Orchid family is one of the largest on the planet. Plants of this type can be found in virtually every corner of the world, except perhaps Antarctica. The most favored habitat of orchids are tropical forests. There are thousands of species of plants and more than hundreds of thousands of man-made and natural hybrids.
All orchid plants are divided into three groups: epiphytic, terrestrial, and saprophytic. Air orchids (epiphytes) are the largest group. They grow on trees, receiving from them for the development of the necessary material. Moisture epiphytes consume from the air, using aerial roots. Saprophytes - the least numerous species. They have no leaves, feed on decaying organic matter other plants. Cultivation of this species is of no interest to ordinary gardeners. They are addicted to only genuine collectors and connoisseurs of orchids.
For home cultivation fit many kinds of epiphytes, but the beginner gardeners is best to opt for a hybrid, created specifically for the indoor environment. For such plants easier to care for, they adapt quickly, abundant and long blooming. In this article we will talk about the kinds of potted plants, as well as pay special attention to the care of an orchid. But first, let's look at how to choose the right orchid for the home environment.
Choose your orchid
So, where to start? No, not a trip to the store, how many of you thought. To begin with the study of conditions that you can provide this tropical beauty: the presence of both sunny and shaded rooms, outdoor balcony or veranda, where the plant may be in the warm season, as well as the level of humidity and temperature in your house during the winter. Based on these conditions, you can pick up a flower from a variety of popular varieties.
Dendrobium, Cattleya, Vanda, Oncidium - these species prefer bright, indirect lighting, but can not tolerate direct sunlight. The east and west windows are suitable for them is best. South sill is also nice if at midday flower cover from ultraviolet radiation.
Cymbidium, Milton - data types like less bright light, direct sunlight is completely contraindicated. Grow well in places where light in the first half of the day.
Phalaenopsis (Butterfly) and Pafiopedilum (Lady's Slipper) - too much light can not tolerate. For them fit little shaded places with diffused light. It is better not to grow them on a windowsill, and in the depths of the room, as far as possible from direct sunlight.
It is worth noting that the most suitable for the home environment orchids phalaenopsis and Dendobium considered. They bloom profusely and continuously, sometimes (with proper care) twice a year. These groups include many varieties, so the final selection is done on the basis of the advice of consultants store or examining the annotation on the package. Hybrids usually cost a bit more expensive species of orchids, but also easier to care for them, because they are more adapted to life at home.
Terms of purchase
Terms defined - you can buy a plant. This is best done in special nurseries. It was there that breeding orchids is over all the rules, and staff can give you full information about their contents. If a greenhouse is not in your town, and easy fit flower shop. But there are some nuances: the buying process will require you to greater attention. So, how to choose the orchid home?
First, pay attention to the inflorescence. They must be fresh, just blossoming. Orchid fades purchase is not recommended (especially for beginners), to care for her because it will be harder. A healthy plant has a bright color buds, elastic green or reddish-green leaves (without stains and yellow), fleshy root system of a whitish-green. Check the roots easily, because orchids are sold in transparent pots.
Ask the seller a good pack selected flower to protect it from sudden changes in temperature and other weather conditions. Arriving home, check the condition of the soil - if it is dry, water the plant well with clean water at room temperature. To orchid successfully passed acclimatization and its cultivation has not brought you any problems, put a flower for 2-3 days in a shaded and well ventilated room. Then you can "colonize" the plant to a permanent place of residence.
Caring for orchids. What challenges await grower?
In order to achieve growth and flowering orchids home, you need to properly take care of it. It's worth noting that the cultivation of this plant before flowering and after a bit different. Let's look at all of the principles of care. We hope that these tips will help you to grow beautiful and healthy flowers.
This is the main factor in the cultivation of orchids. It is he who determines the time and its profusion of flowering. If the light is not enough, the plant does not get the required power and can never throw buds. But if too intense light colors get home orchid burns, causing it to die.
We have already talked about the principles of coverage for the most popular indoor orchids. But to care for orchids did not deliver any problems, no harm will consult with the seller or follow the summary, which is attached to the plant with the purchase. Remember, if the orchid is not enough light - its leaves darken. If the excess coverage - the leaves turn yellow and dry.
Terms of watering
The content of the second largest plant is the correct watering. For growth and abundant flowering orchids at home, you need to accurately determine the ratio of moisture and light. It should be noted that in nature are not orchid in water for a long time, since the root system can not tolerate water stagnation, and also salts that are in excess present in it.
Each of your orchids need watering. For example, Cymbidium and Phalaenopsis feel well in wet soil. And the humidity must be constant. But Dendrobium and Cattleya do not like excessive watering, so water treatments for them should be carried out after the complete drying of the soil.
On irrigation (mainly on its frequency) is influenced by many factors. This lighting, and dry air, and the room temperature, and the size of the pot. In general, orchids are more lenient it to drying and not to overflow. On the lack of moisture the plant responds a little povyadshimi leaves and shriveled pseudobulbs that come back to normal as soon as the flower sated with water. But waterlogging fraught with drying leaves and root rot - get rid of the scourge would be quite difficult.
Abundant watering orchids is needed only in the active growth phase and during flowering. Then comes a period of rest and reduce watering. In winter, water treatment is also moderate. Here it is necessary to build on the light intensity and temperature: the darker and cooler in the room, the less moisture the plant is required.
Proper watering orchids occur by immersion: you have to leave it in a container of warm water for 15-20 minutes. After that, excess water must be drained to give the flower to spend the night in a shaded room (no draft) and return to permanent residence. In addition to the dive, you can use a warm shower. Water pressure must be strong, otherwise you will damage the plant. Watering is carried out as long as the soil is completely wet. This excess water must come out of the drainage holes in the pot.
Pick up the pot and substrate
Ideal for epiphytic orchids (for example, Phalaenopsis) is considered the ground, which is able to retain moisture around the root system to a minimum, preventing decay, and pass the right amount of air. This will greatly facilitate the cultivation of the soil. It can be purchased at specialty stores.
The soil consists of bark, moss, charcoal, granular clay and sand with particles of vermiculite or perlite. Garden soil in the substrate for epiphytic absent altogether. As the capacity for change is best to use wire pots, baskets or mesh capable of retaining soil inside.
For terrestrial orchids (which include Cymbidium) substrate is made of the same elements with the addition of a small amount of humus and dry leaves. The pot is best to use a transparent, made of plastic and having a hole for draining water. So you can continuously monitor the state of the roots, be sure that the substrate is not retained excess moisture. So - watering will be done according to the rules.
Home orchids described above, feel well at moderate temperatures: in the afternoon - 18-25 degrees at night - 13-22 degrees. By the way, the difference between night and day maintenance is required for flowering. Therefore, if your apartment is connected to district heating, try to ensure a cool flower content at night.
It happens so that the transfer of heat in the orchid is a cool kind of stimulant for the release of long stems and bloom. It should be noted that many species of orchids normally experienced insignificant deviation from the desired temperature. Just do not forget to adjust and watering: with decreasing degrees - to reduce it, and with an increase - increase.
The circulation and the air humidity
Orchids love the room with high humidity - 60-80 percent. If your apartment is not suitable for these indicators, the relative humidity is artificial. To do this, take a special tray with grating (you can buy it in a flower shop) to pour water, then lay on the grating layer of expanded clay. This structure must be installed directly under the pot with orchid. The main thing is to plant roots do not touch the water.
In hot weather, you need to spray the leaves with an atomizer. At the time of flowering is better to stop spraying or humidify the air around the flower only. The procedure should be carried out in the morning and afternoon to the leaves and stem have time to dry completely before nightfall.
Remember, orchids do not tolerate drafts! However, Air light will not hurt them. If the room where the living flower, not ventilated, can occasionally include her fan with a weak engine. It is particularly important for the airing of Cymbidium, because they are considered the most cold-loving orchids. And remember, including the fan - increase watering.
How to feed the orchid?
For frequent and abundant flowering orchids need to fertilize. This should be done regularly - about once every two weeks. It is best to buy special fertilizers, which are designed specifically for these plants and use them strictly adhering to the instructions.
Do not use the dressing, which are not intended for orchids! This can lead to illness and even death of the plant. With the onset of a period of rest (after flowering) and cold weather, you need to reduce the amount of fertilizer - once a month will suffice.
Contrary to popular belief, orchids transplant carried out not because sprawling root system. The signal for green mass resettlement is strongly projecting beyond the pot. Transplanting is contraindicated during flowering. The best way to do it immediately after a period of rest - in the beginning of new growth.
Thus, the rules of transplantation:
To start very gently, taking care not to damage the roots, pull out a flower from the ground;
If necessary - cut the pot;
After shake off the roots from the old land and bark and clean (preferably sterilized) with scissors to remove all damaged and decayed areas;
Prepare a container for change, it must be two sizes larger than the previous;
At the bottom put a small layer of fresh soil, exactly in the middle put a flower pot and pour the remaining substrate;
It should be evenly fill the space between the spines;
Too ram mixture is not necessary - just gently press it;
Then perform watering and place the plant in a shady place for 2-3 days. It is necessary for the rapid and successful establishment.
That's it - change is completed.
Reproduction at home
It is believed that the propagation of the plant - occupation, yielded only an experienced grower. In fact, nothing complicated in the process there. So you can be sure of the truth of these words, let's look at what is a reproduction of the orchid flowers, and will pay attention to the rules of care for the children.
More often propagated by dividing the home orchid roots. It is important that at this time your flower already grown and was completely healthy. The best time for this process - the beginning of spring. So, where to start breeding?
The first thing to get a flower from the pot and clean the roots from the soil. Then, take a sharp knife and disinfected and cut the rhizome is strictly between false bulbs. To a young plant does not pick up an infection, the sections to be treated with powdered charcoal. Next transplant carried babies in new pots. Young animals require much water and time to acclimatize.
Reproduction of some varieties of orchids such as Vanda species occurs cuttings. The growth of the plant comes from the apical point, without forming pseudobulbs.
It starts with the reproduction of the upper cut-off of escape (the damaged areas are also sprinkled with charcoal). The finished graft is placed in a pot with the substrate, cut part should be in the ground. Now, the plant requires watering and a couple of days in a shady location. Caring for young orchid must be the same as for an adult.
Reproduction of lateral shoots
Orchids belonging to the species Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium form side shoots, by which the reproduction takes place. As soon as you notice that the plant has produced children, increase watering and spray it often. This is necessary in order to escape fully grown, grown up and formed their own roots.
Once this happens, the baby is separated from the mother plant. Grafting is carried out in a separate pot only after treatment with charcoal slices. Wait until the flower let new leaves, and we can assume that the reproduction is successful.
As you can see, there are no special secrets of growing orchids at home does not. The main thing is to choose the best care for the plants and, of course, give him enough attention. After the flowers - it is also sentient beings who need your love and care. Believe me, they will thank you abundant and long blooming!