Phalaenopsis orchid: 5 rules for caring for a butterfly flower
The tropical flora of Asia is rich in masterpieces, but the phalaenopsis orchid is considered the undoubted queen of beauty. The sophistication of forms, the variety of colors, the magical aroma are truly royal virtues.
What care does a home beauty need, what problems can one encounter, how to propagate a flower?
Epiphyte and perennial, phalaenopsis chose the country with a tropical humid climate as its habitat. Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines are the suppliers of a large number of orchid species.
The name of the flower was given by the German botanist Karl Ludwig Blume, and it means "looking like a moth." In height, it grows on average up to 50–70 cm, taking into account the peduncle. The stem itself is short, leaves 30–35 cm, their number per plant does not exceed 4–6 pieces. No more than 2 leaves are added per year. The peduncle can have from 5 to 20 flowers.
They are painted in various shades of yellow, pink, green, beige and purple. As a decorative element, as can be seen in the photo, there are speckles, stripes, intermittent strokes and spots of a more saturated shade on the petals.
The orchid blooms constantly, it does not have a long period of dormancy. The duration of flowering can be 2-6 months.
Selection Criteria Phalaenopsis
Going to buy an exotic beauty, you should seriously prepare for the choice of creeper in order to purchase exactly what you want.
In stores under the single name Phalaenopsis, all kinds of this plant are sold. They are divided into two types: high and mini phalaenopsis orchid, not exceeding 30 cm. They are distinguished by the color palette:
- Plain, in which the corollas are painted in one tone of yellow, pink, purple or white.
- Multicolorcombining two colors of petals with dots, spots and stripes.
When choosing a variety, pay attention to the smell. Among the phalaenopsis there are instances that emit an amazing aroma, and there are those that practically do not smell. Be sure to ask the seller about such a feature of the variety as the number of flowers on the peduncle.
For ease of selection, we have prepared a description of the varieties that are in demand among experienced orchid lovers.
Under this name is hiding hybrid orchid speciesadapted for growing at home. Experts advise buying it to those who are just starting their acquaintance with a charming tropical flower.
The lifespan of the species is 7 years. He has fleshy leaves traditional for phalaenopsis, painted in various shades of green. Their main differences are the color of the flowers and their number on the peduncle.
In addition, plants with the prefix “mix” are easy to care for and not as demanding on the conditions of detention as species forms of orchids.
This species can please you with two peduncles. Its petals are painted in an amazing pale blue hue, and the “lip” stands out in dark blue.
Corollas are large, up to 10 cm, located on a high, about 60 cm, peduncle. With the right use of fertilizing, you can significantly extend the flowering period.
A hybrid obtained from the phalaenopsis of Stuart and Schiller. The color scheme includes lilac and pink tones. The diameter of the flowers is 4–6 cm. It has cascading flowering and is unpretentious in care.
The species is distinguished by a colorful coloring of the petals and a branched peduncle. Each shoot can carry 15–20 nimbuses 4–5 cm in size. Cream and white tones prevail in the color of the petals; the yellow-orange “lip” is decorated with burgundy spots. Flowering time falls in the winter.
Magic art (magic art)
Great variety, with no less than beautiful second name diamond sky. Peduncle - 65 cm, flower diameter - 10 cm.
White-pink petals with a magical pattern of fancifully scattered strokes, dots, spots that make up the hourglass pattern. “Lip” completes the composition with a rich pink tone. Blooms for 2 months every six months.
Another species extremely popular with gardeners is the dendrobium phalaenopsis. It is a hybrid with beautiful lilac flowers and a long flowering period.
After leaving a purchase for an orchid, care starts from the moment you bring it to the house. It is easy to notice that flowering plant specimens are sold in stores, that is, they will require special treatment.
If the plant is healthy, it has no obvious problems with foliage and roots, do not rush to transplant it. Let it will be quarantined for 2 weeks.
During this period, it does not need to be watered, fed and placed next to other household flowers. Find a slightly shaded spot for him and watch him.
After 2 weeks, making sure that everything is in order with the liana, you can transfer it to a permanent place of residence. Now the real home care begins.
Location and temperature
Optimum comfort is created for the plant on the south window.. The orchid is completely satisfied with the gentle morning rays and soft sunset reflections, but it is better to cover it from the midday sun. The daylight hours are 12–16 hours, so in winter you will have to use a phytolamp.
Favorable for phalaenopsis the temperature regime is kept within 15 ... 25 ° C. For flowering, the plant is cleaned in the shade and maintained at a temperature of 18 ... 25 ° C.
Pot and substrate
The volume of the pot should slightly differ from the size of the root system of the flower. Take a small container - the roots will come out and may be damaged. Choose a pot too large - moisture will stagnate in it, which will lead to rotting of the roots. There should be openings in the side walls and on the bottom of the pot for aeration of the roots and moisture removal.
Attention! Most often, transparent pots are used to keep orchids. In addition to the aesthetic factor, such flowerpots allow you to constantly monitor the state of the root system of the plant.
For the plant to feel at home, for him prepare a special substrate from medium and small pieces of tree bark.
The middle fragments are laid on the bottom of the tank, and the empty space remaining after filling the pot with the root system is covered with small ones. With low humidity, mix the bark with particles of sphagnum.
Humidity and watering
These two most important parameters provide the external beauty of the flower and its internal health. At home 30-40% moisture content is enough for the plantbut only if the room where it is located is well ventilated.
A decrease in humidity should not be allowed. To maintain it, you can put a pan under the pot filled with wet pebbles.
Ordinary spraying is not suitable for an orchid: water entering the leaf sinuses can cause decay. In hot weather, the water droplets remaining on the leaves become hot from the sun and cause burns.
The need for watering is determined by the state of the substrate: if it is completely dry, it's time to water the flower. If you keep phalaenopsis in a transparent pot, pay attention to its walls: when there is no moisture on them, it means that the flower needs watering. When kept in an opaque container, you will have to check the condition of the soil manually.
It is important to know how to water Phalaenopsis.. Water the flower so that a trickle of water goes into the soil and does not fall on other parts of the vine. For orchids, water must be passed through a filter and boiled, or distilled water should be taken.
How to transplant phalaenopsis?
The most vulnerable part of orchids is their roots. During transplant you need to carefully examine the root system of the plant. Step by step the whole process looks like this:
- If part of the roots crawled out into the drainage holes or adhered to the walls of the pot, they must be carefully cut and sprinkled with cuts on the garden varieties.
- Pieces of the old substrate are removed from the remaining roots. If they are deeply rooted, it is better to leave everything as it is.
- A layer of drainage and some large pieces of bark are poured into a new pot prepared for transplantation.
- Plant roots are introduced, empty cavities are filled with bark. The substrate should not be poured to the very top of the pot. You need to leave 1.5–2 cm for future roots.
- Watering the transplanted flower is not necessary. The first watering plan on the 4th – 5th day after the transplant.
Succinic acid, which can be sprayed or watered on a flower, is suitable as a growth stimulant.
How often do I transplant?
The fact that the plant needs a transplant, indicate the roots crawling out of the pot, and the bare stalk. Most often, phalaenopsis is transplanted in the spring, but you can do this as necessary.
Due to the high risk of damage to brittle roots it is not recommended to transplant a flower more often than 2-3 times a year.
The time and frequency of flowering of phalaenopsis depends on the variety of lianas. Some species bloom in spring and summer, others delight with their flowering in winter. Large flower varieties can bloom year-round.
A plant whose flowering occurred in the winter should provide a full daylight hours. The phytolamp is turned on so that the plant receives light 10-12 hours a day.
Another important factor affecting the successful flowering of an orchid is the correct temperature difference at night and day. The difference should be 5-6 degrees.
For specimens blooming from spring to autumn, such a regime can be created if you take them out to fresh air. In winter, temperature fluctuations can be maintained by ventilating the room. Be sure to ensure that the flower does not stand in the way of drafts.
Lack of flowering
To the question of why phalaenopsis does not bloom, experts respond by pointing out several negative factors at once:
- Lack of lighting. A light day lasting 10-12 hours will correct the situation.
- Fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers. Stop the introduction of mixtures with nitrogen for the time required for its complete processing, and give the plant fertilizers with phosphorus.
- Flower fatigue. The plant needs time to recover.
The lack of flowering may be associated with the age of phalaenopsis. Young orchids without a flower stalk, bought in a store, do not immediately bloom. They need time to adapt, and the care you organize for them is important.
You can independently determine the age of the plant by the number of shoots. An adult specimen, ready for flowering, has 5-8 shoots.
Attention! If a young orchid has released a peduncle, it is better to prune it. She may not have enough strength for flowering and she will fall ill or die.
When the tropical beauty has blossomed safely, she should rest a bit, and the owner must help her in this:
- move the flower pot to a dark place;
- pruning flower stalk;
- reduce the frequency of watering by 3 times;
- Do not spray or feed.
After doing these manipulations, continue to monitor the plant. If his lower leaves dry out and turn yellow, that's okay, it should be so.
In the natural environment Phalaenopsis orchid propagated by seeds and new shoots. Familiar to many species of Orchidic division of rhizomes, this flower is not propagated. It will not work to grow it from seeds.
Only overgrown children of the Phalaenopsis orchid on the peduncle or at the bottom of the leaf rosette are suitable for propagation of this plant.
The process of reproduction by children
The shoots appearing on the peduncle can be cut off for reproduction only when the plant has blossomed and rested for 1-2 months. A shoot suitable for planting should have 2-3 leaves and aerial roots 5 cm long.
Having separated the shoot, it is left to dry for 24 hours. Then they are transferred to a nutrient substrate from small pieces of bark and covered with a glass jar, maintaining the temperature in the mini-greenhouse within 22 ... 25 ° С. After rooting the children, the shelter is removed.
Diseases and Pests
All phalaenopsis diseases result from improper care. One of the serious problems a flower owner may encounter is leaf turgor loss. The condition of the leaf plate serves as an indicator of the health of the entire plant.
The drooping leaves spoil the appearance of the flower. How to restore leaf turgor in a phalaenopsis orchid? The plant can be nourished with a vitamin cocktail.
Especially for the leaves, they make sugar syrup, with which they treat their surface for 3-4 days. Zircon and Epin biostimulants have proven themselves well.
Consider what else a delicate flower can get sick with.
Fungal disease affecting the roots. It is provoked by excessive watering. Gradually spreading, it goes to other parts of the plant. Due to the hidden onset of the disease, it is impossible to fight it, the affected plant dies. The flower should be burned.
Other types of rot - root, gray, black - can be cured by spraying with fungicidal solutions of "Fundazole" or "Topsina-M". The treatment procedure is carried out 2 times with an interval of 1.5 weeks.
Urticaria is manifested by large spots (2-3 cm) located on a leaf plate. The causes of the disease include low temperature, high humidity and poor ventilation.
Restoring comfortable indicators, you can restore health to the plant.
Disease affecting phalaenopsis flowers. It, like urticaria, is caused by excessive humidity and poor ventilation. Dark brown spots appear on the flower petals.
To combat, normalize the humidity and ventilation indicators and treat the plant with bactericidal preparations.
Yellowing and flying around the leaves can be associated with infection of the plant with a mealybug. To destroy the pest, all parts of the plant are washed with soapy water, after collecting all the visible insects with a damp cloth.
If the flower does not have enough humidity, a spider mite settles on it. The pest is noted on the plant with thin silver cobwebs. With a slight lesion, treatment of the flower with a soapy solution is sufficient.
If the volume of infected parts is large, you need to use acaricides ("Actellik", "Fitoverm").
Thrips settle on leaf plates and flowers, manifesting themselves as brown spots. You can destroy insects with the help of a systemic insecticide (Isatrine, Fitoverm, Actellik). With a solution of the drug, the affected areas of the liana are treated.
Sticky drops on the leaves of the phalaenopsis orchid in the form of tubercles indicate a defeat by scabies. The insidiousness of the pest is that it sucks the juice from the plant. To get rid of it, you need to twice a week to process the flower with a soap solution.
Settling on a plant, slugs eat leaves, shoots and flowers on it. Experienced growers recommend setting traps on them. Slices of carrots or cucumbers are laid out on the ground.
Slugs come out of their shelters, and they can be quickly collected. For total destruction, you need to process the flower with "Mesurool" or "Metaldehyde."
Some orchid diseases can lead to the death of roots. It also happens that not all the roots died, which means that the pet can still be saved. How to grow roots?
Leaving all the healthy roots, they are dipped into water for 5-6 hours every morning, then drained and left the roots dry until morning. Then the procedure is repeated until new roots appear. To speed up the process, you can add glucose, honey or sugar to the water.