Unfortunately, not all varieties of the genus Lycasta (35-45 species) are suitable for growing a plant at home. This is due to the fact that most varieties are large in size, and the window sill is a fairly cramped place. The homeland of the plant is considered to be a narrow strip of territory that runs from the southern province of Mexico along the mountain slopes of the Andes through Ecuador and Colombia and then to Bolivia and Peru. There are varieties that are located at a sufficient distance from the main range - Jamaica, Cuba, the Caribbean Islands and the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. In Guatemela, one of the natural varieties, the Skinner Orchid, has earned special respect and is the national symbol of the country called the White Nun. Almost everywhere the plant grows at an altitude of 1-2 thousand meters above sea level. This plant cannot be below or above the specified mark. The climatic conditions of the extreme point of distribution are humid warm, or the temperate season is replaced by a cold and dry one, or wet and cool weather conditions persist with almost invisible temperature fluctuations after the season changes.
Lycast: description and characteristics
Likasta: photo of an orchid
The plant is characterized by a sympodial growth form. Pseudobulba (2-3) is distinguished by an egg-shaped or pear-shaped shape, connected with the help of a rhizome. From its top, 2-3 folded leaves sprout, differing in an elliptical or elongated-oblong shape. Some species have short peduncles, the length of others can reach up to 0.5 m, appearing from the bases of the pseudobulb, the number is about 5, if the variety is yellow-flowering - more than 10. However, each is distinguished by the presence of a single flower, the circumference of which can reach 20 cm the plant is distinguished by its incredible beauty and aroma. The petals are small, able to cover the column, while the sepals are rather large, are located at an angle of 120 degrees, and form a triangle between them. Due to the fact that the petals and lip are quite tight, it seems that the flower is made of wax. The hue of plants can be any - from white and pale pink to greenish-yellow, orange and brownish. The flowering period occurs in the summer and can last almost 2 months, but the genus has in its composition and varieties that can grow in winter.
Likasta: growing an orchid
Likasta: photo of an orchid
In the wild, the plant grows on soil or trees that are covered with moss. If you want to grow at home d in a separate container, to which a special air-permeable substrate is added, which will include: chopped fern roots or deciduous tree bark, moss - sagnum, dry foliage, medium fraction of charcoal (2: 1: 1: 1). A transplant should be carried out every year, and a flower pot must also be changed, since the plant can grow enough in a year, the pseudobulbs become cramped in the old container. The substrate is also subject to change, this is due to a rather excessive reaction to too salty soil. when transplanting, special attention should be paid to the root system of the plant. those roots that are frozen or damaged should be removed. The wound after such a procedure must be treated with charcoal in order to protect the plant from the penetration of various types of fungal and bacterial infections. We take care of the plant.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to single out uniform rules that would relate to the care of this plant. This is because plant varieties can grow in different climates. Moreover, those hybrid varieties that have been bred are better adapted for growing at home.
Orchid Lykasta: home care
Likasta: photo of an orchid
If you are going to grow the Lycast orchid at home, then you need to choose a large windowsill, west or east side, it may be too hot on the south side, and you will have to come up with shading for the plant. being on the north side, the growth and development of the plant will not be as active, or may not bloom at all. In winter, most varieties are dormant, so additional lighting is not required for the plant, but this does not apply to varietal and hybrid orchids. When the plant is actively developing, the temperature regime should be +22 +27 degrees. When you notice that the plant has begun to shed its foliage - this will indicate that the plant has begun preparing for rest, the temperature should be reduced to +15 degrees. When the plant enters a dormant period, it must be sent to storage in a dry and cool place, where the temperature will be about +12 degrees. Some varieties are demanding at night temperatures of + 6 + 10 degrees. With the onset of spring, the plant must be transferred to the garden for growing, placed away from the draft and in the shade of the crown of a powerful tree.
We carry out watering and spraying procedures. We apply fertilizers.
As for the watering procedure, it can vary depending on the region in which the plant is grown. If the plant is grown in a region of temperate latitude, then the level of humidity should be 35-45%, watering is not frequent and not abundant. You can navigate by the substrate, the soil should not be allowed to be too dry, but waterlogging should also not be allowed - rotting of the root system, as well as a pseudobulb, may begin. Also, when watering or spraying, it is impossible to get into the center of new shoots. The plant reacts well if the container with it is immersed in warm water for 10-15 minutes. After the end of the procedure, you first need to let all the water flow out of the drainage holes. Only then should the plant be taken to its permanent growing place. As for the implementation of spraying, then there are several points of view. Some say that they can be carried out often in the warm season, while others say that if moisture remains on the leaves, then various small dots may appear and I advise you to spray only the flower, and if water gets on the leaves, then they need to wipe off. But we can say with confidence that spraying should be done based on several conditions:
- Place of cultivation in nature.
- Temperature conditions.
- Lighting mode.
- Air ventilation.
When the active vegetation of the plant begins, it needs fertilization. They need to be diluted in ½ or ¼ the dose, which will be indicated on the fertilizer package. Fertilizers need to be applied after 1 watering. The time of leaf fall and rest.
Caring for the Lycast orchid in winter and during active growth will be slightly different. Some sources say that a feature of the genus Likasta is that during the dormant period the plant begins to shed its foliage. But this property is not inherent in all varieties. There are species that may not shed their foliage for several years, and then the leaves themselves begin to die off. When the plant enters a state of dormancy, it is no longer worth fertilizing and the amount and frequency of watering is reduced. However, you should watch how the pseudobulbs look so that they do not begin to wrinkle. If this does happen, then it will be necessary to spray using a spray bottle.But the procedure does not have to be plentiful. During the dormant period, plants can very easily get sick with various infections. As for hybrid varieties, they do not always go away for a dormant period, but continue to develop, new growths and flower stalks begin to appear. In winter, they need additional lighting, the temperature indicator should be within +24 degrees, watering should be moderate.
Lycast at home: orchid propagation
When growing a plant at home, using the seed or meristem method will not work. They are suitable for those plants that are grown in a greenhouse or greenhouse. If you are growing a plant at home, on a windowsill, it is best to use the dividing method by transplanting the plant. you need to take an adult plant with a small amount of pseudobulbs, immerse it in water, then very carefully remove it from the pot and free the roots from the old substrate. Everything must be done very carefully so as not to damage the small roots. The rhizome should be cut with a disinfected sharp knife so that each section has 2-3 pseudobulbs and young growth. Cutting sites must be treated with crushed charcoal so that the plant does not become infected with a fungal infection. The planting of the plot is arranged in a fresh substrate and they begin to care exactly the same as for an adult plant.
Diseases and insect pests
Most often, various plant problems are associated with improper care. If the plant experiences an excess or lack of light, the leaves may begin to turn yellow. If you notice that black spots have begun to appear on the leaves, then this may indicate that during spraying, droplets of water hit their surface. Sometimes you can notice that the plant began to slow down in growth, which is accompanied by a stop in flowering. There are several reasons for this phenomenon: The substrate begins to saline due to the untimely implementation of the transplant.
Hard water was used for watering.
Deficiency of nutrients.
Failure to comply with the rules of the rest period.
As for diseases, most often the plant is exposed to rot, which is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, which arose as a result of waterlogging of the soil. Often the plant can be attacked by mealybugs and scale insects. If the humidity level is low, spider mites may appear. If there are not many insects, then a 20% soap solution can be used to treat the plant. if there are a lot of insects, then you need to use special insecticides.
Virgin Lycast skinner... It is one of the most beautiful plants. A pair of ovoid leaves is formed from pseudobulbs. The length of the peduncles in Likasta skinner can reach 25-35 cm.At the top of the peduncles of the lycasta, one can notice the formation of flowers with a white-pink color and a wonderful aroma, having a diameter of about 15 cm.The lip is three-lobed, has a slight yellowness of either a pure white color, or may have barely noticeable strokes and small peas of raspberry or purple color. Flowering occurs in late autumn - early winter, blooms for 1 month. active bud formation begins from January to mid-spring. Due to the fact that Likasta Skinner is distinguished by the presence of long peduncles, it is ideal for cutting. Particularly popular are hybrid varieties of Japanese breeders, for example, Likasta Sakura - has short leaves, a large pink flower (up to 9 cm in diameter).
Lykasta skinner's orchid: photo
Short-coated... It is a plant with a compact size. The peduncle of this type of lycast has a shorter length than that of the foliage. Sepals are green, sometimes there may be pink dots and bent back tops.The petals are snow-white in color, have a light pale pink tint. the lip has a weakly outlined three-lobed contour, has a white color, sometimes there may be slightly protruding specks of a light pink hue.
Fragrant Lycasta. This variety is the most popular for home cultivation. The flowers are yellow-orange in color, have a delicate pleasant aroma. There are two types: one has small flowers, the diameter does not exceed 6 cm, narrow sepals and the anterior lobe of the lip. The second type has larger flowers, a circumference of no more than 8 cm, wide perianth lobes.
Orchid Lykasta: photo
Cochleata... The flowers are small, yellow in color, no more than 4 cm in diameter, a distinctive feature of the plant is a characteristic expressive swelling near the base of the lip, sharply curved towards the bottom. Blossoming, the flowers have a chocolate aroma.
Orchid Lykasta: photo
Blood red. The orchid is small in size, has short stalks, cinnamon aroma, leaves are oval and bright green. it is not entirely clear why the plant was named that way, because the flowers have an orange-yellow tint. There are spots of red shades near the very base of the lip, but it can be seen if you look closely. Sepals have a yellow-emerald color, have a spectacular bend back. The plant blooms for about 1.5 months, leaf fall can be observed 1 time in 2-3 years.
Large-leaved Lycasta. The plant is large in size, the height of the plant can reach 65-70 cm. The thick pseudobulb is distinguished by an ovoid shape and a height of about 10 cm and a diameter of 3-6 cm. They are often flattened on the sides and with a number of longitudinal grooves. From the tops of pseudobulbs, 2-3 fan-shaped leaves can be formed, the length of which is 45-75 cm, falling off occurs at the beginning of the winter season. The peduncles of the lycast are small, no more than 20 cm long, have 1 flower at the top - large and fragrant. Sepals can be olive green and light brown to dark chocolate in color. The petals and lip are white, there may be small peas of pinkish, scarlet or purple color. The peak of flowering occurs in May, but the appearance of peduncles, then this can occur in a different period of time.
Licasta was able to win the love of many gardeners who love orchids, because they are unpretentious in care and are well adapted to growing at home. They do not require special attention and care. They can delight with their beautiful flowering, appearance and pleasant aroma.