This genus includes about fifty species of epiphytic orchids, usually without pseudobulbs, originating from Central America and the Andean areas of South America.
The long leaves are glossy, leathery and thick, dark green; the flowers, which bloom in summer, are yellow, pink, orange or purple; present the sepals united in two, with characteristic purple or brown striae or dots; they bloom solitary on short stems and usually rest on the leaves; in their natural habitat, these orchids produce flowers all year round. The stems are usually light in colour, sometimes whitish.
These particular orchids, if grown in their natural habitat, are able to bloom throughout the year. This is also possible when grown in pots but only when you are able to recreate the ideal environment for their perfect development. Of this large family, the best known varieties are the orchid guttulata with flowers 5 cm wide and very dotted, the orchid striated with particularly large flowers and last but not least, the orchid antennifera with orange petals and small size.
Orchids restrepia need moderately bright positions, never exposed to direct sunlight, which would irreparably ruin the leaves due to too much heat. These are species which fear the cold, even if some species can bear, for short periods, temperatures below the 4-5°C, being native to mountainous areas.
In summer, they can be placed outside, in a sheltered but very ventilated and cool place; in winter, they are to be withdrawn in the house or in a temperate greenhouse in order to facilitate their optimal growth.
- 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…
They need soil constantly moist, throughout the year, during the winter period is still good to wait for the soil to dry a little between a watering and the other; vaporize frequently the leaves with distilled water to increase the humidity environment. From March to October provide specific fertilizer for orchids every 7-10 days, mixed with water of watering.
As we have seen for the other orchid varieties, our restreancy also needs a particular type of soil to grow better and be vigorous. Then cultivate the restrepia in a mixture of chopped bark, perlite and sphagnum. As far as fertilisation is concerned, it is a good idea to administer a specific liquid fertiliser for orchids every ten days or so in the irrigation water. The best time to fertilize our orchids is from March to the end of October.
These orchids reproduce easily by leaf cuttings; it is also possible to multiply these plants by making portions of the heads of leaves, trying to maintain a well-developed root for each portion practiced.
Restrepia: Pests and diseases
Orchids restrepia do not suffer particularly from the attack of diseases and pests but it is important to pay attention to the cochineals when they are grown in poorly ventilated places. Cochineal is a tiny insect or parasite that feeds on the sap contained in the leaves of our orchid, weakens the plant damaging its growth and development. Remove the cochineal by hand with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or use specific pesticide products available from nurseries and garden centers.