In their biology and agricultural technology, orchids are very different from the usual ornamental plants. Probably, precisely because of this, among the gardeners, the opinion was strengthened that only “the elite” are allowed to grow orchids. This is actually not the case. Everyone can grow orchids, it is enough to understand the specifics of caring for them.
AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT ORCHID IN ROOM CULTURE
There are two main ways to grow orchids: traditional and intensive.
The basics traditional way laid back in the middle of the XIX century, however, today it has not lost its relevance and is used by many botanical gardens and amateur gardeners. A characteristic feature of this method is the strict alternation of periods of dormancy and growth with prolonged preservation of plants in a state of forced dormancy, the timing of plant growth to the most favorable time of the year (usually summer).
Intensive way is the most modern and is often used in the industrial culture of orchids. Its essence lies in the fact that watering plants resume immediately after passing through a period of biological dormancy. In this case, orchids begin to grow regardless of the time of year, which makes it possible to obtain two or more growths per calendar year.
Which method is better? It is impossible to give a definite answer to this question. In the first method there is no quick success, but the plants are strong and can easily endure adversity in life. In the second case, success comes quickly, but can sometimes alternate with failures.
However, orchid lovers use both methods in their practice. It all depends on the conditions, skills and, if you want, temperament. In this case, regardless of the chosen method of culture, in the orchid orchid there are fundamentals that you need to know, regardless of your personal preferences and preferences.
Orchids - plants are not very demanding on the level of illumination. They have enough light that passes through the windows of our rooms. On the windows facing south, they even have to shade from direct sunlight.
With an intensive method of growing orchids, it is necessary to optimize the conditions of their maintenance - for example, to provide intensive illumination with artificial light sources in the darkest time of the year (October – January).
In winter and on the northern windows of the orchid it is useful to illuminate with artificial light sources (installed power of about 100-150 watts per sq. M).
According to the temperature requirement, orchids can be divided into three main groups.
In the first group includes the most heat-loving species of orchids, for successful cultivation of which the temperature in winter should not fall below 16 ° C.
There are relatively few such plants. These are, first of all, phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis), some oncidiums (Oncidium), maxillaria (Maxillaria), ludisia (Ludisia) and variegated shoes (Paphiopedilum).
In the second group combined orchids that go through a dormant period in a very wide temperature range. For most plants of the second group, the optimum winter temperature lies within 12-15 ° C, but its higher values are quite acceptable. This group includes the majority of orchids cultivated in rooms - Cattleya (Cattleya), Oncidium (Oncidium), Lelia (Laelia),
When plants are in the phase of active growth, their need for light is maximum. High illumination is also necessary during the formation of flower buds and the development of peduncles. During flowering, illumination is not specifically increased.
green leaf shoes (Paphiopedilum), dendrobiums (Dendrobium) and many others.
Third group - the most difficult for room culture. It includes orchids that need not only low winter temperatures (4-6 ° C), but also lower night temperatures in summer (10-12 ° C). Without this, the plants will not bloom (and some will grow normally). These are, first of all, some types of coelogins (Coelogyne), some lelia (Laelia), lycasts (Lycaste), all miltoniopsis (Miltoniopsis), masdevallia (Masdevailia), Rossioglossum (Rossioglossum), cymbidium-mind (Cymbidium). Keeping them in rooms with central heating requires a lot of art, but many of these plants are so beautiful that, rightly, they should forgive all their “whims”.
The water consumption of orchids is relatively small, but they, like no other plants, need strict observance of the water regime.
Speaking about the water regime of orchids, one should clearly distinguish between its two components: substrate moisture and air humidity.
The absorption capacity of the root system of orchids is determined by the functioning of the velamen, because of which the root is able to work only in a limited range of humidity of the environment that surrounds it. With excess moisture, velamen is completely saturated with water, and the root is in a shell that is practically impermeable to air. If this continues long enough, the roots choke and die.
But, despite the fact that epiphytic orchids are very drought tolerant plants, at certain periods of their lives they need intensive watering. Orchids are usually watered one to three times a week under indoor conditions. It’s difficult to say more precisely, since the drying rate of the substrate strongly depends on environmental conditions, the method of planting, and the composition of the substrate. Naturally, one should not forget about the state of plants - during the dormant period, watering is greatly reduced, and during active growth it is increased.
As for the humidity of the air, the humidity in the range of 70-80% is optimal for orchids. For living quarters, it is excessively wet. However, the negative effects of dry room air on plants can be significantly reduced by regularly spraying their leaves and aerial roots with water from a spray bottle in good weather.
SUBSTRATES FOR ORCHID GROWING
Over the years, many different materials have been tried as a substrate for growing orchids - from straw to synthetic fibers.
In addition to the bark, sphagnum moss can be included in the substrate for certain types of orchids, which can be easily collected in a swamp, peat or lowland (black) peat, leafy earth, and charcoal.
For the conditions of our country, the pine bark is recognized as the best and most affordable substrate to date.
We must not forget that any work with pesticides, especially at home, requires increased accuracy and rigorous implementation of the instructions attached to them.
BASIC SUBSTATES FOR ROOM ORCHID CULTURE
Pine bark (pieces 1-2 cm) + charcoal (5: 1)
|Moisture absorption - low, good breathability. Mineral fertilizer top dressing required||Growing epiphytic and lithophytic orchids when keeping plants in a room greenhouse|
|Moisture absorption - high. Additional fertilizing with mineral fertilizers is needed||The cultivation of epiphytic orchids when keeping plants is open in rooms|
Leaf land + pine bark + peat + coal (3: 1: 1: 1)
|Moisture content and nutrient content of the substrate are very high.||Growing terrestrial and epiphytic orchids in need of enhanced nutrition|
You don’t have to worry about quality. When ordering flower delivery via the Internet, you can be sure that you will receive quality goods!
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The witching world of orchids
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What is it used for?
Finished substrates differ in manufacturer, cost and purpose of use.. It is for the purpose that the soils are:
- for growing seedlings of vegetable crops,
- for winter storage and germination of tubers,
- for planting and replanting indoor flowers,
- addition to planting fruit seedlings,
- rooting cuttings.
Packaged soil is used as a constituent component for updating old soil in flowerpots, for top dressing and adding. Or it can be a complete mixture for planting plants.
The substrate must meet the requirements of orchids and correspond to the microclimate of the room. In dry air, moisture-resistant soil should be taken, and the condition should be constantly monitored. If soil decomposition is noticed, then immediately renew.
Basic requirements for choosing a substrate for an exotic flower:
- breathability, the roots need oxygen to perform vital functions
- lightness, friability, heavy soil will put pressure on the root system, preventing them from fully developing,
- non-toxic, it is advisable to choose organic, environmentally friendly substances,
- optimal moisture capacity, the lower the percentage of humidity in a room with an orchid, the more there should be more moisture-intensive components,
- have a long process of decomposition of components,
- sterility, soil must be unfavorable for bacteria and pathogens,
- non-acidic pH 5.5-6.0.
Some gardeners neglect the requirements for a substrate for orchids and plant a plant in ordinary soil. Read about whether this can be done here.
Right and wrong composition
It is important to choose a substrate, clearly focusing on the interests of a houseplant. Epiphytic varieties need light, rapidly drying soil, while terrestrial varieties prefer a denser, moisture-resistant substrate. That is the whole difference.
The correct composition of the mixture for orchids:
The last five ingredients are used for land varieties. The wrong composition is collected by eye, contains garden soil and flavored with numerous top dressings. Perhaps after such an orchid is not resuscitated.
Buy ready or cook yourself?
At first glance, the easiest way is to go to a garden store and buy ready-made soil for orchids.. However, there are problems. There are many species of exotic plants, and the requirements of each differ significantly from the others. If upon purchase you find that the substrate mainly consists of moss or worse peat, then you should look for materials that could dilute the mixture.
In fact, it is quite difficult to find high-quality soil for orchids. And if you still find it, then the cost will be rather big. The best option in this situation is: to independently collect the ingredients and prepare the mixture. This will definitely save finances. Moreover, there is nothing complicated in this, knowing the basic ingredients. You can find them in the forest. All go out of town for picnics or go to the forest for mushrooms. You can combine business with pleasure.
When preparing the substrate yourself, nuances also arise. If not everyone wants to do this, or there is simply no time, then there is a third alternative - buy the necessary components of the substrate and mix in the right proportions. Good products are available from the manufacturer Auriki Gardens. Components are hermetically sealed and completely disinfected.
Of course, to get a high-quality substrate selected in individual proportions, cook it yourself. Otherwise, pay attention to the following ready-made mixtures:
- The Bio Start Effect production of Russia. The mixture is made exclusively from natural, organic components. The soil is fine-grained, the size of the fraction is 8-13 mm. The substrate does not need disinfection, it is completely ready for use. The cost of a 2 liter package is 350 rubles.
- Gardens of Auriki for orchids pros. Soil mix consists of: wood ash, bark, moss, coconut chips. The composition also includes biohumus, which in such a volume does not benefit the plant, and there is a tiny amount of bark. The volume of the substrate is designed for a pot with a capacity of up to 1.7 liters. As drainage, you can use coconut fiber, which is available in the kit. The cost of the set is 100 rubles.
- Seramis - planting mixture designed specifically for orchids. The composition contains coarse-grained expanded clay granules, pine bark, and additional micronutrients. The substrate provides the necessary air exchange, promotes active growth, maintains water balance. The price is 950 rubles. The soil content in the package is 2.5 liters.
In order to make the right choice and buy the best soil for an orchid, study the quality criteria of finished soil mixtures.
How to improve purchased?
To avoid a similar effect experienced flower growers are advised to sift the soil with a large sieve or colander with large holes. The main objective is to remove excess peat. Then we bring the mixture to perfect condition, diluting with pine bark, moss, wood ash. And already in this form, the substrate is ready for use.
The following varieties belong to this species: dendrobium, zygopetalum, phalaenopsis, cumbria, lycasts, masdevallia, Cattleya. For them, the nutritional qualities of the soil can be attributed to the background. The main ingredient is pine bark, which gives the substrate lightness, friability, does not retain moisture.
And the remaining components give the soil additional, but no less important properties.
The substrate for epiphytes is prepared as follows:
- Pick up a pot and all the necessary components in advance. Pre-disinfect if necessary.
- In a plastic pot for one, lay the drainage layer about 3 cm thick.
- We measure the ingredients, observing the proportions, and mix.
- The resulting mixture is poured into the pot.
Unlike epiphytes, which prefer plant cover, terrestrial representatives need slightly different soil. For them, humidity should be an order of magnitude higher, and the soil denser.
Composition for ground orchids:
- Combine one serving of wood bark, moss-sphagnum, ash.
- After add ½ part of the packaged soil.
- Fill the pot, do not forget to first lay the drainage layer.
Consequences of use and their solutions
It happens that an exotic beauty suspends development, the leaves turn yellow to dry, and during flowering, the flowers are not bright and small. These problems may be the result of an illiterate choice of a component or their incorrect proportion. If moisture is not absorbed for a long time, respectively, the soil is wet for a long time. Orchids are so uncomfortable. Pine bark and ash should be added. And in the opposite situation, when the water does not linger in the pot, add moss and fern roots.
Also the cause may be old age. Over time, the soil decomposes, becomes depleted, it lacks nutrients. Therefore, every three years, the substrate should be updated.
Orchid is a moody exotic flower that often dies.. And this is not always due to the inexperience of the owner. By purchasing the finished mixture for orchids, we are confident in its quality and perfect compatibility with the plant. But it turns out not so. The most suitable and tested substrate is prepared by hand.
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