A person who is ignorant in matters of orchid-breeding may take "precious" orchids as representatives of a completely different family. First, these plants are not too similar to their relatives, and secondly, their main value is not in flowering, but in the original sheet rosettes. When caring for "precious orchids" they are specifically not allowed to bloom, so as not to spoil the appearance.
"Precious" orchids - Is small herb plants from several genera, living in deep shade under the rainforest canopy or screened, mossy rocks closed from direct sun.
Their weak, low shoots spread along the substrate and at the upper internodes develop an 3-5 outlet of remarkably beautiful leaves, which can overshadow any luxurious brocade with their elegant sparkling patterns. At the same time, almost all “precious” orchids have small, but original flowers.
In total, more than 220 species of “precious” orchids from the subtree Goodyerinae are currently described:
On this page you can get tips on caring for “precious” Ludizia orchids and other representatives, as well as get acquainted with the description of the most beautiful species of these plants.
Care for "precious" orchids in room conditions
When caring for ludiziums and other types of “precious” orchids, the plant grower should by all means try to avoid flowering, which hopelessly spoils the leaf rosette - the faded shoot immediately loses all its beauty, its leaves gradually wither and die to give strength to the child's shoot.
Using simple agrotechnical tricks, for example, constantly maintaining an even temperature and light, you can delay unnecessary flowering for some time, however, the development of each shoot sooner or later ends with the appearance of the apical inflorescence. In this case, large clones consisting of a set of shoots retain their decorative effect better when fading leaves are hidden under the young leaves of growing shoots.
Sunlight “precious” orchids of ludizia and other species are tolerated only in the morning and in the evening, while the maximum illumination should not exceed 7500 — 8000 lux.
An excess or lack of light immediately affects the plants - when the light is very strong, the leaves descend and turn pale, when there is a lack of light, the shoots are strongly drawn, and the sheet rosette gradually turns towards the light source.
In both cases orchids lose decorative. Best for the cultivation of "precious" orchids fit oriental windows. If the greenhouse is in the back of the room, artificial lighting with fluorescent lamps is necessary (12 hours per day).
The summer daytime temperature is 25-28 ° С, at night 18-22 ° С, the winter daytime temperature is 22 — 24 ° С, at night — 18 — 20 ° С.
Temperature fluctuations beyond the lower or upper boundaries stimulate flowering, which negatively affects the decorativeness of the shoots and leaves - after all, the apical inflorescence completes the growth of the shoot, and, consequently, the growth of new beautiful leaves stops.
“Precious” orchids are preferably grown in wide shallow (7 — 10 cm) containers — flat dishes, homemade plastic or plexiglass boxes, and pallets with several drainage holes. At the bottom, as a drainage, pieces of foam are laid (3 — 4 cm layer), then a substrate (3 cm layer), sphagnum live moss (3 — 4 cm layer) is on top.
Moss shoots are placed vertically and heads up. If the shoots of orchids have neither leaves nor roots (that is, are unrooted cuttings) they are placed on the surface of the substrate, completely immersed in the moss.
Watering "precious" orchids is best done in the morning or afternoon, trying not to fall inside the leaf sockets. In a closed greenhouse, I recommend watering very rarely (no more than 1 — 2 once a month). For watering, distilled water should be used, the temperature of which is higher on 3 — 4 ° С than in the greenhouse. Some plant growers prefer to give the plants water not from above, but from below, soaking the substrate through the bottom drainage holes.
In any case, remember that in a closed greenhouse water and gas exchange occurs slowly, the substrate therefore remains moist for a long time. And its drying is harmful both for young roots of “precious” orchids, and for sphagnum.
Adult plants are transplanted to a fresh substrate every 1 —2 of the year. When transplanting, the roots are carefully cleaned of old moss and substrate, washed in boiled water, and then gently straightened in a fresh substrate. Sometimes plants can not be transplanted completely, and replace only the top layer of moss.
In vegetative propagation, one or several daughter shoots are separated from the main shoot and laid in the moss so that the leaves are on the surface. In 1 — 3 months A new resumption bud awakens from the separated shoot, giving rise to a young shoot with its own leaves and roots.
Under conditions of excessive watering with hard water, “precious” orchids are often affected by root rot (Fusarium), which manifests itself as rounded or elongated purple or pinkish-purple spots on shoots and leaves. Save the plant can only ruthlessly removing all affected areas. As chemical measures to combat fusarium, I recommend watering with 0,2% suspension of basezol, benomyl or topsin-M three times in succession with an interval of 10 days.
In addition, "precious" orchids more than other members of the family suffer from slugs and snails, eating young shoots, flower stalks, flowers and roots. Countermeasures are traps and baits poisoned by metaldehyde, mezurol, ethiofencarb or iron orthophosphate.
In addition to ludizia, care for all other "precious" orchids at home should be carried out in a greenhouse room that maintains high humidity. They prefer closed spaces and grow better in greenhouses of small size with artificial lighting (light culture).
Such a greenhouse, in the same way as an aquarium, should be protected from sunlight and kept not in the sunny windowsill, but in the back of the room.
But if the greenhouse is located on the windowsill, in the summer you need to open it. Such ventilation prevents temperature rise from direct sunlight. In addition to protection from drafts, the greenhouse will help to maintain a high humidity of the air, which must constantly be high and remain at the level of 70 — 80%.
Genera and species of "precious" orchids
Genus of "precious" orchids Anoectochilus blume (anectochilus) constitute approximately 20 terrestrial species distributed from the Himalayas through Indochina to the Pacific Islands. Inflorescences are 10 long — 20 cm, with a few nondescript white or pinkish flowers on top.
Lip with a split tip. It was the structure of the lip that was the reason for the name of the genus, which comes from two Greek words - “anectos” - to open and “cheilos” - lip.
Anoectochilus lylei Rolfe ex Downie - antelochilus Lily.
Homeland - Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It grows in moist deciduous forests on silicate soils (600 — 1800 m above WM).
As seen in the photo, this type of “precious” orchid has oval or rounded leaves, dark green with a reticulated silver-white or silver-pink pattern:
The inflorescence is 7 long — 12 cm, 8 — 10-flowered, heavily pubescent. The flowers are greenish-pink with a white 2-bladed lip. It blooms in autumn or early winter.
Anoectochilus roxburghii (Wall.) Lindl. - anectochilus of Roxburgh.
A small terrestrial orchid from shady broad-leaved evergreen primary forests of Sri Lanka, South Asia, Indochina and Indonesia (300 — 1800 m asl). Occurs along river flows.
The leaves are dark green on the inside and reddish on the bottom. The median vein is lighter, the other veins are reddish-green, iridescent in reflected light.
The genus Googyera R. V. (Goodyear) includes 96 sympodially increasing ground orchid species with long, thick, creeping shoots, apical leaf rosette and upright multi-flowered inflorescences.
Goodyera hispida Lindl. - Goodyear fleecy.
Ground, lithophytic or even epiphytic small orchid from Indochina. It grows in evergreen broadleaf forests in conditions of strong shade and high humidity (150-2200 m above sea level).
The leaves are ovate-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, bright green, painted with pointed tips.
The Macodes Blume Lindl (Macodes) genus includes 9 species of small terrestrial orchids from Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Japan. Creeping shoots, apical inflorescences, erect, pubescent, little- or many-flowered.
Macodes petola (Blume) Lindl. - makodes Petola.
The land plant is small in size and grows in lowland and lowland forests of Indochina and Indonesia (100 — 1500 m asl).
It is considered to be one of the most beautiful "precious" orchids. The name Petola was worn by a forest fairy in shining green robes embroidered with precious stones and gold.
The same iridescent leaves of M. Petola are round or oblong-oval, velvety, with silver and gold streaks.
No less beautiful are the “precious” orchids of ludia represented on these photos: