A very small genus of Aganisia, which is directly related to the orchid family, is also called Akakallis (Acacallis). This genus combines only 4 species of plants, which in natural conditions can only be found in the humid forests of South America.
This genus is represented by not very tall epiphytic plants that have a thin, long creeping stem (rhizome). Their growth pattern is sympodial. Each young shoot is formed at a distance of 3 to 6 centimeters from the previous one, and at the same time it is located just above it. In this regard, the growth of this stem occurs as a ladder. Narrowed-oval single-leaved pseudobulbs of dark green color reach from 3 to 5 centimeters in length and up to 1.5 centimeters in width. These pseudobulbs are covered almost entirely in filmy, completely dried-out cases, under which the rhizome is also hidden. Glossy, leathery, petiolate leaves have an elliptical-pointed or oblong-lanceolate shape, while longitudinally located veins are clearly visible on the surface. The petiole is 4 cm long,
Such an orchid blooms from the end of winter to the beginning of summer. Peduncles are formed at the base of the pseudobulbs. They have an arched shape and reach a length of 30 centimeters. Such peduncles carry 2–10 zygomorphic flowers. The corolla consists of 2 real petals (petals) located on the sides, 3 sepals (sepals) and a lip (3 modified petals) located below. These flowers have no fragrance, and they stay on the plant for a relatively short time, from 10 to 12 days.
Aganisia orchid care at home
Since this plant is very demanding to care for, it is not very popular with orchid growers. This kind of orchid is recommended to be grown in a specially equipped room since in an ordinary room it is very difficult to create conditions as close to natural as possible. However, if you wish, you can try to grow aganisia on your windowsill.
Prefers bright lighting, but it must be diffused. It can also be grown in light partial shade. The plant needs to be protected from direct sunlight. So, it is better to place it on the windowsill of an eastern or western window, but at certain hours the flower must be shaded from the sun’s rays. If there is little light (for example, when placed on a north-facing window), then such an orchid will not bloom.
For this plant, it is necessary to provide a temperature difference during the day. In this case, the difference between the temperatures should be approximately 7 to 10 degrees. So, during the day it is recommended to maintain the air temperature at the level of 25-32 degrees, and at night – from 18 to 22 degrees. Make sure that the room is not colder than 18 degrees, as in this case the aganisia may die.
It should be remembered that in no case should you transfer such an orchid to fresh air. The fact is that the temperature regime should be the same all year round.
To grow such a flower, you can use blocks or containers filled with a special substrate. To prepare the substrate, you will need large fractional pine bark or other coniferous wood, perlite, charcoal and sphagnum. During the landing, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the growth of young pseudobulbs occurs with a ladder. As a result, the landing must be made on the “slide”. It should be noted that the old pseudobulbs should be on the surface of the substrate. If they are buried, then this will lead to the formation of rot and the death of the orchid. The entire rhizome should be located entirely on the surface of the substrate, while only the root system should be buried in it.
The block is a large piece of pine bark. On its surface, you need to securely fix the roots of the flower, but before that, they should be wrapped with coconut fiber or sphagnum, and the layer should be thin enough.
How to water
How often you need to irrigate directly depends on how aganisia is grown. So, when grown on blocks, more frequent watering is required than in a pot. Watering is recommended to be carried out by immersion. To do this, in a basin filled with water, you need to immerse a container with a plant or a block and wait a third of an hour. During this time, the velamen, covering the roots and having a porous structure, must absorb a sufficient amount of moisture. Then the orchid is taken out of the basin, but before putting it in place, you need to wait until all excess liquid has drained. Watering aganizia, experts advise, only after the bark dries completely.
For irrigation use soft water at room temperature, which must be well settled before that. If the water is hard, then it can be filtered or mixed with a small amount of citric or acetic acid (at the same time, the taste of the liquid should not even be slightly sour). It is not recommended to use boiled water for irrigation.
In order for the plant to grow and develop normally, it needs high humidity and heat in the room. This is especially true for those orchids that are grown on blocks, they just need a humidity of at least 70-80 percent. When grown in a pot, the plant will have enough air humidity and 50-55 percent, but this is only in the case of proper and timely watering.
If you do not have an orchidarium, then you will have to increase the humidity with household humidifiers or steam generators. In the event that this is not possible, it is recommended to put the container in a pan filled with pebbles or expanded clay and not very much water. It is recommended to put a layer of moss on top of the substrate, and it must be moistened regularly.
Since various fungal diseases can develop in stagnant, warm and damp air, in order to avoid this, the room where the orchid is located must be systematically ventilated.
Transplantation is carried out only if necessary, because the root system reacts very poorly to such a procedure. So, a strongly overgrown plant that no longer fits in a pot or on a block can become a reason for transplanting.
Aganisia have rather delicate roots and is very sensitive to a variety of chemicals and salts. In this regard, it is necessary to feed such a flower very carefully. So, top dressing should be carried out 1 time in 4 weeks. To do this, use a fertilizer designed specifically for orchids (take ¼ of the dose recommended on the package). Also, the plant needs foliar top dressing, which should be carried out between the main ones. To do this, use a solution of the same fertilizer, only it should be even weaker.
This kind of home-grown orchid can only be propagated by division. Moreover, after the rhizome is divided, each division must have at least 3 mature pseudobulbs.
Propagated by seeds and meristem (cloning) only in industrial conditions.
Diseases and pests
Most often, such a plant dies due to the fact that it is kept in conditions that have nothing similar to the usual natural ones. So, the following violations in care are very common: the room is too hot or cold, intense or poor lighting, too long periods of drought, lack of daily temperature fluctuations, rare ventilation, drafts.
Among domestic flower growers, only two types of aganisia are most popular.
Aganisia blue (Aganisia cyanea)
This plant is one of the most spectacular among the huge number of members of the orchid family. Its main distinguishing feature is the beautiful blue color of the flowers. Such flowers are relatively small, their diameter is usually equal to 5-6 centimeters, but they are incredibly beautiful and can compete with Cattleya, which is a recognized queen (their flowers have a similar shape). The sepals are slightly wavy and are located in relation to each other at an angle equal to 120 degrees. They are the same length, but the one above is egg-shaped and wider than the oval side ones. The lip and petals are also located in relation to each other at an angle of 120 degrees. The rounded petals are narrowed at the base, but they are somewhat wider and shorter than the sepals. The lip comes forward.
Aganisia beautiful (Aganisia pulchella)
This species is more compact than blue ganizia. The length of the peduncles does not exceed 15 centimeters, they have 2-5 not very large (up to 4 centimeters in diameter) flowers, painted in a whitish-cream shade. The elongated oval sepals and petals are similar in shape, they are narrowed at the base and have a pointed tip. The sepals are up to 2 cm long and 1 cm wide. The petals are narrower and not as long. The shape of the lip is similar to a small concave shovel, which has a pointed tip. At the base there is a not very large outgrowth, painted in burgundy, and the middle is yellow.