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Genus odontoglossum (Odontoglossum) is directly related to the rather extensive orchid family (Orhidaceae). This family is also called orchis, and it includes 5 more subfamilies. Representatives of this family have been found in all regions of the planet Earth with the exception of Antarctica. This genus unites 65 species of various plants. In nature, such plants are found in the mountainous regions of South and Central America with tropical and subtropical climates. As a rule, they are found at an absolute height of 1700 to 3000 meters. But there are species that prefer to grow in even higher places, where it is cool and damp.
The name of such a plant comes from the Greek words "odons" or "odontos" - "tooth" and "glossa" - "tongue". This unusual name is associated with the appearance of the flowers of this orchid. So, at the base of the lip (lower petal), calloused outgrowths very similar to teeth are clearly distinguishable. This genus was first described by the German botanist Karl Kunt, and this happened at the beginning of the 19th century.
This genus is represented by lithophytes (plants that grow on rocks or rocks), as well as epiphytes (grow on the trunks or branches of other shrubs or trees). Odontoglossum can be large or medium in size. On rare occasions, this flower grows like a land plant. Sufficiently short roots, there is a flattened pseudobulb shape, with rather delicate root processes attached. The average height of odontoglossum is 20 centimeters, but there are varieties that stretch up to 90 centimeters.
The color of the thin leathery leaves is bright emerald, and their shape is highly elongated. With good care, foliage has a lifespan of several years. The growth pattern of the plant is sympodial. A spectacular bush consists of a whole system of shoots. The horizontally located parts of the stems form the rhizome. And on the parts located vertically, pseudobulbs (thickenings) are formed. Peduncles grow from the base of the pseudobulb, and several pieces of lovely flowers are located on them at once. This flower bud is located at the beginning of the growth of the previous leaf or stem (this may be the placement of an underdeveloped leaf sinus).
Odontoglossum is almost impossible to find in flower shops. However, there is a huge number of hybrids created by crossing odontoglossum with other species of the orchid family. At the same time, this genus of orchids crosses very easily. Hybrids are usually very beautiful and have a long flowering period from mid-fall to late spring. It should be remembered that different varieties can bloom at any time of the year. When their flowering ends, a dormant period begins (it is observed every 8 months). Odontoglossum is most suitable for growing by experienced orchid growers, as beginners can have a number of problems with such a plant.
Home care for the odontoglossum orchid
This orchid is quite light-requiring and needs good lighting. Southwest or southeast windows are perfect for placing such a flower. When placed on a southern window, the flower will need shading from the scorching midday rays of the sun. You can shade the plant using light curtains or gauze curtains. If desired, paper or tracing paper can be glued to the glass surface, which can significantly scatter sunlight.
Orchids of this kind are adapted to cool temperatures, therefore it is recommended to grow them in unheated greenhouses or cold rooms. But hybrids created by crossing with thermophilic species are quite adapted to normal room temperature. In summer, such plants are recommended to be kept at a temperature of 24 to 26 degrees, but it is best if it is 19 degrees during the day and 16 degrees at night. The recommended temperature in winter is from 13 to 17 degrees.
Odontoglossum requires high air humidity for normal growth and development. So, during the day it should stay at 60 percent, and at night - rise to 90 percent. If the humidity is below normal, this will lead to a deterioration in the appearance of the flower, as well as its development. It is worth remembering that the warmer it is in the room, the higher the percentage of humidity should be and the more often the ventilation is carried out. In the summer, during the hot months, it is recommended to place the pot with the plant in a wide and high tray, into which you should first add expanded clay (pebbles) and pour in a small amount of water. When the water evaporates, the air humidity will naturally rise. However, care should be taken that the liquid does not come into contact with the pot, as this can cause rot on the root system.
How to water
Watering frequency is directly related to the ambient temperature of the odontoglossum. So, the cooler it is in the room, the less often you need to water it and vice versa. When choosing a pot, it should be borne in mind that excess liquid should leave it freely and quickly enough. In this regard, it is recommended to use double pots, so, in the part located on top, the flower itself is placed, and the one on the bottom is intended for flowing excess water. If liquid stagnates in the substrate, this will lead to the appearance of rot on the root system, as well as on the shoot.
Watering should be frequent and abundant, and should be done without waiting for the substrate to dry completely. At the same time, care must be taken that the pseudobulbs do not wrinkle between waterings. After the end of flowering, the frequency of watering should be reduced. And during the rest period, watering is carried out with a frequency of 1 time in 7 days.
In the presence of young sprouts, you need to moisten the plant carefully enough, because they are quite sensitive to such procedures. Experts advise, from time to time to arrange a warm (about 35 degrees) shower for this orchid, which has a positive effect on the health and general development of such a flower. The more often you shower him, the more young leaves will appear, and this will also lead to an increase in the flowering frequency. It should be remembered that you should not use too hard water for the shower. Melt or rainwater is excellent for such procedures. In the absence of it, you can combine distilled and tap water in equal proportions. You can also soften tap water by boiling, filtering, and it can also be well defended. It should be remembered that the water for irrigation should have a temperature of 20 to 23 degrees.
After the end of the dormant period, you need to start applying specialized fertilizers for orchids to the substrate. You can also use a liquid fertilizer with a complex of minerals. It should be noted that the nutrient mixture used for feeding should be very low in concentration. During the period of intensive growth, the plant needs to be fed once a week, and during flowering - once every 3 weeks.
After the young sprouts have grown to half their normal size, you need to start feeding the orchid with fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus compounds. In addition to the usual dressings, foliar should also be carried out. It is necessary to carry out top dressing on the sheet with the same type of fertilizer. Experts recommend using these fertilization methods one at a time.
Features of transplantation and soil mixture
In order for the plant to grow normally and to bloom, the transplant should be carried out once a year, and not only the substrate, but also the pot should be changed. It is recommended to transplant it before flowering or after it (in spring or autumn). Often, odontoglossum itself signals that it is time to transplant, so, it forms a young shoot, which reaches 5 to 8 centimeters in length. Also, a transplant is necessary with a half-decomposed substrate. When changing the container, experts recommend carefully separating the old pseudobulbs.
It is worth remembering that transplantation is prohibited in extreme heat.
Suitable soil should be light, breathable and absorb water. So, when transplanting, you can use ready-made soil mixtures sold in a flower shop, intended for orchids or for orchids and bromeliads. There are 2 options for the substrate that you can cook with your own hands:
- peat soil, chopped sphagnum and crushed charcoal, while the components are taken in equal proportions;
- mix in equal proportions pine bark, coconut chips (fiber), chopped fern roots and chopped charcoal.
Don't forget to make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot. After transplanting, a not very thick layer of moss should be laid on the surface of the substrate, which will help retain moisture in the soil. The first watering of the transplanted plant must be done 7 days after this procedure.
You can propagate odontoglossum during its transplant, for this you should divide the overgrown bush into parts. When dividing the rhizome, remember that each division must have at least 2-3 mature pseudobulbs and another 1 (or more) growth point. The rhizome is carefully cut with a very sharp knife.
Damaged areas on the cuttings must be treated and crushed activated carbon is excellent for this. Then the delenki should be carefully laid on pre-chopped moss and wait until the roots begin to grow again. Then the newly started growing delenki should be planted in separate flower pots. For this, the root system of the plant is placed in a pot with a pre-made drainage layer. And only after that the prepared substrate is carefully poured.
Pests and possible problems
Often thrips, aphids, spider mites, and also scale insects settle on this kind of orchids. Experts recommend fighting such harmful insects with the help of special insecticides. If liquid stagnates in the substrate, this can provoke the appearance of various bacterial as well as fungal rot. In this case, experts advise to carefully remove the root system from the substrate and treat it with fungicides. You also need to disinfect the pot itself, and plant the plant in a new substrate.
As a rule, all problems that have arisen during the cultivation of this plant are associated with violations of the rules of care. So, this may be due to the wrong level of lighting, wrong temperature conditions, or irrigation problems. So, the following problems are most common:
- The flower stops growing, and its foliage acquires a yellow tint and shrivels - this is due to too dry indoor air.
- Whitish spots appear on the surface of the foliage - due to stagnant air, it is necessary to increase the number of airings.
- The foliage turned yellow - this may be due to direct sunlight hitting them.
The species listed below are the most popular when grown indoors because they are relatively undemanding to care for.
This species stands out among the rest for its flattened pseudobulbs, which, moreover, curl very tightly. This plant reaches a height of 18 centimeters. Below the bush is covered with 4–6 two-row lower leaves. On top of the pseudobulbs there are 2 or 3 long linear leaves. The erect, loose inflorescence has a brush-like shape, and it contains a large number of not very large (4 to 5 centimeters in diameter) flowers. In length, such an inflorescence can reach from 30 to 80 centimeters. The greenish-yellow flowers consist of narrow sepals and petals, while on their surface there is a pattern in the form of various spots of brownish-chestnut color. The heart-shaped or kidney-shaped lip has a short and wide marigold. The lip has a white or lilac color, a wavy edge and a pair of yellow fluffy keels at the base. Flowering lasts from mid-autumn to early winter. The opening of flowers occurs gradually, while the flowering of the first inflorescence can last for 8-10 weeks.
Odontoglossum pretty (Odontoglossum pulchellum)
This species was separated into a separate genus called Odontoglossum Schltr. The flattened pseudobulbs are very close to each other. At the top of each of them there is a pair of long keeled linear leaflets, which create dense and rather large formations. Thin, curved peduncles grow from the lower leaf sinuses. They bear loose, brush-shaped inflorescences, which consist of 4-6 snow-white fragrant flowers. A lip similar in shape to a guitar is directed upwards and at its base there is a ridge in the form of a callus, which has a rich yellow color, and red specks are also placed on its surface. Under the lip there is a pair of lateral practically fused sepals, which are almost invisible because of it. Blooms in January – February.
The most beautiful species of this genus. On the peduncle there are many tightly-fitting flowers, the patterns of which are always different. The dangling, brush-shaped inflorescences consist of no more than 15 flowers with a fringed edge. The petals are painted lilac or white, and they have a brownish or cherry-colored pattern on them. There are many brownish-yellow spots on the cut lip.
Odontoglossum lemon (Odontoglossum citrosmum)
Inflorescences consist of lilac or light pink flowers, of which there are from 9 to 20 pieces. The lip is pale pink.
Odontoglossum cordatum (Odontoglossum cordatum)
There are 3 to 8 large flowers. The lip has the shape of a heart.
Odontoglossum large (Odontoglossum grande)
Or the "tiger orchid" is one of the most beautiful plants in the orchid family. Mostly found in the mountainous forest areas of central America, or rather, on the high plateaus of Guatemala and Costa Rica. As a rule, it prefers to grow at an absolute height of 2000–2500 meters. Prefers sufficiently lit places that are well ventilated, for example: meadows, forest edges, the banks of streams and rivers. These places, both in the air and in the soil, have a high moisture content throughout the year. This is facilitated by morning dew, which form fogs at night, as well as evaporation of liquid from reservoirs. Naturalist and plant collector Ure Skinner first described this species when he found it in a mountain gorge near the capital of Guatemala in the early 19th century.
This flower is rhizome, but the rhizome is reliably hidden under pseudobulbs, which have a flattened shape. As a rule, there are 2 or 3 such pseudobulbs. They are located very close to each other and are located above the rhizome. They have leaves covering them from below. 1 or 2 peduncles grow from the leaf sinus. Drooping inflorescences are racemose and consist of large flowers (diameter from 12 to 15 centimeters), of which there are from 3 to 7 pieces (less often 9).The color of the flowers is rich yellow and rather thick stripes of pale brown color are located transversely on their surface. The petals with wavy edges in the lower part have a pale brown tint and yellow edging, the upper part is deep yellow in color. A small rounded lip has a yellowish-white or whitish color, and on its surface there are many reddish spots and strokes. Flowering can occur from the beginning of the autumn to the middle of the winter period and it lasts 4 weeks. Feels fine when grown indoors, but such an orchid definitely needs a cool temperature regime.
This orchid is included in the Oncidium group and belongs to the Orchid family. In total, there are about 30 species of orchids of this genus in nature. It belongs to the sympodial type of orchids. If anyone does not know, these are orchids in which new growths, leaf rosettes, are formed on a common rhizome - a rhizome, forming a kind of bush. In structure, shape of leaves and pseudobulb, it is similar to miltonia, oncidium, cambria - an artificial orchid, which is also based on brassia.
The spider orchid is considered a medium-sized plant with dense lanceolate leaves. The height of the bush ranges from 30 to 60 centimeters. The leaves form a dense fan-shaped rosette. The peduncle of the brassia is curved and can have different lengths - from 15 to 50 centimeters. Pseudobulbs are oval or pear-like. But the most interesting are the brassia flowers. In color, they can be yellow, yellow-green in color with brown or dark cherry spots. Sometimes these spots cover the sepals so tightly that they already become the background, and the spots turn yellow. The length of the brassia sepal often reaches 15 centimeters in length.
This orchid is considered one of the easiest and most undemanding to care for. Brassia is often recommended for novice growers who want to start growing orchids. The most common type of commercially available is considered Brassia warty... It's hard to say with certainty what this is connected with. But apparently with the fact that this is almost the most unpretentious type of this orchid. And its flowering is long. It is believed that brassia can bloom almost all year round. This is not entirely correct. The flowering period is up to two months, but this flowering is repeated several times a year, excluding winter. So the idea of its continuous flowering is being created.
A distinctive feature of brassia is the vanilla aroma exuded by the flowers. True, many different hybrids have already been bred on the basis of this orchid. So the smell of flowers may differ.
Home care for cambria
Lighting and temperature
The cambrian orchid is a photophilous plant. The most suitable place for it will be the window sills of windows located to the east or west. Perhaps the location is near windows of a south orientation, but in this case, you need to take care of reliable protection from direct burning sunlight.
The temperature range in which cambria can be found is quite wide. It lies in the range from +16 to +25 degrees. The main condition is that this temperature is relatively stable and the difference between the average daytime and nighttime temperatures does not exceed five degrees.
In winter, if cambria is dormant, it must be kept in cool conditions, that is, closer to the lower mark of the temperature range.
You cannot water this orchid like ordinary flowers. A certain regimen should be observed. Only in this case can the abundant flowering of cambria be achieved.
From the beginning of the formation of new pseudobulbs and until its end, watering is regular and abundant:
With the end of the formation of pseudobulbs and before the beginning of the growth of the flower arrow, watering is significantly reduced
From the beginning of the appearance of the arrow, during the flowering period and until its end, watering is abundant and regular
After the end of flowering until the appearance of new growth, watering is reduced until it stops completely (when the cambria is in a state of winter dormancy)
Upon reaching the growth of 2-3 centimeters in length, watering is resumed.
The main point that should be considered, even if abundant watering is recommended, is that cambria does not tolerate waterlogging. Before the next watering, the substrate in the pot should dry out thoroughly. In many ways, the duration of the break depends on the temperature of the cambrian content. Accordingly, the lower the temperature and the higher the air humidity, the less watering and vice versa.
The watering technique is the same as for the vast majority of orchids - immersing the pot in warm, well-settled water until the substrate is completely saturated with moisture. Boiled or distilled water is preferred.
At a relatively low room temperature (+ 18-22 degrees and below), additional air humidification is not required. But if the temperature is higher, especially in combination with dry air, it is advisable to put the pot on a pallet or in a pots with wet sphagnum moss or expanded clay. You cannot spray cambria! You can humidify the air around it without directly hitting the orchid leaves. It is allowed to wipe the leaves with a slightly damp sponge or cotton pad.
Top dressing cambria
Cambria does not need constant feeding, moreover, an excess of fertilizers will not do it good. Top dressing is necessary only with the beginning of the shoot regrowth before the pseudobulb begins to form and with the appearance of a flower arrow before flowering, after which top dressing stops. The frequency of fertilization is no more than twice a month, you can limit yourself to one. Also note that the concentration of the fertilizer for cambria should be about half that recommended in the instructions for the fertilizer for orchids. Top dressing is best combined with the planned watering of cambria. In this case, it is advisable to first immerse the pot in a container with water, keep it there for five to ten minutes, and only then add the fertilizer solution, and then keep it until the substrate is completely saturated with water.
You will not have to repot this orchid often. Cumbria is transplanted at home only if the need arises. And it can arise if the plant has grown thoroughly and the old pot has become cramped for it. Also, a cambria transplant is required if the potted substrate has become unusable. That is, it has caked, badly crumbled or salted. The latter is very likely when using poor-quality water for irrigation and abuse of fertilizers.
The technique of transplanting cambria is almost no different from transplanting most orchids. Moreover, the presence of a transparent pot, which is mandatory for phalaenopsis, is not at all necessary for her. You can take a cambria pot whichever you like. The main thing is that it fits in size and is not too large, one centimeter - two more in diameter than the previous one.
Cambria has no particular preferences for the composition of the planting substrate. You can use standard orchid primer.
Use the largest pieces of bark as drainage, that is, the bottom layer of the substrate. Then place the cambrian roots in the pot and cover with the substrate. Make sure that the pseudobulb remains completely on the surface. Watering the cambria after transplanting, let alone fertilizing, should not be for about a week. After that, you can water.
Reproduction of cambria
Like all sympodial type orchids, cambria reproduces by dividing the bush. Care should be taken when dividing pseudobulbs to avoid damaging the plant. Especially the roots. To avoid plant injury and infection, the knife must be sharp and disinfected. After separating the pseudobulbs, be sure to grind the slices with ground charcoal or activated carbon.
Caring for cambria after flowering
A feature of Cambria, among others, is that it can easily do without the traditional rest period. It's just that ensuring her winter wakefulness can be somewhat troublesome. First of all, you will have to attend to additional lighting. Short winter daylight hours will not be enough. And the second thing that needs to be done is to create conditions for it with normal air humidity, which is also somewhat difficult in winter due to overdrying of air by heating devices. It is much easier to reduce watering after flowering cambria and put it in the coolest place, thereby sending the plant to dormancy.
A short video about caring for cambria
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, scale insects or spider mites. An infected plant can be easily recognized by the presence of fine cobwebs on the surface. The lack of flowering for a long time can also be a signal for concern. This insect is dangerous because in the active phase the mite begins to eat the plant, sucking out all the juices from it. As a result, the flower withers and dries up.
The insect can fly from the street through an open window or move from a nearby infected flower. In addition, it can be contained in the soil that was used when the plant was transplanted. Low humidity and high air temperature serve as a favorable habitat for it. To defeat the spider mite, first of all, it is necessary to increase the humidity of the air. The flower should be watered abundantly with water and wrapped in a plastic bag. I.e you need to create a microclimate around it, in which the plant should stay for 2-3 days.
All this time, you need to carefully observe the flower - if it starts to fade, the bag should be removed.
And also helps from spider mites washing orchid leaves with a weak solution of water and dishwashing liquid or liquid soap. The solution is prepared in proportion to 1 liter of water 1 tbsp. l. liquids. With the same solution, it is necessary to rinse the place where the flower pot was. Severely damaged leaves must be cut off, and the cut must be treated with a solution of the drug "Previkur" (1 drop of the drug per 1 liter of water).
To combat harmful insects infecting the orchid, several preparations are recommended.
- Actellik. It is necessary to prepare the solution according to the instructions and apply as a spray. It is toxic and should only be used 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 weekly intervals.
- Akarin. The drug is an analogue of Fitoverma according to the principle of action and method of application.
You can learn more about how to care for the odontoglossum orchid at home.