Phalaenopsis Orchid - how to take care of these flowers, their types and tips for breeding at home
These beautiful flowers predominate among orchids in the range of flower shops - they are unpretentious and have proved themselves as houseplants.
Recently, for solemn occasions or when they want to make a particularly nice gift instead of the traditional bouquet, they prefer to buy phalaenopsis. Their flowers are increasingly coquettishly peeking out onto the city streets from the windows of residential buildings.
The popularity of Phalaenopsis has led to what we call "simple orchids", although they are called "butterfly orchids" all over the world.
Active work on the phalaenopsis hybridization began in 1925, and today there is a huge selection of varieties and species with a variety of colored flowers and different species of plants. The regulars of flower shops do not even represent the whole variety of this orchid.
History of breeding
In 1825, the director of the Leiden Botanical Garden, Carl Blume, was on the coast of the island of the Malay Archipelago. He examined the jungle in field binoculars and noticed a flock of butterflies sitting on some plant. When he got closer to this place, he discovered that it was not butterflies, but flowers of an unknown orchid. In memory of this, the whole genus of these beautiful plants is named Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis), which in translation means "like a butterfly".
To date, about 70 species of this genus are known in science. They originate from Southeast Asia and Northeast Australia. In India phalaenopsis is called a "moon flower".
Representatives of the genus - epiphytes, growing in moist rainforests. They have large fleshy leaves and strong thick roots. Peduncles that lead out of the sinuses of leaves, depending on the species, are short or long, curved, hanging and branching and carry up to 20-50 flowers. The size of the flowers is from 4 cm to 10 cm in diameter, and the shape can be stellate, almost round or, indeed, resembling a butterfly. The petals are dense. Phalaenopsis roots contain chlorophyll. This is clearly seen when they are saturated with moisture and become green.
How to grow phalaenopsis
These plants at home can be grown in pots with large drainage holes (often choose transparent plastic pots), as well as in epiphytic baskets. In the latter, the silvery roots of the phalaenopsis develop freely, beautifully wrapping the basal plates inside and out. Phalaenopsis orchids are usually planted in a sufficiently moisture-absorbing medium of medium or coarse fraction, consisting of pieces of bark and sphagnum. They can also be grown on blocks, on which plants are planted "upside down."
How many Phalaenopsis bloom?
The flowers of phalaenopsis orchids are dense and can last from month to two on the plant, and the peduncles live even longer. Large-flowered phalaenopsis can be seen blooming at different times of the year due to the ability of their peduncles to gradually branch. Flowering is repeated on the same peduncle. A strong adult plant can give up to three peduncles a year, that is, after each leaf appeared on the plant, a new flower stalk can develop.
There are varieties and species with growing peduncles, and the older the plant, the more flowers it produces simultaneously. Peduncles such phalaenopsis should not be cut after flowering, they will still develop and bloom again and again. They are often formed and air "children."
How to propagate phalaenopsis?
At home phalaenopsis can be propagated vegetatively.
1. Air "children", which are periodically formed on peduncles. It is only necessary to wait for the daughter plants to grow their own roots a little, so that they can be planted. 2. Plant the plant, which has several outlets with its roots.
3. By dividing the stem, when the upper part of the plant is cut and re-rooted. The remaining "stump" also eventually develops lateral shoots and starts to be bitten. Typically, this method is used to rejuvenate old plants.
The formation of children on peduncles
The temperature regime affects the formation on the phalaenopsis of not only flowers, but also air "children." Elevated temperatures in combination with high humidity and shady conditions contribute to the fact that on flower stalks instead of flowers, daughter plants develop. This is typical of any phalaenopsis, but it is especially evident in a number of species, for example, Phalaenopsis shilleriana (Phalaenopsis shilleriana). If you do not otsaszhivat such "babes", then over time you get very spectacular cascading copies.
What is needed to make phalaenopsis blossom?
It may appear that phalaenopsis blossoms constantly, but it only seems so. The appearance of new peduncles in large-flowered phalaenopsis has a seasonal character. To regulate their flowering it is possible to change the temperature of the environment. If within 1-3 weeks the daily temperatures do not exceed +18 ° C and the night temperatures are not less than +12 ° C, the flower buds are growing, which is explained by the fact that such phalaenopsis species originate from tropical regions with monsoon climate. home conditions large-flowered species and their hybrids form peduncles in the autumn-winter period, pleasing us with flowering, which lasts almost until summer.The stronger and older the plant, the more flower stalks it can give, the longer they are and the more flowers they carry. »Phalaenopsis - species from wet and warm tropical forests behave differently, they need constant warmer temperatures, they feel better at temperatures above + 26 ° С in the daytime and at least +18 ° С at night.If conditions in indoor culture or a greenhouse are favorable, then such phalaenopsises develop peduncles in any season.
Varieties, hybrids and phalaenopsis.
At first phalaenopsis with white or pure pink large flowers and tall stems were most appreciated. To create such hybrids, large-flowered natural species were used. So there was a certain standard image of phalaenopsis with traditionally porcelain-white, soft pink or light purple flowers of regular round shape and wide petals. Over time, varieties with very large flowers were grown, up to 12-14 centimeters in diameter. Such plants, although they make a strong impression, have lost a significant proportion of the inherent elegance of this orchid.
Later, due to the involvement of variegated and brightly colored natural species in hybrids, Phalaenopsis hybrids have a more diverse coloration, including bright shades from crimson-red and purple flowers, to complex shades: peach, beige, golden and yellow-green.
At one time, the novelty were standard phalaenopsis with a spotted and striped pattern on the petals. In the 1970s, French breeders worked with Phalaenopsis stuartianum (Phalaenopsis stuartianum) and received a new type of flower coloration, which was later called "French flea". The flowers of this type of hybrids are painted in light pink and white tones and are dotted with many small, darker spots that give them an elegant look.
For some modern varieties of phalaenopsis, a pattern of veins resembles a pattern of membranes on the wings of butterflies or dragonflies. It is especially beautiful if the veins are painted in contrast.
In culture, long peduncles of standard varieties are tied to sticks for greater elegance, so that they bend "swan-like".
After some time, other trends have emerged in the world selection of phalaenopsis. These plants ceased to be regarded as flowers for cutting, there was a demand for orchids in pots. Breeders began to pay more attention to the general appearance of phalaenopsis: compactness of plants, neatness and beauty of rosette of leaves, peduncles, more flowers on peduncles and variety of their color. There were charming mini phalaenopsis and micro phalaenopsis, as well as hybrids of multiflora. It is worth mentioning such a masterpiece as Phalaenopsis Mini Mark "Maria Teresa" (Phalaenopsis Mini Marc "Maria Teresa").
Taiwan has become a modern selection center, a trendsetter and an industrial phalenopsis cultivator. Taiwan breeders are actively working with species Phalaenopsis gigantea (Phalaenopsis gigantea), Phalaenopsis amboinensis (Phalaenopsis amboinensis). Phalaenopsis venosa (Phalaenopsis venosa), Phalaenopsis violacea (Phalaenopsis violacea). Taiwanese varieties with pure bright or spotted, almost relief patterns on the petals produced a revolution in phalaenopsis breeding. Here there were varieties of "harlequins", in which the petals have a pattern in the form of chaotically arranged blots and strokes. Their flowers are similar to the works of oriental calligraphers. Another achievement of Taiwanese selection is varieties with red and bright yellow flowers with a brilliant varnish texture of the petals.
Among the Taiwanese hybrids are the so-called Novelty Phalaenopsis. These are selected for a number of characteristics clones of hybrids of various breeding lines.
These plants are distinguished by the special compactness of the rosette, the growing number of peduncles raised above the leaves, the flowers of a regular star-shaped form with a complex color and a special texture of the petals. Among them, flowers with a pattern in the form of a ripple of dots or dashes, merging blots, leopard or tiger color are not rare. Striking examples of phallenopsis novella are Phalaenopsis Prefection In "Chen". Phalaenopsis l-Hsin Spot Eagle «Montclair», Phalaenopsis Nobby's Pacific Sunset «Red Pearl», Phalaenopsis Brother Pirate King «Sapphire Dragon», Phalaenopsis Misty Pride «CR».
As a rule, in standard hybrids the leaves are rather large, medium green in color and opaque.It should be noted that in different varieties and natural species the leaves often differ in color and shape, they are elongated, almost round, wide and narrow. They can be silvery, light green and dark purple, shiny like silk, or waxy-matte.
Probably, not many fans of houseplants know that a number of natural phalaenopsis species have not just differently pigmented leaves, but also really motley. And in some cases - it's a natural coloration, and in others - variegation is caused by a mutation, when in some sections of the leaf plate there is no chlorophyll. Thus, leaves with a broad yellow-white stripe in the center or, conversely, a light border, a marble pattern are obtained. An example may be some clones of Phalaenopsis amabilis, Phalaenopsis aphrodite, as well as Phalaenopsis Matou Freed "M", miniature Doritaenopsis Sogo Yenlin "Variegated Leaves", Phalaenopsis Sogo Vivien "Variegated".
Species with real variegation, such as Phalaenopsis philippinense, Phalaenopsis schilleriana, Phalaenopsis stuartiana, transmit a mottled pattern on leaves to their primary hybrids, which adds to their attractiveness.
For example, Phalaenopsis Rothschildiana (amabilis x schilleriana), Phalaenopsis Philadelphia (schilleriana x stuartiana). Phalaenopsis Bronze Maiden (manni x schilleriana) and other interesting hybrids. Two small natural species of Phalaenopsis lindenii (Phalaenopsis Lindeni) and Phalaenopsis celebensis (Phalaenopsis celibensis) are found in variegated leaves. As you can see, if you collect phalaenopsis, paying attention to their leaves, you can get a very picturesque collection.
In recent years, blue phalaenopsis has appeared in the culture. This was made possible by the discovery in nature of the blue forms of Phalaenopsis violacea coerulea, Phalaenopsis equestris cyanochilus and Doritis pulcherrima coerulea. Blue coloration is very rare for orchids, and for phalaenopsis in particular. Noble phalaenopsis with flowers of soft blue color is a fantasy and dream of breeders. These natural blue phalaenopsis are species with small or small flowers of purple-blue or pink-blue or almost white flowers with a light gray-blue hue. The same features are inherent so far, even the best hybrids of this direction, which have already become available to domestic collectors. These include: Doritaenopsis Siam Treasure "Blue", Doritaenopsis Kenneth Schubert "Blue Angel", Doritaenopsis Purple Martin "KS", Doritaenopsis Peter "Blue Sky".
There is such a mutation in the shape of the flower, in which plants with a zygomorphic (irregular) type of flower structure produce abnormal, almost actinomorphic (regular) flowers in the structure. They are called pelorics. In orchids, this phenomenon is manifested in the fact that sometimes it is possible to detect flowers in which petals or sepals can have the shape or color of the lip, or the lip is like petals. Such flowers look very unusual. In nature, peloric flowers appear due to environmental factors and are genetically inherent in one or other species, such as Phalaenopsis stuartiana and Phalaenopsis schillehana. But most often, flowers-pelorics are found in Phalaenopsis pulcherrima (Doritis pulcherrima).
In horticulture, various interesting deviations from the usual form are in great demand, and often peloria makes the orchid flower richer and more interesting, for example: Phalaenopsis Bubble Gum "Shwartz", Phalaenopsis Terradyne "Muligan", Phalaenopsis World Class "Big Foot".
It should be noted that phalaenopsis-pelorics obtained by cloning (by merriclonal propagation) come on sale. Although the clones possessing peloric flowers have a peculiarity: with the next flowering of the same plant, the pelore can manifest itself in different ways. The search and collecting of such "miracles" became a topic for many exotic lovers.
When talking about the diversity of hybrid phalaenopsis, we can not forget about intergeneric hybrids between phalaenopsis and other related orchid genera, such as Doritis, Renanthera, Ascocentrum, Rhynchostylis, Paraphalaenopsis, Neqfinetia. Each intergeneric hybrid has its own name.
So, until the last changes in the systematics of the orchids Phalaenopsis pulcherrima was called Doritis pulcherrima, and all hybrids between it and representatives of the genus Phalaenopsis were named Doritaenopsis. Thus, many hybrid phalaenopsis, known to domestic orchid lovers, are Doritenopsis. A special stir was called "Doritaenopsis Liu's Sakura 'KF # 2'".
This compact plant with dark, dense leaves and a light purple hue. Its petals are delicate pearlescent pink color of a very interesting shape, because of which the inflorescence is surprisingly refined.
Flower aroma is an important characteristic complementing and revealing the beauty of any plant. Experts and breeders of phalaenopsis pay great attention to plants that have not only beautiful, but also fragrant flowers.
Fragrant bloom will be. first of all, the collectors of natural phalaenopsis species were rewarded. such as Phalaenopsis amabilis. Palaenopsis bellina, Phalaenopsis mariae, Phalaenopsis venosa. It is these plants that nature endowed with a wonderful smell and only thanks to them you can get fantastic beauty hybrids with smelling flowers.
Note: Phalenopis is the most unpretentious among orchids. For indoor phalaenopsis orchids, care is simple if you know the characteristics of the plant. Phalaenopsis - plant epiphyte, which does not need support, grows on trees; The moisture accumulates from the air, nutrients - from rotten plants. Rules of care: do not overhydrate the ground; the temperature in the room should be in the summer + 20-24 ° C, in winter - 16-18 ° C; once a month, spoil a flower by taking a shower. For flowering, lower the temperature to + 16 ° + 18 ° C at night for two to four weeks before the birth of the peduncle. Before buying, inspect the plant. Roots should have a gray-green color, without signs of rotting. The leaves are dense.
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