The orchid, brought from the tropics, has been used for many years to decorate apartments, houses, offices. Many flower growers successfully grow more than a dozen species of different orchids. Any subspecies of this plant is distinguished by something original and unique. Flowers vary in color, size and shape. Next, we will look at the features of orchid transplantation and home care.
Main problems when growing orchids
In order for the plant to please with its appearance and regular flowering, it is necessary to ensure proper care of the orchid at home. There are several major problems that a lover of this plant may encounter.
When caring for an orchid at home, a problem is often encountered - yellowing leaves appear. It is important to know that any plant at some point changes the color of the leaves.turn yellow and dry out, which is perfectly normal. When the old lower leaves turn yellow, a natural process occurs, so they are updated. Once the leaf is completely dry, it is carefully trimmed.
But if the newly appeared leaves turn yellow, it becomes clear that the plant is sick. This was probably due to improper care of the orchid at home, in particular watering:
- When the soil receives excess moisture, rot appears on the roots, this contributes to yellowing.
- If the soil does not get enough moisture, then the leaves begin to wither and dry out.
If the room has a low level of humidity, it is necessary to spray the plant more often with a spray bottle.
In winter, the leaves turn yellow when the plant is exposed to air flow. Also, during this period, it is undesirable to put the orchid on the windowsill, it can get cold or even freeze slightly.
Leaves turn yellow in summer due to direct sunlight. Dark spots first appear on the leaves, then the leaf begins to dry out.
Problems with the root system
If you do not provide proper care for the orchid at home, then the flower may begin to have problems with the root system. Regular inspection of the roots is necessary. The orchid was obviously subjected to improper watering if the roots were covered with mucus, became the darkest shade, or, conversely, turned pale.
Some seriously believe that the orchid needs to be watered a lot, as this happens in the wild during the rainy season. Then you should read some facts:
- When the rains are over, all the liquid drains from the bark of the trees, not being held in it, then absorbed by the soil. The roots are not placed in water for a long time, they absorb the required amount of moisture. At room conditions, moisture will linger in the flower pot, which will begin the process of decay. If obvious signs of excessive watering are visible, then the flower needs to be transplanted into the updated soil. Before this, carefully examine the roots, if damage is found, they should be removed.
- It is also worth remembering that the orchid prefers moist air. Therefore, you need to regularly irrigate the leaves with water from a spray bottle.
It happens that an orchid does not bloom for a long time. Often there is a situation when the orchid has already bloomed more than once, but after the last stage of rest, flowering does not occur. Most often this happens due to lack of light. It is known that daylight hours are shorter in winter, and during this period the orchid is usually at rest. You can artificially increase daylight hours to 12-14 hours, and as a result, the orchid will bloom.
After the orchid blooms (we consider home care in this article), the dried flower stalks are carefully cut off. If it does not dry out and has a green or pale brown tint, then young buds will probably appear in time.
How to stimulate a plant to bloom?
Orchids are stressed. The plant is transferred overnight to a room with cooler air, the temperature difference shouldbe about 10 degrees, watered rarely and little. If these manipulations are carried out within 4-6 weeks, all efforts will be successful. During this period of time, the laying of the kidneys will take place. If the buds still do not appear, then the flower is gradually removed from the dormant stage. To do this, gradually increase the air temperature and water more abundantly.
Don't worry if it doesn't bloom after 6-12 months, the peduncle can form even after 24 months.
Parasites and diseases of orchids
Orchids (post-purchase home care described in the article) are relatively resistant to disease and parasites, but sometimes problems do occur. The most common problem is the formation of the process of decay. Appears due to excessive moisture of the soil and plants. If the orchid is often watered and sprayed, this will contribute to the decay of the root system and leaf bases.
To save the orchid, the affected areas are cut off with a sharpened sterile knife, along with a piece of he althy tissue. Next, the wounds are treated with a special disinfectant or activated charcoal or cinnamon. This procedure is necessary to prevent the spread of infection. The container and potting mix needs to be replaced.
From parasites, mealybugs and spider mites are often found. If there are few of them, then you can try a solution of laundry soap, they wipe the leaves 2 times with an interval of one week. In case of severe infection, they are treated with a special chemical agent.
Let's consider further what kind of care an orchid needs at home after purchase.
What kind of lighting is needed
Orchids prefer diffused light, without direct exposure to the sun, which leads to burns. But also do not like shady places, the flower will not grow.
Which seat to choose?
South-facing windows provide lots of light, especially in summer. You should choose a slightly distant place from the window with a slight shadow.
West and southwest sides are the best place for many orchids. The sun will shine in the afternoon when it's not so hot.
North side is not quite suitable, there is little light here. Then you need to use additional lighting.
Comfortable air temperature during the day - from 18⁰С to 27⁰С, at night - from 13⁰С to 24⁰С.
Heat-loving orchids that tolerate heat up to 35⁰С include Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, dwarf Vanda, Phalaenopsis.
Cattleya, Cymbidium, Odontoglossum prefer moderate temperatures, no more than 22⁰С during the day, 16⁰С at night.
Masdevalia, Miltonia, Cumbria orchids (we will look at home care in the article) prefer a cool microclimate with a high percentage of humidity.
Air humidity level
Indoors, it is important to observe a certain degree of humidity. The least whimsical to this parameter are Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Cumbria, Paphiopedilum, Oncidium. Humidity of 40-50% is acceptable for them. High humidity (75–90%)prefer Wanda, Miltonia.
In the warm season, moisture from the soil evaporates intensely. Therefore, it is so important to humidify the air in the room. In the apartment, a humidifier, a fountain are additionally connected, and containers with water are placed. In summer, spray irrigation and ventilation are used. Otherwise, a warm humid microclimate will contribute to the formation of fungus and bacterial diseases.
Which capacity to choose
There is an opinion that translucent capacity is very important for root photosynthesis. But this is not at all the case - the roots are much more important than air, not light. Therefore, you need to choose dishes from a material suitable for comfortable maintenance.
Polypropylene pots are especially popular. Plastic containers retain moisture well, the root system does not overcool. The most convenient thing is to easily inspect the soil and roots. For additional air circulation in the containers, holes are made on the sides. These pots are suitable for Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium.
Orchids such as Oncidium, Cumbria, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum and other species with pseudobulbs are planted in a clay container. Its advantage is that such dishes allow air to pass through and evenly distribute moisture. The best form option is when the pot is the same height and diameter. Except Cymbidium: its large root system needs a tall pot.
For Wanda, choose containers with a shape that allows you to keep the rhizome inside, and the upper part - outside. This is the best option for proper orchid growth.
Which soil to choose
In nature, the trunk of a tree serves as a support and source of nutrients, and in room conditions this duty is carried out by soil from pieces of pine bark, peat, moss and charcoal. The light structure guarantees proper air microcirculation, accumulates and gradually releases nutrition and moisture. The nutritional value of the soil mixture is determined by the type of root system. The poorer it is, the more aerial roots the plant has - they spread in search of water and food. An undeveloped root system indicates that the orchid receives all the nutrients in the required amount.
Home care: watering orchids
Watering is an important moment, on which the flowering appearance and he alth of the representatives of the Orchid family largely depend. The level of moisture consumption is affected by the duration of lighting, evaporation, soil structure, growth stage.
Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Miltonia, Cumbria, Cymbidium prefer moist soil, but not wet. Dendrobium, Cattleya, Odontoglossum, Oncidium require complete drying of the soil before subsequent watering.
In winter, orchid care at home is minimal. Watering is recommended to be carried out 1-2 times a month. This is done much more often in the summer.
Soil made of large pieces of bark with sphagnum retains liquid longer, and soil without peat and moss dries faster.
Water less when dormant. To form a flower bud, the plant is satisfieda kind of drought, so the orchid is stimulated to bloom.
The best water for irrigation is filtered, settled, a couple of degrees warmer than room air. Orchids prefer bottom watering, irrigation of the soil and the inside of the leaves.
Which fertilizer to use
You can use top dressing between flowering 2 times a month. During the period of active growth, fertilizers with nitrogen are used, during the laying of the peduncle - with potassium and phosphorus.
Use fertilizer only after watering to keep the soil moist, otherwise the roots will get a chemical burn.
During the flowering of an orchid (home care is discussed in the article), you should not fertilize it - the supply of minerals will last up to 4 months. You also need to exclude top dressing in the winter and during the dormant period.
Within a year after transplantation, Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Miltonia, Cymbidium, Cumbria do without fertilizers. Mineral elements in the soil are enough for normal growth. It is enough to systematically water and spray.
Wanda is susceptible to fertilizers. Since the orchid grows without soil, the roots are sprayed with water every day, every third watering is advised to be done with top dressing.
So, we have considered the features of growing orchids and home care. The job is not difficult at all. The main thing is to follow the established rules of care and pay more attention to this plant.