Immediately, we note that of the entire existing variety of orchids – 25-30 thousand species, and with hybrids all 90 thousand – most often we have phalaenopsis, as the most suitable for growing at home.
So, you could not pass by the flower shop, where the orchids flaunted and bought the flower you liked. Or they just gave it to you, deciding that the orchid would be an excellent home decoration. It’s true, but what to do with it? The first step is to choose the right place for the plant pot.
The orchid does not like direct sunlight, but it feels bad even without light. Therefore, for the plant, you should choose a window sill facing east or west. In the summer, the window can be shaded, and in the winter you will have to provide additional lighting, because for an orchid, daylight hours should last at least 10 hours, and better – 12 hours.
For a long flowering orchid, the difference in day and night temperatures is very important. In general, this plant prefers to be plus 18-27 degrees during the day, and 13-24 degrees at night. The optimal temperature difference will be 5-7 degrees, this will stimulate flowering.
The tropical inhabitants of the orchid also love humidity. The plant should be sprayed every three to four days, but you should try not to get on the flowers and delicate buds themselves. You can put a home fountain near the orchid, just a container of water, or worry about buying a humidifier if the room is too dry. The optimum humidity for an orchid is 50%, in a greenhouse this figure reaches 70%, but we are talking about home conditions.
Orchids also love regular showers. Phalaenopsis, for example, can periodically have a hot shower for about two minutes. It is very beneficial for the plant, especially during the period of its active flowering..
Particular attention should be paid to watering the orchid. Under no circumstances should you use cold tap water! It is desirable that the water temperature be slightly higher than room temperature, you can even plus 35 degrees, but not more than 40. It is advisable to use water not just settled, but rain or from melted snow. You can freeze ordinary tap water, and then thaw it, heat it up a little and use it for watering.
Watering is carried out in this way – a pot with a flower is lowered into a container with prepared water for 10-15 minutes. You need to lower the pot so that the water does not reach the brim. If the room is about 22 degrees, then watering is carried out no more than twice a week.
Important! It is better to under-water the orchid than to pour it over! The roots of the plant by nature itself are protected from drying out by the upper cork layer, so the orchid will calmly stand without watering and 10 days if you had to leave.
Some experts advise watering the orchid only after the entire substrate has dried, others – when there is no condensation left on the walls of the pot. In any case, remember – only by immersion, not too often, using soft and sufficiently warm water!
It is necessary to transplant an orchid if the root system has grown and the plant clearly needs a larger pot. Or in the case of the appearance of dead roots, when the flower feels bad, it does not throw out new roots and shoots. Remember that orchids naturally grow on trees, so they do not need soil, but a special substrate, which includes:
- Pine bark.
- Sphagnum moss (fresh or dried).
- Perlite, which will make the substrate more airy.
Before transplanting, the plant should be watered, then carefully removed from the pot and cut off all dead roots. In general, if the orchid is doing well, you can transplant it into the same pot simply by replacing the substrate. And if there were a lot of dead roots, then it is better to take a smaller pot so that the plant can re-grow the root system.
The orchid should be planted in a dry substrate. If there are pieces that have stuck to the roots, you do not need to tear them off so as not to injure the roots. Immediately after transplanting, you should not water the plant, wait a day, and then just moisten it with a spray bottle for a few more days. It is better to buy the substrate ready-made in specialized flower shops. If you want to do it yourself, then the pine bark should not be processed so that it does not lose its beneficial properties. The bark is broken into pieces and dried, it cannot transmit any diseases to the orchid.
Reproduction of an orchid at home is a difficult task. It is almost impossible to grow flowers from seeds, because to get them, the plant will have to be pollinated. There are only two options left – cuttings and vegetative division. The second method involves dividing the strong root system of the plant in such a way that a young sprout and two or three bulbs remain on each part. You need to cut the plant very carefully, disinfect the secateurs, and then the cuts should be treated with activated or charcoal powder.
Cutting is a little more difficult – you should choose a stem that has aerial roots and cut off 15 centimeters. The procedure is carried out only after the orchid has finished flowering. The stalk is transplanted into the pot with the cut down, you need to care for it in the same way as for an ordinary plant. The fleshy stem of an orchid without leaves can be cut into pieces with one or two leaf nodes and planted in a special cassette, dipping about half into the substrate. You will have to wait until the orchid has a new root system, the process will be slow.
As for fertilization, special formulations should be bought for orchids; dressings for other flowers will not work for her. In general, if you change the substrate at least once every two years, then you can do without fertilizers at all. Excessive feeding will only do harm.