A genus such as Encyclia is directly related to the orchid family. It unites more than 160 plant species represented by lithophytes and epiphytes. In nature, they can be found in Central and South America.
The characteristic features of this genus are: sympoidal growth pattern (this is when a young stem grows at the base of an old one), short rhizomes (creeping aboveground shoot), two-leaved (sometimes one-, three- and four-leafed) pear-shaped or ovoid pseudobulbs. Leathery thick leaves have an elliptical-pointed or lanceolate shape, while the plate itself is slightly folded along the central vein.
The plant blooms for a long time. So, flowering can last for several weeks or several months. In different species, the apical peduncles may differ. So, some species have single flowers of a rather large size, while others have many-flowered, highly branched inflorescences in the form of a brush. Pronounced zygomorphic flowers have 3 sepals (sepals) and 2 real petals (petals), which are very narrow and have a similar color and shape. Sufficiently large three-lobed lip (3rd real petal), free along the entire length, has a contrasting color. A pair of lateral parts often fold around the column, but they are not fused.
Encyclia orchid care at home
This plant is quite unpretentious and it is suitable for growing by both experienced and novice orchidists.
This genus of orchids needs very bright lighting. As a rule, it should be diffused at the same time, but there are also types that can withstand the direct rays of the sun. But despite this, such flowers need to be shaded from the scorching midday rays of the sun, otherwise burns may appear on the surface of the foliage.
It is preferable to put a flower pot on the window sill of a southern, western and eastern orientation. Regardless of which window the plant is located on, in autumn and winter it will need additional illumination with special phytolamps, while daylight hours should be from 10 to 12 hours.
Most species need a moderately warm or moderate temperature regime. In this case, the plant must provide a difference in daily temperatures. So, you need to try so that throughout the year the temperature during the daytime is 18–22 degrees, and at night – from 13 to 16 degrees. Experienced flower growers recommend providing Encyclia with a daily temperature difference of approximately 5 degrees.
Under favorable weather conditions in the warm season (May-October), it is recommended to move the orchid outside. However, she needs to provide protection from gusts of wind, direct sunlight and precipitation. On the street, it is much easier to maintain the required temperature.
To grow such an orchid, both blocks and pots are used. Sphagnum, conifer bark and small pieces of charcoal are used to fill the pot. A large piece of pine bark is taken as a block. On its surface, you need to fix the root system and the rhizome of the flower, while they should be wrapped with a not too thick layer of moss.
How to water
All year round, the plant is watered abundantly and often. Watering should be done only after the bark is almost completely dry. The surface of the root system has a rather thick layer of velamen, and therefore it can withstand a short drought (do not make the dry period too long). Encyclia is recommended to be watered not in the usual way, but to immerse the pot (block) in a basin filled with tepid water for 20-30 minutes. The water temperature should be about 30-35 degrees. This time is enough for the bark and roots to be saturated with moisture. After that, the plant must be removed and wait until the excess liquid drains. Then it is put in its usual place.
It should be watered only with soft water. It can be filtered or let it settle well.
The plant does not require too high humidity. The optimum humidity should be between 50 and 70 percent. To increase the humidity, you can pour expanded clay into the pan and pour in a little water, or put an open container filled with liquid next to it. If the humidity is very low, you can use household humidifiers or steam generators. Experienced flower growers advise moistening the plant, bark, and moss from a sprayer at least once a day.
Such an orchid needs top dressing all year round. They are carried out 1 time in 2 or 3 weeks. To do this, use special fertilizers for orchids, diluting them in water for irrigation, and take the dose that is indicated on the package.
Transplanted only as needed. So, this procedure is carried out if the container or block becomes small or in case of acidification of the substrate and its decomposition.
dormant period for this plant. He does not need it for abundant flowering and normal development. In the event that an outwardly healthy flower has not formed a single peduncle in 12 months, it will be necessary to artificially create a stressful situation for it. To do this, completely stop watering for 11-14 days, and also skip several fertilization procedures.
When grown indoors, you can propagate such an orchid by dividing the rhizome. It should be remembered that each delenka must have at least 3 mature pseudobulbs.
Propagated by seeds only in industrial conditions, they also use the cloning method (meristematic propagation).
Pests and diseases
A spider mite can settle on a plant. If this pest was found, then the flower should be given a warm shower (about 45 degrees), while thoroughly washing the foliage.
It can get sick if the rules of care are violated. So, rot may appear as a result of too frequent and abundant watering, if watered very poorly, the roots will dry out, direct sunlight can leave burns on the foliage. Also, if there is poor lighting, then you are unlikely to wait for flowering.
Types of Encyclia
Among flower growers, most types of Encyclia are popular, but hybrids of such a plant are even more in demand.
Encyclia glandular (Encyclia adenocaula)
This is the most beautiful species of all representatives of this genus. The flower itself is of medium size, mature pseudobulbs can reach a height of 5 to 7 centimeters. The leaves are quite long from 30 to 50 centimeters. The meter-long peduncle is multi-flowered. Fragrant flowers of a fairly large size (up to 10 centimeters in diameter) are painted in a delicate, pinkish-purple color. The sepals and petals are narrowly lanceolate. The triangular lip is quite wide, but the lateral parts of the central lobe are bent down, so it becomes wedge-shaped. In the center of the lip there are dark purple longitudinal strokes, and at its base there is a snow-white speck.
Winged Encyclia (Encyclia alata)
This plant has achieved particular popularity due to its fragrant flowers and undemanding care. It is large enough. So, the bush can reach a height of 1.5 meters, and a width of 0.5 meters. Multi-flowered peduncles have the same length as the bushes themselves. The flowers are relatively small, so in diameter they reach no more than 5–6.5 centimeters. Yellowish-green narrow sepals and petals have a spatulate or obovate shape. In their upper part there are many small dots of burgundy color. At the lip, rather large whitish-yellow lateral parts have a wide oval shape. On the triangular central part of the lip, there are longitudinal burgundy-colored strokes, and its wavy edge is painted in rich yellow.
This dwarf species is very popular. It differs in that it can form fairly thick and dense green colonies. The height of mature pseudobulbs is from 2 to 3 centimeters, and the leaflets are linear-lanceolate in shape and have a length of 40 centimeters. Peduncles bear many flowers and they usually do not rise above the leaves. Small fragrant flowers have a diameter of only 2.5 centimeters. Brownish-yellow sepals and petals are lanceolate in shape. The wide spade-shaped lip is painted white. On its surface, there are longitudinal blurry streaks of purple color.