The genus Aerides includes 15-20 species of epiphytic orchids, native to Asia. Generally, they have small dimensions, but quite vigorous growth and tend to produce numerous basal suckers; the leaves are elongated, thick and leathery, shiny; in spring the Erides produce numerous pendulous spikes, 20-25 cm long, consisting of numerous fragrant flowers, white, pink or purple, waxy, which often have, in the lower part, a short spur facing forward. These plants are widely cultivated by orchid lovers, as cultivation is not very difficult, in addition these plants produce flowers in profusion and sometimes bloom several times a year. Over time, numerous hybrids have been produced, with variegated flowers or particularly bright colors.
Aerides need a lot of light: in the periods of the year with a cold climate they can be placed in full sun, while in the warm months it is good to shade them a little.
In general they need a warm-temperate climate all year round, with 15-18 ° C at night and 30-35 ° C during the day. The ambient humidity must be quite high, even around 70/75% and the Erides must be placed in environments with a good air exchange.
Water the Aerides regularly, even every day, all year round, as these plants don't have a period of vegetative rest; frequently provide for vaporization of the leaves with non-calcareous water. When temperatures are lower, however, it is possible to reduce one's watering and vaporization interventions.
Every 15-20 days add specific fertilizer for orchids to the irrigation water.
To cultivate Erides plants, use specific soil for epiphytic plants, consisting of fragmented bark and vegetable fiber, very well drained, but capable of retaining a little moisture necessary for the balanced development of the roots. These orchids are often grown in hanging baskets, in order to make the most of the hanging inflorescences.
Potted plants should be repotted when the roots have occupied the entire container, taking care to choose one that is only slightly larger in size. Repotting also allows you to replace the substrate, which over time tends to degrade and lose its characteristics.
Reproduction occurs by division, periodically detaching the basal shoots from the mother plant, leaving a well developed root to the practiced portions.
The new plants must be immediately buried in a single container and watered abundantly, keeping them in a protected and ventilated place to allow the plant to gain strength and develop at its best.
Erides - Aerides: Parasites and diseases
Sometimes the cochineal nestles at the base of the leaves. To eliminate the problem it is good to intervene quickly, when the infestation is not widespread, so as to be able to intervene manually with the elimination of parasites through the use of a cotton swab with alcohol to pass on the leaves.
Root rot can also be a serious problem for this plant, check that the substrate allows for excellent drainage.