, the minimum temperature is 16 ° C. Limit watering to 1-2 times a month. Do not spray if the air is not dry
This is interesting: The orchid family has about 30,000 species, which is about 10% of all plants in the world, grow on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica.
Such a well-known product as vanilla is made from the Vanilla planifolia orchid.
PHOTO ORCHID PHALENOPSIS