Sophronitis love luminous positions, but not in direct contact with the sun’s rays; in fact, too intense rays can cause burns on the leaves or on the petals of our orchids, compromising their development and growth.
These are plants that fear the cold and in winter they are to be sheltered in the house or in a temperate greenhouse, with minimum temperatures close to 10-12°C; they do not seem to like too high temperatures, therefore it is best to place them in summer in a well-ventilated and cool place.
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- They decorate terraces, balconies and garden corners.
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Water the sophronitis regularly from March until the end of flowering, taking care to let the bark dry between one watering and the other and avoiding waterlogging or excessively soak the substrate. After the flowers are withered, thin out the watering until the end of the winter, to allow the plants to have a short period of vegetative rest.
The plants of sofronite, in the wild, are epiphytes, they grow up, therefore, on the trunk of the other trees; for reproducing the natural conditions in the house, therefore, we utilize a substratum formed by quite finely chopped bark, by small pieces of sponge or polystyrene and by sphagnum. In this way it will be possible to provide our orchids with the ideal habitat for growth.
Plants should be repotted quite often, at least every 2-3 years, as they tend to produce new stems and roots, until they fill all the space available.
The multiplication of the orchid is possible during the spring season, when it is possible to divide the heads of sofronite by repotting the new shoots that grow next to the original plant. These portions of the plant are immediately repotted individually and grown as adult plants. Choose large containers to allow the new plant to develop its root system easily.
Sofronitis – Sophronitis: Pests and diseases
With regard to parasites and diseases that could attack sofronite and impair its development, pay particular attention to root rot and cochineal. Root rot can be prevented by keeping irrigation under control, i.e. by avoiding that the soil is too wet and humid, waiting for it to be dry between one watering and another. In this way it will be possible to avoid water stagnations dangerous for the plant.
To combat cochineal, manually remove the parasites with a glove and cotton balls; in the most serious cases, when the cochineal is present in abundance, prefer specific pesticide products. It is possible to buy them from the main garden centres or nurseries.