The not very large genus Pleione belongs to the orchid family. This genus includes about 20 species, most of which are terrestrial plants. Under natural conditions they occur in the forests of Burma, Thailand, India, Laos, Taiwan, as well as in the foothill areas of the Himalayas, Nepal and Tibet.
This deciduous plant, having a sympoidal growth pattern, is rather stunted. The not very large pseudobulbs are globular in shape, tapering toward the top.
They are assembled in fairly dense groups. Each of the pseudobulbs is active for 12 months. From the upper part of the pseudobulb in the spring time appears 1 or 2 leaves, reaching a length of 10 to 20 centimeters. These long-petioled leaves are lanceolate or elliptical in shape. The leathery, soft leaves seem to be pleated along their central and lateral (parallel to the leaf blade itself) veins.
When the autumn begins, all leaves of the plant fade and die back completely and the flowering period starts at this time. The long flower stalks grow from the base of the bulbs, and they are single-flowered. Such orchids grown at home have rather large flowers, which can reach 10 centimeters in diameter. The central petals of the flower are fused together to form an elongated tube with a distinct fringed lip, often colored in a contrasting shade. The other five long petals, which are lanceolate in shape, are arranged to form a narrow-beam star, with the rays underneath slightly spread out.
Brought by breeders, more than 150 varieties of pleione have been born, varying in color and size of flowers among themselves. For example, there are varieties with both multi-colored and monochromatic flowers. Tongariro, for example, has a pale mauve corolla and white inner tube surface with dark purple speckles. The 'Shantung' variety has rich yellow flowers with one relatively large, shapeless spot on the surface of the lip. The "Snowcap" variety has white-colored flowers.
Home care for the Pleione orchid
This plant is usually grown as a garden plant. However, if it is given certain conditions, it may well grow indoors.
It needs fairly intense but diffuse light. Shade from direct sunlight is required. For placement it is recommended to choose windows of eastern or western orientation.
On such window sills this orchid will receive a sufficient amount of light, without becoming hot.
It needs moderate temperatures of 18 to 22 degrees during its intensive growth. It reacts very negatively to heat.
After flowering is over and all leaves fall off, the remaining pseudobulbs are moved to a cool place for storage. However, you should choose a room with a temperature above 2-5 degrees, otherwise this type of orchid could freeze.
Experienced florists use different ways to store the pseudobulbs. For example, the container with the plant can be moved to the basement, but only those that do not freeze. You can also take out a well-dried pseudobulbs, cut off all the roots, leaving them a couple of centimeters, wrap them in a cellophane bag or paper and put in a regular refrigerator on a shelf designed for storing fruit. However, such pseudobulbs must be necessarily watched. So, they should not dry out, and condensation should not be allowed to accumulate on the walls of the bag.
How to water
Watering should be abundant during intensive growth. The substrate should be constantly moist.
Only soft water should be used for watering. If tap water is taken for this purpose, it should be left to stand for a long time and can be filtered if necessary.
When growing, it needs slightly increased humidity of up to 60 percent.
To increase humidity, systematic moistening of the foliage from a sprayer is recommended. And you can also put clay pebbles in the tray and pour in a small amount of water.
Fertilize once a week from March to October. A special fertilizer for orchids is used.
After the leaves begin to turn yellow in the fall, the fertilizer application is stopped.
This plant requires a special loose substrate that will be very air permeable while still retaining moisture. Such a soil mixture usually consists of fine bark, crushed sphagnum and biohumus, which should be taken in equal parts.
Playone should be planted in a wide and low pot. Don't forget to make a good drainage layer of expanded clay on the bottom, which will help avoid stagnant liquid in the soil.
Potting is done once a year in the springtime.
After transplanting, make sure that the upper parts of the pseudobulbs are not submerged in the substrate. Approximately ¼ of them should be above the soil surface.
When transplanting, remove flowered, old, shriveled pseudobulbs.
In the spring, young pseudobulbs can be separated from the base of the mother plant and planted separately.
Pests and diseases
The plant may have mealybugs and spider mites.
Once the pests have been found, the orchid should be given a warm shower during which all the leaves are thoroughly washed. At the same time, the substrate should be previously protected from water from the water supply. If the pests have not been eliminated completely, then the treatment with appropriate chemical means.
Orchids on the windowsill Pleione - orchids snowdrop orchids are very often ill, which appear as a result of violations of the rules of care.
Orchids on the windowsill Pleione - orchids snowdrop.
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