Genus of about 20 fairly rustic orchids, originating in southern China, Nepal and Tibet, usually epiphytes or lithophytes, although some species are terrestrial. They have fairly large, roundish pseudobulbs, from which depart long and narrow leaves, not very fleshy; in spring, they produce very big flowers of bright colours, from the yellow to the violet, with very pronounced sepals, petals and labellum. P. maculata and P.
praecox bloom in autumn; the other species, on the contrary, with the approach of the cold season, lose their leaves, which come out again in spring.
These orchids usually like a shady, but very bright, position; always avoid that the sun’s rays hit the flowers and leaves, especially in the hottest summer days; it is also advisable to keep these plants in a very aerated place. They do not suffer from the cold, due to the fact that during the winter the plant goes into complete rest, some species, such as P.
formosana, can also be buried outdoors if the winters are not too harsh, otherwise the plants should be kept in a very ventilated place. plethora can be stored in cold greenhouses. If desired, it is possible to force the cold season by removing the pseudobulbs from the ground and keeping them in a bag in the lower part of the refrigerator, until February, this will produce a wonderful spring flowering; in this case, take care that the pseudobulbs do not dry up too much.
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At the beginning of the growing season, February to March, the orchids plethora do not need much water, which could cause the rottenness of the new roots, when the latter have come out, it is good to gradually increase the watering, until watering them every 3-4 days, remembering to add small doses of fertilizer every week to the water of the watering.
By the end of the summer, it is better to thin the watering, up to suspend them completely in autumn and winter, especially if the bulbs are kept above ground. This is because the lowering of temperatures allows our orchids to grow optimally even without the need for constant irrigation.
The orchid p. formosana can be buried in the garden, in a universal soil well drained; the other pleions generally like a soil rich in humus, very well drained, possibly with a good amount of coarse-grained material, such as pumice stone or pieces of bark, you can use a normal orchid compound consisting of osmund or sphagnum fiber and bark.
In order to obtain healthy and vigorous plants in a short time, it is very important that the pseudobulbs are little buried underground, allowing the upper part to emerge from the ground.
Let’s see how well it is to proceed to the multiplication of our beautiful orchids pleuron. The pseudobulbs are properly fertilised and split without problems in late summer, producing new pseudobulbs that can be planted separately in spring.
Pleion: Pests and diseases
With regard to parasites and diseases that could affect the plant, we can safely say that these orchids do not suffer from particular diseases, although it is possible that they are affected by root rot if the spring watering is excessive. If they are kept in the garden, they are easily attacked by snails and by larvae that feed on pseudobulbs.