Phalaenopsis: caring for a butterfly orchid at home


Orchids on the windowsill are the dream of most amateur flower growers. But many do not dare to plant them, fearing difficulties in the course of work. Indeed, these flowers are quite capricious. But there are exceptions, for example, the phalaenopsis orchid. They look no less impressive than other varieties, and caring for them at home is incomparably easier. The flower is quite suitable for a novice florist who wants to practice before starting to cultivate Cattleya, Miltonia and Ludisia.

What does the phalaenopsis orchid look like?

Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis) - one of the many representatives of the Orchid family, a perennial epiphytic plant. In nature, most varieties of this orchid can be found in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other islands of the Malay archipelago. They also grow in other regions with a humid tropical climate.

In nature, phalaenopsis most often settles on tree trunks, using them as a support.

The name (phalaenopsis means similar to a moth) the plant owes to a curiosity. One night in the dark, the director of the Leiden Botanical Garden, Karl Ludwig Blume, who was studying the flora of one of the islands between Asia and Australia, mistook these flowers for butterflies.

The average height of an orchid is 50–70 cm. The stem is very short. The leaves are large, fleshy to the touch, up to 30–35 cm long. On each orchid, a maximum of 4–6 leaves are formed simultaneously, no more than two per year.

Phalaenopsis's stem is almost invisible, pseudobulbs are absent, the peduncle is often bent

The root system of a plant is very developed, because in nature it absorbs moisture and nutrients, mostly directly from the air. Healthy roots are colored greenish-silvery. Phalaenopsis is an epiphyte, therefore, it does not have pseudobulbs typical for most other orchids.

Phalaenopsis roots are covered with a thick layer of velamen - the tissue with which the plant draws moisture and nutrients from the air

In the countries of North America and Western Europe, phalaenopsis are practically disposable plants. A blooming orchid is acquired, when the flowering ends, it is simply thrown away.

The height of the curved peduncle reaches 70–80 cm. Each of them has from five to twenty or more flowers with a diameter of 3-8 cm. The central petal (labellum or the so-called lip) contrasts sharply with the rest, standing out with a brighter color and / or a pattern of specks, strokes, stripes, spots. Most often, there are different shades of pink, yellow, purple, green, as well as white and creamy beige. The buds are formed at any time of the year; this orchid does not have a pronounced dormant period. Flowering, depending on the species, lasts from two months to six months.

Phalaenopsis is distinguished by the duration and abundance of flowering.

Video: description of phalaenopsis

Varieties popular with flower growers

In nature, there are about 40 varieties of phalaenopsis. But not everyone has adapted to the climate of modern apartments, which is radically different from their usual conditions.

Most often, gardeners grow:

  • Horse phalaenopsis (Equestris). In nature, it grows in Taiwan and the Philippines. Peduncle of an inky purple hue. When the first buds bloom, it gradually lengthens, new flowers are formed. Due to this, flowering is extended for 4–5 months. The flowers are pastel pink, medium-sized (2-3 cm in diameter). In optimal conditions, it blooms twice a year - in spring and autumn.
  • Phalaenopsis deer-horned (Cornucervi). The most common on the islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra. It owes its name to the unusual shape of the peduncle - it is flattened, branched, with small outgrowths where buds are formed. Its height is about 40 cm. Each peduncle has 7-12 flowers. The petals are greenish-yellow with red spots, the lip is snow-white.
  • Phalaenopsis adorable or pleasant (Amabilis). One of the most common varieties in home floriculture. The height of the plant is about 70 cm, the length of a dull, intensively branching peduncle is up to 1.5 m. Each of them has 20-30 flowers with creamy-white or pinkish-yellow petals and a white-yellow-purple lip. In nature, their number reaches one hundred. Flower diameter - 8 cm or more. Flowering peaks in late spring and early summer. The buds emit a pleasant scent reminiscent of orange blossom.
  • Phalaenopsis Stuart (Stuartiana). It stands out for the variegated color of the leaves. The peduncle is intensely branching, each shoot has 15–20 flowers 4–5 cm in diameter. The main tone of the petals is white or cream (with a dark scarlet spot at the base), the lip is orange-yellow with small burgundy specks. Blooms mainly in winter.
  • Phalaenopsis Schiller (Schilleriana). Parent of most breeding hybrids. In nature, it is found exclusively in the Philippines. The bright green leaves are covered with silvery and dark emerald spots on the outside, the inside is dull red. Peduncle up to 1 m high. Flowers 6–7 cm in diameter. Petals are mauve, saturated at the base shade gradually fades closer to the tip. The lip is forked, somewhat similar to a two-pronged fork. The peak of flowering occurs in the winter. Properly cared for mature plants often form whole cascades of buds.
  • Phalaenopsis Luddemana (Lueddemanniana). The plant is about 15–20 cm high, the peduncle stretches up to 30 cm. Each has a maximum of 7 flowers, 3-4 cm in diameter, with a pleasant unobtrusive aroma. The petals are lilac-pink, sometimes there are blotches and stripes, white, as well as various shades of yellow and burgundy. It blooms almost all year round. The leaves are light, lettuce-colored.
  • Phalaenopsis Sandera (Sanderiana). A fairly rare variety. The leaves are variegated. Peduncles 1.5 m or more high, drooping. Each has up to 50 buds. The petals are white-purple, the lip is creamy, with yellow veins. The peak of flowering is in the summer.
  • Phalaenopsis pink (Rosea). Natural miniature orchid no more than 10-15 cm high. The length of the leaf is 8-10 cm. The peduncle is curved, it has 10-16 flowers up to 3 cm in diameter. The petals can be white-pink or crimson.
  • Phalaenopsis Parish (Parishii). Another natural miniature orchid. The height of the peduncle is up to 15 cm, the length of the rich green leaves is about 20 cm. On each peduncle, 8–10 small (1.5–2 cm in diameter) flowers with cream or vanilla petals bloom at the same time. The lip is very wide, colored maroon or purple. The aroma is intense, sugary-sweet, like candy.
  • Phalaenopsis giant (Gigantea). The name, as you might guess, is due to the size. The length of the leaf is up to 1 m, the peduncles are short, only 40–50 cm. Each forms 25–30 buds with a diameter of 5–7 cm. The flowers have a faint smell, reminiscent of the aroma of citrus. The color of the petals ranges from white and pale yellow to lime and olive. A pattern of purple or chocolate spots and stripes is characteristic.
  • Phalaenopsis Amboinensis. The length of the leaves and the height of the curved peduncle are approximately 25–30 cm. Each year, a new peduncle is formed on the orchid, while the old ones continue to grow and branch. Accordingly, flowering is gradually becoming more and more abundant. Up to 10 buds are formed on each branch, but they bloom in turn. The orchid blooms mainly in summer. The color of the petals ranges from pale yellow to golden orange. The pattern is dull red or brownish stripes.
  • Phalaenopsis Philadelphia. A very popular breeding hybrid based on the phalaenopsis of Schiller and Stuart. Flowers 4–6 cm in diameter are colored in various shades of pink and purple. It is appreciated for its unpretentiousness and cascading flowering.
  • Phalaenopsis hieroglyphic (Hieroglyphica). Another common hybrid. The height of the leaves and peduncle is 30–35 cm. The flowers seem to be made of wax, with a pleasant aroma. On each peduncle there are 3-6 of them. The petals are snow-white, covered with a pattern in the form of pink and burgundy specks and strokes.
  • Phalaenopsis Royal Blue. Forms two peduncles at the same time. The petals are sky blue, the lip is dark blue. The height of the peduncle is about 60 cm, the diameter of the flower is 8–10 cm. The duration of flowering depends on how regularly top dressing is applied.
  • Phalaenopsis Black Butterfly. Breeding hybrid. The flowers are large, up to 10 cm in diameter. The petals are very dark purple in color with a thin white border along the edge. The lip is white-yellow-lilac.
  • Phalaenopsis Golden Beauty. The plant simultaneously forms 2–3 peduncles, each with 15 flowers or more. The petals are pale yellow, with a white spot at the base. The lip is pink, crimson or scarlet.
  • Phalaenopsis Mini-Mark Maria Teresa. It is considered the best variety in the Mini-Mark series of hybrids. The length of the leaf is no more than 15 cm. The flowers are medium-sized, 3-4 cm in diameter. The petals are snow-white, strewn with small specks of different shades of yellow, orange and pink. The lip is terracotta. Flowering lasts 3-4 months.
  • Phalaenopsis Amsterdam Jordan. Rare enough hybrid. Bred in the XIX century, but still has not lost its popularity. The height of the orchid is about 50 cm. The petals are crimson or crimson, covered with burgundy specks with a white border. The lip is dark cherry hue.
  • Phalaenopsis Harlequin. One of the so-called novelty-phalaenopsis, hybrids originally from Taiwan. They are characterized by the compactness of the rosette of leaves, the presence of numerous peduncles and the regular shape of a flower that looks like a star. This hybrid has lemon-yellow petals covered with rounded burgundy spots. In the light, they shine glossy, as if lacquered.

Home-grown phalaenopsis varieties, pictured

Optimal growing conditions

The humid subtropical climate common to orchids is radically different from the conditions of modern apartments. Nevertheless, they successfully adapted to them. When caring for a phalaenopsis orchid at home, nothing supernatural is required from a florist.

Table: what conditions are needed for phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis is undesirable to place on the south window, if there is simply no other place, the plants must be shaded, protecting from direct sunlight

Phalaenopsis tend to reach for the sun, so every 15–20 days the pot is turned 180º. The exception is the period before flowering. While the buds are forming, the peduncle is carefully tied to a peg support. Their pedicels harden after about two weeks, after which they will no longer be able to change position.

The material on the cultivation of Bauhinia, whose flowers resemble orchids in shape, will also be useful: https://diz-cafe.com/rastenija/bauxiniya-orxidejnoe-derevo-v-domashnix-usloviyax.html

Planting and transplanting procedure

Phalaenopsis, like any other orchid, will grow and bloom only in a suitable substrate, which bears little resemblance to the soil in the usual sense of the word. Therefore, a plant purchased in a store should be transplanted as soon as possible. You can buy a special soil mixture for orchids or make it yourself from small pieces of charcoal, dry sphagnum moss, coconut fiber, pine bark, dried fern roots. All ingredients are taken in approximately equal proportions.

Orchid soil is not at all like soil in the usual sense of the word.

The pot is chosen transparent - it is easier to control the condition of the roots. In addition, they participate in photosynthesis in orchids. At the bottom, a drainage layer with a thickness of at least 2-3 cm made of expanded clay or foam crumbs is required. It is desirable that the container has legs - in this case, the substrate does not come into contact with the water in the pan.

A transparent pot allows you to control the condition of the roots and substrate, adjust the frequency of watering

The soil falls into disrepair quickly enough, it becomes salted and caked. Therefore, phalaenopsis are transplanted annually. Any time is suitable for the procedure, except for the flowering period. To remove the orchid from the pot, it is soaked in warm water for several hours. You can replace it with a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate for the prevention of fungal diseases.

The roots are cleaned of pieces of bark. Dried and dead areas are cut off, the cuts are sprinkled with crushed chalk, activated carbon, cinnamon. Then it is advisable to dry them for 6-8 hours. Phalaenopsis is transferred to a new pot, the substrate is poured without compacting it. In this case, the plant must be firmly positioned in the pot. About 3/4 of the volume of the container should be filled with soil. If the aerial roots are sticking out, this is normal.

There is nothing complicated in orchid transplantation, even a novice florist can handle the procedure

During the first week, the transplanted orchid is especially carefully protected from direct sunlight. It is watered for the first time only after 5-7 days, top dressing is applied no earlier than a month later.

It is also practiced to grow phalaenopsis (especially miniature ones) on pieces of bark, snags, pressed coconut fiber, imitating their natural habitat. Such compositions look very impressive. The roots of the orchid are wrapped in a layer of sphagnum moss and securely attached to the support using pieces of wire. Such plants are watered by spraying sphagnum moss.

Phalaenopsis in compositions that mimic the natural habitat of the orchid look very impressive

Video: how to properly transplant an orchid

Important nuances of caring for a plant at home

Phalaenopsis is one of the most unpretentious orchids. Even a novice florist can take care of her. The plant does not have a clearly pronounced dormant period, therefore, during the year, watering and feeding are carried out in almost the same mode.

Water for irrigation is used only soft and settled, at room temperature. The frequency is adjusted based on the weather outside. In any case, let the substrate dry completely. This can be determined by the fact that condensation ceases to form on the walls of the pot.

If in doubt, it is best to wait a few more days. Phalaenopsis can handle this easily enough. But frequent and abundant watering of the plant is categorically contraindicated. Under normal conditions, once every 3-4 days is enough.

As a general rule, the colder it is outside, the less light and the finer the fraction of the substrate, the less often orchids are watered. Watering overnight is highly discouraged.

Orchids are watered by immersion. The pot with the plant is lowered into a container of water so that it completely covers the ground. As soon as the bubbles stop coming out, the orchid is removed from the container and dried well.

Water the phalaenopsis using immersion methods, or at least so that drops of water do not fall into the leaf axils

It is useful to rinse the substrate every 2-3 months, getting rid of excess salts. Keep the pot under running water for 5-10 minutes.

Top dressing is applied every 10-12 days. Fertilizers are chosen specifically for orchids. Before this, the plant must be watered. Foliar dressing is also practiced, but in this case you need to make sure that drops of the solution do not fall into the axils of the leaves, on the flowers and buds. At the same time, the concentration of the agent is reduced by half compared to that recommended by the manufacturer.

For feeding phalaenopsis, they choose special products for orchids.

The fact that the phalaenopsis lacks nutrients is evidenced by the torn or corrugated edges of the petals.

Video: recommendations for the care of phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis bloom

Phalaenopsis flowers can appear at any time. Particular attention should be paid to the temperature - the hotter it is in the room, the faster the blossoming buds dry and fall. Ethylene, which is secreted by ripe fruits, especially apples and bananas, has a similar effect.

To stimulate flowering, it is recommended to reduce watering for 2-3 weeks to the required minimum and lower the temperature of the content to 16-18 ° C. The difference between day and night temperatures is not less than 5 ° C. Practice shows that summer flower stalks are shorter than winter ones, and the buds on them are located more closely, almost without intervals.

In order for a peduncle to form on the phalaenopsis, a small temperature difference is required during the day

After the end of flowering, if the peduncle has not completely dried out, only that part of it that has changed its shade and dried out is cut off, covering the cut with greenery. From the buds remaining on it, lateral shoots will form, and buds on them. Such a procedure is undesirable only for young and miniature phalaenopsis; prolonged flowering greatly weakens them.

Phalaenopsis bloom is a well-deserved reward for the florist

Typical florist mistakes

Often, the florist himself is to blame for the deterioration of the appearance of the phalaenopsis orchid. It is necessary to correct individual mistakes in care in time, and the state of the plant will return to normal.

Table: how errors manifest in orchid care

Yellowing leaves indicate improper watering in combination with far from ideal conditions for keeping the orchid

Diseases, pests and control of them

Phalaenopsis rarely suffers from diseases and pests with proper care. Nevertheless, not a single florist is immune from this. Therefore, do not forget about preventive measures:

  • regular ventilation of the room;
  • free, without crowding, placement of flower pots on the windowsill;
  • at least two weeks of quarantine for newly purchased copies;
  • the use of only sharpened tools for any work with the plant, treatment of all wounds;
  • immediate removal from the windowsill of specimens with suspicious symptoms.

Table: diseases and pests typical for phalaenopsis

External manifestations of symptoms of damage to phalaenopsis by diseases and pests: photo

Reproduction methods

At home, phalaenopsis reproduces vegetatively. Growing orchids from seeds is a very difficult and time-consuming procedure, which also requires absolute sterility and the use of special nutrient formulations. It is also impossible to guarantee compliance with varietal characteristics. The optimal time for breeding is late winter and spring.

Reproduction by offspring

Phalaenopsis babies are formed at a slightly low temperature (20–21 ° C). Under normal conditions, the plant is more likely to develop a peduncle. Most often they form at the base of the stem or from dormant buds on the peduncle. The latter can be treated with cytokinin paste.

Phalaenopsis babies are formed mainly on the peduncle

The offspring are left on the orchid until the leaves grow up to 2–3 cm in length, and the roots up to 5–6 cm. Children are separated from the mother plant, placed in a separate small pot, and looked after like an adult orchid. Until they start growing, it is advisable to cover the container with a plastic bag or a cut plastic bottle.

Cytokinin paste - a preparation that stimulates flowering and reproduction of orchids

Video: rooting phalaenopsis babies

Reproduction by peduncles

The peduncle remaining green after flowering, 1.5–2 months after all the buds have fallen off, is cut off at the base and divided into 4–5 pieces no more than 20 cm long. Each of them should have a growth bud. Slices are made at an angle of 40–45º.

Each part of the peduncle must have a growth bud.

Then they are sprinkled with crushed activated carbon, crushed chalk. The cuttings are placed horizontally in a container filled with fine expanded clay or sand, and covered with moist sphagnum moss on top. The container is covered with a plastic bag or glass cover. In order for the growth buds to wake up, a temperature of at least 25–27 ° C, a day length of 14–16 hours, and lower heating are required. The greenhouse is ventilated daily, getting rid of accumulated condensate, the substrate is maintained in a moderately moist state.

A greenhouse with cuttings should be regularly ventilated, otherwise rot development is very likely.

Video: reproduction of phalaenopsis by cuttings

Plant division

The method is suitable only for absolutely healthy, powerful and developed plants. They have at least 6–8 leaves in the outlet. To get a new orchid, the top of the old one is cut off. Aerial roots must be present on it. Places of cuts are sprinkled with any powdery biostimulant, disinfected. The top is transplanted into a separate container. It can be expected to bloom in 2-3 years.

After dividing, the orchid comes to life for a long time.

Florist reviews

Phalaenopsis is one of the most unpretentious orchids to care for. Even a novice grower can achieve flowering from her. The plant looks very attractive, decorating the interior. There are many natural varieties of phalaenopsis, there are also hybrids bred by breeding. If you set a goal, it is quite possible to collect a large collection.

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Phalaenopsis Orchid

The phalinopsis orchid (Phalaenopsis) is a herbaceous plant of the Vendian tribe of the Orchid family. Her homeland is the humid forests of Southeast Asia, Australia and the Philippines. Most of these orchids are epiphytes, as they grow on trees, but in some cases they can be found growing on rocks. Georg Rumph, a German naturalist, was the first to find such a plant while on one of the Moluccas. Karl Blum, director of the Leiden Botanical Garden, called this orchid phalaenopsis, once he examined this plant through binoculars and decided that its flowers are real butterflies, and phalaenopsis just means "like a moth." Today this flower is sometimes referred to as "butterfly orchids". This genus unites about 70 species. Such a plant is very popular with flower growers, because it is distinguished by its sophistication and showiness, and this is also due to the fact that this orchid is relatively easy to care for.


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  • Bloom: at any time from 2 to 6 months.
  • Lighting: bright diffused light (windows of western, eastern or northeastern orientation) or slight partial shade.
  • Temperature: maximum - 42 ˚C, minimum - 12 ˚C, comfortable - within 15-25 ˚.
  • Watering: after complete drying of the soil.
  • Air humidity: 30-40% with good ventilation of the room.
  • Top dressing: a solution of complete mineral fertilizer weekly.
  • Rest period: not pronounced.
  • Transfer: as the substrate acidifies and cakes, about once every 2-4 years.
  • Reproduction: vegetatively (side shoots).
  • Pests: mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, scale insects, slugs.
  • Diseases: fusarium, rust, anthracnose, blotchiness, black, brown, gray and root rot.

Phalaenopsis flowers (lat.Phalaenopsis) - herbaceous plants of the tribe Vendaceae of the Orchid family, native to the humid forests of Australia, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Phalaenopsis orchids are mostly epiphytic because they grow on trees, but sometimes they also grow on rocks. The first phalaenopsis on one of the Moluccas was discovered by the German naturalist Georg Rumph, but the flower got its name from Karl Blum, director of the Leiden Botanical Garden, who, looking at an exotic orchid through binoculars, took it for a butterfly, and therefore called it phalaenopsis - "like a moth". And until now, flower growers call these flowers "butterfly orchids."

The phalaenopsis genus has about seventy species. The phalaenopsis flower, which is sold in flower shops, is incredibly popular, not only because of its exquisite and extraordinary beauty, but also because the cultivation of phalaenopsis and its maintenance does not cause concern and does not require costs.


How to determine the type of flower?

Under the name of this flower, you can find a large number of completely dissimilar plants. Some of them have long stems on which there are only a few flowers, others may be with small stems, completely dotted with flowers.

To find out which variety is in front of you, and also learn to distinguish between them, you need to know that phalaenopsis are of two types:

  • high, growing up to one meter
  • mini-phalaenopsis that do not grow taller than 30 centimeters.

In addition, they can be identified by their colors.

  • Monochromatic... Most often these are varietal plants that have only one tone. The most popular among them are white, yellow, pink and even purple phalaenopsis.
  • Multicolor... These include varieties with two-colored petals, with stripes, speckled.

And some plants can be fragrant, while others, on the contrary, do not smell at all. But this does not mean that they are somehow worse than their fragrant counterparts. In addition, each phalaenopsis variety differs in the number of flowers on the peduncle.

All plant varieties can be divided into several groups.

  • Hybrid... These varieties were born thanks to the work of many breeders.

  • Miniature... Such flowers are most often bought for gifts, since they do not take up much space, and also have a wide range of colors.

  • Taiwanese... These plants are completely dotted with large flowers of the most unusual colors.

  • Novelty... This subgroup includes those flowers that have a dormant phase that begins immediately after flowering. Such phalaenopsis have several peduncles.

Their distinctive feature is their unusual color (specks, incredible patterns).


Caring for the phalaenopsis orchid at home

In order for the home phalaenopsis orchid to feel good and bloom regularly, you will need to create an optimal watering and feeding regime for the flower, and provide a suitable temperature. The plant will also need insect protection and disease prevention. The climate of your apartment plays an important role in caring for phalaenopsis.

Lighting

Phalaenopsis prefers moderately bright and diffused lighting, so the best corners for it are the windows of the east and northeast, as well as the west. If the only place for the orchid is a strongly lit southern window, place the container with the flower a little further from the light, and hang a light tulle on the window to help shade.

The bright direct rays of the sun can result in burns on the leaves and flowers. They will look like spots. In addition, excessive lighting in the summer leads to shrinking of the leaves of the bush. Moreover, after a sunny summer in winter, the plant will be less able to tolerate short daylight hours. A healthy plant that gets enough light should have a deep green leaf.

In order for the orchid bush to form evenly, it should be periodically turned towards the sun in different directions. Usually the pot is rotated about twice a month, but during the budding period, you should not disturb the plant. In addition, the plant does not tolerate transfers from its usual place, so it is better not to move it unnecessarily.

Temperature

Phalaenopsis grows and blooms best when the room keeps from +16 to +25 degrees. A short heat (up to +42 degrees) or coolness (at least +12 degrees) will not harm the plant, but you should not expose it to such critical temperatures too often. Despite the need for ventilation in the room, cold drafts are very harmful for the plant, so you should not install the pot in the path of air currents.

Watering

If direct rays do not fall on the bush, it can spend a couple of weeks without watering. Phalaenopsis is usually watered only after the soil in the pot has completely dried out, but still it is not worth keeping the soil dry for too long. If the flower was planted in a transparent container, it should be watered as soon as moisture disappears from the walls of the pot. The soil in an opaque pot can be excavated a little to assess the moisture level. Pallor of orchid roots is also considered a sign of a lack of water. After moistening, its silvery-gray roots acquire a green color, and as the soil dries up, they gradually turn pale again. But from an excess of moisture, they turn brown.

When watering phalaenopsis, you need to try so that drops of water do not fall on the leaves. To do this, you need to either carefully pour water directly into the ground, or use only bottom watering. For this, the flower pot is immersed in a wider container filled with water. The soil will begin to absorb moisture thanks to the holes in the bottom of the pot. But at this time, the roots should not be in direct contact with water.

For watering such an orchid, it is recommended to use filtered, boiled or distilled water. About once a month, the bush can be washed under the shower or tap, but then be sure to wipe it thoroughly and gently. From waterlogging of the soil, the leaves of the phalaenopsis can begin to fade, and the growth points are likely to begin to rot. Sometimes after this, the bush may begin to release side branches, but without adjustment, such conditions end in the death of the flower.

Humidity level

The optimum humidity for phalaenopsis growth is approximately 30-40%, provided there is constant ventilation. Lower rates can lead to falling flowers and wilting of foliage. You can slightly increase the humidity level with damp pebbles.

Excessively high humidity harms Phalaenopsis no less: its roots and leaves can also begin to rot. Regular spraying is not recommended: the ingress of moisture into the leaf sinuses leads to its drainage to the core of the plant and its subsequent decay. In addition, water droplets on leaves on a sunny day can cause burns.

Top dressing

They try to combine phalaenopsis fertilization with watering it, diluting the nutrient compounds in water. Full fertilizers are applied twice a month, but if the flower is fed weekly, the dose of nutrients should be reduced accordingly. During periods of rest, you can moderately feed the bush with nitrogen, and during periods of flowering - with phosphorus and potassium.

Transfer

Phalaenopsis must be moved to a fresh substrate if it has been growing in the same container and soil for more than 2-3 years. During this period, the soil in the pot cakes and begins to sour, becoming unsuitable for growing, and needs to be replaced. In addition, old soil often contributes to the development of diseases. Another reason for transplanting is excessive root growth. In this case, they begin to vigorously branch and germinate into the holes at the bottom of the pot. But phalaenopsis can be transplanted only when it fades.

A healthy plant that was grown in a coarse-grained substrate can be carefully moved to another pot, slightly larger than the old one. Large particles do not allow the earth to crumble strongly and leave a lot of air voids, so necessary for the roots of phalaenopsis. This allows you to use such a soil longer than usual. At the same time, for a full-fledged transplant into a new soil, a substrate of the same composition and structure as the old one should be selected.

Before moving, you should first carefully examine the roots of the phalaenopsis and remove any rotten, dried or yellowed.All sections are treated with an antiseptic. Empty places are filled with fresh mixture, which should include bark, which has medium and fine fractions, as well as sphagnum. You can use store-bought soil to grow such plants, or you can make it yourself.

First of all, a thick layer of drainage is laid on the bottom of the container. Usually expanded clay or chopped polystyrene is used in this capacity. After that, a layer of bark (middle fraction) is poured on top, and then a mixture of smaller bark with finely chopped sphagnum moss. But before planting, the bark must be additionally prepared. In dry form, it easily passes water in order to avoid this, it is first thoroughly washed, and then left in water for two days to allow it to swell. After that, the bark is washed again, dried and only then placed in a pot.

When planting, the phalaenopsis orchid should not be heavily sprinkled with earth, this is done loosely in order to facilitate the flow of air to the root system.

Pruning

After the completion of the flowering of the phalaenopsis, you need to observe the peduncle for some time. As soon as the arrow acquires a yellow tint and withers, it is cut off, but healthy, juicy and green arrows do not need to be cut off. In this case, the probability remains that after 2 months the phalaenopsis will begin to lay fresh flower buds on it. Then a lateral shoot forms on it, on which buds will also appear.

If the older arrow is stretched very strongly, you need to shorten it, trying to cut it about 1 cm above the awakened kidney. The higher the first peduncle is cut, the less lush the lateral bloom will become. But below the 3rd bud, pruning is not recommended: this increases the break between the periods of bud formation.


The most common orchid pests

Unfortunately, orchids, beloved by many flower growers, like any other houseplants, may have harmful insects. In order to prevent the death of a flower, you need to know the enemy by sight.

Prevention... As a rule, woodlice can get into the pot to the orchid from the street if the plant has stayed there during the summer months. Therefore, when taking plants into the garden, they must either be hung or placed in a large tray with water on a stand (water will act as an obstacle for insects).

Shields

It is very easy to determine that scale insects have started on your orchid: bumps and growths visible to the naked eye appear on the plant, under which these pests live. It is extremely difficult to see them - dark mounds (especially if there are many of them) spoil the appearance of the plant. These pests are dangerous for the orchid in that they slow down its growth, feeding on the juices of the flower. Orchid scale insects with dense leaves are especially fond of.

The reason for the appearance. Most often, the main reason for the appearance of scale insects on an orchid is the too high temperature of the content of this flower.

How to fight?

  1. The plant on which the scale insects have started must be isolated from other inhabitants of the flower garden and create suitable conditions for rehabilitation for it. In particular, we are talking about an increase in humidity around the orchid. To do this, the flower can be placed in a greenhouse or put in a bag. Once a day, such a "terrarium" needs to be aired for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Regular running water and a toothbrush will help get rid of the scale insects. The orchid should be rinsed well with warm water. A toothbrush is convenient to use in order to remove young pests from the flower that have not yet acquired their own shields, as well as to remove the debris left by insects.
  3. After that, the plant must be sprayed with Aktellik or Fitoverm, diluting the drug according to the instructions. After 7-10 days, the procedure must be repeated.

Folk remedies

  • Helps Cope with Scabies ethanol... It is enough to moisten cotton wool with it and wipe the damaged area. The method is suitable for orchids with thick leaves.
  • You can also remove the shields using cut into pieces cloves of garlic (rub the bumps) or crushed garlic (apply to damaged areas). However, it should be borne in mind that this method will be effective only with a small number of pests.
  • Saves from scale insects, among other things, olive oil... It must be mixed with water in a proportion of 2 tbsp. l. per 1 liter and apply with a brush to leaves and pseudobulbs in places where there are pests. The event should be carried out 3 times with an interval of 7-10 days.

It is not recommended to feed the orchid during the procedures to eliminate the pest. Some drugs can speed up insect reproduction.

Prevention. In order to prevent the appearance of scale insects on the orchid, once every 5 days, the leaves of the epiphyte should be wiped with a damp cloth. It is recommended to rinse the substrate under running water once a month.

Aphids on an orchid can also be seen with the naked eye: these are small green or black insects that most often settle on young leaves (on the back side), shoots and flowers of the plant. The presence of aphids can be determined by the following signs: orchid leaves are deformed and become sticky. Like scale insects, aphids suck juices from orchids and inject back a poisonous substance that destroys plant cells. Insects are also dangerous because they are carriers of viral diseases and fungi.

The reason for the appearance. Aphids appear on those orchids that lack humidity or watering.

How to fight?

  1. If you find pests when there are not too many of them, then a thorough "bathing" of the whole plant will help to cope with aphids. In this case, damaged flowers and buds must be removed from the orchid.
  2. If there are a lot of insects, it is worth using a soapy solution. It acts as an antiseptic, which is detrimental to many insects. You can treat the orchid either with laundry soap foam, or diluted in 1 liter of water with dishwashing liquid (1 tbsp. L.). After such treatment, it is recommended to spray the flower with Fitoverm or 3% Chlorophos solution.

Folk remedies

  • To cope with aphids on an orchid, you can use infusions. For example, it helps a lot onion infusion, which is prepared from the onion chopped into gruel, is poured with boiling water and infused for about 7 hours. The strained agent should be sprayed with the orchid for 3-4 days several times a day.
  • Another effective infusion is prepared from citrus peels... Dried zest of lemons, oranges or tangerines (100 g), you need to pour 1 liter of water and leave for 3 days. After that, the resulting infusion must be sprayed on the orchid damaged by aphids for several days every 4-5 hours. To consolidate the effect, dry citrus peels can be laid out on the soil in a pot.

Prevention

In order to protect an orchid from aphids, a tropical plant must be kept in favorable conditions for it. In particular, it is extremely important to ensure sufficient humidity in the room - from 60% and above. Adequate watering and timely feeding are also necessary.

Mealybugs

You can find out about the presence of mealybugs on the orchid by bloom on the substrate, roots or the inner walls of the pot. This cotton-like substance forms around female worms, which are always motionless. If you lift such a "yarn", you can see the insects themselves and their eggs. Most of the pests accumulate on flowers and peduncles, as well as on the inside of the leaves.

The reason for the appearance. The main reason for the appearance of mealybugs on the orchid is considered to be a violation of the conditions of detention. Weakened plants or overfed with nitrogen fertilizers are much more at risk of pest damage than healthy orchids.

How to fight?

  1. Every day, morning and evening, you need to remove the worms from the orchid with a toothpick or a soft thin stick. After this, the places where the insects were located must be treated with a cotton swab moistened with water or liquid soap.
  2. Along with this, the substrate and the lower part of the orchid must be sprayed with Fitoverm (2 times at intervals of a week).

The treatment can be considered successful if not a single insect is found on the orchid for a month.

Folk remedies

  • An oily spray can help fight mealybugs. It is made up of 2 tbsp. l. olive oil and 1 liter of water. This emulsion must be sprayed onto the orchid with a sprayer.
  • Florists respond well to both alcohol solution with soap. It is made up of 15 g of liquid soap, 10 ml of denatured alcohol and 1 liter of water. IMPORTANT! Not suitable for orchids with thin leaves.

Prevention.When buying a new orchid, it must be carefully checked for pests, since there is always a risk of acquiring a plant already with a mealybug. The second important measure is periodic inspections of all copies of the home flower garden. After all, if mealybugs settle on one plant, it will be extremely difficult to get rid of them. Do not forget about proper care, the main components of which are good lighting and high humidity.

Spider mite

If a thin cobweb appears on the flowers and buds or on the underside of the leaves of an orchid, it means that the plant is damaged by a spider mite. It is especially visible when spraying, so this procedure should not be neglected when caring for the plant. A more advanced stage of damage is pale yellow spots, as well as twisted and drying leaves.

Like many pests of orchids, spider mites suck out juices from the plant, which is why it soon dies. These insects are truly insidious: it is very difficult to notice them in the first stages. And at a later date, it is already difficult to restore the plant, since, in addition to everything, fungi attack the orchid - black spots form on the leaves. Spider mites are most fond of young and soft leaves. But this does not mean that they are limited to them.

Fungus on the leaves

The reason for the appearance. The spider mite is dangerous primarily for those orchids that are kept in a room with very dry air.

How to fight?

  1. The first thing to do if mites are found on the orchid is to rinse the outside of the plant with water and laundry soap or dishwashing detergent (1 tablespoon per 1 liter of warm water). Such treatment will not destroy all insects, but at least it will help to significantly reduce their number.
  2. At the same time, it is worth processing the place where the orchid stood, as well as the pot and stand.
  3. Then the orchid needs to be watered well and put in a transparent bag for 3 days. This will significantly increase the humidity of the air around the flower and destroy the remaining ticks. IMPORTANT! The orchid in the bag must be closely monitored so that it does not suffer from the elevated temperature inside the homemade greenhouse.

The spider mite is very hardy and quickly develops immunity against chemicals. Therefore, using insecticides to combat this pest, they should be alternated. Suitable for processing orchids Aktelik, Tiofos, Fitoferm, Neoron.

Thrips

The presence of thrips on the orchid will be indicated by a change in the color of the leaves, the appearance of small dots and strokes on the underside of the leaf plates, as well as a silvery film on any part of the plant. The reason for this external change is in small, almost transparent insects that feed on the sap of the orchid. Damage from them is very similar in appearance to damage from a spider mite, but has a stronger and more pronounced effect. These insects are dangerous because they hide in the substrate and they cannot always be detected in time. However, thrips damage not only the roots, but also the leaves and flowers of the orchid. And also these pests can start on absolutely any orchid.

Reason for appearance - low air humidity or a neighbor plant damaged by thrips.

How to fight?

It is extremely difficult to get rid of thrips - these pests have wings and can easily move from the orchid on which they live to other plants. Thus, insects pose a danger to all inhabitants of a home flower garden, therefore, at the first signs of damage to the orchid by thrips, action should be taken immediately.

  1. The first step is to wash the orchid well under a warm shower. As with the spider mite, this will not completely eliminate the pests, but will help reduce their population.
  2. Then all damaged areas of the leaves must be cut out to healthy tissue.
  3. At the final stage, the plant should be sprayed with Aktellik or Fitoverm according to the instructions, repeating the procedure 2 more times every 10 days.

Folk remedies

  • After moving the orchid to quarantine, it can be sprayed with daily infusion of onion or garlic: 1 tsp chopped into gruel of the selected product for 1 tbsp. water.
  • Also helps against thrips olive oilmixed with water, which is sprayed onto the orchid. To prepare the product, you need to mix 2 tbsp. l. oil with 1 liter of water.

Prevention.Thrips are most likely to settle on the inner side of the leaves. Therefore, the best prevention will be regular inspection of orchid leaf plates. It is especially important to do this in the warm season, as well as during the heating season, when the air humidity in houses and apartments drops significantly, and the temperature of the content rises at the same time.

Puffs (springtails)

These pests are small insects jumping on the substrate. Most often, these gray-white or gray-brown bugs can be seen on the surface of the substrate after watering. Poduras are typical inhabitants of a wet substrate. They most often appear on orchids that grow in moss. Catching insects is difficult - they are quite nimble and jumpy. The main danger from suckers is that they eat up young roots. Therefore, these pests need to be removed as soon as possible, without giving them the opportunity to breed and destroy the orchid.

Nematodes

These pests are small worms that can damage the roots, leaves, buds and stems of the tropical beauty. On orchids there is only one type of nematodes - light (almost transparent) nematodes up to 1-2 mm in length. It would seem, how can such babies do significant harm? And how! If you do not take measures to destroy them in time, the plant can be lost.

It is possible to determine the presence of nematodes on an orchid by the following signs: the flower lags behind in growth, the leaves grow deformed or grooves and light spots appear on them (which darken over time), the number of flowers decreases, dead areas appear on pseudobulbs, swellings appear on the roots.

Woodlice

Woodlice are among those pests that are least likely to appear on orchids. And yet, if they get into a flower pot, they can cause significant harm to it. These insects only at first glance look slow and harmless. In the substrate, they move very briskly, and during watering they climb onto the orchid.

Woodlice can eat up young parts of plants: new growths, young leaves and roots. Signs of damage to a flower by wood lice are similar to the damage caused to different plants by snails. Only wood lice do not leave a sticky residue.

Usually these are holes in the leaves that appear from the outside, because insects move precisely along the lower part of the leaves.

The reason for the appearance. The main reason for the appearance of wood lice is keeping the orchid outdoors, where insects can easily get into the pot with the plant.

How to fight?

  1. To get rid of wood lice, the orchid pot should be soaked in a container of water. After 5-7 minutes, the pests will begin to climb to the surface. If necessary, the procedure should be carried out again after about a week.
  2. In more complex situations, the orchid is shown a transplant with a complete replacement of the substrate.IMPORTANT! Before replanting a flower into a new container, the roots should be rinsed well.

Folk remedies

  • Woodlice are still gourmets. To lure them out of the ground to the surface, you can use simple baits from fermented beer, raw peeled potatoes or apples.


Watch the video: My Sunday Orchid Chat - A Look at the Larger Oncidium Types


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