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Phragmipedium orchids

Phragmipedium orchids

Belonging to the Orchidaceae family, the Phragmipedium genus includes about twenty species and numerous hybrids. These orchids originated in areas ranging from Mexico to South America (Brazil – Rio de Janeiro) and are plants that we find both in the high mountains and at sea level, usually they develop in areas where the climate is tropical or subtropical . The name Phragmipedium derives from the Greek language, precisely from the word “phragma” which means separation or division and from the word “pedilon” which means shoe. Their name and its meaning refer to the division of the ovary and to the shape of the labellum which resembles a shoe. These types of orchids are mostly terrestrial plants, in a minority they are lithophytes and only a few are epiphytes. The genus Phragmipedium is divided into two groups: the first is made up of species with very small but equally colorful flowers and similar sepals and petals; the second group, on the other hand, includes all the other species of the genus which are made up of longer sepals than the petals but narrower, they are large and have a color that varies from yellow, to pink, to red and brown.

Cultivation


As far as cultivation is concerned, there are small differences between some species and others that vary according to the habitat in which they grow. The ideal temperatures for these plants are around 30 ° C in summer during the day and around 15 ° C in winter. They are able to withstand even higher temperatures as long as a high level of humidity is created in the environment in which the seedling grows. These orchids love to be exhibited in airy environments but watch out for drafts, these are not very welcome. The primary need for Phragmipedium orchids is light, they love to grow in well-lit places but don’t like being exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight could cause burns to the leaves. To understand if the light that reaches the plant is sufficient for its development, just look at the color of the leaves, if the leaves are too dark or too light green it means that the light is not enough. The color of healthy leaves should be bright green.

Soil and watering

Choosing a suitable soil for these types of plants is important for their development. The ideal soil for these orchids must guarantee the right amount of humidity and above all the presence of humidity must be constant for the root system but at the same time there must also be good air circulation. The appropriate soil for these orchids consists of nine parts of pine bark, three parts of tree fern, three parts of charcoal and three parts of perlite. As for watering, Phragmipedium orchids love humidity and in fact the roots must always be wet while the leaves must always be dry. These orchids should be watered in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry throughout the day. In the event that the leaves remain wet or humidity is created around them, the plant would risk getting sick and ruined. For these plants a lack of water is more harmful than an excess, in fact a lack of water could lead to the formation of spots on the leaves.Maintaining a certain amount of humidity is essential for these plants, in fact, it is advisable to place the plant on a saucer in which to put expanded clay or gravel. In this way the roots will never be immersed in water but a humid environment will be created around them. The ideal amount of moisture to be retained is around 70 – 80%. in fact, a lack of water could lead to the formation of spots on the leaves.Maintaining a certain amount of humidity is essential for these plants, in fact, it is advisable to place the plant on a saucer in which to put expanded clay or gravel. In this way the roots will never be immersed in water but a humid environment will be created around them. The ideal amount of moisture to be retained is around 70 – 80%. in fact, a lack of water could lead to the formation of spots on the leaves.Maintaining a certain amount of humidity is essential for these plants, in fact, it is advisable to place the plant on a saucer in which to put expanded clay or gravel. In this way the roots will never be immersed in water but a humid environment will be created around them. The ideal amount of moisture to be retained is around 70 – 80%.

Fertilization and repotting

Like all orchids, even Phragmidepiums must be fertilized in such a way as to have all the nutritional elements they need during their development. These types of orchids must be fertilized every fifteen days from the period of late winter to early spring following the formula 10:30:20 which corresponds to the administration of 10 parts of Nitrogen, 30 parts of Phosphorus and 20 parts of Potassium. During the other periods, the fertilizer must be administered according to the balanced formula of the 20:20:20 type. The fertilizer to be administered is a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the water used for watering. The doses to be respected are one gram for each liter of water. It is advisable not to dilute fertilizers in tap water due to the high sensitivity to mineral salts. Before administering fertilizers, soil, it should be wet well in order to avoid an excessive concentration of salts. Between one fertilization and the next it is necessary to rinse the roots thoroughly, which will contribute to the longevity of the plant. In the event that the leaves of our orchids begin to change color and appear scorched then it means that the fertilization must be reduced.

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