Tolumnia orchid

Tolumnia orchid

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Among the representatives of the orchid family, a small generic branch of Tolumnia is distinguished. Earlier in botanical sources this genus was included in the Oncidium group. Today, about 30 flowering perennials are united by common signs and names. In the natural line, tolumnia is rare. Wild forms can only be seen in the Caribbean. Experienced orchid growers have long been involved in the cultivation of both oncidium and tolumnia at home. Both types are readily offered by many flower shops.

Description of tolumnea orchids

Ordiche flower representatives - oncidium and tolumnia - have their own specific characteristics. For example, in tolumnia there are no pronounced pseudobulbs, or they are practically invisible on the stems. A shortened and thin process comes to replace pseudobulbs. Leaves develop in pairs on a rhizome, a creeping shoot that is characteristic of most sympoidal plants. The plates are in close contact with each other and are arranged in small-diameter rosettes. The foliage is lanceolate or oval with pointed ends. The length of the leaf plates ranges from 5-20 cm, and the width is about 5-15 cm.

In addition to fleshy greenery, the flower has long spreading peduncles bearing several inflorescences. The height of the peduncles is 50-75 cm in perennial varieties. Each peduncle contains 12-60 tiny buds with a diameter of 1.5 to 3 cm.

Inflorescences of the zygomorphic type are complexly arranged. In total, there are 3 narrow small sepals or sepals with a wedge-shaped or obovate outline, and 2 wavy petals with an uneven edge. Sepals are often confused with petals. The three-lobed lip bifurcates in half. The base of the lip is narrow; as it grows, it bends into a voluminous round fan. The diameter of the flower is smaller than the diameter of the lip. Sometimes the sizes differ by 2-3 times in favor of the 3rd petal (lips). Thickened low processes like wings act as a reproductive organ.

Difference between species

The color of the inflorescences is varied. There are monophonic buds with a patterned pattern on the petals. For example, there is a variety with a pinkish calyx covered with small and large burgundy spots. The spots are applied either in the center of the flower, or are scattered over the entire area of ​​the sepals. In this case, the color gradually passes from burgundy to red. Another thing is the flowers of guiana tolumnia (Tolumnia guianensis), which are painted in a rich yellow color. Tiny dark spots are also visible at the bottom of the bud.

Beautiful tolumnia (Tolumnia pulchella) is characterized by a light pink flowering. The wide lip is covered with short yellow stripes, creating a messy pattern on the outside.


Hybrid varieties of tolumnia are characterized by an equally bizarre color. The most common species is Tolumnia Jairak Rainbow. It was obtained by crossing the varieties Tolumnia Catherine Wilson and Tolumnia Tsiku Vanessa. This hybrid boasts a unique multi-color coloration. The cups are decorated with bright spots and stripes scattered in different directions. The inflorescences of hybrid varieties are dominated by white, burgundy, pink and yellow tones. The saturation of a particular color is individual for each name.

The variety called Charming is distinguished by its reddish sepals. A thin snow-white border stands out on the petals. Raspberry shades prevail along the edges of the lip, white-yellow with red dots in the center. Closer to the base, the specks merge into a solid red spot.

Tolumnia orchid care at home

If you take into account the basic requirements for tolumnia care for the orchid family as a whole, which relate to the breeding temperature, watering and feeding regime, and observe them without interruption, problems with cultivation can be avoided.

Location and lighting

Tolumnia orchid loves bright diffused light. Even direct rays directed at leaves and inflorescences in the early morning or at sunset do not harm the plant. However, during the daytime in the hours of sunshine, it is better to put a flowerpot with a flower in the shade in order to prevent the burn of juicy greenery. The orchid is kept on the windowsills near the window on the west or east side of the house. With a lack of natural light, and this happens during the autumn-spring period, additional lighting in the form of special phytolamps is installed near the pot. The length of daylight hours for a plant should be at least 10 hours daily, and the illumination level should be from 6,000 to 8,000 lumens.


Tolumnia orchid thrives in a moderately warm microclimate. Night and day temperature drops are only beneficial. Normal flowering and foliage growth is achieved at a daytime temperature of 18-22 ° C. At night, the room thermometer should not drop below 14 ° C. An important condition for flowering is the difference in daily temperatures. Otherwise, flower ovaries will not be able to form, or flowering will be scarce.


You should resort to the next watering after the substrate dries. The container with the flower is immersed in water so as not to flood the top layer of soil. The root system needs about 20-30 minutes until it is saturated with moisture. After removing the pot from a basin of water, the excess liquid is allowed to drain, and then the container is returned to the windowsill.

For irrigation, it is recommended to settle the water or heat it to a temperature of 30 ° C. Some growers dip both an orchid and a flowerpot in water. In their opinion, this method provides the best hydration. Rinsing the foliage under a warm shower accelerates the growth and formation of the flower set.

In late autumn and winter, a dormant period begins for the tolumnia orchid. As a rule, this time coincides with the season of heat and drought in the homeland of the culture. Watering the flower is halved. Instances that grow on earthen blocks are watered once every 2 weeks, and it is enough to moisten potted varieties once a month. With the appearance of the first peduncles, watering is carried out in the same mode.

If the plant is deprived of dormancy, flowering will be weak or even cease altogether.

On a note! Orchid bloom takes 2-3 months. When it is over, do not cut off the old flower stalks. Usually, after a while, the arrows bloom again when fresh young branches are formed. Therefore, only dried vegetative parts are removed, which can no longer be restored again.

Air humidity

The flower prefers stable air humidity. Optimum performance in room conditions is 45-70%. To increase the humidity of the air during the heating season, steam generators and humidifiers are installed in the room. The foliage is systematically sprayed with soft warm water from a spray bottle. The procedure is carried out exclusively in the morning. Another way to increase humidity is to place a vessel with water next to the flowerpot or pour expanded clay into the pallet.

The soil

Tolumnia is grown in hanging pots or pots filled with an earthy mixture with the addition of sphagnum and chopped pine bark to increase drainage properties. Natural ingredients are taken in a 1: 5 ratio. Sowing blocks are made from coarse pieces of bark. The roots are carefully fixed inside the block, before that, having covered the surface with a moderate layer of sphagnum. This planting method allows you to grow a healthy and attractive plant that is not susceptible to disease.

Top dressing

As a top dressing, mineral complex compositions are used, designed specifically for orchid crops, which are sold in flower stalls. The dosage for dissolving the drug is indicated by the manufacturers on the packages. Flower fertilizing is required to be applied every 5 watering sessions.

Transplanting adult plants

Tolumnia is transplanted into a new pot only if the root system no longer fits into the container, and the roots stick out on the surface. Also, the reason for transplanting is souring or decay of the substrate, when traces of algae are visible inside the soil mixture.

Tolumnia. Tolumnia orchid.

Breeding methods for tolumnia orchids

Under indoor conditions, the tolumnia orchid is propagated by dividing the rhizome. In order for the piece to successfully take root in a new place and start growing on its own, at least 3 pairs of real leaves are left on it. For wholesales or in greenhouses, the culture is bred by cloning or seed sowing.

Diseases and pests

Tolumnia orchid is rarely affected by pests. Diseases occur as a result of overflow of the root system in the cool season. Root rot is considered a dangerous disease, the spread of which is difficult to stop.

Watch the video: A Look at My Tolumnia Orchids And a Chat About Growing Them