JMV Website: http://www.orchidoman.net/

SPECIFIC CULTIVATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR (HARDY) TERRESTRIAL ORCHIDS

Compiled by JMV from

  website
http://www.crustacare.be/Plants/HomepagePlantsEnglish.html.

 
Table of contents:


. 1

CYPRIPEDIUM.. 2

ORCHIS AND DACTYLORHIZA.. 3

DISA 4

EPIPACTIS. 5

OPHRYS AND OTHER MEDITERRANEAN SPECIES. 6

PLEIONE. 7

 

CYPRIPEDIUM

Temperature: Cool temperate, most between minus 15°C and plus 30°C. Most species are frost resistant in dormant phase. Once growing starts, frost is very harmful. High temperature of root system (over 25°C) in summer is cause of death number one! Stable cold winter temperatures are beneficial.

Light: Full light in morning as this is combined with low air temperatures, always shade at noon, possibly some extra sun afternoon depending on light need of the species. Never let light warm up the soil.

Humidity: Depending on the species, most species like humid, not wet, growing conditions, and rather dry soils when dormant. Air humidity should be at least 50 % in growing phase.

Compost; Depending on species, acid or alkaline, with or without limestone or oyster shells. Always very well drained, and if not acid, always poor of organics, no more than 10 % .Suitable materials are pumice gravel, stone ships, coarse sand, Seramis™, highly structured clay and loam (cannot get liquid ). As organics we can use freshly fallen leaves, coco peat, fen soil (no peat), pine needles. A cover of a suitable coarse type of moss is beneficial.

Repotting: Cypripedium grows best in a cool spot in the garden, a north facing wall for instance .You may plant them in autumn and spring when still dormant, or in summer after flowering when growths have reached maturity. For pot cultivation, use oversized containers and keep them several years in the same containers.

Water quality: Good quality of water is essential, chlorine less tap water, or rainwater is even better. pH is less important. A few times rinsing salt build up of containers is advisable in growing phase.

Fertiliser: Easiest is to use a slow release fertiliser. Applied, only once a year, when growths are well developed, 5 to 10 grains per plant, and at the edges of the container, away from the stem.

Protection: Hybrids and artificially breaded plants are much more resistant .Snails and slugs need to be controlled when new shoots develop. Aphides must be destroyed from the first sight because they open the door for other detrimental diseases that often lead to destruction of the plant. High temperatures and humidity during dormancy can cause instant rot, so sensitive species need protection against winter rains .Well balanced growing conditions and good open air are beneficial.


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ORCHIS AND DACTYLORHIZA

Temperature: Most native species are frost resistant and withstand temperatures between minus 15 and plus 35 °C. They especially like important differences between day- and night temperature.  

Light: Mostly full sunlight, no protection at noontime required.

Humidity: Depending on the species, mostly humid in growing phase. Most Dactylorhiza withstand wet conditions when growing and even completely submerged in wintertime. Late and midsummer they like soils to dry out.

Compost: For garden soils, sandy, loamy or clay-soils, with an open organic cover (peat, leaves, moss) and poor of organics beneath . Pot culture, in order to keep an open well drained mix it is better to use pumice- and or quartz gravel with organic poor loam or structured clay, but no more than 5 %.

Repotting: Yearly in autumn, winter and spring when still dormant, or in late spring when growths have reached maturity.

Water quality: Rainwater is advisable, otherwise good quality tap water chlorine less.

Fertiliser: Only for pot plants, slow release fertiliser, once a year when growths have reached maturity. 2 to 5 grains per plant.

Protection: Good air movement and open growing conditions, strong light and heavy temperature drops at night are essential. Sometimes snails and aphids need to be controlled. A systemic fungicide can be applied just before leaves disappear for winter rest, this can avoid losses during warm rainy winters.

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DISA.

Temperature: Preferable frost free, between 0°C and 35° C, root system always below 25° C.

Light: As much as possible avoiding warming up of the root system, practically full light in winter, 50 % in summer.

Humidity: Air at least 50 %, compost always humid, never allowed to dry out.

Compost ; Pure washed quartz, aquarium sand quality,1- to 2 mm particles, 2- to 5 mm for drainage and cover. Sphagnum, peat and pumice gravel can be used in mixes as well, but these substances destabilize pH after time. Pay special attention to salt build up of compost. Regular rinsing with low salt water is a must.

Repotting: In autumn, when old growth dies off and new one is already well developed.

Water quality: Most important factor in Disa cultivation, very low salt content, always below 250µ Siemens conductivity. pH. of water should be between 4.5 and 6.5, ideal being 5.4 both for irrigation water and drainage-water. In most cases rainwater is very suitable.

Fertiliser: Best is using high quality chemical fertiliser dissolved in the water up to 200 µ Siemens in growing stage, and no more than 100 µ Siemens in winter period and during one month after flowering.

Protection: Avoid pest and disease by giving well balanced growing conditions and as much air movement as possible. In winter when greenhouse is closed over a longer period, some protection of systemic fungicides is preferable .Never use strong solutions, Disa leaves are very sensitive. Insects can easily be controlled by carnivorous plants (need same growing conditions ) and glue traps .

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EPIPACTIS

Temperature: Most species and hybrids are frost resistant and withstand temperatures between minus 15 and plus 35 °C .Some hybrids need winter protection during severe frost, if one of the parents is of Mediterranean origin.

Light: Very tolerant, mostly full sunlight, no protection at noontime required. Shade is possible as well, but produces fewer flowers.

Humidity: Humid to wet conditions when growing and even completely submerged in cold rest period .Soil may not be too wet in full summer, risk of anaerobic soils.

Compost: Very tolerant, as long as pH is neutral, between 5.5 and 7. Providing good drainage, one can use many media such as pumice gravel, coarse sand, loam and clay (max 5 %), peat, fen soil, sphagnum, coco peat, oyster shells. Organics preferably less than 20 %.

Repotting: Yearly in autumn, winter and spring when still dormant, or in late spring when growths have reached maturity.

Water quality: Rainwater is advisable, otherwise good quality tap water chlorine poor. Good oxygen rich water is essential.

Fertiliser: Epipactis is an easy strong growing orchid genus that needs more fertiliser as other species, so one may use a good quality chemical fertiliser in growing phase, dissolved in the water as a surplus. As basic fertiliser we use slow release grains once a year, 10 grains per mature plant in spring when shoots break through the surface.

Protection: These are very strong plants, rarely aphides can cause some trouble if growing conditions are not well balanced .Small growths and yellow leaves sometimes show up when there is something wrong with soil pH or nutrient availability.

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OPHRYS AND OTHER MEDITERRANEAN SPECIES

Temperature: Most species and hybrids are frost resistant and withstand temperatures between minus 5 and plus 35 °C. They are all winter growing and summer dormant.

Light: We recommend full sunlight in growing stage, from autumn to spring and shade during dormancy in summer.

Humidity: Even moist -, never wet, conditions when growing .Best to put them outside in full sunlight en let September rains initiate growing. Never let them dry out in growing period this results in the plants going into dormancy too early. During summer rest, keep them almost dry, very few sprayings, equal to what they should get from morning dew.

Compost: Depending on the species, with or without limestone or oyster shells. Mixes need to be very well drained with few water retentive substances. Mixture of pumice gravel and stone chips fifty/ fifty, and some organic free loam or clay, no more than 10 % .As organics, one may use some coco peat or freshly fallen oak or beech-leaves no more than 5 %.

Repotting: Best in July or august. Use oversized containers and keep them several years in the same pots.

Water quality: Rainwater is advisable, otherwise good quality tap water chlorine free. Let rainwater wash away any salt build up in September in order to use new fertiliser once the new growth is well developed.

Fertiliser: Little, a few grains long-term –slow-release fertiliser per pot away from the growths, applied fist part of November.

Protection: Some species are sensitive. The worst treat is water in the crown during cold dark and wet days. Some preventive protection with systemic fungicides is more than likely when alpine houses or greenhouses are kept close during frost days. Otherwise, give them as much air and light as you can. Sometimes aphides need to be controlled as well.


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PLEIONE

Temperature: Most species and hybrids are frost resistant and withstand temperatures between minus 5 and plus 28 °C Except from a few autumn flowering species they do need a cold winter rest at temp’s between 0 and 5 °C for two to three months to get good results. They do not stand heat in summer, supply enough moisture at warm temp’s and if greenhouses get too warm, put them in a cool shady place outdoors.

Light: One may give them full sunlight between November and February, and relatively cool shady conditions in growing stage, morning sun is beneficial though.

Humidity: Critical is keeping plants dry in cold rest periods. As those plants are affected by monsoon rains in nature, they need abundant watering in peak summer. Watering needs to be increased gradually as new growths start to develop. During growing season plants may not become dry, as the thin unbranched roots may be lost and will not be replaced afterwards!

Compost: Very tolerant, most species do well with a compost of fine graded bark, pumice gravel or perlite and freshly fallen and cut  oak and beech- leaves, more or less equal parts. Providing good drainage, one can use some moss or sphagnum to make it more water retentive .A cover of some kind of living moss has proved very beneficial for sensitive species.

Repotting: Yearly, or each two years, in winter or in February latest, just before growing starts.

Water quality: Rainwater is advisable, otherwise good quality tap water low salt and chlorine poor .Good oxygenic water is essential.

Fertiliser: Not before new roots are well developed, somewhere in June for most species. One may use slow release grains up to 10 grains for strong growing hybrids or a good quality chemical fertiliser dissolved in spraying water .Good results are achieved with adding some fully decomposed manure to the potting mixes as well.

Protection: These are very strong plants, rarely aphides, snails and slugs can cause some trouble at the start of the growing. It is more a question of getting growing conditions well balanced, especially the relationship temperature and humidity.

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2006 06 07