Ascocenda Orchid: Home Care, Growing

Ascocenda (Ascocenda), this genus, represented by epiphytes, is directly related to the orchid family. It was obtained by crossing a variety of species of Ascocerum and Wanda. At present, this genus has about 1500 interspecific hybrids (Grexes).

The growth character of such a plant is monopodial. It forms only one upright stem.

It bears sheathing, alternate, succulent leaves. These leaves, as well as the root system, the surface of which is covered with a rather thick layer of porous substance - velamen, there is a reserve of liquid, which the plant absorbs directly from the air. The foliage is very similar in shape to the vanda. The long, strap-shaped leaf blades are slightly folded along the central vein. There are characteristic bifurcations at their tips, which divide the leaves themselves into rounded lobes of various lengths.

Flowering is observed from autumn to spring. At this time the flower has one or sometimes several multi-flowered axillary inflorescences, which consist of 12-25 flowers of fairly large size. The flowers of this genus of orchid are distinguished by their soybean shape, which is quite simple and similar to pansies (with a slight cup-like shape), as well as by their rich coloration. The flower itself can be colored in a variety of warm hues from purple and dark red to yellow and orange. The diameter of the flower depends on the hybrid and can be 5-8 centimeters.

Home care for the ascocenda orchid

Ascocenda orchid: home care, growing

The following rules will help you grow this kind of orchid at home.

Growing methods

There are several ways to grow ascocenda. For example, pots, blocks, baskets, glass vases, but also such a flower can be grown simply hanging with loose roots.

Only young plants whose root system is still very poorly developed are suitable for growing in flower pots. Special pots made of transparent plastic are excellent for this purpose.

On the walls, and in the bottom of the pot to make additional holes in order to improve the flow of air. And yet for this purpose suitable netting cache designed for flowers.

In the substrate for this flower must be included sphagnum, pieces of pine or larch bark, and they must be different sizes 0.5-5 centimeters. Also in the substrate can include "orchid chips" (can be replaced with Styrofoam) and fern roots.

You can also pour in a small amount of charcoal and expanded clay.

Pot specialists recommend filling the substrate unevenly. So, you should try to have the largest pieces of bark at the bottom of the pot, and small pieces at the top. On top of the substrate should be put not very thick layer of moss, which will reduce the evaporation of moisture and protect the root system from drying out.

To plant ascocenda in a basket should be exactly the same as in a pot.

You should choose a basket made of plastic or hardwood to prevent the container from rotting quickly.

Ascocenda orchid: home care, growing

Experienced florists recommend using blocks to grow this type of orchid. A sufficiently large piece of deciduous or pine bark is used as such a block. On its front surface should be fixed coconut fiber, fern roots, as well as sphagnum. On top of such a peculiar "pillow" fix the roots of the plant itself, and already on top of them superimposed a thin layer of moss.

This block should be fixed on the surface of the wall vertically.

The same way an "epiphytic tree" is made, but here not a very long and rather thick snag is used as a block.

It should be noted that the fixed piece of bark or snag, should be very easily and quickly removed from the wall to water the flower.

At an increasing popularity among orchidists is gaining method of growing in a high vase made of transparent glass. Ascocendum grows and develops quite normally in such a container, but you should be very careful when placing the root system in the vase, as it can be damaged quite easily.

You should also remember that the green part of the flower must be above the edge of the vase. In order to avoid the flower falling in, it should be secured. To do this, it can be clamped on both sides with sticks.

Askotsendum can also simply be hung on a wall and leave its roots hanging freely. This is the easiest way of growing and is usually the one used in industrial greenhouses.

Brightness

This plant does not need any particular level of light. So it is quite comfortable both in a northern and southern window (shading from the midday sun is necessary). But here there is one nuance, namely, the illumination should be at the same level all the time without variations. In the cold season the plant should additionally light phytolamps, and the light day should have a duration of not less than 12 hours. Also extra light is recommended in summer when the weather outside is very cloudy.

If there is too much light, the leaves will become reddish and wrinkled, but if little, they will acquire a dark green tint.

Temperature regime

The temperature regime of this plant is closely related to the light level. The brighter the room, the higher the temperatures you need to grow Ascocenda. So, the recommended temperature during the daytime is from 23 to 27 degrees, at night - from 16 to 22 degrees. And this temperature regime must be maintained all year round.

In winter you must be extremely attentive and not allow the temperature in the room to be less than 16 degrees. During airing, the flower should be shielded from streams of fresh cold air.

Ascocenda orchid: home care, growing

How to water

The immersion method is recommended for watering. A container is filled with liquid and then the flower itself or the container with it is gently lowered into it for half an hour. During this time, the root system should have time to be saturated with moisture.

Remember that the velamen covering the roots should turn green instead of greyish-silver when dry and swell.

How often this orchid should be watered directly depends on the cultivation method. When growing in a pot in substrate, pay attention to the bark. Once it becomes monotonous and similar to dry, it will be necessary to water. In a basket, how moist the bark is can be checked by hand.

In both cases, water only when the substrate is completely dry.

The most frequent watering is required for a plant grown with free roots. In this case, pay attention to the condition of the root system. Once the surface of the velamen has shriveled up a little, watering should be done. However, this cultivation method often requires daily watering.

Wetting with a sprayer and also for watering should be done with well-conditioned, soft water, which should be at room temperature. If tap water is additionally treated, it should be filtered before it enters the pipes.

Humidity

Higher humidity is required. Thus, it should be maintained at 60 to 80 percent during the day and 50 to 60 percent at night. To increase air humidity, it is advisable to use all available means.

Thus, you can use household steam generators and humidifiers, systematically moisten the foliage, place in the immediate vicinity of the flower open container with water, as well as pour into the tray of wet expanded clay. But you should note that you can moisten the plant from a sprayer only if there is good air circulation in the room, because the liquid must as soon as possible evaporate from the leaf axils. If water stagnates long and often in the leaf axils, rot can form and this most often leads to the death of the Ascocendum.

Ascocenda orchid: home care, growing

Ventilation

Moist and warm air should never stagnate in the room. But remember that the plant reacts very negatively to draughts and wind.

Therefore, it must be removed far away from the open ventilator, as well as shielded from the air flows coming from the switched on fan. And if you place it on a balcony, you must protect it from strong gusts of wind.

Fertilizer

Fertilizer is recommended when watering the plant. Use a special fertilizer for orchids, which can be bought at a flower store. Only a third of the recommended dose on the package should be used.

The higher the concentration of the fertilizer, the longer the break between feedings should be. As a rule, fertilizer is applied every 2 to 4 waterings. If desired, it is possible to alternate between root and foliar feeding, using a weak nutrient solution for spraying.

Flowering stimulation features

Ascocenda orchid: home care, growing

Despite its relative unpretentiousness, in order for this orchid to have flower stems, a number of conditions must be met. So, it necessarily needs a difference between the daily temperatures, and it should be within 2-3 degrees.

In the absence of flowering increase such a difference to 5-7 degrees. Also stimulate flowering by reducing or increasing the duration of the standard daylight hours (12 to 14 hours) for a couple of hours. Also the amount of watering is reduced by 1,5-2 times.

Such methods are considered stressful. Specialized chemical stimulants - cytokinins - can also be used for the same purpose.

However, they should be used with extreme caution, because overfeeding has a detrimental effect on the plant. If this happens, as a rule, the lower leaves of the flower will start to turn yellow and die off.

Diseases

The most common are non-viral diseases such as a variety of rots. The growing point, the places where the leaves and peduncles attach to the shoot, the root system and the stem can rot. Stagnant liquid in the substrate, irregular water conditions, stagnant liquid in the leaf axils after spraying can lead to rotting.

If the damage is not very severe, remove the rot by cutting out or cutting it off. Also treat the affected area with Fundazole or Benlate. If there is a lot of rot, it is impossible to get rid of it and, as a rule, the flower will die. It is advisable to prevent rotting by following all the rules of Ascocendum care and by regularly inspecting the shrub to detect the beginning of the disease.

Ascocenda orchid: home care, growing

Pests

Most commonly the plant can be infested with scabies and also with spider mites.

If pests are found, give the plant a hot (about 45 degrees) shower. Scabies can also be removed from the surface of the flower with a cotton swab dipped in an alcoholic solution. If these measures have little effect or the flower is quite large, insecticides with the appropriate action must be used.

Spreading methods

Seeds and offspring can be propagated. Thus, the offspring appear on the flower stalks.

It is recommended to separate only a fairly large, viable offspring with a developed root system. But in order for a flower bud to grow offspring, as a rule, you need to treat with a special chemical agent. In this connection, you are unlikely to be lucky enough to get a baby Ascocendum from someone you know.

Seeding this flower can only be propagated by enthusiasts or specialists. How to do this, you can find in special literature.

But it is worth remembering that it usually takes 2 years from the moment of pollination to the planting of seedlings.

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