The orchid is a tropical plant that has become popular with flower growers for its exotic, vibrant colors. However, you have to pay for such beauty: caring for an orchid at home can be a real quest — it is gentle and demanding. But if you know all the rules, follow the instructions and take into account the specific features, an ornamental plant will delight you for a long time. Everything about his care, suitable soil, transplantation, reproduction, diseases — in our article.

Told the most important in the video

All about home care for orchids

flower features
Care rules
— Temperature
— Watering and spraying
— Humidity
— Illumination
– Fertilizer
Proper pots
Required soil composition
Transplant rules
Breeding rules
— root baby
— A baby on a peduncle
— Seeds
Diseases and pests

Species features of the plant

This flower is native to the tropics. There for him the most comfortable conditions — around warm and humid. The species comes from epiphytes — they grow on other plants, while not receiving nutrients from them. The orchid, like its ancestors, has aerial roots that are covered with villi: they are needed to absorb moisture from the air and soil. Therefore, it is difficult for her to adapt to room conditions — she needs moist soil, the same air, access to air for the roots.

How to care for an orchid at home

Temperature

The temperature regime for a tropical inhabitant is not so unusual — room temperature from +20 to +27 degrees will be enough. Some varieties are especially demanding: at night they need to provide coolness — + 14-24 degrees. But the most popular species, including Phalaenopsis, can stay at the same temperature all 24 hours.

Watering and spraying

How to water an orchid at home if it is so capricious? In fact, it is not necessary to do this too often — watering once a week will be enough. After the procedure, it is better to drain the water from the pan, otherwise the roots may rot. At the same time, do not allow the soil to dry out. You can monitor the condition of the soil and the color of the roots (this is easy to do through a transparent pot). If the soil is dry and the roots are light, then it’s time to water. For this, settled or filtered water at room temperature or a little warmer is suitable.

In different seasons, the watering regimen may vary slightly. So, s nwith the onset of spring, more abundant irrigation will be required, and some flower growers recommend increasing not the frequency of watering, but the volume of liquid. Or you can use combined watering: top and bottom. Once a week, water the seedling as usual, the second — pour water into the pan, put the pot in it. When the roots are saturated with moisture, the pan must be emptied and wait until all excess water has drained from the drainage holes.

As for spraying from a spray bottle, it can be done more often — about 3 times a week. But when spraying the plant, avoid excessive moisture on the flowers: dark spots form on them. And the leaves can be irrigated abundantly.

Humidity

Humidity around the flower should be high. If you still haven’t had a thermohygrometer, then with the purchase of a tropical plant you will have to buy it too — it’s better to constantly monitor the humidity level and adjust if necessary.

The optimal indicator is 60-70%. By the way, such air will be useful to all residents of the apartment. Most likely, only a humidifier will help to keep this level stable, especially during the heating season. In the summer, be careful with the air conditioner — in working condition, it also dries the air a lot.

If there is no opportunity to put a humidifier, save yourself by spraying — let them be sparse, but frequent. This is not ideal for a capricious bush, but will help it survive.

illumination

Another important factor in care, which can predetermine the state of the flower and the duration of its life. In the tropics, he is used to living in the penumbra of other trees (as we remember, this is an epiphyte), so choose a bright place for him, but without direct rays. You can arrange it on a rack near the window — there will be enough light, and the leaves will not “burn out” in the sun. If the apartment is completely dark in winter, it is better to highlight the plant with a phytolamp, so you definitely won’t harm it. Please note that the orchid will definitely not appreciate the permutations — it quickly gets used to its position, does not like to change it.

Fertilizer

Since at room conditions the plant is in a small amount of soil, it is important to feed it regularly. We note right away that it is better to exclude organic fertilizers (manure, banana skins, etc.) — they will start the process of decay. But mineral additives containing phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, magnesium can be used.

On the eve of the expected flowering period, phosphorus and potassium will be especially useful.. They need to be applied 3-4 times with an interval of 2 weeks. In this case, the flowers will be bright, lush, and the root system will develop properly.

During the dormant period, the orchid will take nitrogen supplements well — they will help increase the leaf mass. But be careful with nitrogen: strictly follow the instructions and follow the dosages, because even a slight excess will lead to the death of the plant. If in doubt whether such top dressing is needed, follow the seedling: slow growth, thin and medium-sized leaves will tell you that there is not enough nitrogen.

What pots are needed for orchids

Once you have acquired the coveted tropical bush, the question arises of where to «settle» it. By and large, the pot can be anything, but to simplify care, you need to take into account a number of principles.

  • Breathability. As we have already noted, one of the specific features of the plant is the roots, which need access to air, respectively, the soil must “breathe”. Therefore, it is better to choose pots with drainage holes.
  • Transparency. The flower itself, of course, will not feel whether it is in a transparent bowl or not, but it will be more convenient for you to monitor the condition of the roots and the dryness of the soil.
  • The size. Too big a pot is useless — the soil will dry out unevenly in it, which will affect the well-being of the plant. It is better to choose a diameter equal to the height of the seedling. If you are going to transplant exotic, then the new pot should be only 2-3 cm larger than the previous one.
  • Material capacitance is not as important as other parameters, but there are several important points. A plastic pot (especially transparent with drainage holes) is the best option for those who are just starting to comprehend the art of growing exotic. Glass pots are usually without drainage holes, which means that care will become more complicated — choose them if you are already accustomed to the vagaries of the flower. Ceramic containers are good, but there are two dangers: salts are quickly deposited on ceramics, which harm the plant, and the roots can dry out, grow to a rough surface.

Soil selection rules

Having chosen the right pot, it’s time to start filling it. The easiest and fastest way is to purchase ready-made soil for orchids in the store. It already contains all the necessary components in the correct proportions.

If you want to prepare the substrate yourself, here are some popular compositions.

1. Universal primer for orchids

  • 3 parts sod loose soil
  • 1 part peat
  • 1 part moss
  • 0.5 part perlite or sand

2. The substrate can be made heavier — this will help a plant with a weak root system to better gain a foothold

  • 3 pieces of bark
  • 1 part expanded clay
  • 1 part coal
  • 0.5 parts fallen leaves
  • 0.5 parts coconut
  • 0.5 parts sphagnum

3. The following soil composition is suitable for young plants

  • 4 parts fine pine bark
  • 1 part sphagnum
  • 1 part peat
  • 1 part fine expanded clay
  • 1 part charcoal

Transplant rules

It is not necessary to transplant an orchid too often, there are several indications for this.

  • It has been several years since the last transplant.
  • The plant has outgrown its capacity.
  • There was salinization of the inner walls of the pot and the soil itself from tap water or fertilizers. Visually, this is not very noticeable, but if more than 2 years have passed, most likely there is too much salt.

If you have checked your flower and are convinced that a transplant is needed, get down to business. Below is an instruction on how to transplant an orchid in order to subject it to minimal stress.

  1. Moisten the soil first — this will make the root system easier to extract. Taking the flower out of the container, with very delicate movements, free the roots from the lumps of the old earth.
  2. If you can’t remove stuck soil residues, soak the roots briefly in warm water. The earth will finally soften, and then fall off. After that, you can rinse the roots under a weak stream of the shower.
  3. Carefully inspect the roots — are there any damaged ones? If yes, trim them before starting the green fabrics. Sections are best treated with an antiseptic without alcohol.
  4. Drying. This step is sometimes skipped, but in vain. After all the manipulations, leave the bush to dry for 5-6 hours. During this time, excess moisture will evaporate, and small wounds will heal.
  5. Now you can place the seedling in a new pot (which and with what soil — we already know). After laying out the main part of the soil, place the seedling inside, press the roots a little, sprinkle the remaining substrate on top. It is important that the place where the trunk begins remains on the surface.

An absolutely healthy orchid should settle in quickly. But if you removed most of the roots during transplantation, for some time it will need more attention. You may need a stick support. And some flower growers recommend covering the flower with polyethylene in order to create its own special comfortable microclimate — as we remember, rather high temperatures and high humidity are welcome.

Breeding rules

Now let’s figure out how to propagate an orchid at home and which methods are the most effective.

Reproduction by basal baby

If you properly looked after your specimen, then it will give out this so-called baby near the roots without any problems. You need to separate it from the mother stem very carefully — with a special secateurs, and then treat both cuts with wood ash or activated charcoal. Then the mini-seedling is placed in a glass with soil, where it will need to be carefully looked after and its root mass will be increased. You can speed up this process by covering the cups with children with polyethylene — you need a lot of moisture.

Reproduction by a baby on a peduncle

Sometimes young rosettes appear on dormant flower buds. But you can’t separate them right away — such buds must first release at least 2 roots 3-5 cm long. And then the procedure is similar: we cut off the embryo of a new flower, process the sections, plant it in a separate glass, take care of it.

Reproduction by seeds

This method guarantees you a positive result less than others, because it is the most difficult and requires the utmost accuracy. First, you need to pollinate the orchid — in short, transfer pollinaria from one flower to another with a toothpick. The second stage is to wait for the seed box to ripen, which contains the desired seeds. After that, they need to be sown, and they can ripen for 3-8 months. The term depends both on the characteristics of the plant itself, and on the time of year, lighting, temperature around.

Diseases and pests to which the orchid is susceptible

Like any other flower, this resident of the tropics is sometimes exposed to diseases. Most often — fungal and bacterial. The first ones arise due to overflow — although the orchid loves humidity, excess moisture should not be allowed. A common fungal infection is fusarium. The fungus appears for various reasons, and its main symptom is rapid wilting. In case of damage, the flower must be isolated from others, the damaged parts should be trimmed, and then treated with a fungicide.

With diseases of a bacterial nature, watery spots appear on the leaves, which rapidly capture the entire seedling. In such cases, broad-spectrum antibiotics help.

Pests also do not bypass this tropical flower. Mealy and root bugs, aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, flatworms, fungal mosquitoes and some other parasites can infect an orchid. Each of them needs its own drugs, if you apply them on time, everything will be all right with her. But since this is a delicate flower, pests will still have a negative impact on its condition. Regularly and carefully inspect plants for suspicious symptoms so that in case of pests or diseases, immediate action can be taken. And pay special attention to seedlings after the trouble.

Plants

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