Angraecum Leonis may seem like a challenging plant to grow. But with the right care and guidance, anyone can get to experience these healthy, exuberant orchids in bloom.
We have compiled in this guide all the little tricks and secrets that professionals employ for the optimum health and vitality of their orchids.
Angraecum Leonis: Two Unique Types
There are two types of Angraecum Leonis found in nature: A relatively smaller variety found near sea levels in the northern Madagascar region. It is small in size, possibly due to the somewhat drier climate of this region.
The second type is from the Comoro Islands, and because this area experiences heavy rainfall for most of the year, it is comparatively larger.
Both types of Leonis produce beautiful flowers and foliage and will be a worthy addition to your orchid collection. Read below to learn what they look like and how you can germinate them.
Angraecum Leonis Identification: Shape, Flowers and Leaves
These are medium-sized epiphytes, which means that they tend to grow on larger trees and ferns. Not only that, but they also depend upon them for nutrients, support, and protection. Now that you have chosen to adopt them as a loving plant parent, it is only fitting to start with some formal introductions of our new plant friends.
Angraecum Orchids produce the most elegant-looking white flowers that bloom in small-sized inflorescences.
- The flowers of the smaller Madagascar variety are 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch wide to 1 ½ to 2 inches high. In contrast, the Comoro Island variety of Angraecum Leonis is about 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches wide and three inches long.
- Each flower has three inches long nectar.
- The flower petals are waxy in texture.
- Each flower should last up to four weeks after blooming if all the surrounding conditions are alright.
- Once in bloom, your Angraecum Orchids will produce a rich, sweet scent, most often during nighttime. Nighttime scent indicates that its pollinators are insects that are active during the night.
– Leaves and Foliage
- The Madagascar type of Angraecum Leonis leaf is sickle-shaped and is about 4 to 6 inches long. You will be surprised to find how fleshy they look and feel upon touch.
- The leaves of the Comoro Islands variety can grow up to be as long as 8 and a half inches. These are also shaped like a sickle but are not as fleshy as the leaves of the Madagascar type.
- The Madagascar variety of Angraecum Leonis rarely grows any stem of noticeable size. In fact, this tiny plant barely grows beyond its average eight-inch thickness.
- Mature plants of the Comoro Islands variety do produce stems. But these are only about 4 inches long and that too, in only mature plants. However, this type does grow to be twice as thick as the Madagascar type: almost 16 inches!
Now that you are well acquainted with both the varieties of Angraecum Leonis, we leave it up to you to decide which one you like best for your nursery. You can read ahead to find out the answers to some of your burning questions, though.
Lion Head Orchids: Commonly Asked Queries
We put together some of the most frequently asked questions so you orchid lovers can benefit from them!
– What is the most suitable form of potting them?
Since Leoni’s orchids are epiphytes in nature, they grow best in exposed root conditions such as in hanging baskets or attached to cork sheets of tree ferns or slabs of the tree first.
– What type of soil should be used for planting Angraecum Leonis in pots?
This Orchid doesn’t need proper soil for its germination and growth. And growing them in pots isn’t such a good idea. However, if you want them in pots, then our experts have some tips for that as well:
- First of all, invest in a five-inch pot.
- Then, for the substrate, we suggest mediums such as charcoal, perlite, and tree ferns. It would work best if you use all of them in combination. Personally, we think Charcoal with sphagnum moss leads to pretty awesome outcomes.
– How do we germinate Angraecum Leonis seeds?
One method we would recommend is to spread their seeds over the roots of a grown Leonis and continue to keep them moist. The seeds will soon start germinating.
– How to Repot These Orchids
Repotting them is not such a good idea because;
- It is not needed for their growth.
- They have fragile roots, and often we find that they get damaged during repotting. Consequently, the poor plant stops blooming for a long time.
Finding good varieties of this orchid and then growing them can be a bit of a struggle. But once you get your hands on a healthy one, make sure you follow our guide below to achieve satisfactory and long-lasting results.
Angraecum Leonis Care Guide: How to Properly Look After These Orchids
– Water Requirements: How Much and How Often
- Angraecum Leonis needs loads of water to germinate and grow. We suggest you stick to a vigorous watering schedule from spring till autumn—our pro tip: water your Leonids daily to the point that the foliage becomes swollen and firm.
- You will have to take care not to skip watering even for a day. When the leaves start to wrinkle, signifying dehydration, that is your cue to increase the watering frequency.
- Fortunately, less watering will be needed during fall and winters, for the plant undergoes a period of rest. Stick to watering once a week during this time.
- Our experts also suggest misting these orchids in the afternoons in addition to the usual watering.
– Light Requirements: How Much Light Is Perfect for These Orchids?
- Scientifically, they need exposure to about 25,000 to 40,000 lux of light.
- They have been found to grow just fine in a variety of lights.
- If you can spare some time and effort to acclimatize your Angraecum Leonis to direct sunlight gradually, then over time, they may even get to a point where they can tolerate 50 percent of it. You can then put them in sunlight for 8-10 hours and transfer them somewhere partially shaded.
- However, simply putting them under direct sunlight even for an hour can lead to scorched leaves and disappointed looks from orchid lovers.
– Temperature Requirements
Good news for those of you living in hotter climates! This plant thrives in high temperatures.
- Summertime’s ideal temperature range is 88 to 89 F during the day and 75 F at night.
- In winters, they need a minimum temperature of 84 F in the day and 69-71 F at night.
- However, we would again reiterate the need for constant hydration during hot summer months.
- Those who live in colder regions can keep their orchids indoors and artificially maintain the required temperature.
Angraecum Leonis needs at least 75 to 80 percent humidity levels during summer. During winters and spring, this requirement falls to about 65 percent. A humidifier or a pebble tray is our florist’s go-to trick for increasing humidity around plants.
– Fertilizer For Angraecum Leonis: Nutrition For Your Orchids
- During the growth and blooming period i.e. during spring and summer, you should fertilize your plant once every week.
- Buy special fertilizer for orchids from a reliable manufacturer and follow the instructions on the label.
- Don’t forget to flush the potting media once a month so that built-up residual salt particles wash away and do not cause toxicity.
– What You Need To Avoid
- Do not skip hydration during summertime, guys. Your orchid will go visibly wrinkly.
- Do not overwater during the winter rest period. Trust us; you do not want to deal with the ensuing root rot.
- Try not to poke around their roots too much. If injured, they can stop growing and blooming for several years!
Phew! We have covered a lot of information on the exotic Angraecum Leonis orchid in this post.
Let us go through the most pertinent point one last time:
- Angraecum Leonis comes in two varieties: A smaller one native to Madagascar and a bigger Comoro Islands variety that is twice as big
- The orchids bloom during the spring-summer time and need high temperatures and humidity
- Water them daily and abundantly during summers as they are used to rain
- They can tolerate medium levels of light
- Their flowers are white and produce fragrance, especially at night
- They grow best when mounted on slabs open-rooted
- The roots of the lion-faced orchid are sensitive so take care not to damage them
- Fertilize once a week
We understand that caring for these orchids can seem daunting initially because sometimes, they can take years to bloom. But we promise you, armed with the information you have just learned and with a bit of dedication, these will soon become the most beloved of your plant babies.
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