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genus that includes some species of epiphytic or lithophyte orchids, widespread in Australia and Asia. They constitute large clumps of linear leaves, erect or slightly arched, fleshy, light green; in some species the leaves are enlarged, ribbon-like; from the center of the bush develop long thin, erect stems, on which 10-15 small flowers bloom, with a diameter of 2-5 cm, white, pink, or lilac, with the center of the flower in contrasting colors. They have five enlarged petals, at the center of which there is a small labellum; many species are delicately scented, and can produce up to 3-4 floral stems. These orchids can be admired from late winter until late spring. Most of the species belonging to this genus are fairly easy to grow, although they are not always available on the market, which often prefers plants with larger flowers.
Sarcochilus orchids are grown in medium-sized containers, preferably earthenware, or mounted on pieces of bark; they prefer semi-shady positions, not directly affected by sunlight. As with all other orchid varieties, direct exposure to the sun's rays could be detrimental to our seedlings as intense heat could burn the orchid's leaves and petals. They need a good air exchange; although they can withstand short periods of intense cold, they grow best if grown at a minimum temperature of 8-10 ° C.
The substrate must be kept constantly humid, but not particularly wet; it is advisable to water regularly, avoiding water stagnations and excess watering, especially during the cold months, periods of the year when the plant does not need abundant irrigation. To increase the environmental humidity it is good to vaporize the plant periodically, using demineralized water. Every 15-20 days provide a small dose of specific fertilizer for orchids to be diluted in the irrigation water. They do not possess pseudobulbs and therefore suffer from drought and particularly high temperatures.
Very important for the cultivation of our orchids is the type of soil to be preferred. The soil is in fact a real resource for our plants as it is precisely from the soil that they acquire the nutrients they need to grow and develop. The Sarcochilus need a loose and light soil, very well ventilated; generally a mixture consisting of a part of expanded clay, a part of vegetable fibers and a part of shredded bark is used. They are repotted every 2-3 years, to allow an adequate development of the vegetation and to allow the radical apparatus to develop easily and without constrictions.
Sarcochilus: Pests and diseases
To best cultivate our Sarcochilus, pay close attention to the development of aphids. These are particularly harmful pests for our plant that could weaken it and make growth difficult. These parasites, feeding on the sap contained in the leaves of the orchid, deprive it of its main source of livelihood. It is possible to rely on specific pesticide products to eliminate the root problem.