In 2011 Florida Exotic Plant Show unveiled the world’s first blue orchids flower. This miracle was created by the American company “Silver Vase”. A few months later, the Dutch nursery introduced another unique phalaenopsis variety – Royal Blue. Since then, they have become the most desirable for all flower growers in the world.
are blue orchids natural?
Blue orchids do not exist in nature. They simply do not have a gene responsible for such a shade.
True, in 2013, Japanese botanists announced that they had managed to breed true blue phalaenopsis. The white variety Aphrodite was taken as a basis, into which the Commelina gene was introduced. The variety is unique and has not yet gone on sale.
Scientists say that the coloring solution, which contains natural ingredients, does not harm the plant. True, the next bloom of a blue orchid will be normal pure white.
Many unscrupulous sellers paint ordinary white flowers with low-quality paint. Such an orchid is unlikely to live long because the dyes are toxic and poison the flower from the inside.
- If the paint was added to the water for irrigation, it increases the plant’s chances of survival.
- If it was poured into peduncles or roots by injection, the orchid will definitely die.
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Blue orchids Flower Varieties
In the orchid family, there are several plant species that have blue or blue buds. They can be kept at home, but special conditions will be required.
Some varieties are so whimsical and capricious that they are grown only by scientists in greenhouses.
vanda Blue orchids Flower
This species is distinguished by abundant long flowering and large blue buds. For this, she is called “royal”. It is not difficult to grow it in an apartment, but you will have to create suitable conditions, depending on the specific variety.
In total, more than 60 of them have been bred, but only a few of them bloom blue:
- Vanda coerulea supra. This hybrid has buds in all shades of blue. It is the most cold-resistant, withstands a drop in temperature to +10 ° C. Blooms in October-November, then May-June. In summer it can be kept outdoors in the garden.
- Vanda coerulescens. Differs in large blue-blue buds of 15 pieces in one inflorescence. Growing season with Coerulescens. Miniature hybrid with blue flowers up to 4 cm in diameter. Requires additional lighting in the cold season, and blooms for up to 3 months.
- Vanda Fuchs Blue. A relatively new hybrid. The flowers are large, blue, with white dots. Outwardly, it resembles a phalaenopsis. The variety is unpretentious in care.
Vanda has aerial roots and can be grown without any substrate at all. The plant is hung in baskets on the window, the roots hang down to a length of up to 1 meter. The orchid produces up to 3 peduncles, on which the buds hang in brushes of 10-15 pieces each.
Cattleya Blue orchids
In nature, the plant reaches a height of 1.5 m, but at home, it rarely exceeds 90 cm. It has a strong aroma that can be heard at a great distance.
There are natural blue varieties and bred hybrids:
- Chapmanii coerulea. For flowering requires direct sun and the difference between day and night temperatures. The brightness of the colors depends on the intensity of the illumination.
- Maxima Orchi. An unusual hybrid with blue-lilac buds. The flowers are shaped like stars with fringed petals.
- Boy Custo. Large blue buds bloom on the peduncle alternately throughout the month. The flowering period at home lasts from November to February.
- Little Mermaid Janet. The flowers are bluish-blue with a white center and bloom in autumn and spring. The plant is miniature, up to 40 cm in height.
Cattleyas are easy to grow, they easily take root in ordinary apartments and bloom regularly with sufficient lighting. In the autumn-winter period, the plant has to be additionally illuminated – this is perhaps the only inconvenience in maintaining an unpretentious Cattleya.
Transplanting and repotting orchid after buying
All orchids are painfully experiencing a change in microclimate. Even moving to a neighboring windowsill is a real stress for them.
After buying the flower, you need to give time to adapt to the new conditions, and after 1-2 weeks it is transplanted.
You cannot put the plant directly in direct sun it is better to place it in partial shade.
The plant is removed from the pot and the substrate is shaken off. The roots are freed completely, straightened, and then washed off in warm water.
First, drainage is placed in the container, an orchid is placed and the gaps between the roots and the substrate are filled. It is not necessary to seal strongly, let there be air.
Sticks are stuck inside the soil to fix the peduncles. They are tied or secured with plastic clamps. A layer of moss is laid on top to prevent it from drying out, it also contributes to the development of beneficial microflora.
Blue orchids Growing conditions
The humidity level in the room should not fall below 50%. In the summer, the plant needs more moisture, so the flower is regularly irrigated with a spray bottle.
Spraying does not replace watering, but complements it. You cannot put a tray of water under the plant during the day when the humidity rises – this will lead to rotting of the roots.
Some blue varieties require direct sunlight, but generally, they are best kept away from direct sunlight. There should be enough light, but scattered, gentle. This is especially true for young plants with more delicate leaves prone to burns.
In winter, the flower is supplemented with special lamps. This is necessary because, for most orchids, the flowering period falls just in the fall-winter. There is never a lot of light at this time – winter days are too short for these tropical flowers.
The main thing is not to keep the plant under low-hanging incandescent lamps – they will burn the leaves, and there will be little benefit from such lighting.
When the climate is disturbed, the flowers get sick
Plants during the dormant period are kept at 20-25 ° C.
Before flowering, you need to ensure the difference between day and night temperatures by 5-6 ° C. For example, if the thermometer shows +22 during the day, then at night it should be +17 ° C.
At temperatures above + 25 ° C, orchids begin to hurt, the leaves turn yellow and fall off. In addition, maintaining the required humidity level will not be easy. In dry and hot climates, they do not live long – they first shed flowers and then dry out.
All orchids have aerial roots, they are involved in the photosynthesis of the plant. Therefore, air must circulate in them. For these purposes, a larger substrate is ripped up, and not the earth, as for other indoor flowers.
An orchid plant like Vanda can grow without any substrate at all. Its roots breathe and feed from the air, although growing this species in a substrate is also allowed. All orchids love fresh air, but do not tolerate drafts. They are kept indoors, periodically ventilated.
Blue Care rules
They take care of the orchids carefully, choosing the most suitable conditions for them. Only then will they reward with lush flowering.
At home, they need the correct lighting and temperature, proper watering and high humidity.
Orchid plants are hygrophilous, but they often cannot be watered – this can lead to rotting of the roots. The most preferred watering regime is once a week, but abundantly, by arranging a cool shower for the plant. At any time of the year, it is better to water with warm water, soaking the entire substrate.
Important! Do not leave water in the pan. After watering, the liquid is allowed to drain completely, the excess is immediately poured out.
Fertilizers and feeding
Fertilize orchids every month, otherwise lush flowering will not be achieved. The three main trace elements are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.
Topdressing is introduced according to the table.
|Nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium||Application time||What affects||How to fertilize|
|4: 3: 3||Spring Summer||Growth of green mass||1 cap for 1 liter of water|
|5: 5: 5||Autumn, spring||Flowering stimulation, immunity||Ready spray solution|
|4: 2.5: 7||Spring Summer||Root growth, strengthening of immunity||1 tsp for 1.5 liters of water, at the root, on the sheet|
|3: 3: 3||Autumn winter||Growth of green mass||2 tsp for 1 liter of water|
|4: 5: 6||Autumn||Lush bloom||1 tsp for 1 liter of water|
|4: 3: 4||Spring Summer||Strengthening immunity||1 ampoule for 1 liter of water|
|5: 6: 7||Autumn||Lush bloom||1 tsp for 5 liters of water|
Blue orchids Plant Post flowering care
When the bush has faded, it needs competent pruning. First, the peduncles are carefully examined. If they are dry and completely yellow, they can be cut right at the base. The plant no longer needs them.
If only the top of the peduncle has turned yellow, then make the cut immediately under the withered part, treat the cut site with an antiseptic. Over time, new buds or even “babies” will appear from the extreme buds.
It happens that after flowering, the stem remains completely green. In this case, you shouldn’t touch it. After a dormant period, buds will bloom on it again and the orchid will bloom. By cutting off green peduncles, you can deprive the plant of additional nutrition, which will lead to its disease.
Blue orchid Reproduction methods
Orchids are not easy to propagate; it is a painstaking and time-consuming process. There are several ways that florists resort to, each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes new plants do not retain the properties of the mother bush.
With this method, cuttings are harvested from peduncles. The stem is cut off, placed in a bottle with water, and activated carbon dissolved in it. The liquid should be only on the bottom, 2-3 cm. Mineral fertilizer is also added there.
The lower sleeping kidney is incised and lubricated with cytokinin ointment – a hormonal biostimulant. The procedure is repeated every week until a new peduncle appears. The temperature for awakening dormant kidneys should be + 25-27 0С.
When one or several “children” appear on the peduncle, monitor their growth. When there are 3-4 leaves on them, and the length of the roots exceeds 2 cm, the young plant is planted in a substrate under a greenhouse. Then the orchid will begin to feed on its own with the help of roots and leaves.
Formation of babies on a living plant
It is possible to simulate the appearance of young shoots with roots on the main peduncles.
To do this, dormant buds are opened on a faded peduncle and smeared with cytokinin ointment.
During this period, the flower is almost not watered, not fed, the temperature is raised to +27 ° C.
As soon as the bud wakes up, the plant is transferred to partial shade – the sun is detrimental to the delicate bare bud. Then they begin to water it moderately, apply foliar dressing on the leaf, and spray it with a fertilizer solution.
The baby will begin to grow, after 5-6 months it is separated and placed in a container with a substrate.
This method is tricky. At the same time, it does not guarantee the preservation of the properties of the mother bush in the new plant. Most blue varieties are hybrids that, when propagated by seed, lose their original varietal properties.
Orchid seeds are very delicate and vulnerable, they do not have their own nutrient medium and can die from the slightest mistake in creating favorable conditions.
You will have to prepare the nutrient medium for the seeds yourself. There are several recipes, but the most commonly used one looks like this:
- 400 ml of purified water (distilled);
- 100 ml unsalted tomato juice;
- 30 g sugar;
- 40 g banana pulp;
- 0.5 ml orchid fertilizer
- 2 tablets of activated carbon;
- 1 g of natural honey
All ingredients are placed in a sterile jar and mixed with a sterile spoon. The jar is tightly closed and placed in a warm place for 3-5 days.
If mold appears on the surface of the nutrient solution, germs have got there and cannot be used. If everything is clean, then proceed to the next stage.
Seeds are poured with 1% chlorine lime solution and kept for 15-20 minutes. Then, using a syringe, they are transferred into a nutrient medium and placed in a greenhouse – a closed large pot or jar. There they are for six months at a temperature of 25-26 ° C and a humidity level of 70%. After 6 months, the first shoots should appear.
The sprouts are transplanted into a shallow substrate and covered again by placing the container in the light. They will have to be kept in greenhouse conditions for up to a year. The flowering of orchids grown from seeds can only be expected in 6-7 years. The new plants will most likely bloom differently from the mother bush.
Blue orchids Diseases and pests
Blue orchids are often susceptible to disease and pest attacks. It is necessary to carefully monitor plants, especially young ones, in order to notice changes in their condition in time. It is always easier to prevent diseases than to treat the affected flower later.
Different types of rot. The source of the disease can be both fungi and harmful bacteria. All types of rot have one symptom – the appearance of black or brown spots on the leaves and roots of the orchid. Rot is often caused by over-watering and high humidity. It is treated with copper sulfate and a change in the irrigation regime.
Spotting. It is an infectious disease that manifests itself as black dents on the leaves. The lesions are removed, the plant is sprayed with a fungicide (Vectra, Fundazol, Skor) and not watered for 5-6 days.
Powdery mildew. Appears in high humidity and heat, forming a “greenhouse effect”. It is treated in the early stages when the lesion is not too extensive. The plant is sprayed with a solution of colloidal sulfur, Skor, Topsin-M preparations. For prevention, use Fitosporin.
Shield. It is clearly visible on the leaves in the form of brown tubercles. Remove insects mechanically, and then treat with Aktellik or Fitoverm. For prevention, regularly arrange a warm shower for the orchid.
Mealybug. The sign is a white fluffy bloom on the leaves. This pest is dangerous because it drinks the juices from the plant not only from the leaves but also in the roots, where they are difficult to notice. Treat the orchid with Fitoverm twice at weekly intervals.
Spider mite. Signs – cobwebs in the axils of the leaves and between the roots.
Not only the parasite itself is dangerous, but also the fungus that settles in its habitats. At the first appearance of insects, the plant is placed in the shower for 5-7 minutes. After that, the leaves are sprayed with any insecticide and the plant is placed in the shade.
Thrips. These insects are very dangerous and difficult to get rid of. Thrips fly, moving from one flower to another, so there is a danger of contamination of all plants in the house.
You need to fight them with the help of powerful drugs that kill adult insects and their larvae with eggs – Aktara, Flip, Spintor, Laser, Connect.
Prevention is a competent regime of watering, lighting, and humidity. A weakened plant is prone to various problems and is more difficult to heal. A healthy, strong flower has a much lower risk of getting sick.
Blue orchids flower plant species are very popular with flower growers, and their popularity is constantly growing. However, you need to know the rules for caring for these rather whimsical exotic plants. With a well-organized watering regime, lighting, humidity, timely transplantation into a good substrate, care after flowering, regular feeding, the orchid will bloom luxuriantly and for a long time.