Aerides houlletiana is an orchid that we get questioned about frequently. So many people are interested in growing this at home but don’t know where to start.
Go through this comprehensive guide to caring for Aerides houlletiana to take care of it like a real expert!
What Is Aerides Houlletiana?
Aerides Houlletiana is an orchid that belongs to the evergreen dry lowlands of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam where it grows at elevations of 800 yards above sea levels under partial shade. Furthermore, below are its most striking features.
- The flowers of Aerides houlletiana grow as a many-flowered inflorescence. Each flower is 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.
- The petals and sepals are thick and feel waxy to the touch.
- Each flower is a luxurious light gold color with a bright fuschia lip in the center. Fuschia spots are also speckled across petals and sepals.
- Some varieties produce flowers that have white or cream petals with a purely pink lip.
- The most amazing thing about the flowers of houlletiana is their fragrance. Colloquially called the citrus and spice orchids, they will fill your homes with a sweet lemon smell.
– Stem and Pseudobulbs
- A single stem arises from the thickened storage organ called pseudobulb.
- The stem is slender, long and unbranched.
- The evergreen leaves of Aerides houlletiana are long and tapered.
- Just like their flowers, the leaves also feel leathery when you touch them.
- Each leaf is about 2 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches long.
– Growth Habit
Aerides houlletiana exhibit a unique form of growth called vandaceous growth habit. It produces very long aerial roots and broad lead mass atop the pseudobulbs.
Aerides Houlletiana Care
The light requirements of Aerides houlletiana are very straightforward. You only need to take care of the following things:
- Put these orchids under shaded or indirect bright light. Brightly lit rooms are the best for them.
- Exposure to harsh bright sunlight will cause severe sunburn.
- In the northern hemisphere, we recommend putting them near an eastern facing window in summers and a southern facing window in winters. Always put curtains or some other cover on the windows.
- If you want to grow them outdoors in a garden or nursery, then you should place them under the shadow of a larger tree or plant.
- It can also grow and bloom reasonably well under artificial light. Put them under bright fluorescent or sodium fixture lights in a basement and watch them thrive!
- Yellow-green leaves are a sign of too much sunlight. You will need to move them somewhere that they can be in shade.
- Too little light, on the other hand, will prevent the flowering of these orchids.
Beginners often lament how complicated the watering schedule of orchids is. Read below to learn how to water your houlletiana the right way.
- If possible, use rainwater, distilled water or reverse osmosis filtered water for watering.
- Aerides houlletiana should be watered a balanced amount. Neither too much nor too little.
- Allow the potting mixture to become dry on the surface — but not all the way through — before watering the next time.
- Strictly avoid overwatering. If the potting media is still moist or wet, hold off on the water.
- Overwatering and constantly keeping Aerides houlletiana wet causes bacterial and fungal infections in the roots and stems. Often these infections then lead to the death of the entire plant.
- In potted orchids, you can check the state of the potting mixture by putting a pencil in it and seeing if it comes out dry or wet.
- Non-potted houlletiana will need to be watered daily because there they don’t have any potting mixture to retain moisture for a long time.
This orchid requires medium to high temperatures all year round. Keep them in a place where the surrounding temperature is above 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
In what form to grow your orchids at home is a tough question for all gardeners. We have contacted orchid growers all over the world to give us tips on the best growing media for Aerides houlletiana.
- Houlletiana can be grown in a multitude of ways at home. You can hang them in baskets, mount them bare-rooted on pieces of slabs or pot them in a suitable potting medium.
- Choose a potting medium that drains rapidly and thoroughly. Some good options are tree fern fibers or pieces of fur bark mixed with sphagnum moss.
- When it comes to choosing the right basket, we suggest using a breakable wooden one. These baskets provide good air circulation for the roots, retain moisture and easily accommodate the massive growth of these orchids.
- Professionals suggest growing them in the bare-rooted format as it is most natural to their natural growth pattern.
Growing From Scratch
No matter how daunting growing Aerides houlletiana from scratch appears as a beginner, we assure you that it is super easy in reality. All you need is patience, the right guidance, and a little time from your busy schedule.
You can get sterile Seeds for houlletiana from any orchid nursery. Initially, you will have to plant them in a flask using a suitable nutrient medium. Under the right temperature, humidity, light, and water conditions, roots and shoots will finally emerge. You can now transfer to a pot or basket with a proper potting medium.
- Aerides houlletiana orchids should be fertilized more than your typical orchids. We recommend fertilizing with every other watering in the summer and with every third watering in winter months.
- Always dilute your fertilizer by mixing it with water. Filtered or reverse osmosis water works the best for this dilution, but you can use common tap water too.
- One tip we always give orchid carers is to fill the pot with clean water for one hour before giving fertilizer. This simple practice goes a long way in preventing potential toxicity due to such frequent fertilizer use.
– Humidity and Ventilation
- For Aerides houlletiana orchids, the ideal humidity levels needed are at least 50 percent, but higher values work even better.
- In order to maintain these high levels needed you will need a hygrometer, which is a device that measures surrounding humidity levels.
- You can increase humidity artificially by using pebble trays filled with water under the pot, misting during the evening, and putting similar plants together.
- When we grow plants under such high humid conditions, it is important to provide equally good air circulation. Otherwise, the plant becomes susceptible to fungal infections and root rot.
- Orchids need to be repotted every two years.
- One sign that your orchid needs to be repotted is when new roots and pseudobulbs start appearing at the corners of the pot.
- The new pot should be only 2 inches larger than the previous one.
- Use a knife to remove the potting medium from the edges of the old pot.
- The roots of this orchid are very long and delicate, so you should carefully transfer the whole orchid to a new pot along with a potting medium.
- Keep dry for the first week at least. Also, do not start fertilizing right away.
– Miscellaneous Problems and Their Solutions
- As a responsible orchid parent, you should also be on the outlook for any potential pest and bug infestations in your plant.
- Regularly remove old, dead, and decaying leaves and flowers as well as sheaths from pseudobulbs. These places are always a potential breeding ground for pests.
- If you do see any pests on your plant, treat it with orchid pesticides.
- Overwatering and poor ventilation often lead to fungal infections. Early indications of such an occurrence are yellow or brown discoloration on leaves and stems. If any such signs and symptoms emerge, treated immediately with an effective fungicide.
- Regularly clean your orchids and remove dust from them. We always give our orchid a full bath whenever we water it.
Through this article, we now know how to grow Aerides houlletiana orchids at home and properly take care of them. The following is a list of the points most likely to come in handy.
- Aerides houlletiana is an orchid famous for its golden flowers and citrus and spices fragrance.
- These are indoor plants and need bright indirect light for most of the day.
- Water them with prudence. Allow the soil to dry a bit (but not completely) before you water it the next time.
- Mounted orchids should be watered daily.
- Never overwater your orchids, as this can lead to pretty awful fungal infections.
- Choose a well-draining potting medium such as sphagnum moss mixed with fir bark.
- Repot every two years.
- Aerides houlletiana needs more than 50 percent humidity levels all year round. Make sure that the air circulation around them is sufficient.
Caring for orchids may seem like time-consuming work but trust us, less than 10 minutes each day is what it really takes for this gorgeous orchid to blossom and spread its citrus and spices scent all around your living space.
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