Being able to take care of an orchid is not always easy and very often when the flowers fall you lose interest in this plant.
In reality, like all plants, it enters a vegetative stasis where it accumulates the substances necessary to be able to flourish again.
That’s why I want to give you a brief guide on how to grow your orchid!
ORIGIN AND VARIETIES
The orchid is a plant native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of America and Asia, where they climb tree trunks and rocks. It prefers warm climates and only 15% grows spontaneously in cold climates.
It belongs to the Orchidaceae family to which the following subfamilies belong:
- orchidoideae (includes the genus Phalaenopsis with about 50 species that constitute the most common orchids);
These are perennial herbaceous plants, some of which are able to steal water and nutrients through aerial roots; others can feed on substances present in decaying organisms.
ORCHID: HOW TO CURE IT
Orchids belong to plant species that can also be grown at home for those who do not have a garden or want to decorate the rooms with floral varieties.
Here are some tips for growing orchids at home
VENTILATION AND TEMPERATURE
They do not like too rigid or warm climates, in fact their optimal temperature is around 15-20°C; some species can resist even short periods at 30°C but they must have an adequate humidity and ventilation. To ensure correct flowering, you must ensure that the orchid plant stays around 10°C during the night; if the temperature exceeds 12°C, it can lose its buds, as with the Cymbidium orchid.
During the summer season it is preferable that it is brought to the balcony in order to ventilate it; if this is not possible, I advise you to open the windows to allow the circulation of air. During the coldest months, however, it should not be placed near heat sources, such as radiators or stoves.
You need to make sure that the substrate of your orchid is always moist; while in the summer months you can irrigate it 2-3 times a week, in the winter months it is sufficient once. As far as the time of day is concerned, it is preferable to water it in the morning, so as to favour the evaporation of the water, avoiding this stagnation during the night. In fact, if it remains on the plant, the leaves and the flowers can go to rottenness.
The Phalaenopsis, being equipped with fleshy leaves, can resist to some periods of drought; however, they do not have reserve organs and it is very important to avoid that the water present in such tissues is completely drained.
To ensure proper moisture, you can place the orchid in a pot with expanded clay or gravel, substrates that retain liquids.
In addition, to moisturize the plant well, it is possible to spray non-calcareous (and chlorine-free) water on the leaves once a week.
These are plants with low nutritional requirements. The ideal fertiliser for orchids consists of twice as much nitrogen as phosphorus and potassium and can be given every 7-15 days depending on the season.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Most of the orchids on the market are grown in greenhouses and are native to tropical and sub-tropical areas; alternatively, they are varieties obtained with special techniques of cross-fertilisation between certain species.
They can be subject to different types of parasites and diseases; they are extremely delicate plants which can undergo physiopathology when the conditions of temperature, ventilation and irrigation are altered.
FLOWERING AND REPRODUCTION
If grown with the right care, Phalaenopsis can flower 2-3 times a year and the flowers can last for several weeks between December and April.
To stimulate their flowering you can induce a temperature change: keep them for 2 weeks at a temperature of 16 ° C, in this way you will stimulate the physiological process. I also advise you to give a fertilizer based on phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen and to subject them to a light less intense than normal during the day.
As for the removal of dried flowers, there are different opinions. Some experts argue that it is better to cut the stem in its entirety, others after the second knot and still others to let it dry naturally.
It should be stressed, if I decide to cut the branch, that that stem could give life to other branches or to new blooms.
Once the plant has reached the proper size, it can be used to generate new Phalaenopsis. In this case you will need to remove a cuttings of about 10 cm and that will have to be placed in a container with sand and peat to stimulate the branching.
Once it has taken root, it can be moved to a more illuminated place for a few days. Finally, when it has increased its size, it can be buried in pots and receive the care of an adult plant.