How to grow a tortoiseshell orchid for many beautiful flowers

With a beautiful and strange shape, it is quite attractive to first-time viewers. This type of tortoiseshell orchid is preferred by many current orchid players to find and plant at all costs, so their price is quite high. Among the beautiful and strange forest orchids currently planted by orchid players, it is impossible not to mention the turtle claw orchid. The type of orchid with a rather strange name and an equally strange shape of the tree and flower makes many orchid connoisseurs want to own it when they see it. Join us to learn more about this flower!

What is a turtle claw?

The scientific name of Turtle orchid is Oberonia longibracteata Lindl. The plant belongs to the orchid family Orrchidaceae.

Characteristics of turtle claws

Herbaceous plant grows in shrubs with stems about 50cm high. The stems and leaves of the tree have a flattened, fan-shaped network. Each leaf grows symmetrically to the sides. The leaves are usually quite thick green like the shape of a tortoise’s claw, so it is called a tortoise’s claw. Their unique feature is that the flowers do not grow in clusters together, but the flowers grow singly between the two leaves and often grow at the top quite strange.

The flowers of the tortoiseshell orchid are usually bright yellow, triangular in shape with a pretty red inner lip. Each flower is about 3-4cm in size and usually blooms in summer and autumn.

Distribution of turtle claw flowers

Turtle orchids are commonly distributed in many countries around the world such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and in the eastern Himalayas.

In Vietnam, this species of tortoiseshell orchid is often found from Quang Tri to Khanh Hoa where the altitude is from 200-1400 meters. Those who have played forest orchids in our country know that not only in our country in particular and in Southeast Asian countries in general, the Orrchidaceae family is an orchid with quite strong vitality. They live on the trunks of trees, logs and spread over a large area from south to north to the mangrove forests, there is still a shadow of this orchid appearing. That’s why this orchid is popular with many people and chooses to buy and grow because not only has a beautiful shape, but their flowers are also very fragrant.

How to plant and care for turtle claw flowers

To take care of this orchid is not too difficult. However, they also need to have certain requirements on living conditions as well as the care regime of orchids in general and tortoiseshell orchids in particular, for the new tree to grow and flower to be beautiful.

Conditions of temperature and humidity

Turtle orchids are forest orchids, so they have medium temperature and humidity requirements. Planting temperature is not too different on average at 20 to 32 degrees Celsius. Maximum humidity is about 80%.

Light conditions

Turtle orchids have an average light requirement of about 60%. If planted in a low light place, the leaves are often dark and not beautiful. If planted in a place that is too sunny, the leaves will turn yellow and wilt. If you intend to grow them indoors, they should be placed in the brightest locations of the house such as near windows and balconies. If not, it can be replaced with artificial lights to provide light for plants to grow.

Growing medium

Turtle orchids can be grown in terracotta pots with charcoal and coconut fiber to keep moisture. Plants can also be grown on driftwood trees that still grow and thrive for beautiful blooms. When planting, pay attention to keep the roots open but not dry. Therefore, the growing medium needs to be carefully prepared to help the plant grow well later.

Care mode

Turtle orchids, like Orrchidaceae, need to be concerned with watering and fertilizing regimes as well as adjusting the temperature for the best growth. Watering this plant is very important and the caretaker needs to do it carefully with the right technique. Plants will need the most watering in the summer, about once every 2-3 days. In the winter, you grow tortoiseshell orchids only need to water every 10 days because the tortoiseshell also has a growth period and a rest period. During the growing period, the plant needs to be watered and the rest period needs to be dry and open the roots.

Note: The best time to water should be at noon because that way the leaves will dry in the evening. Sticking to the water can cause the leaves to rot. Watering plants also need to pay attention to the growing medium below. The medium should use bark, coir and charcoal to both keep the roots moist and keep the stem dry.

Fertilizer regime for plants

When the tree is in the growth stage, it is necessary to add fertilizer to the tree. Usually in the summer the amount of fertilizer is more than in the winter. The best fertilizer for plants that should be planted is NPK 14-14-14 when applied and can be mixed with water sprayed for plants. For plants that are in the flowering period, in addition to NPK fertilizers, you can also use fertilizers with high phosphorus content to help flowers stay fresh longer.

How to adjust flowering plants

Sudden change in temperature conditions is the key to causing turtle claw orchids to bloom. Usually the plant will flower from summer to fall. At this time, the weather is hot and sunny with high temperature and quite a lot of rain. After each heat wave, when there are rains, the temperature drops suddenly. After 2 days after the rain you will see the flower buds begin to bloom. Flowers will bloom for about a month and then wither. Because of this, you can stimulate flowers to bloom earlier or later by interfering with the growing temperature.

Turtle orchids have a long life, so you should periodically repot them every year. The repotting with 2 main reasons is because the plant cannot grow in a pot that is too small and the second is that the potting medium has been completely decomposed and is no longer enough to maintain the good development of the tortoiseshell orchid roots. The best time to repot should be in early spring.

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