Apartment plants

Flowering orchids

Flowering orchids

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Among the environmental factors that most affect flower production are in order of importance: light, temperature and humidity of the air. Therefore, the first choice must concern the correct positioning of the plant. Orchids need light to develop flowers, but shy away from direct exposure to sunlight. Therefore, the environment must be bright but sufficiently shaded. In the event that a window is placed in front of it, it is advisable that this is fitted with curtains. But it is winter, perhaps, the most delicate season for these plants. There are rarely species that need even 12 hours of light a day. An alternative to natural light could therefore be an artificial lighting system. Regarding the temperature, it is good to ensure a constant heat avoiding excessive air currents or the great dry heat produced by internal heating, from whose source the plants are kept at a certain distance. During the summer, if the outside temperatures are not too high, the orchid plants can be placed outside on the balcony or in front of an open window, always taking care not to expose them to direct sunlight. Air humidity is an environmental element that should not be underestimated. The ideal humidity level is around 60% and can be maintained, during the drier periods, through the use of trays filled with wet gravel where to place the vases. Fundamental, however, is that the compost of the pots does not excessively imbue with water in order not to cause root rot or the onset of parasitic diseases that can compromise the vitality of the plant itself. Spraying with special sprayers can help maintain the level of humidity of the air, taking care, however, to spray only the leaves and never directly the flowers.Stimulate flowering

One of the most widespread techniques to stimulate flower production is to subject the plant to precise temperature differences between day and night. The principle on which this technique is based takes into account the needs of some species of a certain number of hours of cold to induce the production of flower buds. Generally the temperature differences are of the order of 5 ° C, taking care, however, not to subject the plants to excessive thermal stresses below 10 ° C. Bear in mind that the ideal winter temperature is around 14 - 16 ° C for many types of orchids. Generally this technique lasts about a month and must in any case be interrupted when the first flowered stem appears.
A cultivation practice, less invasive and risky, which can favor the production of flowers, concerns the use, during the flowering period, of specific fertilizers, easily available on the market, able to satisfy the phosphorus and potassium needs of the plant. it should be placed in dosages, especially if it is liquid fertilizers. In addition, there are specific formulations on the market capable of integrating the requirements in microelements. Among the microelements that most stimulate flowering we remember magnesium.
It is not infrequent that the most experienced orchid growers, generally familiar with pruning practices, in order to ensure abundant flowering in the flowering stems, shorten them at about 20 cm from the base, making the cut immediately after the knot from which they are to be formed. new shoots.

Main causes of non-flowering

A cultivation error, even during the rest period, can irreparably compromise the production of flowers of the season.
The main causes that can lead to the failure of one or more flowering seasons can be summarized as follows:
• inadequate lighting conditions;
• bad or inadequate temperature conditions (too low or too high);
• excessive or insufficient watering;
• parasitic attacks on flower buds;
• excess nitrogen fertilization and / or caustic antiparasitic products;
• pruning errors.