Ludisia precious orchid with beautiful leaves and modest flowers
Florists appreciate orchids for exotic, vibrant and unusual flowers. But there is an exception in the world of these beautiful plants - the Ludisia orchid, which is grown for the beauty of the leaves.
Even without the usual flowers, a whole group of such orchids received a very significant epithet - precious.
Why did they deserve such an honorary title?
Precious Orchid - an evergreen plant, belongs to the Orchid family. Due to the features of its structure, it prefers to grow in a forest zone or crawl along the walls of caves, clinging to moss.
Attached to the support of the orchid helps the special structure of the rhizome; a flower feeds with it.
Interesting! In the natural habitat, the plant is difficult to mistake for a decorative orchid. Its leaves are quickly covered with a foreign coating and lose color saturation.
In the apartment, the ludisia is the brightest in the florarium, where a suitable microclimate is created for it.
Ludisia (photo) spread throughout the world from Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Main the trunk of the plant grows to 15 cm, and due to the large number of lateral processes, a rather wide bush with creeping shoots is formed. They form rosettes from egg-shaped leaves with sharp tips.
The color of the leaves seemed to come out from under the brush of the artist. Their main color varies in emerald green, and there are deep black areas.
A smooth or, conversely, velvet surface is decorated with contrasting stripes from pink to white. The lower surface of the leaves is a purple hue.
After formation, the leaf plate retains its original appearance for only 7 years, then it begins to die from the base of the shoot and leaves a scar in the shape of a ring.
Ludisia orchid blooms modestly compared to other members of the family. A flower stalk about 15 cm long appears at the top of the shoot, and small white buds bloom in the form of a brush at its top.
The flowers of a tubular shape with several petals look especially charming when they amicably blossom with a lush carpet.
All varieties of precious orchids are varieties of the only species of their kind - Ludisia bicolor.
Ludisia discolor is an orchid with winding trunks on which dark emerald leaves with light veins are located. Peduncles erect and very long (up to 20 cm), crowned with small white flowers.
One of the largest varieties of precious orchids, reaching a height of 30 cm. Dark black-green leaves are diluted with pink veins.
An intricate pattern is formed due to large longitudinal and small transverse veins on a bright green background of the main sheet plate.
Ludisia tanlaniana - a variety of precious orchids with wide leaves. The pattern is formed by a mesh of small veins of light shade against a common green background.
Almost black leaves with a green tint in the light contrast with silver streaks along the edges of the plate. Small strokes extend from the center line in the transverse directions.
A heterogeneous variety in which orchids are combined with a velvety leaf surface and contrasting stripes. The main color of the plates varies depending on the variety: green, bluish, purple or silver.
Emerald (Ludisia discolor emerald velvet)
Elongated and shiny leaves in color correspond to the name, veins are yellow and white. The shoots are even and due to the villi appear silvery. The variety belongs to a variety of velvet orchid.
Multi-colored ludisia - orchid with rosettes of elongated leaves. Their main color is burgundy, veins are pink.
To preserve the bright and saturated color of the leaves of the Ludisia orchid, in addition to proper care, the condition of the soil and comfortable conditions for the roots are important. For this the flower is regularly transplanted as it grows.
Ludisia does not have a fast growth rate, so there is no need to transplant it annually. It is enough for a young bush to change the place of residence after a year, and for an adult plant - once every 4 years.
Advice! To determine the need for a transplant of a mature orchid, the roots that emerged from the drainage holes and the rapid absorption of the usual volume of water after irrigation will help.
It is recommended to change the ground and the pot at the very beginning of spring, when the plant wakes up after winter dormancy and begins to grow actively.
When choosing a pot, you first need to pay attention to its volume. Ludisia roots are located mainly in the upper half of the soil, so the capacity should not be too deep.
Places in width for growth should be many: The diameter of the new tank is selected 5-7 cm larger than the previous one.
Of the wide variety of materials, a plastic pot for orchids is best suited for ludisia. They have the widest drainage holes for air exchange and water absorption.
Important! In addition to the lower drainage, it is better that there are openings on the side walls of the pot for greater air access to the middle root zone.
One of the important soil components for orchids is good drainage, which prevents acidification of the soil. In the land, ludisia prefers the predominance of moss or pieces of pine bark. It is recommended to add them to the usual universal substrate for indoor plants.
In order not to experiment with mixing the ingredients, it is better to purchase ready-made soil for orchids.
Transplant step by step
Before transplant pre-buy the necessary components for the soil (or finished composition) and a pot. The following actions are carried out:
- In the pot open all drainage holes, if necessary, remove the labels. The container is rinsed with hot water or washed with soda to remove dust and odor.
- The bottom is filled with a drainage layer: expanded clay, pieces of broken brick or large particles of wood bark. Top with a little fresh soil.
- Next, the plant is removed from the old pot, carefully turning the container and holding the flower by the base.
- The roots are inspected for rot and damage. Old bark and lumps of earth are removed if they are superficial and easy to clean.
- The plant is placed in the center of the new tank, the roots are straightened, the remaining volume of the pot is covered with prepared soil.
- A sphagnum layer is laid on top, which maintains optimal humidity around the plant. If possible, lay live moss on top of the soil and pre-soak it in warm water for an hour. This will clean the plant from small insects and snails, and in the future, care for the coating is reduced to a periodic haircut.
- With initially moist soil, watering is delayed for 1-2 days. The dry substrate is watered after transplantation.
Regular moistening and fertilizing the soil - this is how home care for a precious orchid is mainly done.
Ludisia loves to grow more in moist soil, without experiencing strong drying of the substrate. If drying is allowed, then only the topmost layer of earth on the eve of the next watering.
As with all orchids, for ludisia, watering by immersion of the pot in water is preferred. The pot to the middle of the height is placed in a basin with warm water for 30 minutes.
At this time, moisture has time to penetrate to the roots, and before installing the flower in place of excess fluid, it is allowed to drain well. If such irrigation is not possible, the soil can also be moistened in the usual way from above.
It is important that the drops do not fall on the base of the rosettes of the leaves and on the shoots themselves.
The frequency of watering depends on the temperature of the airand especially especially in summer. In the cold period, the soil is moistened the next day after drying of its upper layer.
For irrigation, only soft water is used - boiled or collected during rain (snow). Its temperature should be slightly higher than room temperature.
It is useful to spray the leaves several times a week, which will increase air humidity and remove accumulated dust. It is only necessary to use a spray with fine spray and keep it half a meter away from the plant.
For ludisia universal dressings or compounds for other plants will not work. The ratio of organic and mineral substances necessary for it is found in fertilizers for orchids.
Top dressing is diluted in a dosage slightly lower than indicated on the package, and is applied after the next watering.
Important! Do not fertilize dry soil with fertilizer, since the concentrated chemical composition is actively absorbed by the plant and burns the roots and leaves.
The frequency of feeding varies depending on the time of year. In spring and summer, at the peak of growth with fertilizer, it is recommended to water the flower every 3 weeks. In winter, it is enough to feed a precious orchid once every 1.5 months.
Florists note better plant growth with fractional and frequent fertilizing. For example, in summer, the entire dose is divided into 3 parts and fed in a small portion every week.
This reduces the risk of chemical burns, nutrients are absorbed better, there is more magnificent growth and flowering.
Orchid blossoms occur during the cool period in late autumn or early winter. The top of each shoot is decorated with a long peduncle with small buds. At this time, it is better to keep the flower at a temperature not exceeding 18 ° C, which will extend the flowering period to a month.
After the buds dry, the peduncle is cut off, which stimulates branching of the shoot and the formation of new branches in the subsequent spring.
Precious orchid does not have a pronounced resting period. On the contrary, in winter she has the most active flowering period.
In order for the plant to regain strength after the color has fallen and grow actively in the future, they force her to rest. To do this, you need:
- trim all flower stalks;
- leave the pot cool (up to 18 ° C);
- stop feeding;
- reduce watering and leave the topsoil dry for 1 day.
In this mode, Ludisia can calmly stay until spring, when it needs to be returned to normal conditions.
When ludisia blooms
Although a precious orchid is valued for the beauty of the leaves, most gardeners want to see it in bloom. In the wild, the orchid blooms in autumnwhen the summer heat subsides and the temperature is set at 15 ... 18 ° C.
The apartment most often includes heating in the apartment this season, so the conditions for flowering have to be recreated artificially.
How to make ludisia bloom
Not always proper care of ludisia is enough for full flowering. The forced formation of daily temperatures during 1 month can stimulate the formation of buds. To do this, you need to put the pot in a room with cool air at night.
The temperature should be between 16 ... 18 ° C subject to a daily increase of up to 23 ° C. In winter, such conditions can be created even on the windowsill, leaving a flower on it at night, and in the afternoon rearranging deep into the room.
From plastic glass to frosts, pretty cool air comes in, which will be enough to lower the temperature.
Following the natural rhythms push the orchid to bloom is better in late autumnthat will give more chances for success. In this case, the pot can be taken out onto the balcony at night or put away into the insulated cellar (garage).
Caution! Do not forget to reduce the frequency of watering when the temperature drops, otherwise the orchid will begin to rot instead of flowering.
Ludisia propagates easily and at any time of the year. In the spring, an overgrown bush is most easily divided during transplantation into several plants. The main thing is that at a separate bush at least 3 full processes remain.
You can root the stalk: it is cut from the top of the shoot, leaving 3 sheets and 2 internodes. A branch is rooted in a cellophane jar with moss, where the stalk is dipped to the bottom of the bottom sheet.
The greenhouse must be put into the light without access to the sun (temperature 22 ... 25 ° C), periodically open and water. After the formation of new leaves, the sprout is planted in a pot with full soil.
Propagation by cuttings is possible even without leaves. For this purpose, the bare stalk is cut into pieces with pairs of internodes and laid horizontally on the moss. In a humid environment, roots appear on one side of the handle.and on the other - new leaves.
Root rot It affects the orchid with a constantly wet substrate. The disease begins with the roots, they acquire a black tint. Unfortunately, the disease becomes noticeable already in the advanced stage, when all the leaves turn yellow and fall off.
If blackened roots were found during transplantation, they are cut off and washed with the remainder in a pink solution of potassium permanganate (sold in pharmacies). Then the flower is planted in a completely new soil and not watered for several days.
Orchid branches amazes stem rot, especially when drops of water systematically drain into the base of the leaves. Small areas can be cut and treated with carbon powder. If a large part of the plant is affected, it is easier to root the apical cuttings.
On the orchid, harmful insects are often found:
- The spider mite is manifested by thin cobwebs on the foliage, actively developing only in conditions of low humidity.
- Mealybug looks like a viscous white coating on the stems and the surface of the earth.
- The scabbard develops in the form of dense growths of brown color on the leaves and branches.
Pest control comes down to spraying plants with insecticides, for example, Fitovermom or Aktoy. Effective are considered at least three times treatment with an interval of 7-10 days.
When keeping orchids, one often has to deal with unexpected changes in the state of the flower. For example, in case of insufficient lighting, the shoots are very elongated and the leaves seem small.
Do not neglect the spraying of orchids, because at low humidity the tips of all the leaves dry.
Dense and fleshy, they become lethargic, lifeless with insufficient watering, because ludisia always likes a slightly moist substrate.
Excessive sunlight does not benefit the orchid, since the leaves of the plant wither and fade.
Why do ludisia orchids turn red leaves
In many varieties, the color of the leaves initially has a red tint, especially on the underside. But if such a tone appeared over time and looks painful, then the excessive watering of the flower became the probable cause.
It should be remembered that moderately moisten the soilwhen water from the top layer of the earth has already completely absorbed. With a decrease in air temperature, the irrigation frequency decreases, since the previous volume of moisture does not have time to assimilate.
If you do not pay attention to the change in the state of the orchid in time, then the flower may completely lose its roots and foliage.
You can try to bring her back to life with emergency measures:
- Remove the plant from the pot and clean it from the ground. If the remaining roots are damaged, then they will have to be cut.
- Treat all exposed areas with an antifungal solution, such as Fundazol.
- Leave to dry at room temperature. Prepare a greenhouse: a high capacity, the size of the remainder of the orchid, in which to put a thick layer of wet moss.
- Fix ludisia in the substrate and cover with a film on top.
- The moss in the greenhouse should always be wet, and it is best to put the tank in a room with a constant temperature of 25 ° C. It is important not to expose the bare trunk of the plant to direct sunlight.
If all the conditions are met, then the orchid will come back to life quite easily and release new roots.