As you know, an orchid is a very thermophilic plant, so in our country you can only admire it in the botanical gardens or in your window. The genus of orchid Odontoglossum migrated to the shelves of Russian stores from faraway South America, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and other warm countries.
The Latin name of the flower is Odontoglossum. In literal translation, it can mean tooth and tongue. Indeed, at the base of the sepals, small processes can be observed that look like a tooth. Orchid attracts with its large flowers, located on a branch of whole clusters. In height, the plant usually reaches about 50 cm, the root system is strong and branched.
The color of orchids odontoglossum is very diverse - from white to bright yellow and pale green. The leaves are also large, leathery, dark green in color. Over time, bulbs appear at the base of the roots - a kind of thickening in the form of small bulbs in which the flower accumulates moisture and other resources necessary for it to live. Depending on the variety of odontoglossum, flowering can last up to 3 months.
The genus of orchid Odontoglossum is quite extensive. Currently, more than two hundred different species of this amazingly beautiful plant are known. Such a variety of varieties is explained by the fact that different genera of plants behave very well when crossed. Therefore, in the store it is often difficult to make a choice in favor of a particular instance. Consider some of the most common types of odontoglossum.
- Bickton. The stem has an average of 20-30 cm, shoots can grow up to 80 cm, the petals of the flower slightly taper upward, and the cup of the flower itself is quite large - about 5 cm in diameter, resembles a star in shape. On the yellow background of the flower, as if with brown paint, large strokes are applied in a chaotic manner. All this makes this kind of flower very attractive.
- Citric. White petals with lilac or violet tint. They are not very large in size, but they outnumber their counterparts - up to 20 flowers can be on one plant during the flowering period. A bright yellow fingernail flaunts in the center of the flower.
- Ross . This type of odontoglossum orchid is best suited for indoor cultivation. Despite the fact that its size is modest in comparison with other types of odontoglossum (stem height - about 10 cm), its bright elegant color attracts attention with its beauty. Petals pale yellow with catchy orange or brown touches. The plant begins to bloom in mid-spring and continues to delight with its beauty all summer, and sometimes autumn.
- Crispum. This is a tall species of orchid. It can reach a height of more than half a meter. The leaves are elliptical. The plant pleases with abundant flowering - up to 10-15 buds can simultaneously ripen on one stem. The cup is 7-8 cm in diameter, the flowers resemble a shy bride - the background is white, slightly decorated with a delicate pink shade. Petals on the edges have a terry structure.
- Spotted odontoglossum resembles a motley butterfly. The flowers are large, with a diameter of about 10 cm. Large lilac or brown spots are represented on a yellow or white background.
- Odontoglossum curly . The height of the stem is about 40 cm. The diameter of a fully opened calyx is about 7 cm. On one plant there can be from 8 to 20 inflorescences. Petals are boiling white, with fuzzy yellow or pinkish stripes and contrasting red-brown spots. The edges of the petals are wavy, with fringed edges. Apparently, this is where the name "curly" comes from.
- Tiger orchid or odontoglossum large. The flowers are large, about 10 cm in diameter, dark brown at the base, and bright yellow at the edges. Of all the types of odontoglossum, this is perhaps the most unpretentious. On one plant at the same time 5-6 flowers can be formed. They begin to appear in the autumn-winter period and delight with their appearance for about a month. Then comes a period of rest, which lasts 6-8 months.
As for the process of transplanting odontoglossum, it is the same as in other varieties of orchids. It is carried out every year or twice in the autumn or spring. The best time to transplant is when the plant has not yet bloomed or has already ceased to bloom.
A sure sign that the plant is ready for transplanting is the presence of new processes near the base of the bulb.
Fertilize orchids when they are in the phase of active growth. During this period, the plant needs nitrogen fertilizers. When it begins to bloom, phosphorous trace elements are added. It is recommended to use ready-made mixtures to feed your “beauty”, observing the dosage indicated on the package.
And you should also alternate fertilizers for the roots and for the flowers.
How to care?
Under natural conditions, the odontoglossum orchid grows high in the mountains, where the climate is cool and the air is humid. Orchids take root not in the soil, like ordinary plants, but on trees and even on a rocky surface. The conditions of a city apartment with central heating and often overdried air are not too comfortable for a room flower.
When caring for a plant at home, it is necessary to strictly observe the temperature regime during the day and night, the level of lighting and humidity. Therefore, on sale most often they sell not pure species, but all kinds of hybrids. Outwardly, they are not much different from each other, but hybrids are considered less capricious and more unpretentious. Often, odontoglossum is planted in wooden crates, vine baskets or hanging planters with coconut litter.
It is desirable that the room temperature in the room where the orchid is in the daytime does not exceed + 20– + 22 degrees, and at night it is 5–7 degrees lower , but does not fall below the minimum threshold of +8 degrees. It is also important that the level of humidity is not lower than 60%. To do this, put pebbles or expanded clay on the bottom of the pot so that they retain moisture. It is important to regularly spray the orchid with warm (about +35 degrees) water. It is recommended to do this several times a day in warm time and once in the winter and in the fall, while avoiding the ingress of water on the flower itself.
Odontoglossum loves light, but direct sunlight for the plant is undesirable. Optimal if it will be partial shade. During the period of active growth, the orchid needs constant feeding.
Twice a month the flower needs to be fertilized with vitamin B.
Often beginner growers complain that the leaves of the orchid turn yellow. There may be several reasons.
- Habitat change. Sometimes, after an orchid is bought and brought into the house, leaves turn yellow and fall. Sometimes even all leaves may fall. In this case, there is no need to rush and panic. When the habitat of a plant changes, a natural period of adaptation to new conditions occurs, which is expressed in the death of old leaves and the subsequent formation of new ones.
- Violation of the water regime. Yellowed leaves may indicate an imbalance in nutrients. The reason may be an incorrect watering regime. The flower is sensitive both to deficiency and to excess moisture - both of which lead to a change in the color and structure of the foliage.
- If there is too much water, then the soil is compacted, presses with its mass on the roots and stops passing air to them. The result - the leaves turn yellow, fade and fall. In addition, bacteria often form in a stagnant environment, and the roots begin to rot. In this case, it is recommended to treat the roots - cut the sick, rinse and let the roots rest for several hours, and then transplant the plant into new soil.
- A lack of moisture also leads to leaf withering. This may be not only an insufficient amount of water, but also too deep a drainage, in which the moisture quickly leaves and the roots of the plant simply do not have time to saturate it. Younger and stronger shoots begin to take away food from earlier ones, and they quickly lose strength and wither away. A dried orchid is treated with a long (up to two weeks) immersion in water with a pot.
- Water quality. This is another reason for the painful appearance of leaves in orchids. Perhaps the water is too hard and it contains a large amount of salts. Therefore, orchids, like all plants, are recommended to be watered with slop water. It is advisable to defend water for at least 3 days. Melt water is very useful for flowers.
- Lack or excess of lighting also negatively affects the condition of the flower. In winter, the lack of light can be solved with a fluorescent lamp, and in the summer it is advisable to remove the pot from the window, which is on the sunny side, and place the flower, for example, in the back of the room, but opposite the window so that the sun's rays affect the plant not directly, but tangentially. If you can’t rearrange the plant, you can simply close the window with paper, hide the flower behind other broadleaf plants, or organize a dimming by any other available means.
Currently, there is no soil shortage in stores for different plants - even for exotic ones like orchids. Therefore, you can use one of the ready-made offers. If you want to make a soil mixture with your own hands, then here is an approximate composition of planting material for odontoglossum:
- coconut substrate (may be in the form of fiber, peat or chips);
- bark of various trees;
- parts of the roots of fern;
- moss sphagnum;
- perlite (or expanded clay);
- cones of conifers.
Important! Most of these elements provide the necessary air exchange, retain moisture and provide the plant with the necessary nutrition.
Diseases and Pests
It is believed that odontoglossum is not too susceptible to various diseases, but sometimes problems do happen. One of these troubles is insects such as aphids, scutes, or spider mites. An infected plant can be easily recognized by the presence of a small web on the surface. A signal for concern may be the absence of flowering for a long time. This insect is dangerous because in the active phase the tick begins to eat the plant, sucking out all the juices from it. As a result, the flower withers and dries.
The insect can fly from the street through an open window or move from a neighboring infected flower. In addition, it can be contained in the soil that was used when transplanting the plant. A favorable habitat for it is low humidity and high air temperature. To defeat the spider mite, it is first necessary to increase air humidity. The flower should be abundantly watered and wrapped in a plastic bag. That is, you need to create a microclimate around it, in which the plant should be 2-3 days.
All this time you need to carefully monitor the flower - if it begins to fade, the package should be removed.
It also helps with spider mites washing orchid leaves with a weak solution of water and dishwashing liquid or liquid soap. The solution is prepared in a proportion of 1 liter of water 1 tbsp. l liquids. With the same solution, it is also necessary to rinse the place where the flower pot was located. Heavily damaged leaves must be cut off, and the cut treated with a solution of Previkur (based on 1 liter of water, 1 drop of the drug).
To combat harmful insects that damage the orchid, several drugs are recommended.
- "Actellicus." It is necessary to prepare the solution according to the instructions and apply as a spray. It is toxic, therefore, use only outdoors.
- Apollo. This drug is effective only for insect larvae. On adults, it has only a sterilizing effect.
- Fitoverm . This substance can be used indoors. Apply as a spray for a month at intervals of a week.
- "Akarin." The drug is an analogue of "Fitoverm" according to the principle of exposure and method of application.
You can learn more about how to care for the odontoglossum orchid at home.