The genus Angraecum has about two hundred species of orchids, originating in southern Africa, prevalent in Madagascar; they are devoid of pseudobulbs, epiphytes, and have various sizes, some species are almost miniature, others have vigorous plants and very large flowers. The flowers are pure white, sometimes greenish or suffused with yellow or pink. Angrecum sesquipedale has white, star-shaped, very large flowers; at the base of the corolla a long spur develops, which can reach 25-30 cm in length. This orchid was discovered by C. Darwin in the mid-1800s. It has long fleshy leaves, which grow paired along the vigorous trunk, and the Angraecum sesquipedale plants can reach 30-40 cm in height. The flowers are very fragrant, especially during the evening hours. Plants tend to develop long aerial roots, green-silver in color.
The Angraecum sesquipedale prefer very bright locations, but away from the direct rays of the sun, at least during the hottest hours of the day and in the summer periods; they can also be kept on the windowsill, taking care to screen the sunlight with a light curtain. They fear the cold, and prefer night temperatures above 15 ° C. In summer it is advisable to leave them in a shady, well-ventilated and fairly cool place, trying to avoid prolonged exposure to temperatures much higher than 35 ° C.
The Angrecum orchids do not have a real resting period, therefore they should be watered regularly, throughout the year, keeping the substratum slightly damp. However, check that the substrate is not too soaked as dangerous root rots can quickly arise.
After flowering, watering is slightly reduced for about a couple of months. During the period of vegetative development and production of the flowers, a specific fertilizer for orchids is supplied, in half the dose, every 20-25 days.
Like many other epiphytic orchids, the Angraecum sesquipedale are also cultivated in small containers, filled with shredded bark, small pieces of polystyrene, perlite, and other incoherent materials, suitable to simulate the soil in which they develop in the forests of Madagascar.
These plants should be repotted when the roots are now forced inside the vase, taking care to use a vase only slightly larger than the previous one. To avoid problems with this operation, it is good to wet the roots, so that they are less fragile.
At home the Angrecum multiply by taking shoots in April at the foot of the plant or on top of old stems. The cuttings are rooted in a compound similar to the one in which the mother plant lives, trying to keep them at a temperature of about twenty degrees, and then they are transplanted. The stem of A. sesquipedale sometimes tends to elongate excessively, in this case it is possible to sever the apex and place it in a single container, taking care to leave some roots at each practiced portion.
Angrecum - Angraecum sesquipedale: Pests and diseases
The red spider produces yellow spots on the leaves; It is possible to combat the problem by carrying out water vaporisations on the plants, since humidity is an enemy of these parasites.
They can also present problems due to unfavorable environmental conditions, such as poor lighting or too low temperatures.