Phalaenopsis tetraspis, or four-shielded, is a species variety found in the wild by Thomas Lobb in 1868. The species is described in 1870. Found on one of the largest Indonesian islands – Sumatra, in the western part of the Malay Islands and nearby.
The climate is subequatorial, tropical, with rich vegetation. Grows in tropical forests, in shaded areas. The year-round air temperature does not change, during the day it is 30-35 degrees, and night temperatures drop to 20-25 degrees. High humidity – above 80%. In the autumn-winter period, there are often heavy rains, fogs are formed in summer.
It belongs to epiphytic plants with a monopodial type of growth from the Orchid family. It got its name from the structure of the flower. From the Greek word “tetra” is translated as four, and “aspes” is a shield. Therefore, it has a second name – four-panel. Known more under the name Phalaenopsis tetraspis than the second version from the translation of the Phalaenopsis tetraspis.
It is considered one of the most persistent and unpretentious species among Phalaenopsis. It does not require a lot of care and attention, it easily adapts to home conditions, an absolutely non-capricious variety.
Phalaenopsis tetraspis Structure
Phalaenopsis four-shield is a medium-sized orchid, with a strong, developed root system. The stem is short, hidden under the bases of the leaves. Grows up to an average of 10 leaves.
Leaves are wide, oval, pointed to the edge. The bush is compact. The leaves grow about 5-6 cm wide, 15-20 cm long. The peduncle is not long, only 20-30 cm. Hangs down, a little longer than the leaves.
Peduncle perennial, can grow buds for a long time. After flowering, do not prune unless it is dry. At any time, he can continue to grow the buds.
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Phalaenopsis tetraspis bloom
The flowering of phalaenopsis four-shield occurs most often in spring or summer. Usually has 2-5 peduncles. It blooms for a long time – 1.5 – 6 months, depending on the temperature of the content, humidity and lighting. It fades faster in the heat.
The type of flowering is revolving, that is, as soon as new buds open, the previous ones begin to dry out. Each flower lasts an average of 5-10 days. On each peduncle, 5-10 buds are formed on average.
Many phalaenopsis have inherited the ability to grow peduncles just from the parent of the tetraspis phalaenopsis. And also at the same time to bloom, grow a new peduncle, leaves and roots.
Phalaenopsis flowers are waxy in structure, 4-5 cm in diameter. Sepals and petals are the same, the shape of the flower resembles a star. The edges of the petals are pointed, sometimes curving back. A lip with three processes and a seed column of small size, the base of the lip is decorated with one lilac spot and two yellow ones, pubescent closer to the edge, reminiscent of frost.
The color of the petals often varies, the main tone is snow-white, the flowers that have just opened are slightly greenish, which then turn white.
An interesting appearance is the manifestation of spots, they appear on different parts of the petals, it seems as if they are constantly mutating. There is always an intrigue where bright accents will be next time.
The color of the spots is different, depending on the type of tetraspis phalaenopsis. There are: red, coffee, purple, lilac. Often there are no spots at all or stripes are present instead of spots.
The buds are light green and you can use them to determine the presence or absence of a bright speck. The aroma of the tetraspis phalaenopsis appears in the daytime, 5 days after the flower opens. It usually smells more on sunny days, from morning until sunset.
Everyone describes the aroma in their own way. Someone is reminded of the smell of ripe mango, remotely lilies of the valley, vanilla, herbal notes appear. In general, the smell is bright, rich and very pleasant.It is interesting!The manifestation of spots or their absence depends on the temperature regime, or rather, daily changes, light intensity, humidity, orchid age. It was noticed that at large temperature differences and high humidity, spotting appears more pronounced. Each owner of this orchid will have the opportunity to track the pattern of color manifestation.
Phalaenopsis tetraspis Varieties
On sale, breeding varieties of the specific orchid are increasingly found. Which are characterized by an improved color gamut of petals, color saturation.
There are such varieties:
- tetraspis C1
- tetraspis coffee
- tetraspis Silver Steel
- tetraspis green
- tetraspis alba
Thanks to this natural species, a huge number of primary hybrids and subsequent Greeks have been bred.
At the end of the 19th century, it was very popular in private collections, but then it almost completely disappeared, hybrid varieties were increasingly popular. Nowadays, the naturalist appears again in the collections of orchid lovers.
Some bred hybrids of tetraspis:
- Jennifer Palermo – tetraspis х violacea
- tetraspis x Imperatrix Purple
- Tetra Star – stuartiana x tetraspis
- tetraspis x pulchra alba
- Tzu Chiang Tetralitz – tetraspis x micholitzii
- Taida Snow – amabilis x tetraspis
Phalaenopsis tetraspis laid the foundation for thousands of the most beautiful varieties, but the parent himself should not be deprived of attention. It is so easy to care for that it is suitable for growing by beginners. It is appreciated not only for ease of care, but also for the beauty of flowers, pleasant aroma, compactness of the bush, and grace.
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Phalaenopsis tetraspis Care
It is considered the most unpretentious, hardy orchid. The main thing is to create the necessary conditions for growing phalaenopsis tetraspis.
It needs protection from the cold, as it belongs to thermophilic plants, proper lighting and sufficient humidity.
It is necessary to take into account the living conditions in the wild and try to recreate them at home.
It tolerates high temperatures well. The ideal range is + 30 degrees during the day, about 20 degrees at night. The minimum daily difference should be at least 5 degrees.
Daytime temperatures of 25 C are suitable, at night within the range of 16-18 degrees. The main thing is that night temperatures do not fall below 16 C. Loves constant warmth all year round with differences in any phase of development.
Reacts negatively to drafts and temperature changes during the day. However, ventilation is still necessary for the supply of fresh air.
Interesting fact! It has been noticed by breeders that if this orchid is kept in cool temperatures, then the flowering turns out to be more magnificent and brighter. When kept in heat, it builds up green mass well.
Humidity and watering
It is a very moisture-loving plant, so you will have to water more often than other orchids. To navigate the need for moisture by the color of the roots, like all phalaenopsis. Silver – thirsty, green – moisture is still enough.
The soil between waterings should dry out slightly, but not to a crunch. At the temperature regime described above, watering should be carried out for 5-7 days. As a rule, during this period, the soil and roots dry out sufficiently. It is important to note that the frequency of watering also depends on the composition of the soil in which the orchid is planted.
With overdrying of the soil and low humidity, it prematurely ends flowering, drops flowers. It can stop growing for a long time, stop blooming. Sometimes watering can be changed by spraying soil, foliage.
It responds favorably to warm showers if the water quality is high. It is always worth soaking all leaf axils with a dry napkin to avoid decay. Like all orchids, you need to water it with water without harmful impurities. The irrigation method is suitable for soaking for 15-20 minutes, pouring. It is important that the roots have time to absorb the necessary moisture.
It is better to water in the morning, then the roots will have time to absorb moisture before dark.
Phalaenopsis tetraspis easily adapts to medium humidity, subject to moisture-absorbing soil, planting in a pot and the required frequency of watering.
You need to understand that conditions close to natural will still have a better effect on growth, splendor, and flowering frequency.
In rooms with very low humidity, it is advisable to place a humidifier, since even frequent spraying will not significantly affect the humidity indicator.
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Like many orchids, Phalaenopsis tetraspis must be kept out of direct sunlight. In nature, it grows under the crowns of trees, in the shade, then a small illumination intensity is suitable at home 11000-13000 Lux. This will be quite enough for the growth and development of the plant.
Daylight hours are desirable within 11-13 hours a day. Very sensitive to direct sunlight, can easily get burned. It will be a lot of stress for her.
Grows well on northern windows. It is always worth considering shading on other windows. It is remarkably adjacent to other large species of orchids, which are shaded by foliage. Also adapts to brighter lighting conditions.
Transplant, soil, pot for Phalaenopsis tetraspis
The transplant is carried out in the spring, once every 2-3 years, when there is an active growth of roots and leaves. It is completely worth replacing the substrate with a new one.
Transparent pots and block planting are suitable for growing. An important condition is that in such a planting air must freely penetrate to the roots. It is advisable to choose containers with drainage holes. And place on the block, covering the roots with moss, without tamping, fixing with a soft thread so as not to damage the root system.
The substrate is suitable for orchids, consisting of pine bark, sphagnum moss, coconut chips, charcoal and other moisture-consuming, breathable components.
When transplanting, it is necessary to wet the roots, remove the spoiled ones. Plant in slightly damp soil and do not water for several days, so that all microcracks on the roots dry out. The slightly damp soil will provide the orchid with the moisture it needs.
Can be grown in one-component soil. For example, in sphagnum bark or moss.
Phalaenopsis tetraspis reproduces at home due to the appearance of children on the peduncle, trunk, at the roots.
The appearance of babies can be stimulated by temperature changes and a sufficient indicator of humidity. After the appearance of the offspring, wait for the growth of roots and only then carefully separate and transplant from the mother plant.
Resistant to various diseases. However, rot, fungus may occur due to overflow and insufficient air circulation.
Overdrying will lead to loss of the root system. Therefore, it is important to observe phalaenopsis as often as possible.
Do not put next to diseased plants affected by insects, so as not to infect it.
In general, it is a sturdy plant and with proper care there will be no problems in growing.