Have you got a Sedirea japonica that you need help caring for? These orchids are breathtakingly beautiful and have very gorgeous flowers. They are also a wonderfully small houseplant to grow indoors, so if you’re short on space, they are absolutely perfect for you. They flower for several weeks and are decidedly unusual, gorgeous plants.
Sedirea japonica plants need a good amount of bright light, but no strong, direct sun. They like to be watered frequently, but not to sit in water, and they require plenty of nutrients in order to grow and produce lots of flowers.
Indoor vs Outdoor Growing
These plants come from Korea and Japan, and that means you need to grow them in warm environments. If you live in a cold part of the world, you will not be able to grow these orchids outdoors, or you’ll only be able to put them out in the summer.
These plants like bright light, but do not like to be left in direct sun, so whether you grow them inside or outside, you will need to protect them from strong afternoon sunlight. They will cope with some weak morning sun, but anything stronger will scorch their leaves.
However, they do like quite a lot of light, so you can’t grow them in shady spots, or they will die.
They also need temperatures of around 70 or 80° F and they will start to die if temperatures drop below 50° F. That means you need to keep them warm when the weather turns cooler, and ensure that they aren’t subjected to cold drafts or chills.
Don’t leave your Sedirea japonica near a window when the weather is really cold, and certainly don’t leave them outside in winter. You need to bring these tender plants into a warm spot where they can continue thriving.
Best Location For Your Sedirea Japonica
You can grow your Sedirea japonica almost anywhere in the home, as long as it gets enough light and stays warm enough. You should place your plant near to, but not on, a windowsill and shade it from the light if the sun’s rays are too strong.
These plants will tolerate morning rays, but can’t cope with midday or afternoon sun, so you need to protect them, especially if your windows face south. You can put up a piece of fabric to serve as a shade if necessary, or move the plant further from the glass so that the sun doesn’t hit it.
You should stand Sedirea japonica plants away from vents and heating elements (e.g. radiators) that will dry out the air and alter the temperatures when switched on. They like a good amount of humidity, so you don’t want them somewhere that they will get too dry or too hot.
Fortunately, because these plants aren’t too large, you can put them pretty much anywhere in the home even with these restrictions. Grow them in your bedroom, bathroom, living room, or home office – they won’t mind as long as their needs are met, and you’ll get to enjoy their stunning flowers.
If you choose to grow them in your bathroom, you won’t need to humidify them as often because the steam from the shower will do the job for you. However, you won’t get as much of an opportunity to enjoy their beautiful flowers, so you may wish to relocate them when they’re blooming.
Soil For A Sedirea Japonica
Orchids are very vulnerable to root rot, so you need to be careful what you plant your Sedirea japonica in. It certainly shouldn’t be put in ordinary potting compost or clay-like soils. It needs as much drainage as you can offer it.
You may wish to plant it in orchid bark, which can be purchased easily from most garden centers or nurseries, or from online stores. This is specifically designed to give the orchid’s roots the structure they need, while providing trace nutrients and lots of oxygen.
You should choose a shallow container, or grow your Sedirea japonica on some tree stock. These orchids will grow quite happily if you wire them to a piece of bark or trunk, as this is the environment in which they usually grow and thrive. Being grown in this way reduces the risks of them getting over-watered or suffocated.
Many people choose not to grow their orchids in pots at all, but to make a display of them on a trunk or branch. If you can do this in your home, you’ll probably find that your Sedirea japonica thrives.
You do need to include some moisture-retaining materials, such as sphagnum moss, to help trap a bit of moisture and make sure it’s available to the plant. This will mean that you don’t have to water so often, but that the plant still has a drink.
You will need to repot your plant when the substrate starts to decompose, making sure that it has enough structure to keep the plant’s roots aerated and supported. Including charcoal pieces in the plant’s pot is also a good idea.
A ten centimeter pot is usually sufficient for your young orchid, but you may wish to use a slightly larger pot once the plant matures and has reached its full size. Never choose a massive pot for your orchid, as this is likely to stay wet at the bottom and dry out at the top, where the roots are.
Watering Your Sedirea Japonica
Watering orchids can be a tricky process. They like to have plenty to drink, but they also dislike sitting in water. You need to balance this by ensuring the plant has very good drainage, but does get a lot to drink.
In its natural habitat, this plant gets a lot of rain between spring and autumn, and then the climate becomes a little drier. In the late autumn and throughout the winter, the plant will need less water, so you can reduce your watering routine at that time.
You never want the plant’s growing medium to be soggy. Ideally, water should cover but not soak the bark, perlite, etc., and then run off through the pot. When it has dried out a little, you can water it again. Don’t water it while the pot is still damp inside; this is unnecessary and could kill the plant.
It is important to use distilled water or rainwater for your orchid, as the minerals in tap water can build up and clog a plant’s roots.
You can collect rainwater by leaving a bucket or container outside, or purchase distilled water to use on your orchid.
Humidity For Your Sedirea Japonica
Orchids are known for loving humidity, and the Sedirea Japonica is no exception to this rule. These plants need high humidity levels in order to thrive, and if you don’t provide them, your plant’s leaves are likely to shrivel up. An orchid that is grown in the dry environment commonly found in an ordinary home will not be happy.
These orchids should be kept in humidity levels of at least 50%. Before getting one, you may wish to get a hygrometer to measure the humidity of your home – and you might be surprised by how low it actually is. Our homes are exceptionally dry, and even non-tropical plants can sometimes struggle with this.
To keep the foliage lush and rich, you need to humidify your orchid. A simple way to do this is to create a pebble tray humidifier. As the name suggests, this involves filling a shallow tray (which has no holes) with pebbles, and then standing your orchid’s pot on top of the pebbles.
Add some water to the tray, to below the level of the pebbles, and allow it to slowly evaporate, humidifying the plant’s leaves.
To help keep the humidity levels high, you can place several plants close to each other. Each plant will produce a small amount of humidity itself, and their leaves will help to capture the moisture, so this is a good trick.
However, you do need to make sure there is still a good amount of airflow around your plants. Motionless, wet air can lead to mold and pest invasions. A good air current will help to keep your plant safe from these problems, so don’t crowd them on top of each other. Problems will also spread more quickly through crowded plants.
If you don’t have the means to make a pebble tray, you might want to buy a plug in humidifier, which can simply be put near your orchid. This will humidify the air, and can be turned off when you want to stop increasing the moisture in the air. Installing it with a timer can reduce the amount of work you need to do.
Alternatively, a cheap spray bottle will suffice to mist your orchids, although you will need to then manually spray your orchids on a regular basis. How often will depend on the environment you live in and how dry your home is, but you might mist your plant every dry day, or a few times a week, especially in the summer.
Try to mist your orchid early in the day, as having wet leaves at night makes your plant more vulnerable to pests and mold issues. Ideally, let your plant have several hours to dry out, turning off or removing humidifiers before noon.
Fertilizing Your Sedirea Japonica
These plants love a good boost of nutrition, and you should supply your Sedirea japonica regularly, particularly in the growing season, which is spring and summer. You don’t need to fertilize your plant much, if at all, in winter, but regular summer fertilizing will ensure you get a good amount of blooms to make your plant beautiful.
If you don’t fertilize your plant much, it will probably only produce a few flowers, and its leaves may lose some of their color. Yellow edges are often a sign of nutrient deficiencies.
Try to use a specific orchid fertilizer for your plant; this will have everything that it needs in it. Dilute it to half or a quarter strength, and give your plant some once a month throughout the growing period.
You should try to choose a fertilizer with lots of nitrogen in it for the spring and summer, and then one with a high phosphorus content for the autumn. This will keep your plant well balanced and give it everything that it needs.
If you cease fertilizing your plant during the coldest months, it’s more likely to turn dormant, and this is better for the plant. When the weather gets chilly, slow down or stop fertilizing until the following spring. When the plant’s growth resumes, you can start feeding it again.
If you have these beautiful plants around pets or children, you might be concerned about the potential poisoning risk that they pose. The flowers are beautiful and attractive, and a young child could easily mistake them for sweets.
However, it is not thought that most orchids are toxic to either people or to pets. While further research is needed, because this species is diverse and numerous, we so far don’t know of orchids being toxic to humans, cats, dogs, etc.
That isn’t to say you should allow a child or pet to consume orchids, though. If you have a young child or an animal that takes an interest in plants, put your orchids well out of reach. If your child or pet does manage to consume some of the plant, consult the appropriate medical professional immediately, especially if it makes them ill.
Orchids are not generally easy to propagate, so don’t be too disappointed if you can’t get a cutting from this plant to take – you aren’t alone. However, as propagation tends to be cheap and needs little except your time, it is worth a try. You may get a beautiful new plant out of it!
Some kinds of orchids depend on a complicated micro-bacterial system that exists around their roots, and if you can’t maintain this, the plant will die no matter what you do. This frustrated growers for many years before we gained a better understanding of how orchids grow.
We are going to cover how to propagate orchids by taking a root cutting. There are other methods, but this one is often the most successful. First, sterilize all equipment you’re going to use and wash your hands.
Next, remove the orchid from its pot and gently examine its roots. You need to divide off a section. Orchids naturally produce parts of their roots that are less attached to the main stem as they attempt to propagate themselves. You need to identify one of these sections.
These plantlets are usually attached to the parent stem and will usually have a tiny, individual stem themselves. You need to wait until they have grown about an inch of roots around their bases. Once this has happened and the plant has a couple of leaves, it is strong enough to separate from the adult.
Water the parent plant, and then use sharp scissors to gently cut the baby away from the parent, leaving as much root on as you can. You now have an individual Sedirea japonica. This can be planted in its own pot, with orchid bark and good drainage material. Plant its roots near the surface to ensure they get plenty of air, and water lightly.
Nurture the young plant, keeping it in bright but indirect light, and watering it frequently (but allowing it to dry out a bit in between). It should continue to grow independently and you can pot it into a larger container when it is ready.
Orchids do not mind being kept in a small container as they like being a little root bound, but you will still need to repot your orchid on a fairly frequent basis. That’s because the growing media will break down over time, especially if you are using orchid bark.
This will crumble as it decomposes, and the structure in the pot will decrease, leaving the plant’s roots suffocating. Orchid roots do not like to be buried in compacted material, so you need to rectify this. In general, you’ll probably repot an orchid every two years or so.
You don’t need to move it into a new container unless it has outgrown its current one. If the roots aren’t poking through (or almost poking through) the drainage holes, it doesn’t need a bigger pot.
Repot your orchid by gently lifting it out of its current container and onto a sheet of newspaper. Leave it there while you fill the container with a new mix of orchid bark and draining material such as fine gravel or perlite.
Replant your orchid, handling its roots gently, and give it a little to drink. Stand it in a cool spot away from direct sun while it recovers. You won’t need to fertilize it for a while, as there should be plenty of nutrients in its new growing medium.
Here are a few problems people often run into with their Sedirea japonica plants, and suggestions for how to resolve these issues and restore your plant to full health.
Why Are My Sedirea Japonica Plant’s Leaves Yellow?
Your plant’s leaves may be yellow because it isn’t getting enough nitrogen in its fertilizer. Try giving it a good feed (but do still dilute it to avoid burning the plant’s roots) and see if it picks up over the next few days.
Yellow leaves can also be a sign of over-watering, and this is worrying when it comes to orchids as they are very vulnerable to root rot. You will need to check the soil in your plant’s pot. If it is very wet, consider tipping the plant out onto a sheet of newspaper.
Discard the old growing medium and fill the pot with fresh, dry orchid bark and perlite. Allow the orchid’s roots a little time to dry off, and then replant it in the fresh growing medium. It is important to take action quickly if you think the plant has been over-watered, as this will kill it otherwise.
What Pests Are Sedirea Japonica Plants Vulnerable To?
Like all plants, Sedirea japonica can be preyed upon by pests, especially if they are crowded or under-fertilized and therefore sickly. Wet leaves can also make predators more likely to attack them.
If your Sedirea japonica is not looking very well or you have noticed sticky patches appearing on its leaves or the surface around the plant, you need to check it for insect infestation. Inspect your plant’s leaves closely and check both the tops and the undersides for signs of bugs. Many insects will also hide under the flower petals.
Pests that you are likely to see include mealybugs, which may be in the bark as well as on the plant, brown scale insect which will hide itself under the leaves, aphids, slugs, thrips, and spider mites.
Any of these will have a seriously negative impact on your plant, so you need to take action to get rid of them. Start by isolating the affected plant, and checking any other plants in the vicinity for similar infection. Don’t wait, as these bugs can spread fast and do surprising amounts of damage.
Next, mix some mild detergent with water, and spray or wipe the orchid’s leaves thoroughly with this mixture. Make sure you do the undersides as well as the tops, and around the stem. You can also change the potting mix and sterilize the pot to take care of any unwelcome guests living in the soil.
Keep your plant isolated and watch for signs that the infestation hasn’t been killed off. Keep treating the plant until you are satisfied that the pests are gone, and keep it isolated for a while after that. When you are sure the insects have been dealt with, return it to its usual spot, but keep an eye on it.
You can also treat insect infestations with neem oil in a similar way, by wiping or spraying the leaves. Scale insects are often best treated with neat vodka, but be careful not to damage your orchid’s leaves.