The genus Brassavola is composed of 15-20 species of orchid, spread over a wide area from Mexico to Venezuela. They are all epiphytes or lithophytes, and grow both in the warmest climates of the oceanic coasts, and in the humid and cool areas of the highlands, they are found on the rocks, on the mangroves and also on cacti.
These orchids do not have pseudobulbs, but a stem enlarged for about 10-15 centimetres, each stem carries only one leaf, at the base of which grows a long inflorescence, on which bloom more flowers, even if, in some varieties, the flowers are single. The brassavoles are pale green, white or yellowish, and at times the labellum is dotted of red. B.
Cucullata has labellum, sepals and very elongated petals, with long greenish filaments starting from the extremities, it grows up to more than 1800 m of altitude, in cool and humid zones. B nodosa has a particular cylindrical labellum at the base, which widens up to open in the shape of a heart, grows at low altitudes, in hot and humid areas. B. Tuberculata grows near the sea.
Usually the orchids brassavola like the light, much more than other species of orchid, it is therefore appropriate to place them in a very bright area, taking care, however, to shade them in the hottest period of the year, to avoid scalding the leaves, it is also advisable to find a well-ventilated position, especially if the temperatures exceed 30 ° C. In winter it is best to keep them at a temperature that does not drop below 15 ° C.
- Some species of orchids have very special flowers, with a curved labellum, closed to form a kind of shoe; orchids with cup-shaped lips belong to three main genus of orchids.
- The genus cattleya orchids counts about fifty species of epiphytes and lithophytes, native to South America; they are equipped with fleshy pseudobulbs, which may have dimensions close to the 5-7 cm, with a …
- It is a genus that includes many epiphytic orchids, originating in the wetlands and mountains of South America, from Mexico to Peru. They do not have pseudubulbs and the leaves are long and narrow, they are not…
- The genus Laelia includes about 50-60 species of orchids, mainly epiphytic, native to Central America, very similar to the cattleya. These varieties form dense tufts of pseudobulbs, which are often found in the…
The Brassavola orchids are to be watered very often, even every day if it is very hot and the soil dries too much; in winter, guarantee a resting period of at least 2-3 weeks, in order to favour the production of flowers, during this period watering must be drastically reduced, almost to the point of suspending them; during the whole cold season, however, provide water only every 2-3 weeks.
During the vegetation period, from April to October, add an orchid fertilizer to the water of the watering every week, remembering to water immediately after the plants with clean water, to avoid residues of fertilizer on the roots. In warmer periods vaporize the leaves with distilled water to maintain a high level of moisture, possibly in the evening or early morning, to avoid burning stains on the leaves.
Brassavole are epiphytes, so their ideal “pot” is a tree bark; if you have to keep them in a pot, use an orchid compound: a mixture of chopped bark and osmunda fibre, with a small amount of chopped bones. These plants grow quickly, so repot them every two or three years, immediately after flowering.
The multiplication takes place by division of the tufts, keeping at least one old root and one new one for each portion of the head, the new plants are immediately repotted in orchid soil.
Brassavola: Pests and diseases
Pay attention to nutritional deficiencies that cause wrinkling of the stems. If they are kept in stagnant water they are likely to be affected by root rot, which can quickly affect the entire plant. If kept in a greenhouse, or in a poorly ventilated place, they can be attacked by cochineal.