Genus that includes about a hundred species of orchids, mainly terricolous, originating in Central and South America. They do not possess pseudobulbs, they have fleshy roots that tend to widen giving rise to new plants, thus forming large and dense clumps of elongated leaves, furrowed by deep veins, bright green. From leaf axils in spring grow long reddish stems on which grow numerous flowers, which bloom one at a time for a few hours. The flowers are very large in pink, yellow, orange, white; they have a trumpet shape, with a pronounced lip and usually colored in the center of yellow. Most species reach 50-60 cm in height.
As for the exposure, these splendid varieties of orchids like very bright locations, but far from the direct rays of the sun. As with all species, if positioned for too long in direct sunlight, the rays could burn the leaves or damage them beyond repair. Therefore avoid exposures in full sun, especially during the summer. However, they can spend the warm seasons outside, in the shade of trees or shrubs; in autumn they should be kept indoors or in a temperate greenhouse, at an average temperature of 18-20 ° C.
The sobralia orchids need regular watering throughout the vegetative period, from March to the end of October, it is advisable to keep the soil always slightly damp. In winter water with moderation since the plant has a vegetative rest period and does not need abundant watering. Every 15-20 days provide specific fertilizer for orchids.
Most orchids are terrestrial, so they need a slightly different soil than the one generally used for orchids; cultivate them in a compost made up of barks, peat and universal soil, mixed with sand to increase drainage. The soil is fundamental for the good growth of our plants; this is because it is precisely from the soil that plant species acquire the main nutrients they need to survive and to develop at their best. Therefore, respect the indications listed above to obtain vigorous, healthy plants of great visual impact for your home.
Generally, the multiplication of the orchid sobralia occurs by division of the tufts and is practiced preferably at the end of flowering or in autumn; new plants should be immediately placed in individual containers filled with the above compound.
Sobralia: Pests and diseases
The orchids sobralia particularly fear the attack of cochineals and aphids; these tiny parasites, feeding on the sap contained in the leaves of plants, deprive it of the strength and vitality that allows them to grow at their best. To solve the problem, it is advisable to purchase specific pesticide products available from the main garden centers or nurseries in the area. Furthermore, another problem could be related to irrigation; if the watering is excessive or the poorly drained soil can easily be attacked by root rot, especially during the winter season.