Rossioglossum is another Orchid species. For the first time, plants of this genus were described back in the 70s of the last century. The genus got its name in honor of the Englishman John Ross, famous for collecting plants. In their natural environment, Rossioglossums grow in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Mexico, where they can be seen in forested mountain ranges at an altitude of up to two thousand meters above sea level.
Today, the genus Rossioglossum consists of six types of epiphytes, represented by both rather large and small plants, including those adapted for cultivation in greenhouses.
Rossioglossum: plant description and characteristics
Rossioglossum is perhaps the most bizarre of all Orchids in the form of sepals and petals. Their location reminds one of the silhouette of a funny little man, the other - the open mouth of an animal. These associations gave the plant a couple more names - clown orchid and tiger's mouth.
The flowers of Rossioglossum are as wide open as possible. Petals and sepals can have a smooth or wavy edge, different or the same size, rounded at the tips or pointed. The lip is fan-shaped, it is larger than petals, with many growths of various shapes, giving the plant an even more unusual look. Despite the fact that the color of Rossioglossum is limited to three colors - brown, yellow and cream, the number of combinations is great. Plants whose flowers have a spotted color look especially impressive. Rossioglossums bloom for a rather long time, the buds, which are formed from 3 to 10 pieces, bloom gradually. On average, the diameter of a flower is 10 cm.
Rossioglossum pseudobulbs are large, close to each other, slightly flattened. The number of petiole leaves is two, three. Depending on the species, the leaves of the plant are either wide or narrowed. Their color does not differ in diversity, as a rule, in normally developing plants, it has a beautiful bright green color.
The most famous, today, is the Roudon Jester hybrid. The wide popularity and distribution of the hybrid is due to the fact that, in comparison with other representatives of the Orchid family, caring for it is somewhat easier. At the same time, thanks to the efforts of breeders, the Jester hybrid has the best properties of two species of Rossioglossum (Bolshoi and Williams), on the basis of which it was bred.
Rossioglossum: planting, growing and care
Rossioglossum: photo of a plant
Having decided to grow Rossioglossum, first of all, you should pay attention to the size of the container. The fact is that this plant develops much better in some constraint, therefore, it is not worth planting it in a large pot. Also, to prevent stagnation of moisture in the roots, it is important to ensure good drainage.
The soil for growing Rossioglossum must be water-absorbing and breathable. If possible, it is better to prepare it yourself, from fine pine bark, sphagnum, charcoal and perlite. Some growers use coconut chips for the same purpose. Due to its air capacity and, at the same time, water-holding properties, such a substrate provides an optimal environment for the plant's root system. In addition, pathogens and insect pests do not develop in coconut chips. Accumulating nutrients and useful substances introduced during irrigation, in the future, they can give them to the plant.
Rossioglossum does not require frequent replanting, it is necessary only in case of depletion of the soil, or a significant increase in the size and number of pseudobulbs. Plants should be repotted at the end of flowering. At the same time, it is necessary to carefully examine the root system and, upon finding damaged roots, immediately remove them. Also, the transplant is carried out at the time of division of the plant in order to reproduce it. It is recommended to divide adult and healthy plants with at least six false bulbs. It is important that after division, each new plant has equal parts.
Under natural conditions, after active flowering in Rossioglossums, a dormant period begins. In nature, this time is characterized by dry weather accompanied by bright sun. Rossioglossums grown in greenhouses, if possible, should be provided with the same conditions. Daylight hours should be long, but bright lighting is not required.
You can determine the frequency and volume of watering Rossioglossum by observing the plant. It is impossible to allow the substrate to completely dry out, but an excess of moisture will very quickly lead to decay of the roots. If such signs are found, the plant must be transplanted immediately, removing the damaged roots. Water for irrigation should be settled and, if possible, distilled. Watering is done in such a way that moisture does not get on the plants. During watering, the pot is partially immersed in water or moisture is introduced along the edge of the container.
To feed Rossioglossums, complex mineral fertilizers are used for orchids. These epiphytes are fed quite often. As a rule, fertilizers are applied when watering plants, every third time. The only period when the number of dressings is reduced is flowering. And after the withering of the flowers, as the time of sleep approaches, watering is also stopped. From time to time, when signs of drying out of the pseudobulb appear, you can spray the plant. Also, it is important to ensure compliance with the temperature regime, namely, daytime temperatures should be + 11 ... + 15 degrees, and night temperatures should be 4-5 degrees lower.
Possible growing problems
The probable cause of yellowing of the leaves of rossioglossum may be prolonged exposure of the plant to direct sunlight. When signs of a change in the color of the foliage appear, you need to shade the plant and continue monitoring it.
If Rossioglossum has stopped growing, the air humidity should be increased and the duration of airing the room should be increased. However, it is important not to allow direct air currents to hit the plant, and, moreover, drafts. The latter, by the way, can also cause flowers and buds to fall off.
It is not uncommon for the Rossioglossum not to bloom, despite the outwardly favorable state of the plant. This happens if the plant has not been provided with optimal conditions during the dormant period. Therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations regarding the level of lighting and temperature conditions necessary for the Rossioglossum during the rest period.