There are several ways to grow orchids at home: in containers (pots, baskets, hanging pots), on hanging blocks and in a pot-block culture, i.e., on a block fortified in a pot.
Secrets and general rules of growing orchids at home
The whole system of growing orchids at home is based on a few simple general rules.
The first ruleIt is necessary for crops to provide sufficient illumination. The selection of temperature regimes, the frequency of watering, the intensity of dressing depends on the level of illumination and light quality.
Epiphytic orchids - plants are not exactly potted.
They exist on the border between the pot substrate and the room air. Therefore, they should be planted so that they “crawl”, as it were. substrateThey didn’t dive into it, but at the same time they were well fortified in a pot.
The second ruleMost orchids need a porous, fast drying substrate. Any stagnation of moisture in the substrate coma can cause the dying off of the roots, and, as a result, the death of the whole plant. In addition to the lack of light, many reasons can cause excessive moisture: the absence of a drainage layer inside the pot, too much moisture-absorbing, long-drying substrate, frequent and abundant watering.
therefore third rule growing orchids you need to know novice florist - water the plant only as the substrate dries.
The fourth rule concerns the diagnosis of substrate moistening. When evaluating irrigation terms, do not hesitate to resort to old gardeners' methods, covering the surface of the substrate with a layer of sphagnum moss (wet moss is darker than dry), either weighing the pot in your hand (light pot dry) or plunging a finger in the middle of the substrate (if the finger feels cold - the substrate is wet, if not - urgent is required watering).
Indoor orchids, although they passed a long “taming” to the window sills, are still tropical plants. At home, they usually do not have enough moist air.
Hence fifth rule growing orchids at home - less water in the pot, more - on the leaves. Orchids gratefully respond to frequent spraying, even by wiping the leaves with a wet cloth. You can increase the humidity in the room and with the help of a domestic air humidifier or arrange your pets a small room greenhouse on the windowsill.
Attention! This rule of care when growing orchids does not work for venereal shoes and “precious” orchids, which it is advisable not to sprinkle on the leaves.
The Sixth Rule concerns transplants. The secret is that you need to replant orchids as little as possible and only during the active growth of the roots or just before their appearance.
But if the orchid's roots are rotted, the plant should be transplanted immediately, whatever phase of growth it is. The need for transplants can be caused by a decomposed substrate that has lost porosity, or the growth of a plant outside the pot.
In the first case, transplantation will help avoid overwetting and rotting, and in the second case, regular drying of the root system.
Seventh rule Regarding how to grow orchids correctly, concerns fertilizing. You can feed epiphytic and lithophyte cultures with any liquid mineral fertilizer for flowers, but the concentration of fertilizing must be reduced by 10 times compared with the concentration indicated on the label (except for special fertilizer for orchids, where it is already diluted).
The frequency of fertilizing when caring for orchids while growing at home is no more than 1 — 2 once a week during active growth. Temporarily stop feeding is recommended only in the darkest season - from November to January, but only for those plants that are contained in rooms without artificial lighting.
And one more rule how to grow orchids at home: it is better not to rearrange plants from place to place, otherwise the buds may fall off, and you, having almost achieved success, will lose the long-awaited flowering.
How to grow orchids in baskets at home (with photos and video)
Baskets are made of solid, long resistant to rotting wood (oak, beech, bamboo) and hung from the glass.
Large baskets pick up very large sizes for orchids, and in medium and small baskets they plant not very large species with drooping peduncles, including Phalaenopsis (Phnlaenopsis).
A kind of wooden basket is a plastic container with perforated (or mesh) walls. Orchid roots can freely penetrate these openings. If the perforated container purchased from the store does not have bottom openings in the bottom, they can be made with a hot metal rod.
How to grow orchids at home in this way? The difficulties of cultivating flowers in baskets and perforated containers are primarily associated with the flowability of the substrate, which gradually pours out of the gaps between the slats, which not only creates certain inconveniences during watering, but also reduces the substrate space.
As shown in the photo, this can be avoided when growing orchids by first “digging up” all the cracks in the basket with fibrous materials, for example, sphagnum moss, palm fiber or mineral wool:
Hanging the basket or perforated container to the bracket, do not forget that the fastener should be carried out at least at three points of its upper bar, otherwise the suspension will not be stable and the basket may roll over when watered. Watering and feeding orchids, planted in baskets and suspended from brackets fixed in the walls, preferably from above.
After watching this video, you will learn how to grow orchids at home using baskets:
Growing orchids in pots at home: tips for beginners
Growing orchids at home is carried out both in ceramic and plastic pots. Ceramic pots have porous walls through which a lot of water evaporates from the substrate.
The roots of epiphytic orchids stretch and stick to the walls of pots in search of a water evaporating surface, it is important for them to periodically dry out, which is provided by the porosity of the clay. But ceramic glazed pots almost do not let air through the walls and by their quality approach plastic pots.
Plastic pots do not allow air through their walls, because there are no pores in them. Gas exchange inside the pot occurs only through the surface of the substrate and the lower drainage holes, which is why moisture remains in plastic pots longer.
Plastic pots can give you the most unpleasant surprise at the moment of a sudden long-term drop in temperature. When the air temperature is less than 10 ° C in unheated rooms in summer, the substrate in a plastic pot sometimes does not dry for weeks, and the low temperature of the root layer can provoke not only the development of bacterial rot, but also frostbite of root tips. Beginners can take advantage of homemade orchid growing tips below.
Plastic pots of a special design can be a good solution, namely, perforated pots with a lot of holes in the walls. In order for the water to flow well through the drainage holes and not to stagnate, it is necessary to lay a drainage layer on the bottom of any pot, both ceramic and plastic.
It can be any inert material that does not decompose for a long time, does not release salts into the environment and does not absorb water. In order to grow domestic orchids as advised by experienced flower growers, you can choose gravel, pebbles, pumice, broken pottery shards, foam plastic and other materials as drainage.
Drainage from shards placed on the bottom of the pot as follows. First, the drainage hole is closed with a flat shard, all the remaining shards are placed on top of it, but folding them like stacks of coins and putting them on the edge.
In order for the drainage layer to function well, it must fill the pot at least a quarter of the volume. Sometimes, when cultivating orchids, light plastic pots with drainage from even lighter foam are used. In this case, it is necessary to remember about the instability of the pot, the center of gravity of which will inevitably move even higher as the orchid grows in height or during the development of the peduncle.
Neither seedlings, nor adult orchids while caring for orchids when grown at home can not be planted in the pot "for growth". All plants need to pick pots individually. This is especially true of seedlings sympodially. growing orchidswho usually need an annual transplant of more than one pot size.
To keep part of the collection of orchids in ceramic pots, and some - in plastic I do not recommend, especially to beginner plant growers. Without experience, it is difficult to detect the degree of drying of the substrate and to correctly select the frequency of watering in pots of porous and solid material.
This video shows the basics of growing potted orchids:
How to grow orchids at home blocky way
There are open and closed blocks.
Open blocks are pieces of bark or plate of some inert material to which orchids are attached. For orchids planted on open blocks, the roots experience maximum moisture fluctuations, therefore such cultivation is not recommended in rooms with a relative humidity of air less than 60%. In winter, when the humidity in the rooms is insufficient, it is better to keep the blocks with orchids in the room greenhouse.
Positive results were obtained by planting epiphytic orchids on pieces of bark and round sawn oak 2 — 3 thick. See The dignity of such a block is the long-term cultivation of plants without traumatic transplants.
In order to grow orchids at home as efficiently as possible, an open block can be improved by drilling two rows of holes in it, through which the cord that holds and strengthens the plant (wire or fishing line) is then passed. Planted on such blocks of plants in culture do not experience quite sharp fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
However, this fulfills the condition of good aeration of the root system and complete drying of the roots between waterings - the main requirement for the successful culture of many types of epiphytic orchids.
The secret of growing orchids in this way lies in the fact that the block must be chosen so that it is commensurate with the plant and can withstand its weight without being deformed or turned over in the air. The selected piece of bark should not have too deep cracks, otherwise the block will fall apart directly over them.
In order not to damage the plant, all fastening and hanging parts must be prepared on the block in advance. A plant is planted on a block so that it seems to creep up on it, a fishing line, wire or other reinforcing material is passed between the bases of the shoots in such a way as to secure the rhizome and not damage the renewal buds.
See a photo of how to grow orchids at home in a block way:
Closed blocks are the same plates, but partially covered outside with some moisture-absorbing material. These can be pieces of rhizomes of ferns, coconut fiber, palm fiber, stalks of moss of cuckoo flax, mineral wool, synthetic winterizer and many other things, which, by covering the roots from above, allows them to be partially inside the substrate.
Features of growing orchid flowers in the block-pot culture
Most of all, this method of cultivation is suitable for small epiphytic orchids, the specific affiliation of which is unknown to you. Having undertaken to grow such plants, you first have to go in many ways “by touch”, overcoming doubts and instantly reacting to the slightest signs of deterioration in the condition of the orchid.
The block-pot culture largely “smoothes out” the flaws allowed by the plant-grower, allowing the orchid to more freely adapt to the new growing conditions. In addition, some species are difficult to keep in pots due to the small size of the pseudobulb or due to the long rhizome, while others simply find it difficult to adapt to the harsh water bathing characteristic of the block culture. Well respond to the content in the block-pot culture and many monopodial growing orchids of medium size.
A block (usually a piece of bark) with a plant pre-attached to it is inserted vertically or at a slight angle into the pot and strengthened in it with organic (moss, bark pieces) or inorganic (mineral wool, plastic, shards) materials.
The peculiarity of growing orchids in block-pot culture consists in a special planting technology, which includes the following successive operations. First, a block is cut from a piece of bark or any inorganic material, 1,5 — 2 times the length exceeding the rhizomatous part of an orchid, and the width is able to fit in an existing pot.
Then the plant is attached to the unit so that there is enough space for its further growth. In this case, the rear pseudobulbs are placed close to the lower edge of the block, and the growing shoot is directed vertically upwards. Then the block, together with the plant attached to it, is placed in a pot and strengthened with a fibrous material in front and behind.
It is desirable that the pot for growing an orchid flower was quite heavy, otherwise the center of gravity of the whole structure may shift under the weight of the block and the plant attached to it.
The pot can be made stable with the help of drainage clay shards or stones laid on its bottom. To the top of the block in advance, you can make fasteners, which will be useful later, for the further cultivation of the plant is no longer in the block-pot, but in the block culture.
To better understand the cultivation of orchid cultivation at home, watch this video: