Orchids from the category of rare and elite plants have become one of the most typical inhabitants of our interiors. Popularity did not diminish either their beauty or their particular appeal. But the mass representation of unpretentious varieties on the shelves still left their mark on the reputation of the plant. The fact that orchids are far from simple plants, began to be forgotten, as well as about various options for their cultivation. Indoor orchids can be contained in the substrate, and without it - and the choice is not always so obvious.Rules for planting orchids on the block and in the substrate.
Orchids are rarely transplanted - only when the need really arises. Plants do not change their "habits", so they are grown in the way that is familiar to them. An exception occurs when there are problems with improper planting and reproduction of plants. Young specimens can be tried to grow without the method of substitution, instead of planting in pots or vice versa. But when changing the growing variant, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics and characteristics of the plant.
In fact, any decorative species of orchids used in room culture needs containers rather than supports, these are typical epiphytes that can grow not only in pots and pots. Most often, they feel more comfortable when attached to pieces of bark. But orchids are often planted in special containers, and not on blocks. This option requires specific conditions, is not suitable for all orchids, and is not appropriate in every "environment".
Whatever method of growing the orchid is discussed, accuracy and attention to the plant is the main thing, especially when transplanting and changing the pot or block.
In the cultivation of orchids and in a groundless way, and in the substrate, there are common rules:
- The roots and shoots of the plant break easily. Orchids must be handled with extreme care.
- In work, it is advisable to use protective gloves or to monitor the cleanliness and disinfection of hands. All instruments must be sterilized and disinfected.
- A transplant is carried out only in case of emergency - with signs of extreme tightness (stunting, extreme density of the plant) - the appearance of roots in the holes or in the upper part of the pot does not always indicate it - with the loss of color characteristics, the appearance of signs of acidification of the soil, sprawling abroad block, etc.
- When choosing a base or pot for growing orchids, the selection of containers and blocks is carried out in such a way that the orchid has where to develop for at least 2 to 3 years.
Planting orchids on a block
Orchid cultivation in a soilless way, on pieces of bark - one of the most effective options. Revealing the natural beauty and character of the plant, emphasize its natural structure and developmental features. This method of planting allows you to avoid frequent transplants, makes it possible to always have access to the roots, to freely inspect the plants, which means a chance to notice developmental problems in time. The risk of root decay and damage to plants is much less, and you can not worry about access to air, its free circulation. But orchids planted not on a substrate, but on a block, are much more dependent on the care of them.
This method of growing is suitable only for epiphytic species of orchids. For growing on blocks, plants are selected that contain in florariums, dendrariums, greenhouses, flower showcases, tropical greenhouses - all variants of orchid cultivation, which require the creation of stable moist conditions. Growing on blocks is preferred by oncidiums, erangises, cattleya, sofrontis and other epiphytes.
Growing on a block involves a conditional lack of substrate, attaching the plant to the block or decorative base on which the plant develops, receiving the main nutrients partially from the air. In fact, using the block they imitate the natural conditions in which orchids themselves cling to the bark of trees or vines.
The block for an orchid can be very different. In fact, this is any piece of suitable material, quite decorative and possessing the necessary strength and stability. Orchids are grown on pieces of bark of cork oak, acacia, vine, pine bark or tree fern. Pine bark is the most affordable option, but other materials provide plants with an equally high-quality base. Materials should not be prone to decay, not too smooth and even, not emit tar.
The block should be suitable for the orchid in size and volume, the plant is evaluated for the nature of growth, the size of the roots and the distance between the shoots. Orchids, which grow in dense families and produce numerous flowering shoots, look better when planted on large stems. Orchids with single or rarely spaced peduncles are more effective on small pieces of bark.
But when choosing specific plants, it is worth assessing the risk of quickly crawling out of the block, the complexity of developing large spaces, and the stability of the composition. The block is selected so that the orchid is not subjected to frequent transplantation and can remain on the chosen basis for many years.
The block is preliminarily prepared: selecting materials for the block, holes are made in it through which special hooks or wire is fixed for hanging the plant.
There are no difficulties in the landing process itself. In fact, this is not landing on a bar, but merely fixing the plant with natural materials, synthetic thread, fishing line, special wire, the roots mounted on the driftwood or bark of the orchid are attached to the base so that the plant does not move:
- Sphagnum is placed under the orchid.
- The plant is held by hand, trying not to harm either the greenery or the roots and spreading them evenly in all directions.
- Reliable fastening does not mean strong crushing or numerous “skeins” of wire: the orchid attaches itself to the bars with time, therefore, the fastening is only generally supportive in nature.
- To improve moisture retention, the roots of especially hygrophilous species are covered with fern roots, sphagnum or bark and from above.
- Plants immediately after planting need very frequent spraying, high humidity and softened conditions.
Caring for orchids growing on blocks cannot be called simple. The plant is completely dependent on the owners and even the slightest miss in care can be a huge problem. The roots dry quickly after watering, so watering must be done very often, and air humidity will have to be kept at a very high level.Caring for orchids growing without a substrate is much more difficult than caring for potted plants.
Features of growing orchids in pots
In pots they grow calendula, tunia, pleione, faience, flea, and all kinds of orchids that do not like the complete drying of the soil. If epiphytic species are planted in pots, then only special flowerpots for orchids with numerous holes or baskets are chosen for them. For other species, relatively more "standard" containers are acceptable.
Special containers for orchids - transparent, with many holes for root breathing, most often double with a more decorative and solid "bowl" on top - can be found on the shelves of any flower shop. But orchids are grown not only in such containers. They can be planted in ordinary baskets, ceramic and even plastic containers, although each time the choice of a non-special container is akin to a lottery:
- Moisture is best stored in plastic pots, but baskets provide the best conditions for plant respiration.
- Baskets are an alternative to growing on blocks for epiphytic species of orchids - those plants that naturally settle on branches and stumps, especially with peduncles hanging down. Orchid baskets are well ventilated. They come in different sizes and diameters (from 10 to 25 cm) and are made of different materials. The most popular option is a tree or a vine.
- For orchids from among ceramic containers, glazed models are considered optimal. Clay and porous containers are not suitable for indoor culture. In them, orchids are planted only in flower farms, greenhouses or greenhouses, where the problem of evaporation of moisture by porous materials is compensated by stably high humidity. In any clay containers for orchids, numerous ventilation holes (diameter - about 0.6-0.7 cm) must be made on the bottom and walls.
The choice of pots has its own limitations:
- if photosynthesis in the roots occurs in an orchid, then only transparent glass and plastic vessels can be selected (for example, phalaenopsis is grown in such containers);
- for all epiphytes, only suitable options for growing in special baskets that provide free air access to the roots are suitable;
- the dimensions of the container are always taken in accordance with the dimensions of the plant itself;
- Orchid often “grows” to natural materials, which complicates transplantation.
The optimal ratio of the width and height of the pots for orchids is a slightly elongated shape with an extension upward, the height is 10-20% more than the diameter. The containers are selected so that the roots of the plant touch the edges of the pot, they were not too spacious or cramped.
At the bottom of such tanks, a high drainage of shards, expanded clay, and in extreme cases, synthetic materials, must be laid high, about 1/3 of the tank height.
The difficulties in growing orchids in the substrate are not limited to the choice of type of capacity. Orchids need a special substrate. Despite the fact that in the line of each manufacturer of earth mixtures there is a special offer for orchids, they differ in terms of moisture capacity, quality and composition.
For normal development, the absence of rot, respiration, the substrate must have sufficient coarseness and consist mainly of light materials - large pieces of bark. In various versions of orchid mixtures, expanded polystyrene, moss, peat and even mineral wool are added to pine and other types of bark. For dendrobiums, miltonia, cymbidiums, shoes, oncidiums, a substrate with 20% water-absorbing additives and a small fraction is chosen, for phalaenopsis - with a middle fraction of the cortex. Wands are grown only in large fraction bark.In pots they grow calendula, tunia, pleione, faience, flea, and all kinds of orchids that do not like the complete drying of the soil.
Rules for transplanting orchids into a pot
In the process of transplantation, you should be careful and carefully treat the plant:
- First, a container is prepared by making holes in the center and on the walls, if necessary. For clay pots, it is advisable to attach a rigid wire frame to which the plant will cling. For orchids, they prepare a support for fixing - a light natural peg.
- The orchid is carefully removed from the old container. In specialized stores there is a special tool, but you can also act manually. The roots should not get any injuries.
- Old soil is completely removed from the roots, if possible.
- The plant is inspected and carefully removed all damaged, dead or rotten sections of the roots.
- At the bottom of the pot lay drainage if not using special containers. A special plastic net is placed at the bottom of the baskets, which will prevent the substrate from waking up in the holes.
- Holding the orchid in his hand, it is set so that the base of the plant, the junction of the roots remain at the level of the upper edge of the container. The base of the pseudobulb should be 1-2 cm below the wall level. If a wire frame was made, a plant is fixed on it.
- The container is filled with a substrate so that the rhizome remains on the surface, trying to evenly distribute the substrate between the roots. Establish a support, focusing on the location of the peduncle. Tamp the upper edge easily, with your fingers, checking by turning on its side so that the substrate does not fall out and does not fit too loosely. Excessive force can damage the roots.
- To accelerate rooting and adaptation, it is desirable to fix the plant after transplantation.
Orchids after changing the capacity need special care. High humidity is only the beginning. Regular watering procedures in the first 2 weeks are not carried out. The plant's moisture requirements are compensated by spraying the substrate and leaves, starting normal watering no earlier than after 2 weeks. The softer the microclimate, the better: the plant is protected from direct sunlight, heat, kept at medium temperatures.