Distinctive features, agricultural techniques for growing makodes in room conditions, orchid breeding rules, difficulties in leaving, interesting facts, species. Makodes (Macodes) provides a plant with a herbaceous growth, settling on the surface of the soil (terrestrial - it settles among leaf litter and on mossy stones) or as an epiphyte - it grows on the trunks or thick branches of fallen and living trees, it can often be a "parasite" on its own medium. Makodes belongs to the plural Orchidaceae family of the Physurus tribe. This genus includes seven varieties, but most often only one species is grown in the culture - Macodes Petola (Macodes Petola). The native growing areas of this orchid are in the lands of the islands of the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, Sumatra and the Philippines. There, these plants are often found in hot and humid rainforests.
The plant bears its scientific name thanks to the Greek word "macos", which translates as "long" or "length", "extension". It is this term that characterizes the structure of the lip of the flower of this orchid. Its second name "precious" - makodes is due to the fact that, unlike its multiple "relatives", this orchid can boast not the beauty of blossoming flowers, but the variegated color of the leaf plates.
Usually the height of makodes does not exceed 7-10 cm. This orchid has a sympodial type of growth, with its outlines resembling a creeping "vine". That is, its parts are located in the horizontal plane - rhizome and pseudobulbs. Rhizome refers to a modified stem, which is something averaged between an ordinary flower stem and a rhizome. Strongly branched. And it is the rhizome that is distinguished by the property of "crawling" over the soil surface. It has formations that are somewhat reminiscent of nodes and internodes. These nodes are the source of the emergence of new leaf plates and pseudobulbs, on which bunches of young root processes can be seen. Leaf plates can appear directly both on the rhizome and on pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs, in turn, are presented in the form of “petioles” of clavate-shaped leaf plates with thickenings, in which there are reserves of nutrients and accumulated moisture in case of an unforeseen drought.
Makodes, like other “precious orchids”, are very proud of its leaves. Their color is striking in its variety, on the surface there is a pattern of sparkling veins. They can take on silver and golden tones, shine with the color of red copper, bronze. Moreover, the thinner the pattern of the patterns, the more noticeable their shine and shine becomes. But it happens that one sheet plate is painted in different shades. The main background of the leaf plate, which serves to shade a bizarre and unique pattern, casts a deep black or brown velvet, olive or cherry tone, and sometimes velvety green. There are varieties in which the sheet plates are monochromatic, but painted in different colors. Not a single photograph of even the highest quality can fully convey the beauty that nature has generous with, depriving these orchids of flowers, but giving them leaves in return for unique shades. The surface of the leaves can also be smooth or velvety to the touch. The shape of the leaf plates is oval, resembling medallions.
Often, the pattern, background color and color of the leaf depends directly on the conditions under which the makodes grows and on its age.
Naturally, flowers of this kind of orchids do not represent any decorative value. Their size is medium-sized, from the buds, racemose inflorescences, white in color, are usually collected, crowning the flowering stem. Some varieties have a pleasant aroma. It is interesting that in the conditions of nature "precious stones" (as I love them named flower growers and connoisseurs of such plants) are able to freely interbreed with each other. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to identify a particular type of plant. For example, the orchid Ludisia and Macodes Petola have such properties.
Makodes orchid care, growing at home
- Location and lighting. A place on the east or west windowsill is suitable, as the bright direct rays of the sun can leave burns. If makodes is grown under fluorescent lamps, then they try to maintain the daylight hours for 14 hours a day.
- Content temperature in the daytime it should be in the range of 20-24 degrees, and at night it should not fall below 18 units.
- Air humidity when growing, makodes should always be increased - 80-90%, and at the same time spraying the leaves is prohibited, or it will be necessary to wipe the leaves with napkins after this procedure. The water should be soft and warm. If the moisture readings drop, then the orchid stops growing. It is best to grow the plant in a florarium.
- Watering. Practically all year round, it is recommended that soil moisture for makodes be regular and abundant. Drying out the soil in a pot is unacceptable, since the "darochenka" is very sensitive to a decrease in moisture. However, when the substrate is waterlogged, the root system may begin to rot in the orchid. Experienced growers recommend carrying out the so-called "bottom watering" when water is poured into a stand under a pot with a plant. Only soft and warm water is used. The ingress of drops of moisture on the leaves is not allowed, since whitish spots may remain on them, which are no longer possible to remove due to the velvety surface of the leaves, and this can also lead to the beginning of decay of the entire plant. If the temperature is below 18 degrees, then watering is stopped, since the root system will not have time to take moisture from the soil. Therefore, it will be necessary to slightly increase the heat indicators in the room, and then water the makodes.
- Dormant period for "precious", if it is grown outdoors, falls on the beginning of October and its end - at the end of winter. If the plant is cultivated in greenhouses or is illuminated year-round using fluorescent lamps, then there may not be a rest period. If the orchid has passed into a state of dormancy, then it is kept at a heat indicator of 18-20 degrees.
- Fertilizers. For makodes, top dressing is applied only during active growth and flowering. Frequency - once a month. Compositions for orchids are used. The main thing here is not to overdo it, since then the pattern on the leaf plates will disappear from this "jewel".
- Transplant makodes. It is recommended to select the time for changing the pot or substrate in the spring, but before the onset of the activation of the vegetative activity in the plant. As a pot for makodes, you can use fairly wide clay pots that will fit the size of the orchid. If the plant is still very small, then in a large pot the root system will be formed incorrectly and there is a danger of severe drying or acidification of some areas of the soil, since the roots will not be able to absorb the amount of moisture that the makodes will be watered with. A layer of drainage material is placed on the bottom of the new flowerpot, and after the orchid is transplanted, the top layer of the soil is covered with sphagnum moss to control the moisture content of the substrate and prevent it from drying out. It is better to transplant for home makodes as it grows, and if the root system is completely entwined with an earthen ball - about once a year, this will help prevent the plant from unnecessarily stressing.
This process can be started after the flowering of the orchid is completed. Since makodes has a sympodial type of growth, when transplanting, the plant is placed in a pot slightly obliquely, as if laying it on a substrate. In this case, it is necessary to tie the shoots to a peg or deepened support at the wall of the flowerpot. Makodes can be hung from the pot (as if "overboard") and it is recommended to strengthen it in such a way that the plant does not overturn the pot under its own weight. Planting is carried out in such a way that the entire vegetative mass is placed at the edge of the container, at the very wall of the flowerpot.
In an empty pot, a support is placed against the wall and then it is fixed motionlessly, sprinkled with a layer of drainage, or tied to the flowerpot itself, stretching through the drainage holes. Florists use bamboo sticks as such a support, but a frame made of "stainless steel" or aluminum wire is most suitable. Part of the rhizome is captured into it and then the support is fixed to the wall or bottom of the flowerpot. At the same time, the rhizome is placed in the horizontal plane at the makodes. It is this planting that will stimulate the growth of the rhizome, since it always begins to grow sideways, it strives in a horizontal direction along the free surface of the pot or substrate. From it subsequently "internodes" will grow, possessing dormant buds, giving rise to vertically growing new leaves and pseudobulbs.
After the makodes has been transplanted, the orchid is placed in a warm place with diffused but bright lighting, while the humidity level should be increased - this will help the plant to adapt to new conditions as soon as possible.
The substrate for the transplant is selected as nutritious. Most suitable for this "precious orchid" is a soil mixture consisting of: peat, leaf humus (it is better to take it from under birches), crushed charcoal, chopped fern roots and small pieces of pine bark. You can also use ready-made orchid substrates.
Reproduction of makodes with your own hands
Plant propagation can be carried out by rooting cuttings, dividing an overgrown rhizome, or using stem segments.
Since this "precious orchid" has a sympodial type of growth, it is possible to propagate it when several "nodules" with young leaf blades and pseudobulbs have formed on the rhizome. But at the same time it is necessary not to forget that not under each of the leaves there will be a pseudobulb. The rhizome can have both leaf blades with petioles and pseudobulbs with leaves. In order to divide the sympodial orchid, it will be necessary to cut the rhizome into parts with nodes (preferably three). Each node should have at least a pair of pseudobulbs with leaf plates and their own root processes, collected in a bunch. Then the sections must be sprinkled with a powder of activated or charcoal crushed into powder. After some drying, the delenki are seated in separate pots filled with a suitable substrate.
When propagating using cuttings, the time is right during the period of activation of vegetative activity. The stalk is cut off and the cut is also powdered with crushed coal for disinfection and dried a little. After that, the preparation of makodes can be planted in a moistened sphagnum moss, laid in a pot. At the same time, the cutting is deepened to the very base of the leaf blade. However, it is necessary to ensure that the leaf itself is not immersed in the substrate.
When propagating a “precious orchid” using stem segments, rooting is also carried out in chopped sphagnum moss.
Diseases and pests when growing makodes
If, when caring for this "precious orchid", there is a violation of the conditions of detention, then multiple problems associated with the appearance of harmful insects or diseases may begin.
Among the pests infecting Makodes are whitefly, mealybug, scale insect and spider mite. It is recommended to start washing the orchid leaves under the shower jets. Then they are wiped with non-chemical means: tincture of garlic gruel or onion peel, oil, alcohol and soap solution.
Diseases affect the plant in the case when no attention was paid to the fact that the orchid began to bloom, and this is not always favorable for young specimens. They have not yet gained enough strength, and flowering tires them greatly, so the plant becomes lethargic and lifeless and cannot resist pests and diseases. Usually the stimulus for flowering is a large difference between day and night temperatures. If the temperature is kept constant, it helps to save the Makodes from unnecessary waste of energy. When the flowering stem is nevertheless formed, it is recommended to carefully remove it.
It is advisable not to put a pot with a "precious orchid" next to heating devices in winter, as the increased heat and low air humidity will negatively affect the appearance and growth of makodes.
If the level of illumination is low, then the plant will become strongly stretched and its decorative effect will decrease. Most of all, it is important to maintain the correct watering regime when growing this orchid, since overdrying the earthen coma, and especially its bay, will lead to decay of the root system. If the plant is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, it will cause the orchid to wither.
Interesting facts about the makodes orchid
When this “precious orchid” (for example, the Makodes Petola species) blooms, it blooms with small flowers that are completely devoid of decorative value. However, after the buds dry out, the leaf rosette dies off and new shoots appear to replace it, since it gives many lateral shoots (children). It is often customary to grow these plants in winter gardens and private collections.
Types of makodes
- Macodes Petola. The native territories of growth are in the lands of the islands of Sumatra and the Philippines. In this "precious orchid" the diameter of the rhizome reaches 3-5 cm, and the part located vertically has a height of about 6-10 cm. The shoots are creeping and fleshy. The rhizome is the beginning of several leaf plates, the length of which reaches 7.5 cm and a width of almost 5 cm. Their shape is mainly ovoid with a pointed tip at the apex. The leaves are velvety to the touch. The general background in which the leaf plates are painted is dark green or rich emerald. On the surface there is a pattern of longitudinal golden veins and a mesh of small, transverse veins. This pattern shimmers beautifully in the light. When flowering, a flowering stem is formed, which extends to a height of 20–25 cm. It bears a racemose inflorescence, consisting of 8–15 flowers, painted in a reddish and brown shade. Lip directed upwards, with an admixture of white color. The flowering process begins in the autumn-winter period.
- Macodes Sanders (Macodes sanderiana) has elliptical leaves. On the surface, there is a pattern of silvery curls that stand out very effectively against a dark green general background, which can sometimes be replaced by a marsh brown. When flowering, an inflorescence appears in the form of a brush, collected from creamy white small flowers. They have a rather pleasant aroma.
- Macodes Lou. This variety is distinguished by velvety leaves of a dark brown color, on which a delicate pattern of bronze veins appears. The shape of the leaf plates is rounded. This species is quite rare and is found only among collectors of "precious orchids".
More information about Makodes in the video below: