Exotic beauty and sophistication of orchids affects people even far from floriculture. Is it difficult to tame a tropical beauty, and how to care for an orchid, so that she rejoices with lush greenery and luxurious inflorescences?
Many lovers of indoor floriculture, who did not grow these unusual plants before, may get the wrong idea about caring for an orchid, as being excessively laborious and time-consuming. But getting to know the flowers closer, it turns out that it is not so difficult to maintain an orchid in a room of one of the common species.
How to care for an orchid at home, what conditions are required for an exotic culture that has fallen into a pottery room?
Orchid maintenance conditions
Correctly organized care means creating conditions that are close to natural. Orchid for a long time will preserve health and decorativeness, if:
- accounted for and provided with all the needs of the flower in nutrition, lighting and watering;
- the plant suits the temperature and humidity regime, soil composition and introduced fertilizing.
When choosing a flower for home growing, you need to remember that orchids have a variety of varieties, differing in appearance, and conditions of natural growth, and needs.
Without leaving this fact without attention, you can greatly simplify the care of orchids for beginners and for those already knowledgeable about the content of this crop of florists.
Most of the plants found in interiors are epiphytes from the tropics. They are easy to recognize by the succulent air rhizomes, not only providing moisture to the flower and nutrition, but also taking part in the process of photosynthesis. There are orchids, accustomed to living on rocks, where the soil layer, like on trees, is extremely small.
For such plants, the humidity of the air and the friability of the substrate are important. But the soil species, in addition to the usual care of the orchid, also need nutritious soil.
Read also: how to properly care for the phalaenopsis orchid
In the tropics, where the vast majority of indoor species come from, orchids grow in conditions of a long day of light and moderately bright, diffuse illumination. These same conditions are recreated in a situation where the orchids are taken care of at home.
The optimum duration of daylight hours for actively growing and blossoming orchids is 13-15 hours, practically not decreasing in the winter. Therefore, not at all superfluous when caring for an orchid will be an additional highlight.
It is not necessary without pre-conceived shading to put pots on the southern windows. Bright sunlight can leave brown or yellow traces on the foliage, and the buds under direct hot rays will fall completely. The best place is on the east or west side. On northern windows, lighting will be required even in the summer.
If the place for the plant is chosen incorrectly, even with proper care at home, the orchids, as in the photo, turn yellow, their leaves lose their elasticity, dry, the flowering becomes rare or does not occur at all.
Moisture in the air: the key to the success of care for an orchid at home
Elevated air humidity is extremely important for the successful cultivation of a tropical plant. And if in the summer to reach the desired 60-70% is quite real, then in the winter time the florist will have to try.
How to properly care for an orchid with working heaters mercilessly drying the air in the room? To maintain this humidity, electric humidifiers and household appliances are used.
A container in which flowers are grown can be placed on a moist moss laid in a shallow pan. If you do not have sphagnum at hand, which retains moisture for a long time, claydite is used in a similar way. The plant feels best in a florarium or a room greenhouse, separated from the rest of the room by plastic or glass.
When the florist uses a foliar spray in the care, do it regularly and carefully, trying not to fall on the flowers. It is highly undesirable to allow the still wet orchid to cool, as this will lead to the development of a fungus on juicy leaves and air roots.
Irrigate the flower in the first half of the day with water at room temperature, until the foliage is dry, the pot is protected from cold air and a draft in every possible way.
Irrigation with orchid care in a pot
Studying information on how to care for an orchid at home, a novice florist should not ignore such a question as watering these people from the tropics.
Already one appearance of the plant can tell a lot about his preferences and requests. Powerful air and underground rhizomes are designed for obtaining and storing moisture. In addition, to save some of the nutrients and water the flower can in the leaves, which in some species are noticeably thickened.
All orchids are hygrophilous and require abundant watering, in which a soil lump or a loose, coarse-grained substrate that is poured into a pot is completely soaked.
But how to care for an orchid in different periods of the year? Does the irrigation frequency change, and how do you know about the “thirst” for a flower in a mixture of bark, claydite, pieces of foam and other materials that are little like traditional soils?
The schedule of watering, as well as other procedures for caring for an orchid, must be corrected during the season change. In the warm season, a potted orchid receives water more often than in winter. But it is better to lower the plant than to pour it.
Thick leaves and roots will help the orchid survive a short-term drought, but the excess moisture, and especially its stagnation, is the right step to rotting roots.
Tropical guests at home are planted in transparent plastic pots or containers with special slots. This makes it possible to monitor the state of the root system, the rhizomes themselves participate in photosynthesis and more easily consume nutrients and moisture. But how to care for an orchid in a pot of such an unusual design?
There are no special features of orchid care here, except that it is necessary to water the flower in a continuous container from above, and it is convenient to dip the pots with slots into the prepared water for 4-6 minutes. During this time, the substrate will become saturated with moisture, and the excess will flow unhindered.
In summer, the substrate is moistened 2-3 times a week, when the surface of the soil is dry by touch. In the cold season, the frequency of irrigation is sharply reduced.
The need for water is recognized by the lost elasticity, slightly wrinkled rhizomes and drooping leaves. A healthy plant is quickly restored after moistening the soil.
But the leafless foliage of regularly watered orchids should alert the florist. Perhaps the roots were once flooded and now need to be sanitized.
Addition of indoor orchids
Like other indoor crops, which are forced to grow in a limited amount of substrate, orchids need regular feeding. But fertilize these plants should not be too often. Optimum, if specialized liquid formulations are introduced not more than twice a month and only during the period of active growth and flowering.
Increased salt content in the soil negatively affects the condition of the plant. How to care for an orchid, if the surface of the filler in the pot showed signs of salinity? It is better not to struggle with this phenomenon, but to prevent its appearance. Therefore, top dressing alternates with washing the root system, for which the pot is immersed in warm soft water for several minutes.
If the fertilizing included in the care of the orchid is redundant, the flower tolerates temperature changes worse, and is also more often affected by pests and fungi.
Orchid care after flowering
Withering of flowers on an orchid is a sure sign that the plant is preparing for a rest period. It will not lose its foliage, but it will be much less developed and fed until the buds appear. How to care for an orchid at this time?
First of all, it is worth paying attention to the remaining stems without bright corollas. While it remains green and juicy, it is left.
In some cases, buds are re-formed on the same peduncle, and also daughter plants, tiny rosettes are formed which, when forming their own roots, are cut and planted in a separate pot, into a loose substrate for orchids. But the signs of withering flower stems suggest that it’s time to cut it.
If the indoor orchid blossomed for a long time and abundantly, it is not right to allow the repeated emergence of buds, as is the case with certain plant species. This will only further weaken the flower.
To culture quickly and well restored forces, in the care of the orchid after flowering include fertilizing or flower transplantation. However, the latter procedure can be stress for the plant, because the roots not only tightly entwine the substrate, but also penetrate into the holes and extend beyond the pot.
A video about caring for an orchid at home will clarify all the subtleties of handling a spectacular tropical flower. If you follow simple rules, even for beginners, the room collection will be replenished with a surprisingly beautiful plant, which, feeling care, will respond with a long bright bloom.