This genus brings together about six species of epiphytic orchids, originating in tropical Asia, these are plants that over the years reach conspicuous size.
The short stem has some large, elongated, arched, dark green leaves, quite thick and fleshy, the root system is conspicuous and usually the roots fill the cultivation container completely, widening even outside; In spring or summer, from the head of leaves, develops a long hanging floral stem, which carries an inflorescence formed by 30-40 small fleshy flowers, at times delicately perfumed, of white or pink colour, which have pink, red, blue or purple spots, with labellum in the same colour as the spots.
Very vigorous plants, which are usually cultivated in hanging baskets, in order to better enjoy the long inflorescences; usually, each plant can produce 3-4 inflorescences during the same season.
The Rynchostylis should be grown in an apartment, because they fear the cold; the minimum temperature for the whole year should not be below 15-18°C; keep the pots in a very bright place, but away from direct sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day. Direct exposure to the sun’s rays could in fact damage the petals and leaves of the plant irreparably.
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- Perennial rhizomatous herbaceous variety, native to East Asia and Africa, widespread in many parts of Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It looks like a dense tuft of long leathery leaves….
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From March to October, water the plants frequently, keeping the substratum slightly moist, but not soaked in water; to avoid waterlogging, allow a good exchange of air, to make sure that the water of the watering evaporate freely; during the cold months, thin the watering, providing water at least once a week. Every 2-3 days vaporize the leaves with distilled water.
Soil is one of the most important aspects to take into account when you want to grow an orchid or any other variety of plant. This is because the soil is the main source of livelihood for all plant species and it is from the soil, through the roots, that the plant acquires the nutrients it needs. A normal orchid soil is used to grow Rynchostylis, consisting of sphagnum peat, bark and chopped plant fibres.
These plants do not like repotting, so it is preferable to change the container and the substrate only when it is actually necessary, as the plants have reached a considerable size; in any case, let’s avoid ruining the roots during this delicate operation. Starting from the spring season, it will be possible to fertilize our plants with liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the irrigation water. Slightly reduce the doses compared to what is prescribed on the packages.
The Rynchostylis propagate by division of the heads of roots, in late spring.
Rynchostylis: Parasites and diseases
With regard to pests and diseases that could cause damage to the plant, be careful of cochineal and aphids. These are tiny insects that feed on the sap contained in the leaves of the plant, weaken it making it difficult to develop. There are specific products on the market to combat the problem.