The aspasia is an epiphytic orchid native to South America, especially Brazil. It has fleshy leaves, light green, with a curved rounded apex, narrow and long; in late spring and summer it produces large solitary flowers, delicately scented, greenish-white, with white labellum, often pointed purple or brown. The flowering is quite long because every single plant produces more than one flower, moreover usually numerous basal suckers are formed, which give rise to large clumps of neighboring plants. Usually this type of orchid is grown in pots, as it needs rather mild temperatures in order to grow. It can be placed outdoors in areas where winter is not too cold.
These orchids are native to the undergrowth of the Amazon rainforest, therefore they prefer bright locations, but far from sun rays, partially shaded, since the direct solar rays, especially on hot days, can cause burns dangerous to the leaf apparatus; when the climate is mild you can take the Aspasia outside, in a shaded and very well-ventilated place.
With the first colds they must be collected at home or in a temperate greenhouse, taking care to keep them away from heat sources, in a humid environment and with good air circulation.
These orchids are native to the undergrowth of the Amazon forest, therefore they prefer bright locations, but far from the partially shaded sun rays; when the weather is mild they can be taken outside, in a shady and very well-ventilated place. With the first colds they must be collected at home or in a temperate greenhouse, taking care to keep them away from heat sources, in a humid environment and with good air circulation.
This type of orchid is an epiphytic plant, its roots in nature grow leaning against other plants, therefore they need a light and draining substratum.
Cultivate the aspasias in a compost composed of shredded bark, sphagnum and clay, or other incoherent material. Maintain a very high drainage, as the orchid roots do not tolerate water stagnation which can quickly ruin them.
This plant must be repotted when the roots have now occupied the entire pot and when the substrate begins to lose its characteristics, given that the materials used undergo a process of degradation. To avoid ruining the roots, which are quite fragile, it is good, before repotting the plant, to wet the roots.
To obtain new specimens of orchids, at the beginning of spring or at the end of flowering, it is possible to divide the clumps, taking care to leave a well-developed root in each portion, to favor the rapid and vigorous development of the new plant.
The new tufts should be placed in a suitable substrate for the orchids, composed of bark, sphagnum or expanded clay.
Aspasia: Pests and diseases
These plants are easily affected by root rot. To avoid the problem, check that the substrate is adequate and intervene with watering regularly but checking that the soil is not soaked. Mealybugs often ruin the flower buds, also nesting at the intersection of the leaves. To eliminate the problem of the cochineal, if it is not widespread, it is possible to intervene manually with the use of a cloth with alcohol to pass on the leaves.