An orchid in an aquarium? Is it possible? Let’s find out together.
The orchid is one of the most incredible plants on earth. The orchid family is the most numerous of the flowering plants on Earth. It has about twenty thousand species. Most orchids require special conditions to grow, bloom and reproduce. For example, many species grow in swamps. But there is not a single species that can complete its entire life cycle underwater.
Orchid propagation is also a kind of miracle. Here are some of the features of orchid propagation. A thousand seeds of some species of this family weigh only one thousandth of a gram. The seed is a tiny embryo surrounded by a thin, leathery shell. This allows the seed to be carried long distances by the wind.
Once in the soil, the orchid begins its development. But in order to develop fully, it needs a full range of nutrients. And then the following miracles begin. The fact is that no naturally formed substrate can supply the orchid with the nutrients it needs.
Then nature has endowed orchid embryos with an amazing ability. They are able to produce and release into the surrounding substrate special substances that attract fungi. The hyphae of the fungal mycelium grow towards the embryo. Why does an orchid need this? It’s very simple. The mycelium of the fungus produces contains all the substances necessary for the full development of the orchid. Now the sprout begins to fully develop. That this is a full-fledged symbiosis or the orchid is parasitized by fungi is still not quite clear.
In any case, the soil must be properly composed and fertilized for the orchid to develop. Or it must be infected with a certain type of fungus. In this case, the soil must be very well moistened. And in some cases even covered with a layer of water of several millimeters. These conditions are more often met either in swamps or in jungles.
However, it is usually in semi-darkness. This is why orchids rarely bloom in nature. The rare flowering is compensated for by the large number of seeds. In addition, most orchids are very slow-growing. as a consequence, some species can only bloom for the first time in their second decade of existence.
As you can see, keeping orchids is a very laborious and complicated business. As for its breeding in artificial conditions, it is only for specialized farms or very sophisticated amateurs.
An orchid in an aquarium is still possible.
What does an aquarium have to do with it? – you may ask. But in this amazing family, there is one species that can withstand a completely underwater existence. True, the plant’s growth will be stunted. It won’t be able to bloom underwater. But nevertheless it will be a real orchid in the aquarium. And if you keep it in a shallow aquarium so that part of its leaves are above water, then perhaps it will please you and its delicately white with a wonderful fragrance inflorescence.
The name of this plant is spiranthes odorata. Odorata refers to the amazing fragrance that the plant emits during flowering. It has a rather large root that is horizontal in the ground. The root leaves are fleshy, green, up to thirty centimeters long and about three centimeters wide. The total height of the plant can reach eighty centimeters. Small snow-white flowers are arranged on it in spiral or vertical rows.
Of course in the aquarium such a miracle to grow very tempting. But as mentioned above, flowering in such cultivation of the plant can not be achieved. If you want to see the color of Spiranthes odorata and breathe its aroma, then you will have to plant it in a special tray. In it, its roots can freely spread. Odorata is unpretentious to soil. But it is better to fill the tray with flower soil from the store. The soil in the tray should be constantly moistened. You can even keep the water level in the tray a few millimeters above the soil level at all times.. It is best to water with soft water (rainwater is also possible).
Considering that the ground must be constantly flooded with water, you can try to keep the tray in the upper tier of the aquarium. There should be no problems with keeping it in a terrarium or paludarium.
Orchid blooming in the room
Oh yes, I almost forgot for flowering the plant needs relatively bright light. And the air humidity should match the humidity of the rainforest.
I hope you were interested to learn about such an amazing plant as Spiranthes odorata (Spiranthes odorata). And that it can decorate your living corner. Perhaps among the readers there are orchid lovers who keep this plant at home. It is interesting to know their opinion about this plant. And also to hear their good advice on the care of this wonderful plant.