I already once told how I became the mistress of Phalaenopsis (in the article "Watering orchids"). But I would like to tell you more about the features of the maintenance and care of this flower. After all, this is the most accessible and common type of orchid among beginner flower growers. Phalaenopsis are believed to be unpretentious and easy to grow. But, as my experience has shown, any plant requires a special approach, and especially an exotic one.
So, how to care for phalaenopsis at home.
When I was presented with the first Phalaenopsis, I did not know anything about caring for orchids at all. That is why my first exot died. But with the second, I was much more careful. And, as a result, he still lives with me, he is healthy and from time to time pleases me with new colors. That is why you still need to know the rules of care, and do not think that they, these rules, are so complicated that you should not even take up the cultivation of phalaenopsis. On the contrary, everything is quite simple, just not quite the same as with other plants.
You may be surprised, but choosing Phalaenopsis in the store is not worth the color, but how healthy it looks. What does health mean for an orchid? First of all, these are green (or gray-green) roots. If there are a lot of brown ones, then the plant is old. It is also important that Phalaenopsis has dense green leaves without damage. Natural yellowness of the lower leaves is allowed, as well as slight scratches or cracks on them.
Regarding flowers, I would choose a specimen that has several unblown buds on the flower arrow. And then Phalaenopsis will delight you with flowering longer.
When buying the plant, you can tilt a little to the side, checking if it sits tightly in the pot. If Fanenopsis staggers, as if ready to fall out, this indicates that the roots inside the pot are weak and possibly diseased.
Choosing Phalaenopsis, you should think in advance where it will be located. Indeed, in a place where there is not enough lighting, it can wither and, most likely, will not bloom. Orchids are inhabitants of sunny tropics, so the Phalaenopsis flowerpot is best placed on the east or southeast window. It does not need bright scorching light from direct sunlight, but a sufficient amount of diffused light is encouraged. Daylight hours for Phalaenopsis should be 12-16 hours.
And Phalaenopsis also love humid air, so do not place a flowerpot with a flower near the battery.
The ideal temperature for growing Phalaenopsis at home in summer is from 20 to 24 degrees, and in winter - from 16 to 18. But to be honest, mine easily survived the incredible heat that we had in the summer for the last few years. And + 15 ° C in the off-season without heating - they also did not damage the flower in any way. And, by the way, the temperature difference (downward) is very useful for stimulating the flowering of Phalaenopsis. If you can manage the difference between day and night temperatures of 4-6 ° C, it will give an impetus to the formation of buds for flowering.
And also make sure that the flowerpot does not stand in a draft. That is, the temperature difference should not be organized directly under the open window.
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Freesia flower (freesia) - a bright representative of bulbous plants. The flower is also called freesia or vriezia. It is possible to grow a perennial culture of the Kasatikov family on the site and at home. There are more than twenty subspecies of the plant. Hybrid freesias are especially popular. The flower is widespread in southern Africa. In its natural environment, the culture lives in groups with other green spaces and near water bodies. The refined aroma and unique grace of freesia are especially appreciated. The flower is grown on an industrial scale for the decoration of bouquets and compositions.
Under natural conditions, kumquat grows in southern China, the height of the tree reaches 5 m. At home, the height of the plant depends on the size of the pot. The plant forms a strong root system and a spherical crown. Kumquat blooms in the first half of summer, numerous snow-white-pink flowers with a pleasant citrus aroma appear on the tree.
After flowering, orange-colored fruits appear on the home kumquat plant, weighing up to 30 g. They taste like tangerine, but there is one difference - kumquat is eaten with peel, as it is soft and has a sweet taste.
At home, in flower pots, you can grow several unpretentious, miniature varieties of kumquats.
Nagami. A popular, common variety of kumquat, which can be grown both in apartment conditions and on a personal plot. The ornamental tree bears sweet-sour fruits, the size of an olive. The variety has 2 subspecies:
Marumi. Low-growing cultivar, forms a miniature tree-like shrub with thorny shoots. Small, oval fruits are golden in color, have a sweet and sour taste and a pleasant smell. The variety is frost-resistant, therefore, in regions with a warm climate, it can be grown as an outdoor plant.
Meiva. A dwarf variety of kumquat, the height of the tree reaches half a meter. Due to its decorative appearance, rather large bright yellow fruits with a sour taste, the variety has become popular with flower growers.
Fukushi. The variety is suitable for growers who have experience in growing kumquat in an apartment. The plant forms a dense dark green crown, among which large, sweet fruits with a thin skin appear in the middle of summer. The Fukushi variety is ideal for growing in greenhouses and conservatories.
Obovata. A dwarf, thornless variety of kumquat, with a delicate emerald crown. Flowers appear on annual shoots from June to October. Snow-white inflorescences reach 2 cm in diameter, very beautiful and fragrant. Fruits are small with a thin skin and sweet-sour, spicy pulp.
A seed from an eaten lemon, thrown into a pot of soil, germinates quickly. But in order to grow not just a decorative lemon that blooms almost all year round, but to get a harvest that makes it possible to forget about buying these citruses in a store, knowledge, diligence and patience are needed. Home-grown lemon tolerates short daylight hours, although by its nature it does not belong to shade-tolerant plants.
If the room where the lemon tree pot is located is dark, additional artificial lighting may be required. But the abundance of bright light, although it stimulates growth, delays flowering and, therefore, fruiting. Lemon develops best at home in a pot if the windows of the room face west or southwest. Grows well on a stand near a window facing east or south. Moderate direct sunlight does not harm the plant, but it is not recommended to keep the plant on the sunny side all the time.
Lemons growing at home are equally poor at tolerating dry land and abundant watering. Watering is recommended when the topsoil dries up in the pot. This usually depends on the volume of the pot and the density of the soil in it, as well as the indoor temperature and the size of the plant. Water for irrigation must be defended at room temperature.
Many types of lemon require high humidity. In winter, when the radiators are on, the air in the room is dry, so the plant needs frequent spraying. However, if a low temperature is maintained in the room where the indoor lemon is grown, spraying is not required. In summer, daily spraying is necessary.
The air temperature in the room is maintained depending on the stage of growth. Only during the fruiting period, the lemon flower requires that the air in the room be warmed up to a temperature above 20 0 C. During the formation of buds, the room should not be more than 18 0 C, if the air warms up more, the plant may begin to shed the buds. For young plants that have not reached the fruiting age, in winter, it is necessary to keep in a cool room (no higher than 15 0 С).
It should be noted that lemon is a plant that is not adapted to temperature extremes. In the summer months, when keeping it on the balcony, you should listen to the weather forecast and on days when weather forecasters promise a cold snap, bring it into the room.
With a lack of nitrogen, a 1.5% solution of ammonium nitrate is used. With a phosphorus deficiency, feeding with superphosphate is carried out, and the fertilizer must completely dissolve in water. You can add superphosphate to the soil in the form of granules, but it must be remembered: until all the granules are completely dissolved, organic matter cannot be added - this can burn the roots, and the plant will die.
If the house has an aquarium, then the water from it, when replaced, can be used to feed indoor citrus fruits. There is a lot of humus in such water, which is very useful for the plant.
Lemon is a flower very whimsical to the composition of the soil. The soil should provide nutrition to the plant, not condense when watering, so that air and water flow to the roots. It is better for novice flower growers to abandon their own preparation of soil mixtures and purchase a ready-made soil designed specifically for citrus crops in the store.
When choosing a soil, you should pay attention to:
The mixture should not contain lumps and putrefactive inclusions - such soil harms the plant.
As you can see from the symptom table, phalaenopsis is susceptible to many types of rot that affect all parts of the plant. Such a variety of diseases associated with rotting is due to the moisture-loving nature of the flower, the specificity of the substrate moisture and the instability to prolonged temperature drops.
The appearance of viral and fungal diseases in most cases is associated with a poor-quality, contaminated substrate. Less commonly, viral diseases are transferred to the plant from other indoor flowers.
Treatment of diseases such as brown and black rot in advanced stages (more than 30% of the plant is affected) is almost impossible. If a smaller area is captured by rot, you can try to save the flower. To do this, you need to carry out a kind of operation. Carefully cut out the affected areas with a sterile knife, trying to minimize damage to healthy tissue. After the operation, sprinkle the cuts with coal dust and treat with Bordeaux liquid. The substrate should be thrown away, the pots should be sterilized, and a clean healthy substrate should be poured into them.
During the rehabilitation of the orchid, it is necessary to create the most comfortable conditions: the minimum allowable temperature difference (amplitude 5-7 degrees), stable humidification, air circulation in the room, but without drafts.
If there are other orchids in the immediate vicinity of the affected plant, they must be treated with Bordeaux liquid (you can also use another preparation containing copper). The best prevention of such diseases is careful adherence to the modes of ventilation, humidification, watering and lighting.
With strict adherence to the modes of watering, lighting, airing, the plant will not have to be saved
If root rot is found in phalaenopsis, urgent measures need to be taken. Remove the substrate, dry the pot. Clean the roots from rot, remove the affected areas. After that, the root system must be treated in a special solution (0.2% Topsin or Fundazol). For the most beneficial effect, the roots are immersed in the solution 2-3 times with an interval of 10 days. Such an orchid should be transplanted into a disinfected clean substrate.
Prevention of root rot is a careful observance of the moisture and watering regime, as well as monitoring the state of the substrate, its timely replacement.
The defeat of an orchid with fusarium rot is most often associated with poor air circulation and a violation of the irrigation regime. Such rot affects all areas of the leaves, as well as young shoots. The leaves turn yellow, curl, become soft. Sometimes the process of fusarium decay is accompanied by the appearance of a coating of pink-colored fungal spores. With a large-scale lesion, treatment is impossible. In case of local infection, the orchid should be treated in a 0.2% Fundazole solution. This procedure should be performed 2-3 times a day for 10-14 days. In this case, the whole plant can be immersed in the solution along with the pot. Fundazol is the most effective fungicide in the fight against fusarium rot.
Fundazole is used to treat various types of rot, in particular Fusarium. It is also suitable as a preventive measure against powdery mildew. The main active agent in this drug is benomyl, which inhibits the life processes of pathogenic cells, as a result of which they die off. Systemic preventive measures with the use of Fundazol will help prevent most of the putrefactive and fungal diseases of orchids. The proportions for the solution are as follows: 1 gram of Fundazole per 1 liter of water. The solution can be applied using a sprayer. The solution is poured over the soil, the leaves are wiped. After the solution has dried, a white bloom will appear on the plant. It is recommended to wash off the plaque only after a day. This is a fairly toxic substance, so it should be used in protective equipment. Fundazole is banned in many countries due to its toxicity. It is highly discouraged to contact pregnant women.
During treatment, spraying with water should be discontinued. Avoid direct hit of drafts on the plant, while ventilation is necessary.
Fundazol is an effective systemic (penetrating) fungicide, protective and therapeutic action
As in previous cases, the best prevention of Fusarium will be unconditional adherence to the regimens and rules for caring for phalaenopsis.
The fight against gray mold involves the removal of the affected areas, followed by the treatment of healthy tissues with preparations containing fungicides. With an extensive lesion (more than 50%), the plant will have to be eliminated and all nearest indoor flowers treated with fungicides.
A fungicide is a substance (chemical or biological) that inhibits the growth of fungi.
Prevention of gray rot is similar to the steps described above.
Leaf spot and anthracnose are fungal diseases. Their symptoms are expressed by multiple localized damage to dark leaves. Such damage looks more like dents. Phalaenopsis is affected by anthracnose mainly due to high humidity. Another reason may be stagnation of water in the bowls of young leaves and at the point of growth. It is better to eliminate the extensively affected plant. If there are not very many affected areas, they can be cut off, and healthy tissues can be treated with ash. Crushed activated carbon is also suitable. The substrate should be changed and the pot sterilized. Throughout the entire rehabilitation period, the plant must be isolated from other similar flowers.
This phalaenopsis flower is affected by the fungal disease anthracnose.
Prevention of fungal diseases is a strict adherence to the irrigation and moisture regime, as well as the exclusion of water from entering the growth point and sinuses of young orchid shoots. The humidity of the room air should be in the range of 40–70%. Airing is frequent enough, depending on the season.
A disease such as powdery mildew has pronounced symptoms. They are characterized by the appearance of a white bloom on the plant. Moreover, such plaque appears on all parts of the plant, including buds and inflorescences. Such a disease develops quickly and leads to the death of the orchid, if the necessary treatment measures are not taken in time. Higher temperature conditions and abnormally high air humidity contribute to the more rapid development of this disease.
The method of treatment involves soaking the plant in a solution of colloidal sulfur. Preparations designed to combat powdery mildew are called Topsin-M, Skor, Fundazol.
Prevention includes periodic spraying of phalaenopsis with Fitosporin.
The defeat of the phalaenopsis orchid with viral diseases is a rare phenomenon. They manifest themselves in specific patterns and spots on the leaves of the plant. The affected plant must be immediately isolated from the rest and, without delay, eliminated. There are no cures for viral diseases of orchids yet. At the same time, it is better to burn the orchid together with the substrate and the pot.
Prevention of viral diseases will be the observance of all the necessary regimes for the normal life of the flower.
Timely resuscitation actions will help to restore the turgor of phalaenopsis leaves. These include providing the plant with a favorable environment. Change of its location in the room. It is imperative to isolate the orchid from drafts, to prevent hypothermia. Substrate replacement often helps.
Sitting "babies" is the most common way of reproduction of Phalaenopsis. The offspring is separated from the mother plant 1.5–2 months after flowering. The procedure most often takes place in the spring.
Growth buds are formed in the axils of the leaves or on the peduncles of orchids at the age of two years, with at least 4 healthy leaves. Sometimes they form on faded peduncles no older than one and a half years.
Separate the baby from the mother plant. Process the slices. Dry in the open air for 24 hours. Fill transparent cups with a mixture of finely chopped sphagnum moss with pine bark and fern rhizomes (1: 3: 1).
The more uniform the soil is, the better. In containers, you need to make 3-4 drainage holes. Moisten the substrate. Plant young orchids in the ground and place the containers in a home mini-greenhouse, florarium, or homemade greenhouse. Maintain a constant temperature of 23-25 ° C and bright, diffused light.
As it dries, moisten the substrate with a solution of a root formation stimulator - Kornevin, Heteroauxin, Zircon, Epin (3-5 ml per liter of water). Air the plantings daily for 5-7 minutes. If the bottom pair of leaves turns yellow, this is normal.
You cannot cut them off - the forming roots receive nutrition from them. When the time comes, they dry up and fall off on their own.
Wait until the roots are 4–5 cm long, then transplant the Phalaenopsis into adult soil. The procedure is not quick, it usually takes about a year.
In the development of each plant, periods of growth and dormancy are distinguished. This must be taken into account when organizing care and conditions of detention.
To avoid the negative effects of wind and rain, plants that were on the veranda, terrace or balcony in summer are brought into a room with a moderate temperature. After adaptation, they can be rearranged to permanent wintering places. Plants dropping leaves are best placed in the shade (a basement or a room without windows will do).
Watering plants is carried out in the morning every other day. The frequency of watering is gradually reduced, and fertilization is completely stopped.
In winter, plants enter a dormant period. At this time, it is better not to place them near heating appliances or fireplaces. For additional humidification of the air, containers with water are placed near the flower pots. On frosty days, cultures are rearranged from the windowsill so that they do not freeze.
Water the flowers in the morning with water at a temperature of about 24–25 ° C. Spraying can be carried out, but if the room is cool, it is imperative to remove excess moisture from the leaves (shake off, blot the leaves).
Rooms for wintering flowers need to be ventilated from time to time. But for the duration of the airing, it is better to take the plants out of the room, or at least put them away from the window.
In winter, artificial lighting lamps will help to compensate for the lack of light.
In the spring, when plants wake up and enter a phase of active growth, they need to be examined. Remove withered leaves, clean the leaf plates from dust, check the soil.
Plants that are diseased or attacked by pests should not be placed next to healthy crops.
In March, you can transplant, resume feeding. Since April, watering is transferred to the evening. Increase the frequency of spraying and the time for airing the room to provide the plants with fresh air.
Summer is the most favorable period for indoor flowers: a lot of light, warmth, fresh air. At this time, they are actively developing, growing, blooming.
Flowers in the summer need to be sprayed daily, moisturized in a timely manner. If the flowerpots are outdoors, they should be shaded from the hot dining sun, protected from the wind, and watered twice a day. In order for the flowering to be abundant and long-lasting, one must not forget about the timely application of fertilizers.
Plants on an open balcony or terrace should only be fertilized in dry, warm weather.
The basis for choosing a flower for a home is an objective assessment of the conditions that we can provide for it. Some may love light and moisture, others prefer drought, partial shade. Therefore, before buying this or that flower, it is better to carefully study the requirements for its content. Find out what kind of lighting is suitable for a plant, at what temperature and humidity to grow it, in what soil to plant, what and how often to feed it.
Correctly applying knowledge in practice, you can create a real house of plants around you, surprising with bizarre shapes, enlivening everything around with green foliage and dazzling with bright colors of flowers.