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Buying orchids in the store: how to choose the right plant

If you decide to breed orchids, it is important to know where to buy the plant and what you need to pay attention to. choosing a flower. Of course, you should buy any home cultivars only in flower shops and nurseries, specializing in the cultivation of indoor varieties and hybrids. To decide what kind of orchid to buy, match your ability with the complexity of caring for one type or another of these exotic beauties.

Today, potted orchids are sold in almost all flower shops. Before you choose an orchid when buying, think about how you are going to use it - as a long-blooming bouquet or as a pet, with which you will ensure a long life.

The orchid care algorithm in the first embodiment does not involve any difficulties: we choose the most beautiful one, sometimes we water it, and it blooms. Faded - buy a new one. If you want to ensure the orchid a long life in the apartment, the choice of a plant must be approached more carefully.

Having admired in a book or on a site with a particularly beautiful photo, do not rush immediately to buy the same orchid that you saw. First, consider whether the conditions that you can provide for it are suitable.

For the normal development of the shoots, almost all orchids need higher illumination and humidity, and it is not difficult to raise them in the room by arranging the lights and using a humidifier. But for flowering, many species need lower night temperatures compared to daytime on 4 — 8 ° C, and this is already a problem.

Before buying plants, evaluate the conditions you have (orientation of the windows to the cardinal points, availability of a balcony or a cold room, trees outside the window, etc.) and from hundreds of orchids offered for sale, select the ones that are suitable for your conditions. Then you will exist in harmony with your orchids happily ever after.

In this article, you will receive recommendations on how to choose an orchid when buying in a store, and how to understand the names indicated on the labels.

The right choice of orchids in the store

Before you choose an orchid, you need to carefully examine the relevant literature (books and articles in specialized journals), as well as visit orchid sites and forums.

To decide which orchid is better to buy, first of all, pay attention to how long the plant has stood in a warehouse or in a shop window. If the seller finds it difficult to answer, look carefully at the orchids. Fresh, wax, shiny flowers with juicy color indicate that the plant is recently in the window.

If the flowers have already become translucent, parchment, dull and soft, then you have a plant that stood in the sales area for at least 20 — 80 days. It has already experienced stress, affecting not only the state of the peduncle, but possibly affecting even deeper physiological processes.

The plants that stood in the sales area for more than 1,5 months look the saddest. They, as a rule, have ottsvetshy tsvetonos and clear signs of weakening - reducing the number of leaves, their wrinkling, rotting of the roots. When deciding which orchid to choose - expensive, but fresh, or worn down, but cheap, - consider whether you will be able to reanimate it.

Particular attention should be paid to orchids, whose flowers have a blurred uneven color, or 2 lips, or accrete perianth segments. Any imperfection of the flower should alarm this viral infection or genetic failure.

If you want to learn how to choose orchids correctly, just like experienced orchid growers, it is worth knowing about the differences between an adult plant and a seedling. Seedlings have smaller, thin and small leaves, they usually do not have flower stalks.

You can buy only those seedlings that have a constant positive growth, that is, each subsequent shoot or leaf is more than the previous one in 1,5 — 2 times.

The price of seedlings is usually low, but this cheapness will result in years of waiting, because:

Seedlings Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis) may bloom no earlier than 1 — 2 of the year

Seedlings Dendrobium (Dendrobium) - not earlier than 2 — 3 of the year

Seedlings Cattley (Cattleya) - not earlier than in 5 — 10 years

Seedlings Cymbidia (Cymbidium) - not earlier than in 5 — 10 years

Seedlings Pafiopedilumov (Paphiopedilum) - not earlier than in 5 — 10 years

Buying a flowering plant, you pay for the time saved.

To choose an orchid in the store correctly, as advised by experts, you need to inspect the selected plant from all sides before purchasing. The leaves should be glossy without a yellowish tint, black spots and signs of drying.

Plants should have a well-developed leafy stem and healthy roots. It does not matter if not all the roots of the plant are immersed in the substrate, the main thing is that it does not swing in the pot itself. Slightly wrinkled and damaged leaves are also not an obstacle when choosing an orchid - the main thing is that the last growing shoot of sympodial orchids and the last apical leaf of monopodial orchids should not be damaged.

A notable marketing ploy was the sale of plants with additionally colored bright blue or bright green flowers. If you chose a dyed orchid, get ready for the fact that the dye will soon begin to wash out of the plant, the flowers will fade. And when the plant blooms again, its flowers are likely to become white again.

How to understand the names of orchids on the labels

In orchid culture, it is artificially pollinated by hand, transferring pollen collected into special formations - pollinia (pollen collected in lumps) or pollinaria (pollen lumps with special devices for attaching to the pollinator - legs and stickies) on the stigmas of the mother plants.

All plants obtained from a single crossing are called a hybrid family or Greek (grex). Widely known and loved by orchid growers is a hybrid between the two best types of phalaenopsis, which is called Phalaenopsis wiganiae (P. schilleriana X P. stuartiana). Here the word Wiganiae is the name of the Grex, which was obtained by artificial pollination in 1899.

When the daughter plants bloom, the best are chosen from them and after microcloning or traditional vegetative propagation, a cultivar (or clone) is obtained.

So how to understand the names on the labels when buying orchids in the store?

For the name of the hybrid, a triple nomenclature is used: the first part is the name of the genus or hybrid genus, the second part is the name of the Greek, the third part is the name of the cultivar (clone). On labels, the name of the hybrid genus is written in italics and with a capital letter, the name of the Grex and the cultivar is written in capital letters with a capital letter, and the name of the cultivar is distinguished by upper quotes.

The second word in the title is not artificial, but natural (native) orchid hybrids written differently - not with a capital, but with a lowercase letter.

The above-mentioned hybrid (P. schilleriana X P. stuartiana), but not obtained by artificial pollination, but found in nature, was described much earlier, in 1856, and received the name P. X schilleriano-stuartiana S. Low.

The names of natural hybrids of orchids have the following spelling rules: between the generic and species names put the sign X; the species name is not written with a capital, but with a lowercase letter; at the end of the name put the name of the author, who first described this natural hybrid in the scientific literature.

Before choosing an orchid in the store, in addition to the features of the hybrids nomenclature, you will have to understand the special abbreviations that can be found on the accompanying labels:

  • "M" - meriklon (plant obtained by microcloning);
  • "Vuyl" - abbreviated name of the hybrid genus;
  • "X self" - Greek, created by selfing in one copy;
  • "X sib" - crossing is carried out in one hybrid line. For example, an old intergeneric hybrid is very popular among lovers of orchids. weilsteara cumbria "Plash" with very beautiful flowers. On the nursery label in front of the Latin name of the variety will be the letter "M", meaning meriklon - M Vuylstekeara Cambria 'Plush'.

Often, flower companies use their own abbreviations, the meaning of which can only be specifically studying their sites and catalogs.

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