The black orchid flower is that kind of a plant that can’t afford to pass without staring at it. It is a rare, mysterious plant with dark petals in nature and the Cymbidium kiwi midnight is a good example.
It is species of orchid native to Central America, Japan, and China. In the guide, you will master all the exciting fundamentals of this orchid flower. Saturate yourself with the information you need by reading this article.
- What Is a Black Orchid Flower?
- Black Orchid Flower Care
- Black Orchids Blooming
- Common Problems With Orchids
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Black Orchid Flower?
The black orchid flower is a plant with velvety dark fiddle-shaped petals that have a black color, with the darkest being the Millennium magic. It belongs to the Orchidaceae family, found in tropical regions. The size of this orchid flower ranges from small to large, depending on the species.
Black Orchid Flower Care
Many people do not go for orchid plants because they think they are difficult to maintain. Some ideas on how to care for these beautiful plants with black flowers vary with species and climatic region.
– Water Requirements
The growing season for orchid plants is summer and spring except for species like the paphiopedilum black that prefer the early autumn season. During this season, the black orchids require moderate watering about once every seven to ten days.
Avoid watering the plant after winter dormancy. Instead, apply water for two weeks after new features like the stakes and spikes have developed.
Too much water can lead to root rot. Therefore, take note of water requirements to avoid killing your plant. Some species form pseudobulbs that are water reservoirs in times of drought. These species require less water to protect them from root rot.
– Light Requirements
One secret about the orchid flowers is that they hurry their growth as they receive more light. If you are growing your beauty as an outdoor plant, it will require about 12 to 14 hours in a sunlight-exposed environment.
During the growing season, cymbidium orchids prefer dappled sunlight. In winter the plant experiences stunted growth due to reduced sunlight and heat.
When these plants are outdoor, make sure there are indirectly exposed to the light during the peak of the day. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the plant and kill it. They appreciate direct sunlight during the first few hours of the morning and shady light during the day.
The rare black orchid flowers can also do quite well indoors, especially if you place them on an east- or south-facing window. North-facing window plants are usually dark and west-facing window plants might even die due to too much heat. Bright green leaves are the indicators of good and healthy orchid plants.
– Soil Requirements
Orchid plants can best grow in peat moss, fir bark, sphagnum moss, dried fern roots, rock wool, perlite, cork nuggets, and stones regardless of their species. Orchid flowers do not favor natural soil only but one that is at least mixed with ingredients that mimic the wild environment in which they grow.
Nonetheless, most people grow this plant in pots at earlier stages and later transfer it to a suitable, more natural environment. If you decide to grow your plant in a pot, make sure the soil is mixed with orchid barks or sphagnum moss.
It is important to note that orchids are epiphytes, which means they can grow on tree trunks. They need a well-aerated medium but with enough moisture to aid the good health of their roots.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Black orchids appreciate fertilizer supplements during the growing season at weekly intervals. We recommend that you use orchid formulated fertilizers.
Most of these formulated fertilizers contain proportional potassium and phosphorous that support beautiful blooming flowers and a better rooting system. Once the growing season ends, you must stop fertilizing the plant.
Do not allow nutrient deficiency to strike your plant. Due to lack of calcium, you may notice black tips on leaves, yellow leaf edges, and the early death of immature buds.
Magnesium and nitrogen deficiency results in yellowing leaves. If your plant lacks magnesium, you will notice the older leaves of the plant dying off at the edges.
– Temperature Requirements
Black orchid flowers are tropical plants so they require warm temperatures throughout the year. They favor a temperature range of around 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
A few species of the orchid prefer relatively low temperatures. Avoid exposing your plant to too high temperatures as this can cause wilting.
During cold days, you can use a heater to increase the room temperature and protect the plant from freezing. The heater should be at least five meters away from the plant with a bowl of water aside. This setup protects the plant from rapid transpiration and increases the humidity that is needed by your black orchid plant.
People commonly use electric heat lamps. They provide light and heat simultaneously that is why they are preferred. If the room temperature is above the required, you can cool the room using electric fans. Place a fan slightly away from the plant and allow it to produce a horizontal airflow with the plant.
– Humidity Requirements
Tropical plants like the orchid plant require 60 to 80 percent humidity. Just like any other plant, dryness is an issue for the orchids. These plants require humidity but too much of it can cause molds on the roots. Indoor conditions cannot meet the optimum humidity required by the plant and this leads to relatively slower growth.
We recommend that you install a humidifier in the room in which your plant is. The simplest way is to place a tray or bowl of water in the room. The water evaporating from the bowl increases the atmospheric humidity around the plant.
Although some people would prefer to grow the plant with more sphagnum moss or add some houseplants to each room, like bushy ferns, however, the more plants there are in the vicinity of your plant, the greater the humidity levels.
Misting your plant is another effective strategy for keeping a higher humidity around your plant. Just make sure you do not do it too often as this can keep the foliage of your plant wet, thereby making it more susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections.
Remember to avoid planting your flower plant in windy positions to reduce the chances that the wind will drive away from available humidity around your plant. Otherwise, your plant will have wrinkled leaves and become crunchy, thereby losing all the interest in a healthy life due to low humidity.
Black Orchids Blooming
The period at which the beautiful dark flower opens up its petals is the blooming stage. This period only comes after the growing stage of the plant. The only secret to a beautiful flower bloom lies in the health of the plant. Follow the pre-blooming and post-blooming care guide for this black pearl.
– Pre Blooming Care
Three to five light green leaves show a healthy phalaenopsis orchid. Its ability to simultaneously tone down old leaves and regenerate new once enables the plant to resist nutrient deficiency. Usually, leaf size cannot denote a healthy jewel orchid because it varies between species. Good care practices are key to a healthy plant.
It all starts from the foundation, which is the roots, in this case. A good rooting system supports a better plant.
This orchid plant requires moist, well-aerated, and fresh roots. Ensure that there is excellent drainage of water from the orchid pots as this helps to maintain the optimum conditions for proper root development.
Just like most plants, a real black orchid flower is photosynthetic and therefore requires light for growth. Its exposure to light also facilitates the uptake of nutrients from the medium on which it is grown. Fertilize the plant with appropriate fertilizers with high potassium and phosphorous for healthy roots and flowering of the plant.
– Post-Blooming Care
Like many other plants, after the productive stage, the orchids would appreciate resting. During this resting stage, the plant as it drops off its old parts. Your plant will be alive but unproductive. The plant drops off its leaves and flowers. The coelogyne pandurate would have completed its blooming phase
Get rid of old leaves and stakes to reduce nutrient competition among parts of your plant. Help the plant to remove old stakes and spikes that supported the flower during its blooming stage.
Carefully execute pruning to avoid damaging the whole plant. Since the plant is alive, ensure there is moisture available for the roots so that the plant will not die.
There are monopodial orchids and sympodial orchids. Monopodial orchids have one tall vertical stem and an aerial root. Sympodial orchids grow along a horizontal stem called a rhizome.
They have pseudobulbs that reserve water in case drought occurs. This classification helps you choose the right method for propagating your plant and this could be sexual or asexual strategies.
– Sexual Propagation
For orchid plants, this method requires persistence and patience. Orchid seeds do not easily germinate though it is possible. The germination process can go up to two or three months. The first bloom from this method may take years to occur, which is quite a long time.
The orchid seeds are highly nutritious and this attracts more insects underground. They also require certain beneficial fungi that help to convert nutrients into a usable form.
To improve this method you can grow your seed in an agar medium under aseptic conditions and incubate it for about 21 days. Transplant the seedling in a pot with soil that is mixed with sphagnum moss, rock wool, perlite, and cork nuggets.
– Asexual Propagation
Asexual propagation is the most popular way of propagating the black jewel orchid is through. Most orchids contain pseudobulbs in their roots, which can be easily separated without breaking the plant.
Note that the best time to perform division is during the dormancy phase of the flower. First, ensure that the plant is big enough to be divided. Gently pull the pseudobulbs apart without damaging the plant.
Propagating orchids seem to be very common these days but require carefulness in execution. Using a knife or a sharp razor blade cutting is done after a new growth on the side of the flower spike and stem.
The plant should be supported with strong and healthy roots. Always remember to keep a lot of indirect light and high humidity to the root for it to form a new plant.
Plant the cutting in an orchid pot with mostly sphagnum moss that supports root formation. The pot is closed for a month until the new plant is fully produced. Besides pots, you can place the tips of the cutting in a container of pure water. This method is followed with the addition of some propagation root-forming hormones.
Common Problems With Orchids
Even with super care, orchid plants can still have problems that can be caused by environmental issues, pests, and diseases. Generally, orchid plants relatively have few problems if the best care is implemented. It will be helpful to know these few challenges before buying the plant and this section will provide you with everything that you need to know.
– Environment Factors Affecting Black Orchid Flower
As mentioned earlier, orchids are epiphytes, plants that naturally grow on trees’ branches. Some can use their roots for photosynthesis hence requires less soil. Putting them indoors might be difficult for them to adapt to a new environment.
– Bud Blast
Bud blast is common in the black orchid plant. This describes a situation where buds dry up to death with no sign of disease infection. This condition is mostly due to the high salinity of the medium, and poor watering practices. In this case, your orchid may need high humidity with good light for it to resurrect.
– Color Change on Foliage
Orchid foliage changes in color due to light conditions. Too much light results in yellowing leaves that are lined with purple edges. This also varies with the orchid species. In most cases, less light causes dark foliage to form on the plant.
– Stunted Growth
Apart from poor fertilizing, stunted growth can result from poor potting. This environmental condition is vital in most species of the orchid. They require highly aerated mediums to grow well. To prevent stunted growth, use pots that are well-drained and soil that is mixed with mosses.
– Orchid Pests
Mealybugs, spider mites, scales, and thrips are the most common pests found in black orchid flowers. Pests can affect the orchids regardless of their environment so indoor plants can also be affected.
Spider mites are a common pest in an orchid plant but cannot be viewed with a naked eye. Webs around the area in which the spider mites feed signal their presence and these pests leave yellow spots on the plant.
Thrips are tiny and slender insects that are very common in greenhouses and gardens. They such plants and damage severely mostly fruit plants. They extend their habitats to flowers because they feed on pollen, which explains why they only affect the plant during its blooming stage. You can see thrips running around the bloom.
The best way to get rid of thrips is through the application of a solution of water and soap, commonly known as insecticidal soap.
This solution is made by mixing two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid soap and a gallon of water. Wash every affected area on the orchid flower to kill the pest. This method is more common for indoor plants.
If you don’t have enough time to prepare your own home-made insecticidal soap, you can commercially available one.
Mealybugs are immobile sap-sucking pests that blend with the plant and form a waxy cover to protect themselves. They leave a yellowish spot on the plant after sucking the sap of your plant, usually through its soft spots.
Insecticidal soap destroys all types of pests on orchids regardless of the waxy protection formed by some pests. This soap kills every pest that gets in contact with it, so make sure you spray all the affected areas.
You can also use Neem oil, which is an organic pesticide that is relatively safer to use. Neem oil is a naturally occurring oil extracted from most parts of a tree called Azadirachta indica. The oil is absorbed by the plant and once it enters the plant veins, there is a high possibility that the mealybugs will consume it as they draw the sap.
Neem oil also blocks the breathing holes of the pest, causing the insect to reduce feeding or cease feeding and prevent the larva from maturation, thus breaking the insect cycle.
Spraying your plants with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol also works. For this spray, simply take half a cup of rubbing alcohol with around 90 to 100 percent of isopropyl alcohol and mix with a quarter cup of water. Shake the mixture in a spraying bottle. Ensure all mealybug-affected plants come into direct contact with the spray.
– Root Rot
Orchid favors high humidity, which is also preferable for most fungi and bacteria to survive. Diseases like root rot, leaf spots, leaf blights, and spots on flowers are caused by bacterial and fungal agents.
A yellowish plant could be a sign that shows that your plant is affected by root rot. This symptom also comes with stunted growth.
Your plant might even turn black or brown and mushy. A possible remedy for this situation is, starving your plant of water to kill the disease. Another option would be to pluck out the plant and remove the affected roots.
– Bacterial Rot
Bacterial Rot damages the leaves of your plant, causing the crown to collapse. These bacteria take advantage of tiny damages on the leaves or stalk of the black orchid to penetrate whether the plant is warm or wet.
Use copper-based sprays like copper oxide to treat this disease. We highly recommend that you remove damaged areas using sterile tools before spraying.
If you see your orchid roots growing above the soil, there is no need to worry because it is normal. Air roots can be very helpful to the plant as they carry a photosynthetic pigment that edifies to plant food manufacturing.
Nevertheless, regular repotting at least once a year helps keep the plant safe. Also, remember to use a sterile medium as a precaution to avoid the spread of bacterial infections.
– Petal Blight
Petal blight is a fungus disease that turns orchid petals brown and slimy. They spread so rapidly among the plants. Once you observe them, quickly remove the petals that have been affected by the fungus.
However, we also recommend that you spray a fungicide like Actigard to both the plant and soil to destroy any traces of the fungus
Additionally, consider removing all parts of the plant that are affected by bacterial diseases before trying other interventions. You can also consider re-potting to ensure that there is no fungus or bacteria left after a plant’s attack.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of questions that are mostly asked by people.
– Are Back Orchid Flowers Poisonous?
No, they are not poisonous and that makes them safe for indoor gardening. However, if ingested, it can cause mild stomach discomfort.
– What Is The Most Valuable Orchid?
The Kinabalu orchid is highly valuable because it is a large-sized plant that blooms up to six flowers. This orchid is also rare in nature. It can cost up to $600 per stem. The Kinabalu orchid is mostly found in Malaysia.
– How Long Do Orchids Live?
Orchids can live for 15 to 20 years. Just like other plants, the orchid plant loses its vigor naturally and produces fewer blossoms as time progresses. Its immune system weakens with time, making it easier for pests and diseases to attack the plant.
– What Does an Orchid Blooming Symbolize?
Black orchid flower meaning includes success, strength, beauty, love, virility, thoughtfulness, and many children. On the other hand, the blooming of the plant is associated with bad luck, black magic, and death.
This article unpacked the information on the care tips for black orchid flowers.
Here is a quick summary that you can refer to:
- Black orchids are tropical epiphytes plants that naturally grow on tree branches
- Maxillaria schunkeana is an example of a black orchid flower that adapts to a temperature range of temperature of about 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Orchid plants appreciate planting a well-aerated planting medium
- Orchids’ growing seasons are summer and spring since they are tropical plants
- Pests like mealybugs and diseases like root rot can affect black orchids but they can be prevented and cured.
It is time to incorporate the practical aspects of the theoretical concepts that you learned. Try to plant an orchid today and enjoy the experience of caring for your flower!
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