Recently, one of the most interesting and competitive ways to grow orchids is to grow them in the so-called closed system, which has a lot of advantages. At the same time, some gardeners and specialists in varieties of phalaenopsis are skeptical of this method. In this article, we will take a closer look at the technique of orchid cultivation in a closed system, consider the nuances of caring for plants and their top dressing.
What is it like
Some lovers believe that a closed or semi-closed system for orchids is an ordinary transparent florarium with a special artificially made microclimate. However, this is not the case. Instead of the usual container or pot, the plant is placed in a transparent container made of plastic or glass, but without a single drainage hole at the bottom to drain the water. Thus, a closed system is obtained at the rhizome of the plant. Despite the absence of so-called holes at the bottom of the roots, the water in them does not stagnate, and the roots do not begin to rot, the plant further develops well, even in an apartment. However, in order to properly plant an orchid in a closed system, it is very important to take into account a lot of nuances and follow step-by-step instructions from specialists, which we will consider further.
Advantages and disadvantages
Planting plants in a closed system has its pros and cons, which you should definitely know about for beginner gardeners.
- Orchids planted in a closed system are less whimsical and require much less personal care in the future. The main care consists only in watering (2-3 times a week) and seasonal scrubbing of leaves and dried flowers.
- Plants in a closed system are easier and faster to reanimate. So, often florists in stores sell diseased plants for sale, with roots already rotted. In appearance, they, of course, bloom and seem to be green and healthy, but in fact, if they are not transplanted, then they may soon die. And the transplantation of such store orchids is most successful precisely in a closed system. It is in it that orchids come to life, are filled with energy and will soon become completely healthy.
- In a closed system, leaves grow faster than with a typical planting. Also increases the duration of flowering phalaenopsis.
- A closed system is best suited for places with a dry climate, since orchids do not take air roots during this cultivation, as they are completely saturated with moisture from the inside.
- Using this method, the roots remain completely safe from decay and the development of pathogenic microbes on them. A special moss must be placed in a transparent pot, which will not only filter the root system, but also disinfect it.
Moss sphagnum is considered a natural antiseptic, which is widely used in horticultural practice.
As a rule, there are very few drawbacks in such a growing system. And any problems arise only in case of violation of the planting technology itself and when deviating from observing special standards in the use of fertilizing and moss. However, some amateurs and experts say that when growing orchids in a closed system:
- they still have aerial roots;
- water for a long time stands at the bottom of the tank, which eventually leads to decay of the roots and the formation of mold;
- such a system is completely unsuitable for very humid climates.
The subtleties of landing
For a successful planting of an orchid and its further residence, it is very important to study all the details of planting, especially if it will be carried out for the first time.
As a container for planting, it is better to use plastic or glass containers, which can be purchased at any flower shop. There should be no holes in the bottom. Of course, it is better to acquire glass, since it is not porous, and this prevents the ingrowth of the root system. It is also undesirable to choose a round container, better oblong, because in case of repeated transplantation from a round container, the rhizome will be impossible not to damage, which in any case will affect the health of the plant.
The choice in favor of a transparent container is also associated with the fact that it is easier to control the water level and monitor watering in it.
Speaking about the substrate, it is important to mention that it should not consist of one component, but of several at once. All components must be stacked on top of each other. In no case should you mix them all. As a substrate, professionals usually use:
- expanded clay;
- moss sphagnum;
- special bark or ready-made substrate for orchids;
As is clear from the list, each layer is very important because it has antibacterial and antimycotic properties. By creating several layers, you can get a natural filter that takes care of the condition of the plant in the future. It is best to purchase the components of the substrate in a florist shop, however, if it is possible to collect some components in the forest, then they are also suitable. When choosing a forest substrate, it does not need to be cleaned, boiled or washed with antiseptics.
It is poured into the container for planting in the form in which it was assembled.
Before planting an orchid, you should prepare everything you need:
- transparent container;
- all components of the substrate;
- disposable gloves;
- water for irrigation (room temperature).
Step-by-step instructions for planting phalaenopsis in a closed system.
- At the bottom of the transparent container, lay the substrate in layers. For personal hygiene, it is advisable to use gloves.
- First you need to lay out the drainage, not more than four centimeters, optimally - three.
- Then moss is laid out, half as much as drainage. That is, about 1.5-2 cm from the first layer.
- Next is a layer of a special substrate for orchids. If it is ready, from a pack, then, as a rule, coal may already be present in it, but if not, then it must be intervened independently.
- After laying the layers, you must carefully take the orchid from the old pot, without damaging the roots, and move it to a new container. The neck of the plant should not go deep into the tank, it should be on the surface. If you break this rule, the plant will simply begin to rot.
- Next, to the top of the tank with an orchid must be filled with bark. An orchid should “sit” in it as densely and firmly as possible. On top you need to lay out a thin layer of moss again. In this case, it is used as mulch for external protection of the plant.
- After planting, the orchid should be completely filled with water. Not cold, but slightly warm, preferably filtered; after half an hour, it must be carefully drained by tilting the flower.
Landing in the system is ready. Then the plant must be placed in the optimal place for its germination. Not too hot and not too cold. Add water 2-3 times a week. With severe dryness, watering can be increased.
When planting, it is very important to take into account one point: the roots should not reach claydite and water.
This method of landing is considered the most profitable if all the basic rules of technology are followed. The closed system is not too wet and not too dry, which allows the orchid to grow as in its native place in the tropics.
A pruner may be needed if rotten roots have been removed from the plant, in which case it will be more difficult to take root.
A little bit about adaptation and care
Transplanting a plant into a new container is best when it is in the growth phase. It is she who is considered the most favorable for further adaptation. At the same time, experts recommend using part of the old substrate, laying it in a new one, for even better engraftment. Immediately after transplanting, the plant does not need to be fed, for this a certain amount of time must pass.
Do not be afraid that during the adaptation period, the orchid can drop leaves and even flowers. This is a completely normal reaction.
As for the further care of the orchid, it will include only two points: regular watering and top dressing. An additional shower for the plant, as well as its hydration using a spray gun in a closed system, are considered superfluous, such care methods do not bring any benefit.
- When watering, use room temperature. Watering should be carried out in a thin stream until a layer of expanded clay is covered. It is this level that should be followed in the future. For convenience, you can mark on the tank with a marker.
- The first top dressing can be done only after the plant has fully taken root. You can feed, depending on the variety, through each watering, but you should not abuse them if the plant grows well.
Subject to all recommendations for landing, any difficulties should not arise, however, the main ones are still the following.
- Using too large a container in which the orchid dangles or dries, as well as its roots, touch the water excessively.
- The occurrence of mold. At first, you should not be afraid of adaptation. After plant survival, in 90% of cases, it disappears by itself, without any threat.
- The use of an excessively small substrate often leads to rotting of the roots. Therefore, it is best to use a large one.
- Insects. Unfortunately, it is they who attack orchids very often if the climate is humid. You can get rid of them either with home remedies, for example, watering the plant with garlic water, or with special insecticides.
About the features of watering orchids in a closed system in the cold season, see the video below.