Phalaenopsis mini: home care
One of the most popular items in flower shops are mini orchids - amazing compact flowers with amazing appearance and lush flowering. Among representatives of this group, lovers of ornamental plants pay special attention to mini-phalaenopsis. The culture is rather capricious and demanding of the conditions of detention, but with proper care it can please with many colorful flowers.
Botanical description of the plant
Mini-phalaenopsis is a hybrid of the Orchid family, whose homeland is considered to be the People's Republic of China and Japan. Mini-flowers resemble traditional orchids in appearance, but they are smaller - they rarely grow by more than 20 cm. The plant attracts attention with beautiful, rather large leaves, 15–20 cm in size, the color of which can vary from dark green to marble. The number of leaves on the stem is limited to 4–6 units, which is enough to fully nourish the flowers.
Did you know? The smallest in size is considered the Platystele jungermannioides orchid, listed in the Guinness Book of Records. It is found in the rainforests of Mexico and Costa Rica. The diameter of its flowers is only 2.5 mm.
Features of care immediately after purchase
Any transportation is a real stress for a mini orchid, therefore, immediately after purchase, the plant needs to organize a quarantine, the duration of which is several weeks. During the adaptation period, the flower pot should be placed away from other indoor plants. The best location is a shaded, quiet place where direct sunlight does not fall and where there are no drafts.
After two weeks of adaptation, phalaenopsis should be gradually accustomed to sunlight, placing the pot on a well-lit window sill for 2-3 hours. It is extremely undesirable to transplant a flower into a new container during its flowering, as the fragile root system can be damaged. If there is a need for transplantation, it is recommended to wait until it fades.
Important! Foliage culture is very sensitive to the rays of the sun and quickly gets burns, which appear in the form of dry, yellowed spots on the leaf surface.
Conditions for successful growing at home
For the good development of miniature orchids, they need to organize comfortable conditions and carefully monitor the lighting, temperature, humidity.
Creating optimal living conditions for a mini orchid begins with choosing the right place for it. Phalaenopsis prefers to settle in darkened places with diffused, non-aggressive light. The plant negatively refers to direct sunlight, and also negatively reacts to the presence of drafts.
Temperature and humidity
One of the important factors affecting the full development of a mini orchid is indoor temperature and humidity. Experts recommend maintaining temperature indicators throughout the year in the range of + 18 ... + 25 ° С, while the difference between night and day temperatures should not be more than +3 ... + 4 ° С. It should be noted that sharp temperature jumps can cause sticky, transparent secretions, which are often confused with pest symptoms, on foliage and flowers of the culture.
Did you know? The first hybrid phalaenopsis, obtained by crossing two species of this genus, was bred by breeder John Seden in 1875. This orchid began to bloom only in 1886.
In summer, a slight increase in temperature parameters up to + 30 ° C is allowed. In winter, you need to ensure that the temperature does not fall below + 15 ° C. Mini-phalaenopsis prefers to develop in conditions of average humidity from 40 to 50%. Increased humidity can cause rotting of the root system and the formation of dark brown spots on the leaves.
If the air is too dry, the flower will begin to dry and drop leaves. To ensure the desired level of humidity, it is recommended to place open containers with water or install decorative, artificial fountains, an aquarium with fish near the pot with an orchid.
Further care for a miniature orchid is practically no different from care for a classic phalaenopsis.
Watering a plant is based on the implementation of several important rules and depends on temperature, room humidity and soil condition.
Important! Do not use water passed through soda reagent filters.
For hydration, it is recommended to use one of the methods:
- Watering can. Through a normal watering can, watering is carried out under the root, which avoids contact of moisture with the stem, flowers and leaves. Before moisturizing, it is necessary to assess the condition of foliage and root processes: if they have acquired a silvery shade, then they lack moisture. Orchid requires always moist, but not waterlogged soil, so watering should be carried out, focusing on this factor.
- Ice Cube. Some gardeners practice wetting the ground with a regular ice cube. To do this, the ice is placed on top of the moss - as the ice melts, the plant will receive a sufficient amount of moisture. As a rule, one ice cube for a miniature flower is enough for a week, however, in the summer, when the humidity in the room is reduced, it is recommended to wipe the leaves several times a week with a damp cloth.
- Into the pallet. The maximum lower watering of the orchid will help protect the root system, leaves and stem of the plant from moisture to the maximum. For this, water is poured into the container and left for 15-20 minutes. After that, excess moisture, if any, is drained.
For the full development and intensive growth of phalaenopsis, it is necessary to regularly feed, using products based on nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus. With the active development of the culture, fertilizing is recommended every 10-14 days. During rest, it is enough to feed once a month. Experts advise combining the application of fertilizing with watering.
Important! Measures to cut the phalaenopsis should be performed with sterile tools to avoid infection of the plant with infections. An alcohol solution or a solution of sodium permanganate can be used for disinfection.
To do this, carefully dilute the fertilizer in water and water the plant using the most convenient method of moisturizing. As a top dressing, special store-friendly products designed for orchids are suitable. When applying fertilizers, the dosage specified in the instructions should be strictly observed, since an excess of ministry can be detrimental to the plant.
A mandatory item of care for the plant is its pruning, which is carried out after flowering. It is necessary to carefully remove all dried and withered flowers, and cut the peduncle almost at the base, just above one well-developed bud. Dark and dried leaves lend themselves to full pruning. Dry root processes are recommended to be carefully cut with scissors. After pruning, the culture should be placed in a quiet, calm place with diffused lighting or partial shade, and expect the appearance of new flowers, while ensuring that the orchid is properly cared for.
A transplant for an orchid is stressful, therefore it is recommended to carry out the procedure if necessary, namely when:
- the roots have grown and go out;
- the substrate “gives off” acid and has a sharp unpleasant odor;
- the soil is too waterlogged.
Find out what the composition should be and how to make a primer for orchids with your own hands.
The process of transplanting a mini flower includes the following steps:
- a drainage layer of expanded clay, pebbles, small stones is lined at the bottom of the pot, sprinkled with a small layer of substrate on top;
- as the soil using a mixture of pine bark and sphagnum moss;
- a plant is gently pulled from an old pot;
- inspect the root system, remove old, dried and rotten roots;
- the culture is placed in a pot, root processes are distributed and sprinkled with the remaining substrate;
- crush the ground a little, but do not tamp hard. You can tap lightly with a pot so that the soil is evenly distributed;
- for the stability of the orchid, if necessary, it is tied to a bamboo stick.
Video: Phalaenopsis mini orchid transplant
After the transplant, experts recommend that you refrain from watering the phalaenopsis during the first week so that it can adapt to new conditions. If the roots become unnatural, darken, and there is an unpleasant odor from the ground, transplantation must be carried out immediately.
Flowering time and dormancy
Care for the phalaenopsis will be largely determined by the state in which the flower is: dormancy or flowering. Under natural conditions, the orchid does not have a dormant period, it is able to give flowering year-round. In the climatic conditions of European countries, a flower, due to temperature changes and the lack of proper light in the winter, does not have the opportunity to develop and grow throughout the year, therefore it regularly goes into a dormant phase.
Blooming mini orchids can occur several times a year. After the buds open, the stem must be fixed with a bamboo stick to reduce the load on it. In addition, during this period, it is necessary to provide the culture with a sufficient amount of fertilizers, lighting and moisture, as well as protect it as much as possible from stress, drafts, and sudden changes in temperature.
Read also why the orchid does not bloom and how to make it bloom.
After the orchid fades away - as a rule, this happens in the autumn period - it is recommended to adjust the main aspects of the care: reduce the number of irrigations, reduce the frequency of fertilizing, place the pot in a more illuminated place or install artificial light sources to prevent its shortage. For lighting, it is better to use phytolamps with red or blue light.
Propagation at home
During the spring-summer season, when the orchid leaves its dormant state, experts recommend that it be propagated using one of the methods: cuttings, children or seeds.
Cuttings are considered the most affordable way to breed Phalaenopsis.
It follows this algorithm:
- From a healthy, strong plant, lateral shoots, about 5-6 cm long, are cut off at an angle, each of which has several sleeping buds. It should be noted that the strongest buds will be those that are closest to the leaves.
- Places of cuts are treated with chopped charcoal or activated carbon.
- Cut off cuttings are placed in containers with soil and covered with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect.
- Containers with processes are placed in a warm, well-lit place, with a temperature of +18 ... + 25 ° С.
Video: propagation of orchids by cuttings
Propagating phalaenopsis at home is most simple with the help of lateral shoots - children that form on the peduncle.
Children are formed in an orchid only under certain conditions:
- temperature + 25 ° С;
- high humidity;
- good top dressing.
Video: orchid propagation by children
Breeding phalaenopsis with seeds is considered the most difficult method, which only experienced gardeners can cope with. Propagating seeds should be purchased at specialized stores. Before the first seedlings with this method should wait about 9 months, while the first flowering culture can please after 2-3 years.
For this method of reproduction, you must:
- Sow the seeds into the soil from moss and pine bark.
- Moisten the surface of the soil with a spray gun.
- Cover the container with seeds with film or glass.
- Throughout the entire period, make sure that the temperature indicators are within +22 ... + 25 ° С.
After emergence and formation of 2-3 leaves on them, they can be planted in separate pots.
Video: orchid seed propagation
Possible growing difficulties
If the basic rules for caring for an orchid are not observed, it can be exposed to ailments and the negative effects of parasites.
The presence of diseases can be easily recognized by the appearance of the flower:
- gray rot on the flowers - is manifested by the presence of gray or brown spots on the petals and occurs due to excessive moisture, low temperature and high humidity;
- black rot - affects the leaves and root system. First, the leaves rot, then the rot goes to the roots. Affected roots are necessarily destroyed. The causes of the onset of the ailment are: excessively moistened soil, high humidity or low temperature indicators;
- brown spotting - appears in the form of brown spots on the leaves, as a result of which the leaves begin to fade, dry and darken.
We recommend that you learn about the diseases and pests of Phalaenopsis orchids.
It is quite easy to prevent the development of diseases if:
- avoid excessive drought or, conversely, soil moisture;
- monitor the required amount of light and humidity;
- control the temperature in the room.
Adverse living conditions can also trigger the appearance of various parasites, in particular:
- aphids - manifests itself in the form of a dark coating on the shoots and buds;
- spider mite - it is easy to recognize by the presence of a white, transparent web from the underside of the leaf plate;
- thrips - through the influence of the parasite on the leaves and flowers, silver streaks are formed.
You will be interested to read how to restore an orchid at home.
Mini Phalaenopsis orchid will be a real highlight in the home collection of decorative flowers. Like all miniature plants, it requires close attention and regular care. However, if she is provided with comfortable living conditions, the culture is able to please the flower growers with long, lush and very colorful flowering.