The Maxillaria orchid loves very bright positions, but, especially in summer, it is good to keep it away from the sun as direct sunlight can easily cause burns on the leaves and irreparably spoil the plant; the Maxillaria also fears very much the cold and the ideal temperature of cultivation is between 15-25 °, throughout the year, so it is good to protect it from the cold in winter and from heat in summer.
During the coldest months of the year it can be kept indoors or in a temperate greenhouse, leaving it in very bright areas but not close to sources of heat. Some species of maxillaria are native to mountain areas and therefore withstand temperatures even below 10 ° C.
- This genus includes about 200 small shrubs or saplings from China, India and southern Africa. Some species, such as B. grandiflora, can be grown outdoors in the reg…
- 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 …
- 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…
- Generally, when we think of an orchid, our imagination evokes memories of delicate plants, with very particular requirements, often with aerial roots, which should be cultivated only by real aperitifs.
Watering for these plants must be abundant, but without leaving the roots and the pot in contact with the water for too long, so it is appropriate to place them in a saucer filled with pebbles, perlite or expanded clay, taking care to always leave a little water on the bottom, or procure with the immersion of the pot in water to allow the substrate to get wet, but being very careful to drain the excess water perfectly.
To obtain a better flowering, it is advisable to reduce the watering from the moment when the buds appear, until the flowers are completely withered. Often provide special fertilizer for orchids mixed with the water of the watering, avoiding exceeding with the doses and remembering that it is preferable to provide fertilizer several times in small quantities rather than provide abundant amounts of fertilizer sporadically.
These orchids need an ad hoc compound, consisting of bark, sphagnum and other light and incoherent materials, which help us to simulate the natural growth conditions of the maxillaria, which develop leaning against the trunk of other plants. After 2 or 3 years the substrate should be replaced with new material, to give the right support to the roots, as the compound tends to degrade over time.
The reproduction of these orchids takes place by division of the heads of pseudobulbs, which in spring can be buried in individual containers to obtain new plants. The new heads are to be placed on an unshaped one suitable for the cultivation of adult orchids.
Maxillaria: Loans and illnesses
These orchids can be attacked by cochineal and aphids. To remove the cochineals you can use a cloth to pass on the leaves. For aphids there are specific products that should be used with caution to avoid damage to the flowers. Orchids can also often have root rot caused by excessive watering or by an insufficiently draining substrate.