The genus Calopogon counts only 5-6 species of terrestrial orchids, native to North America.
The pseudobulbs are small, oval, of green colour, remain partially lifted from the cultivation substratum; from each pseudobulb departs a single leaf, smooth and thin, ribbon-like, of bright green colour; in summer, they produce a 20-40 cm long stem, which carries 4-8 flowers, of medium size, of an intense pink colour, rarely white; under each flower, we note a long oval bract, at the centre of the labellum is present a thin white or pink down, with the tips of each single hair coloured of intense yellow.
The Calopogon orchids can be planted in a sunny or partially shady place; during the summer months it is advisable to shelter them from the sun, especially during the hottest hours of the day to avoid burns to the leaves. The Calopogon do not fear the cold, and therefore could also find a place in the garden, although usually they are difficult to find on our continent. They are plants that can withstand even temperatures below zero by a few degrees.
- 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…
For a good growth of these orchids, water regularly, keeping the soil constantly moist; in nature these orchids are part of the flora of wetlands.
In winter, watering is not necessary if the temperature goes far below zero; possible specimens cultivated in apartment need regular watering also in winter and, in order to maintain a good degree of humidity, important factor for the growth of the orchids, it is better to foresee regular nebulisations of water on the leaves, using, preferably, not calcareous water.
Calopogon orchids are mainly soil-based, so grow in fertile, rich and slightly acidic soil; an optimal compound consists of sphagnum peat, chopped bark and small pieces of pumice stone. The pseudobulbs are to be buried only for two thirds of their height. It is essential that the substrate of the orchids allows the correct degree of drainage, in such a way as to avoid the formation of water stagnations.
The plant should be repotted when the roots have occupied the entire container, being careful not to break the roots which are rather delicate.
The multiplication of these orchids takes place at the beginning of spring, by division of the big fleshy roots, which are to be buried in a balanced and light substratum, as well as draining, remembering not to bury completely the pseudobulbs. Keep the new plants in a partially shaded place, in way to allow the rooting.
Calopogon: Pests and diseases
Plants belonging to this type of orchid may present problems related to pests or problems resulting from poor cultivation or environmental conditions not congenial. Cochineal can affect the plant and spoil leaves and flowers; cultivation in stagnant water can promote the onset of root rot.
In order to eliminate the cochineal, it is better to intervene promptly, in order to circumscribe the problem. A good method is to use a cloth with alcohol to pass on the leaves to remove the parasites manually.