Aerides Odorata is one orchid type that is easy to grow, whether you are a seasoned gardener or a newbie in floriculture.
This article aims to equip you with the correct information to plant, grow, and care for these orchids. We have tried to be simple, straightforward, and practical.
So, what are you waiting for? Dive right in!
Aerides Odorata: The Fragrant Aerides
These orchids are native to China, Bhutan, Himalayas, India, and several Southeast Asian countries. Like most orchids, they are epiphytes and grow on trees and ferns. They are large-sized and carry multiple downward drooping stems brimmed with foliage. Their defining character has to be their deeply enticing fragrance; your surroundings will never smell the same without them!
Identifying Aerides Odorata
The reason why these beauties are such a hit during orchid conventions is because of their unique appearance. Carry on to learn what they look like.
– Aerides Odorata Flowers
- Aerides Odorata blooms in the form of numerous inflorescences. The flowers are found in clusters called racemes that are dense with several dozen flowers each.
- Individual flowers tend to spread widely with a diameter of approximately 3 cm or 1 inch.
- Each variety of Aerides Odorata blooms in the most exuberant colors ranging from pink and white to yellowish-green. They can also be simply white with a tint of yellow at the lips.
– Aerides Odorata Petals
The flowers and petals of this beautiful plant are why these orchids are sought after among houseplant lovers worldwide.
- The petals are narrow at the base and obtuse near apices.
- These are approximately 1.5 cm or 0.5 inches long with a 1 cm or 0.3-inch wide apex.
- The lip is immovable and made up of three lobes.
– Aerides Odorata Leaves
Vivid green and fresh-looking, the leaves of Odorata are sure to brighten up any corner you put them in.
- Aerides Odorata leaves are long and approximately 15-20 cm or 6-8 inches long and 2.5 to 4.5 cm or 1-2 inches wide.
- These leaves are thick and leathery in texture.
Aerides Odorata Care
– Water Requirements
Read on to find out the answers to questions regarding how often and how much you should water your Aerides Odorata for optimum plant health:
- Our expert florists suggest using either rainwater, distilled water, or reverse osmosis water for watering Aerides Odorata orchids. If that isn’t possible for you, don’t worry: normal tap water is fine too. Just make sure it has a pH of 7.5 or lower.
- Watering schedule: these orchids need regular watering during the bloom season. It’s best to water either in the morning or in the evening.
- Watering tips: perform watering thoroughly and regularly. If you live in a hot, dry area, you need to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry up by using a tray filled with water underneath the pot.
– Light Requirements
The shade requirements of Aerides Odorata make them ideal houseplants.
- They require only filtered or medium bright light.
- Direct sunlight is advised only early in the morning.
- If you don’t have time to move them to and from every day, put them somewhere in a semi-shaded location that provides direct sunlight in the mornings and shade throughout the day.
– Temperature Requirements
Worried about maintaining the ideal temperature for Aerides Odorata? Don’t worry; we have you covered:
- This plant grows well when a temperature range of 59 to 86 F is provided during its growing season.
- The growth of this orchid tends to stunt above 35 C or 95 F. If you live in an area with hotter temperatures, you will need to provide some form of cooling.
- During winters, Aerides Odorata undergoes a dormancy period till the next bloom. During this time, if the temperature falls below 5 C or 41 F, your plant will experience frostbite. Ideally, the temperature should stay above 8 C or 46 F even during dormancy so that consequent growth remains unaffected.
It is often confusing to figure out the suitable soil and media to pot your plants in, so we summarized everything you need to know here:
- You will need sandy soil to plant your Odoratas in.
- The soil should have good aeration and drainage.
- We asked around, and many experts suggested adding humus to the soil for improved results.
- As for the potting media, Aerides Odorata thrives and germinates well in any media that drains well, such as:
- Tree fern fibers.
- Pieces of fir bark.
- Sphagnum moss.
- Sometimes no media is totally fine too.
Planting and Growing Aerides Odorata
If you have tried growing these lively orchids before but have been unsuccessful or are trying this out for the first time, here’s a step-by-step guide to have your own Aerides Odorota in your garden:
- The best time of the year to pot these orchids is early spring.
- Our florists strongly recommend potting them in a basket so that they can hang down naturally.
- Choose sandy soil with hummus or rotten leaves as nutrients to pot them. Sphagnum moss works wonderfully too.
- Before you plant Aerides Odorata in a new pot/ basket, you must first wash their roots. The safest and easiest way to do that is to immerse the roots in water and gently clean them with an old toothbrush. Take special care not to injure the buds, or there will be no bloom!
- Next, place the roots in a cool, aerated place so that they dry out.
- Once they are dry, you can pot them in the media of your choice.
- Place the basin/ pot/ basket somewhere well-ventilated and partially shaded.
- Stick to a good watering regime and enjoy the bloom!
Aerides Odorata Plant Nutrition
Another highly desirable quality of these orchids is that they are low maintenance and will not require you to take extra time out of your busy schedule to fertilize them.
They self-sufficiently take their plant nutrition needs from the soil and air. And so, you would only need to fertilize them once every ten to fifteen days or so.
Take half a teaspoon of fertilizer and dissolve it in about four liters of water. We recommend using good quality fertilizer manufactured specially to cater to the specific needs of orchids.
Our pro-tip for fertilizing: gently spray the fertilizer-dissolved water on the leaves of Aerides Odorata rather than pouring it into the soil. This method facilitates the absorption of plant nutrients from the leaves. Your Odoratas will bloom splendidly.
Pruning And Trimming
There is not much need for pruning and trimming these orchids. Just remove any dead or decaying leaves and flowers and clean the plant gently.
Diseases and Infestations to Watch Out For
- Lice: Plant lice or scale insects can be a real annoyance while caring for orchids. If you have only a couple of pots/ baskets, you can brush them off manually. If that is cumbersome, then invest in a strong insecticide spray and improve ventilation around your plants.
- Blight: Your orchids are at a risk of fungal infection if soil drainage is poor or there is inadequate ventilation. The fungus turns white and causes the roots to rot. You will have to perform the exhausting work of replacing the infected soil and using fungicides.
- Plant Anthrax: This is a severe plant disease that can be fatal for the poor plant within days. Anthrax spots appear on leaves and rhizomes and continue to spread and enlarge: radical treatment with anti-bacterial agents will be required from the early onset.
Now that you know a fair bit about these orchids, let us recap the most important points to make sure you’ve missed nothing:
- Aerides Odorata is an orchid with stems drooping with numerous leaves and inflorescences, each producing many flowers
- Water them regularly and thoroughly and put them in a semi-shaded location
- The potting media should be drainable and aerated. A combination of sand and sphagnum moss is the ideal one
- Repotting is best done in early spring
- They love hanging down by their stalks. Use baskets for potting
- Use fertilizers only once every 10 to 15 days
- Southern blight or fungal infection causes root and leaf rot and is common during the rainy season with poorly drained soil. Better replace the soil and use a fungicide
Lastly, remember that no plant can germinate and thrive without love, attention, and care. Some, like the Aerides Odorata, only demand a fraction of your time and effort. We promise that the end-reward will be totally worth it!
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