This genus has 10-15 species of epiphytic orchids, originating in Central and South America; they were once included in the genus epidendrum. They have very different forms depending on the species; usually the pseudobulbs are enlarged and produce two long ribbon-like leaves, of light green colour, slightly fleshy. The flowers are pale green, white or pinkish, at times with marked veins and dots of purple or brown colour.
They bloom in late spring or winter; some species produce big flowers, others very small, united in erect, very thick, spikes. These orchids are of medium difficulty cultivation, depending on the species.
The Encyclia orchids need to be cultivated in a bright place, but far from the direct rays of the sun, which can quickly ruin the leaves, especially during the central hours of the day, when the sun’s rays are more intense; they fear intense cold and in winter are to be cultivated in a temperate greenhouse or in the house, with a minimum temperature close to 12-15°C.
Some species lose their leaves during the winter and can bear lower temperatures, as they have a short period of vegetative rest. They love well ventilated locations.
- 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…
Speaking of the water needs of Encyclia orchids, in general, these plants water regularly throughout the year, waiting for the substrate to dry up well between one watering and the other as the stagnation of water are dangerous to their health, leading quickly to the onset of root rot. During the hot months or periods with active domestic heating it is advisable to vaporize the leaves occasionally with water, preferably without limescale.
These plants in the wild are epiphytic, they grow up, therefore, on the trunk of the trees with the aerial roots and not buried, for reproducing the natural conditions in the house, we utilize a substratum formed by quite finely chopped bark, by small pieces of sponge or polystyrene and by sphagnum. The plants are to be repotted quite often, at least every 2-3 years, as they tend to produce new stems and new roots, till when they fill all the space available.
The choice of the pot must be done in such a way that it is not too capacious, as, in this way, it is easier to maintain the correct degree of humidity of the substratum.
In order to obtain new specimens of Encyclia, in spring, it is possible to divide the heads, repotting the new shoots growing on the side of the original plant. These portions of the plant are immediately repotted individually and grown as adult plants using the substrate indicated for the epiphytic orchids.
Encyclia: Pests and diseases
Pay attention to root rot and cochineal. Cochineals tend to settle on the leaves of orchids and therefore it is important to take action to eliminate the problem when it has just occurred, using cotton and alcohol to be passed on the leaves to remove pests. Root rot, on the other hand, is a symptom of inadequate substrate conditions, as it may not allow proper drainage, or may cause an excessive dose of water supplied with too frequent watering.