Pterostylis is a terrestrial deciduos genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. These are easy ground orchids. Pterostylis comes from Greek pteron, a wing and stylos, a column which is referred to the winged column of the flowers.
This genus is Widespread in south eastern Australia. Pterostylis is a genus that comprises of about 70 species of terrestrial orchids. Most of these species are Australian but the genus extends to New Zealand, New Caledonia and New Guinea.
This genus is an excellent choice for growers. The genus is easy to start with Australian terrestrials and ideal for pot culture.
Pterostylis flowers are insect traps, with irritable tongues and these tongues are snap shut in an instant. The tongue is reset after 30-90 minutes.
Growing/Caring conditions for Pterostylis
– Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
– Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
– Indirect light is preferred in summer.
– Plant the orchid in the location.
– Water the orchid well.
– Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
– Keep the orchid moist.
– Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
– Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
– Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
– Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
– Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
– This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
– This plant needs well draining soil.
– Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
– Dead growth and branches should be removed.
The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.
– Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium
– Leaf blight – caused by Pythium
– Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii
– Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium
– Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli
To avoid the above, fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.
– More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
– All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
– The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
– They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
– These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.