Orchid is the dream of any grower. Chic, but very moody plant. Not every amateur grower is able to save, and later repeat its flowering. How to care for an orchid at home? What you need to know and be able to fragrance of this miracle of nature at least a few months of the year?
You need to know the general conditions for caring for indoor orchids, and these are: soil selection, proper watering, proper amount and quality of lighting, good air humidification, bait, protection against pathogenic bacteria and insects. Even the material from which the pot is made is of great importance for this flower.
Before buying an orchid, determine the conditions for its future habitat: lighting, temperature and humidity, the presence of balconies or loggias for a comfortable stay in the summer season.
Once you have found out all the necessary information, proceed to the selection. But keep in mind that each genus of orchid (Phalaenopsis) also has a look (Happy Rose). In addition to species plants, hybrid orchids also exist. They perfectly tolerate a change in habitat, bloom more often, have more interesting colors, but cost more.
For beginner gardeners, Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis are perfect. With proper care, the latter produces color 2 times a year.
Lighting for orchids
Light plays a major role in the life of the flower. Photosynthesis should occur for at least 12 hours. In winter, daylight hours must be extended with artificial lighting. In summer, a potted orchid should be moved to a room with southern windows. To avoid burns on the leaves, choose places located 1 meter from the window.
General recommendations for plant genera:
Group 1 - Wanda, Dendrobium, Cattleya, Oncidium - live on well-lit window sills (west or east). Too bright the sun can burn a flower, so when choosing a southern windowsill take care of protection.
Group 2 - Miltonia, Odontoglossum, Cymbidium - live on dimly lit window sills. It is necessary to exclude direct sunlight in the flower. Ideally, scattering rays can fall on it, but not more than 5 hours a day.
Group 3 - Paphiopedilum (Venus slipper), Phalaenopsis (Butterfly) - grow only under diffused sunlight, in the sanctified places in the room. Any windowsills are undesirable, direct rays can be fatal even in small doses.
To determine the lack or excess of lighting, look at the leaves. If they are dark green in color - the lighting needs to be increased by changing the window sill or by setting an artificial light source nearby. If the leaves turn yellow or have burns, move the flower away from the window.
How to water an orchid
Proper watering affects the phase of active flower growth. If this step is weak, then the plant does not have enough strength for vegetation. To determine the intensity of watering a flower, you need to know many factors. An important role is played by the type of plant, the composition of the soil, lighting, temperature and humidity, the shape of the pot, the previous conditions of irrigation - everything is strictly individual .-
The main advice for beginners is less fluid. Orchid tolerates over-dried soil better than water-filled roots. In addition, you need to water the flower in a special way.
Orchid watering instruction: -
- We place the pot with the plant (there must be holes at the bottom) for 7 minutes in a tank of water.
- Raise the pot and wait until all the liquid drains.
- We put the flower on a wire rack or in another pot so that the remaining liquid is removed.
For irrigation use rain or boiled tap water. If the leaves of the plant are flabby and fade, and the pseudobulbs are wrinkled - this is a signal for watering. Yellowed leaves, darkened or decayed roots, indicate excessive watering or stagnation of water at the rhizomes.
According to the classification of orchids, the first group does not tolerate moist soil, the ground in these species of flower between waterings should dry out. But in plants of the 2nd and 3rd group, the soil may be slightly moist. During rest, watering is reduced.
How to choose the right soil and pot for orchids
The main function of the pot, drainage and soil is to create solid soil under your feet. That is, to keep the plant upright (tall orchids in small pots), to maintain the right amount of moisture and nutrients. Two other important functions are photosynthesis and the ability to “breathe” roots.
Given all these roles, give preference to specialized soil sold in stores, home gardens or nurseries. Garden land is not suitable here, unless it is a terrestrial orchid. The fertile soil for these flowers is a mixture of bark, coal, moss, cork, fern, coarse sand, etc. If the package with soil says "for Phalaenopsis" - this is the standard mixture for all epiphytes. If "for Cymbidium" - the mixture is intended for terrestrial species.
It is permissible to prepare a substrate for epiphytes with your own hands. Steam the bark of a pine, mix it with sphagnum and coal in the proportions of 10: 4: 2. In such soil, the plant will need to be periodically fed. If you do not plan to do this, prepare another substrate. For it, you will need fern roots, fallen leaves (not willow), pine bark, peat and charcoal in proportions of 3: 2: 1: 3: 1.
Orchid pots should be transparent, made of plastic or glass. This material does not allow the roots to grow to the walls of the pot, which usually happens with clay containers. A mandatory item is the holes on the bottom. So you ensure the circulation of air in the soil and get rid of excess fluid.
If you do not like the appearance of the pot, solve this problem by buying a beautiful flower pot.
The main rule for the fragrance of orchids is the difference between day and night temperatures. The column of the thermometer in the daytime should show an amplitude from +18 to +27 degrees, at night - from +13 to +24. If these conditions are met during the growing season, expect the peduncle and buds to appear soon.
Dendrobium, Paphiopedilum and Celoginia tolerate low temperatures well. Wands, some varieties of Dendrobiums, Cattleya and Phalaenopsis can endure fever.
Humidity and air circulation
The optimum air humidity for orchids is approximately 70%. If you live in an apartment with a dry microclimate (central heating), you need to moisten the air next to the flower. There are several ways to do this. For example, buy or make your own trellised pallet. A simpler but more effective option is to place any water tank nearby. In winter, during periods of heating, you need to cover the battery with a damp cloth from time to time.
Replace the lack of humidity by regular spraying. You need to do them in the morning, so that in the evening all the moisture evaporates, otherwise the plant may rot. Water is not recommended for inflorescences.
Orchids need fresh air. If you want to ventilate the room, remove the plants from the windowsill, drafts adversely affect the flowers. In summer, it is permissible to use a fan, but do not direct it directly at the orchid.
If you breed Cymbidium, keep in mind that he loves fresh cool air. In the summer season, during flowering, he needs a constant circulation of fresh air. The ideal place for him would be a not too lighted loggia / balcony or air-conditioned room.
For bright, chic flowering, it is necessary to feed the plant periodically, every 3 weeks. You need to use fertilizers made specifically for orchids. Excess fertilizing will reduce the plant's immunity to diseases and parasites. So try to fertilize plants only when necessary, that is, during the flowering period.
Orchid is very sensitive to salts in the soil, so one week after bait, the substrate needs to be washed.
How to transplant an orchid
A change of pot and soil is necessary for the flower 1 time in 2-3 years. For a healthy plant, the signal for transplantation is overgrown greens of the pot border. Sometimes a flower needs an emergency transplant to rehabilitate its state of health. In other cases, the plant is transplanted 2 weeks after the complete completion of its flowering.
A common mistake of beginning gardeners is a flower transplant due to a root system knocking out. This does not need to be done, in addition to ground roots, the orchid also has airy roots that outgrow the pot.
An Orchid Transplant Walkthrough:
- Remove the plant from the pot. If the roots sprouted into the holes below, cut them with a disinfected pruner.
- Remove old soil, cut off rotten / dry roots. If there are yellowed / diseased leaves, trim them .-
- If you cut many rhizomes, plant the flower in the same pot. A healthy plant, with a good root system, needs to be planted in a pot 1-2 sizes larger .-
- Place gravel or shards at the bottom of the pot to make the pot heavier and improve soil ventilation.
- Put a little soil and carefully place the rhizome in the pot .-
- Gap between the roots with soil. The new sprout and pseudobulbs should be located below the side of the pot, but they must be open. The diagram below will help determine these parts.
- Cover the roots with sphagnum moss from above.
The transplanted flower should be put in a dark place and not watered for several days. If you use only pine bark and sphagnum for the soil, moisten the substrate a little after transplanting.
For details on transplanting orchids, see the video workshop.
Diseases in indoor orchids arise from improper care. Some diseases are directly related to this factor (for example, sunburn, rotting of rhizomes, etc.). Others appear due to weakened immunity of the flower. In any case, they need to be solved quickly.
Photos of popular orchid diseases
To rehabilitate the plant, it is necessary to eliminate the harmful factors of improper care. In advanced situations, a plant transplant is required with a change of soil, cutting off diseased roots and leaves. With parasites and infections, you must immediately isolate the plant, and then treat it.
A video tutorial will help you figure out how to get rid of insects on orchids.
Orchids (parasite control)
How to treat rotted orchid roots properly, see this video.
Orchid Care - Phalaenopsis root treatment.
From now on, you know how to care for orchids at home, and are ready to grow this capricious flower yourself. If you have any questions about caring for orchids, write them in the comments. The flower growers of our site will be happy to share their experience with you.