Masdevallia orchid: home care, species, transplant
One of the largest genera in the orchid family is masdevallia (Masdevallia). It unites more than 500 species of plants of not very large size, which are represented by lithophytes, epiphytes and terrestrial. Although there are many species in this genus, its distribution is quite limited. So, in nature, these plants can be found in the southern part of Brazil, in Mexico, the Andes, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, as well as in Ecuador.
Representatives of this genus differ from all other orchids with a shortened creeping rhizome, thin, highly reduced pseudobulbs, having 1 hard, fleshy petiolate leaf of a dark green color, as well as the shape of flowers. Peduncles develop at the base of the pseudobulbs, while either inflorescence in the form of a brush or a single flower is located on them. The corolla consists of 3 rather large sepals and 1 small petal (lips). Sepals (often confused with petals) in many species grow to a greater or lesser extent at the base, most often a tube is formed as a result. In this case, the tips of the sepals are continued by very long processes that have a filiform shape. The only well-distinguishable petal is the lip, which can be clearly visible and have the shape of a tongue, as well as be relatively small and completely hidden in a narrow pharynx. There are also 2 real petals, but due to their meager size they are almost invisible. There are species in which the flowers are pronounced zygomorphic, while others have triple symmetry. Sepals can have a very different size and color. The plant can bloom for 3-4 weeks (sometimes slightly longer).
Masdevallia orchid care at home
Each species has some features of indoor care, which is closely related to the conditions in which this plant grows in nature. For example, there are photophilous or hygrophilous plants, or those that prefer cool content. However, those species that are currently grown by most flower growers have some similar rules for care.
Pretty photophilous. Lighting should be bright, but at the same time diffuse. Direct sunlight is not allowed. It is recommended to place the flower on the western or eastern window. In this case, when placed on the window of the north orientation, you need lighting, and on the south - shading from direct rays of the sun. Illumination must be used in autumn and winter, while the duration of daylight hours throughout the year is from 10 to 12 hours.
Most species need a mild-cool temperature. At the same time, daily temperature differences are mandatory for the plant. So, in the summer, it is best if during the day it will be from 15 to 23 degrees, and at night - from 10 to 18 degrees. In winter, masdevallia needs coolness - from 10 to 15 degrees.
After there is no threat of frost at night in spring, the flower can be transferred to fresh air (to the balcony, to the garden), but it must be shaded from direct sunlight.
Pots and blocks are suitable for growing. It is better to take the pot from transparent plastic, while additional perforation must be done on the walls, which makes the aeration of the root system much better. The prepared container must be filled with pieces of pine bark, and their size depends on the root system of plants. So, for example, if the roots are thick, then the pieces of the bark can be relatively large, and the fine fraction is suitable for thin roots. It is recommended to mix the bark with sphagnum (not necessary), and also it must be placed on the surface of the substrate in order to avoid too rapid evaporation of moisture.
Pieces of large bark of pine bark are used as blocks. After making a pillow of moss, roots are fixed on the surface of the block. A sphagnum layer should also be placed on top of the roots.
How to water
It is necessary to water often and very plentifully. Experts advise watering by immersion. In a basin filled with water, you need to lower the container or block and leave it for a third of an hour, until the roots and bark are saturated with moisture. Then the orchid is transferred to its usual place.
Also, the plant will be very useful "hot shower" (approximately 45 degrees). In the event that the water in the water supply is not too hard, it is recommended to systematically wash the flower directly under the tap in the bathroom. And for this you can take a watering can, in which you should pour soft filtered water.
It is necessary to water the plant systematically, without waiting for the bark to dry, since there is no velamen on the surface of the roots, which contributes to the conservation of moisture. However, overflow is quite harmful, as it can provoke the formation of rot.
Humidity is directly dependent on temperature conditions. If the room is cool, then about 50 percent humidity is suitable, in a warm room, and even more so in summer heat, the humidity should be at the level of 80–90 percent. You can increase the humidity in the room with household humidifiers and steam generators, but it is best to use orchidariums for cultivation. You can also increase the humidity by frequently moistening the foliage from the sprayer. To do this, use lukewarm soft water.
For flowers of miniature species, specialized hanging containers made of glass are often used. In them, it is relatively simple to maintain a microclimate favorable for the growth and development of the plant.
Transplanted only if necessary. So, if the plant has grown out of the pot or the block has become cramped for it, as well as in case of salinization or decomposition of the substrate. Transplanted immediately after flowering.
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Fertilize the flower 1 time in 3 or 4 weeks. To do this, use a special fertilizer for orchids, take half or a third of the recommended dose on the package. Fertilizer can be dissolved in water for spraying or for irrigation.
In indoor conditions, you can propagate such a flower by dividing the overgrown bush into several parts.
Pests and diseases
If you adhere to the rules for caring for such an orchid, then it will be resistant to diseases and pests. If the temperature regime is improperly selected, as well as in case of untimely watering, with low or excessively high humidity, a variety of fungal diseases appear, provoking the appearance of rot and leaf spotting. Direct sunlight can leave burns on the foliage.
Video "How to care"
Growing Masdevally at Home Part 1
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The main types
Among domestic flower growers, masdevallia is still relatively poorly distributed, and they know little about it. But at the same time, from a huge number of species, you can definitely choose something to your liking.
Masdevallia Commodity (Masdevallia tovarensis)
It is currently the most popular species in the culture. Such a plant comes from the moist forests of Venezuela and Colombia, while it prefers to grow in the cracks of the bark of trees or in their branches. Lanceolate-oval or oval leaflets are slightly folded along the central vein. Peduncles are up to 15 centimeters long, and most often they are taller than the plant itself. Inflorescences in the form of a brush consist of 2–7 translucent snow-white flowers, in which dense veins are clearly distinguishable. Pronounced zygomorphic flowers have almost completely fused 2 large sepals, located below, they only have free tips that pass into elongated thin processes.The 3rd sepal is at the top and it is very small, however, it has a long, filamentous process that can be bent back or viewed vertically upward, completely covering the lower part of the flower. The sepals along with their appendage in length, as a rule, reaches 3 centimeters. The smell of flowers is rather faint.
Fire Red Masdevallia (Masdevallia ignea)
This species is one of the most spectacular. Originally a flower from the forest mountain slopes of the Eastern Cordillera, which is located in Colombia. Leaflets have a different shape from oblong-lanceolate to elliptically lanceolate, while their lower part is narrowly wedge-shaped. Long (up to 35 centimeters) flower stalks are much higher than the plant itself, and on them are single flowers of a rather large size (diameter up to 8 centimeters). The flower is pronounced zygomorphic. A pair of sepals below are half-fused. They have the form of asymmetric wide ovals and have not very large points at the tips. The color of the flowers is similar to the color of the flame. So, on a saturated red background, there are 4 wide strips of orange that come out of the base. The third sepal, which is located in the upper part of the flower, is a narrow, thin tail, directed strictly down. He seems to lie on the surface of a flower and at the same time closes his pharynx.
Masdevallia glandularis (Masdevallia glandulosa)
The birthplace of this compact and very beautiful plant is Ecuador and Peru. The back-lanceolate leaves at the base are markedly elongated. Short peduncles in length reach only 4 centimeters, while the leaves are 2 times longer. Since this species has a lingering growth pattern, peduncles rise above a leaf rosette and provide an opportunity to admire single flowers with a bell-shaped shape. Having a 3 axis of symmetry, the cup consists of 3 sepals, which are almost completely grown together. Their free, fairly wide open teeth of a triangular shape end with thin threadlike "tails", which are somewhat longer than the sepals. The lip is almost impossible to make out, since it is deep in the bell-shaped tube. The outer part of the sepals has a light pink color, and the ends of the tails are painted yellow, as well as the surface deep in the tube. The inner surface of the sepals is strewn with a large number of small, protruding balls (glands), painted in purple. If you look at them from afar, they are similar to very bright spots. The name of this species is precisely connected with such a feature of the plant.
Such a flower is not only very effective, but also has a strong aroma (smells of clove spice). This species is one of the most fragrant in this genus.
This plant in nature can be found in Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, as well as Peru. Narrowed to the base leaflets have an obovate shape. Erect peduncles are not much longer than foliage and their length is 15 centimeters. Single flowers are zygomorphic. All 3 sepals have the same triangle shape, while they are fused to half. In 2 sepals located below, the tops seemed to sag due to the severity of filiform, rather long “tails”. The sepals, located on top, such a "tail" looks strictly up. If you take into account these "tails", then the diameter of the flower can be 17 centimeters. It is painted in rich yellow color and has longitudinally arranged burgundy strips located in the central part of the sepals. Also on the surface of the sepals there are small burgundy dots. “Ponytails” are also painted in burgundy color. A tiny lip is difficult to see even in a fully opened pharynx.
This species is one of those whose flowers smell very bad. They have a strong rot odor.
Masdevallia Davis (Masdevallia davisii)
The homeland of the plant of Peru, where its local population refers to as solar. Thus, this orchid was named because of its rich yellow flowers. They consist of 3 sepals. The 2 wide-lanceolate sepals located below are 2/3 fused and have small outgrowths at the tips. The separate 3rd triangular sepal, located at the top, is rather small in size, it gradually narrows and has a threadlike thickness on the tip. Single small (diameter up to 5 centimeters) fragrant flowers grow on fairly long peduncles, which can reach a height of 25 centimeters.
This is a miniature and very beautiful plant. It comes from northeast Peru and southeast Ecuador. A rosette consisting of leaves has a compact size of 3 to 5 centimeters. The shape of the leaflets is widely oval, and next to the petiole there is a slight sharpening. Peduncle in height reaches 3–3.5 centimeters. It is a single flower, which is relatively large (diameter of about 3 centimeters), and painted white. 2 sepals located below, completely fused. They have the shape of an isosceles triangle, while their tops are curved outward, and at the ends there are long “ponytails” of a threadlike shape. The free, oval sepal, located above, is smaller than the lower ones. This sepals hangs over the cup, while covering part of it. It has a fairly long “tail”, which is strongly bent back and tightly pressed to the flower from the outside. A lot of glands located on the inner surface of the sepals (looks like the surface of a dense fur coat), give the flower a special chic. Because of this, the impression is that the flower is very fluffy and soft, and the sepals are similar to small fur pillows. This species stands out among the others in that it has small, real, yellow petals that protrude from the open pharynx. The lip is similar in size to the petals and looks like an elongated tongue.
The homeland of this flower is the rainforests of Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia. This miniature plant does not exceed the size of matchboxes in size. Narrow leaflets have a belt-like shape, while peduncles are 2–2.5 times longer and their height can reach from 4 to 7 centimeters. Single flowers have a nimbus, the diameter of which is 15 millimeters. All 3 sepals are completely fused together. They formed a not very deep round cup having a small tongue-lip and 3 outgrowths of a filiform shape. These uniformly thin outgrowths from the base to the middle are colored greenish-white, and then they become ellipsoids quite elongated and have a rich yellow color. The outer surface of the corolla is saturated yellow, and the inside is covered with many reddish spots. On the surface of the whole flower there are rare protruding glands that are somewhat similar to small hairs.