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The leaves of the Orchids

The leaves of orchids

We are often used to thinking that the most important part of orchids are the flowers. In fact, all the plant components of this plant are of particular importance for its healthy and correct development. In the operations of care and cultivation of orchids, we must not neglect the leaves, fundamental organ of many plants and therefore also of these magnificent indoor flowers. Many of the vegetative functions of the plant will depend on the correct photosynthetic activity of the leaves, such as the development of buds and flowers, the oxygenation of the root and the absorption of nutrients. The leaves of orchids are also the part most easily affected by parasites, fungi and bacterial and viral diseases, but they are also the part most vulnerable to the risks of bad exposure, of an excess of light,

Features


The leaves of orchids are large, long, lanceolate, dark green and fleshy. Sometimes they can develop in a sparse or alternating way, other times they can appear in the opposite form, depending on the variety. In any case it is good to know their characteristics to intervene correctly during cultivation operations. As already mentioned, the leaves of orchids are very fleshy and this allows them to withstand even some short periods of drought or scarce irrigation, remembering, however, not to overdo it, because orchids do not have water storage systems and cannot withstand long periods of water. water shortage. The leaves of orchids are also very sensitive to light, both in excess and in defect. In the first case they can curl up, preventing the formation of new buds, in the second they can turn yellow or dry out. The leaf structures of orchids must also be “eliminated” periodically, because the excessive presence of leaves prevents the correct penetration of air and light into the buds and flowers. The cleaning of the leaves is carried out by gently weeding out the dry or yellowed ones and leaving alone those that are still green and in good condition. Before cleaning the leaves, remember to wash your hands well and wear clean and disinfected gloves, because orchids are among the houseplants most susceptible to disease. The cleaning of the leaves is carried out by gently weeding out the dry or yellowed ones and leaving alone those that are still green and in good condition. Before cleaning the leaves, remember to wash your hands well and wear clean and disinfected gloves, because orchids are among the houseplants most susceptible to disease. The cleaning of the leaves is carried out by gently weeding out the dry or yellowed ones and leaving alone those that are still green and in good condition. Before cleaning the leaves, remember to wash your hands well and wear clean and disinfected gloves, because orchids are among the houseplants most susceptible to disease.

Foliar irrigation


The leaves of the orchids should preferably be wet once a day, sprinkling, on the upper page, preferably non-calcareous water. During wetting, care must be taken not to leave drops of water in the interstices of the leaves, flowers and on the surface of the vase, because humidity often causes rot. Generally, for orchids, the frequency of irrigation is higher in summer, with four operations per week, while in the colder months it is possible to intervene only once a week.

The leaves of the Orchids: Diseases of the leaves


The leaves of orchids, as already mentioned, represent a plant part very exposed to adversities, both of an environmental and infectious nature. Spots, marks, curls and color changes are always a sign that something is wrong with the health of the plant. Many of these signs can be caused by parasites such as scale insects, aphids and spider mites. These are insects which, despite their extreme morphological diversity, have the common characteristic of sucking the vegetal linga of plants, infesting either the upper or the lower page of the leaves. Mealybugs, aphids and spider mites fight with specific insecticides or fungicides, but, to avoid toxicity phenomena in the environment and in the plant, it is better to resort to preventive strategies, such as leaf wetting to remove spider mites, or manual strategies, such as the removal of scale insects and aphids using cotton soaked in alcohol or soap. Culture errors can also lead to fungal, bacterial and viral infections. Fungal diseases are typically caused by excessive moisture stagnation. It happens when the water stagnates in the pot without being easily drained or drained. In orchids grown in pots, an expanded clay base is often used, which favors the drainage of water and avoids water stagnation. Fungal infections often cause leaves and roots to rot: a disease visible from the particular dark color of the leaves, which wrinkle as if they had been immersed in a liquid. Bacterial and viral diseases can be transmitted to the plant during pruning operations carried out with poorly cleaned and not disinfected tools. Cut wounds are an easy vehicle for infections caused by bacteria and plant viruses. Even in these cases, the symptoms are clearly evident on the leaves, which may have yellow or dark spots. Bacterial and viral diseases of orchid leaves can last for years, but when they do occur they are often incurable, condemning the plant to certain death.

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