Only this species belongs to the genus doritis, but it occurs in many varieties. It has flattened pseudobulbs, which produce some broad fleshy leaves; starting from spring, a long ramified stem develops, which carries many flowers, from about ten to more than twenty, which open in succession; they are white, pink, red or lilac, with petals opening outwards and showy labellum of bright colour, often with spots of contrasting colour, yellow or orange.
Over the years, they develop new shoots which give origin to new plants, forming thick colonies; the flowering takes place in succession, and may last for weeks. If optimally cultivated, the doritis can flourish again in autumn, and therefore it is possible to see flowering plants for most of the year.
This species has been used for a long time to create hybrids with phalaenopsis, obtaining the so-called Doritaenopsis, orchids much appreciated by collectors for the ease of cultivation and the color of the large flowers. Remember that, as for the phalaenopsis, also the doritis produce the new buds on the stem that carried the flowers, so it is not advisable to remove this stem after flowering.
As for exposure, these beautiful plants prefer bright positions, but not directly exposed to sunlight that could damage the plant, seems to be able to adapt fairly quickly to bright light, while fearing the shadow, which causes poor flowering. They fear the cold and the winter minimum must not go under the 15-18°C.
Throughout the year it is best to moisten the substratum regularly, avoiding leaving it dry for prolonged periods of time; they can bear a few days of dry soil. Let’s avoid growing the the doritis in too dry climate, remembering to vaporize the foliage frequently, even daily if the season is very hot or if we grow them in a warmed place.
To grow our plants in the best possible way, it is advisable to evaluate which soil is most suitable for doritis. Each plant has particular needs and adequate care and attention to the specific needs of each will allow to obtain excellent results and a beautiful flowering. In this case, you should prefer a soft soil, very well drained and light, as for many other orchids also in this case we use a compound consisting of chopped bark, pieces of peat or vegetable fibers.
These plants tend to enlarge over the years, so it is a good idea to repot them every 2-3 years.
The reproduction of the plant takes place by seed, but it is very difficult to get selected seeds of orchid and also to handle them, seen the small size; more often we proceed to the propagation removing the seedlings which develop laterally to the mother plant, and repotting them in a single container.
Doritis: Pests and diseases
As far as the attack of parasites and the development of diseases are concerned, the main cause of lack of development or withering of the plant is certainly the excess or lack of watering. Cultivation in too dry a place can also cause growth difficulties for the plant. They can be attacked by cochineals and mites.