Beautiful epiphytic Gastrochilus Japonicus grows on trees in the mountain woods of Japan and Taiwan. It is a member of the Orchidaceae family. They are little and fragrant with citrus. They can be hung next to trees, set on slabs, or planted in pots.
This specimen is highly sought after by many orchid lovers because of the eye-catching little blossoms that have a delicate citrus scent.
The Gastrochilus Genus
From the Orchidaceae plant family, Gastrochilus are lovely flowering plants. These are dwarf epiphyte plants that David Don initially categorized as a group in the early 1800s. The genus contains 52 species, all of which are remarkably distinct from one another. They fluctuate in color from yellow to a blotchy, brown-purple tone. Gastrochilus Bellinus, Gastrochilus Calceolaris, and Gastrochilus japonicus are a few of the species that are extremely well-liked. They have lance-shaped, thick, leathery leaves that can get up to 18 cm (6-7 inches) long. They have shorter stems that support 6 to 10 tightly grouped leaves on each stem. During the spring and summer, an inflorescence that is blossoming may have between 10 and 20 blooms.
What Exactly Is Gastrochilus japonicus?
These plants are often confused with the Phalaenopsis species, but if you pay close attention, you can tell them apart because the latter has leaves that are taller and narrower in shape.
The Yellow Pine Orchid is the popular name for the East Asian miniature Gastrochilus Japonicus orchid. This priceless orchid, which Rudolf Schlechter first described in 1913, is also known as the Tamra Gastrochilus, the Japan Gastrochilus, the Gastrochilus Holttumianus, the Gastrochilus Taiwanianus, and the Saccolabium Japonicum.
Synonyms and Common Names
- The Japan Gastrochilus
- Gastrochilus Taiwanianus
- Gastrochilus Taiwanianus
- Gastrochilus Holttumianus
- Tamra Gastrochilus
- Saccolabium Japonicum,
- Yellow Pine Orchid
Origin and Distribution
The Greek word Gastrochilus, which refers to its typical appearance, meaning “stomach” (gaster) and “lip” (cheilosis). Rudolf Schlechter published the first description of this species in 1913. Originally, it was discovered in the mountainous regions and on the islands of eastern and southern Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan, as well as Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Features and Structure
Stem and foliage
The plant has large, lance-shaped leaves that are thickly leathery and grow to be between 6 and 7 inches long. They are densely grouped together and have short stems.
Due to the fact that Gastrochilus Japonicus plants are evergreen, the passing of the seasons have no impact on their ability to preserve their lovely appearance. This is only one of the numerous factors that make plant enthusiasts admire this species.
This specific species of orchid can grow to a height of 2 to 4 inches, which is not nearly as tall as some other species, but it is certainly a fierce competitor in terms of colors and attractiveness.
It is not precisely the most temperature-tolerant plant because it needs a minimum of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15 to 18 degrees Celsius) to thrive. When it tends to get too warm or too cold outside, you might wish to move the plant to a more suited area because extreme temperatures might make it seem unwell.
Yet it doesn’t mind if there’s an extra percentage of moisture in the air when it comes to humidity. Even the occasional misting and use of an indoor humidifier might promote faster and healthier growth. Just be careful not to overdo it because too much moisture on any plant can end up doing more harm than good.
This species’ flowering plants produce inflorescence, which gives rise to flowers. Although the plant itself is relatively small, these flowers can develop up to 1.5 to 3 centimeters in height, which is extremely stunning. 5 to 7 flowers with petals that are light yellow or green-yellow hang from each inflorescence. Both the inside and the outside of these contain a distinctive pattern of pink-purple dots. The lip’s bag is white in hue with yellow streaks and red specks close to the base. The lip’s outer layer is green, with a yellow center and red spots all over it.
A Gastrochilus Japonicus is not drought-resistant since it will struggle to survive in dry, water-free conditions given how accustomed it is to humidity.
Erosion and Pressure
These plants are as delicate as they appear, therefore they can be easily killed by being stepped on or placed under persistent pressure. Hence, make sure it is positioned high enough and in an open area so that it can grow naturally.
Pest and disease
This plant occasionally receives visitors such as scales and mealybugs. Yet, if caught early enough, you might be able to avoid serious harm and quickly get rid of them. Every other day, while dusting and grooming it, make sure to give your plant a full inspection.
These plants’ genetic makeup, environmental factors, and the care they receive all affect how quickly they grow. Although it is common for them to “sleep” over the winter if they suddenly cease developing then do not be frightened.
It is an extremely hardy indoor plant because of its perpetual life cycle. It lasts for a very long period, so you won’t need to worry about replacing it any time soon.
This species’ low maintenance requirements are just one of the many reasons why houseplant lovers are swooning over it. The cultivation and upkeep of Gastrochilus Japonicus don’t call for any special circumstances; it thrives in a typical indoor setting.
The plant ceases to grow over the winter. All you need to do during this stage is water the plant as needed and refrain from fertilizing it. During this time, you should take additional care not to overwater the plant because doing so would only cause it to die rather than “awaken” the plant.
Gastrochilus Japonicus Care
The Yellow Pine Orchid is a great indoor plant because it is a tough perennial orchid. This exquisite little orchid is very sought-after and fairly attractive because to how simple and easy it is to maintain.
As long as the orchid’s essential needs are met, minimal maintenance is required. The less susceptible an orchid is to viruses, pests, and diseases, the healthier it is.
In its natural environments, where rainfall is often moderate to heavy during the wetter months of the year, the Gastrochilus Japonicus typically thrives.
Watering schedules for plants should be as similar to their rural habitats as feasible. It is important to take precautions to ensure that the roots receive enough moisture without becoming water-bound or perpetually damp.
Watering frequency and quantity must be decreased in temperate regions with cold winters. Given that the Yellow Pine Orchid’s natural growing seasons are spring, summer, and early autumn, moderate to heavy watering and frequency is preferred.
Growers are still urged to keep the orchid’s roots consistently wet but never flooded, regardless of the time of year.
Gastrochilus japonicus is a rare wild orchid epiphyte. In their natural habitats, where sunlight is frequently scattered and obscured by the forest canopy, Yellow Pine Orchids typically grow in the higher branches of the forest trees. The Yellow Pine Orchid is protected from the severity of direct sunshine by the shelter of leaves, which offers soothing, diffused bright light.
The Gastrochilus Japonicus needs a light level of 20,000 to 30,000 lux to acclimate to its natural environments. They should be situated in areas with abundant bright morning light levels and little to no exposure to direct, harsh sunlight.
The Gastrochilus Japonicus benefits from plant growth lights when it is cultivated indoors since they offer the ideal light levels for optimum growth and development. The presence of air movement is necessary for ventilation whether plants are cultivated inside or outside.
As Gastrochilus Japonicus are aerial plants that are not adapted to tightly packed soil, they can be cultivated both in pots and on bark slabs. They can be found in the wild between the branches of trees and on rocks, where the optimum conditions for moisture and nutrition are created by decomposing organic debris. There are numerous techniques to replicate their natural growing habitats in horticulture.
The Yellow Pine Orchid prefers to be grown in semi-permeable, quickly draining growth media. For this plant’s potted substrate, loose organic materials like coconut husks, sphagnum moss, fern flakes, bark chips, and charcoal are excellent choices.
Additional Planting Medium
Old tree barks, tree fern flakes, and orchid poles all make excellent planting mediums when attached and mounted. Since these materials dry quickly, proper moisture levels are maintained while allowing for swift water drainage. These materials’ semi-permeability guarantees effective air flow for ideal orchid root health.
When the roots of Gastrochilus Japonicus are clearly out of control and climbing out of their potted pots, growers should repot the plant. When the plant outgrows the substrate piece, it is advised to rehome it in mounts and slabs.
Due to its exposure to mildly chilly conditions in Japan and Taiwan, the Gastrochilus Japonicus is accustomed to moderate temperatures. It prefer overnight temperatures of 62 to 65 F and daytime temperatures of roughly 77 to 80 F during the warmer months.
The Yellow Pine Orchid can withstand nighttime temperatures of 50 to 55 F and midday temperatures of 66 to 70 F on chilly days.
Growers are urged to utilize heaters and other heating methods to maintain the optimal temperature of the orchid in areas where the temperatures may be difficult to regulate.
In its native mountainous woodlands, the Gastrochilus Japonicus has evolved to survive in high-humidity environments. During the drier, warmer months, it is advisable to keep the orchid in settings with a humidity level of 90% when cultivating it. The orchid loves humidity levels between 80 and 85 percent during the winter months.
To maintain a high air moisture level, growers may employ humidifiers and other air-humidifying procedures.
The Yellow Pine Orchid prefers a low dilution of between a quarter and a half of the standard orchid fertilizer’s recommended dose. The use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers is advised from spring through mid-summer when orchids are actively growing.
Growers are encouraged to switch to fertilizers high in phosphorus in the late summer and fall seasons. Fertilization should ideally stop throughout the cold months or be drastically curtailed.
Gastrochilus plants can grow under moderate levels of filtered, indirect sunlight. To prevent them from being exposed to direct, hot sunlight that could burn their leaves, you can either arrange them close to a window, behind sheer curtains or use shade cloth. You can always utilize artificial indoor growing lights if your home doesn’t receive enough natural light.
When these plants exhibit symptoms of a sickness or infection or when you believe they have outgrown their current pot, you can repot them. It is advisable to carry out this activity in the spring or summer rather than during the dormant period. It’s interesting how quickly these plants acclimate to their new soil.
Pruning and grooming
Although regular maintenance may not be necessary, you must maintain your plant dry and clean. You should avoid dust and moisture buildup since they can attract pests and diseases.
Like it would typically in its natural habitats, the Gastrochilus Japonicus prefers to rest during the cooler winter months in cultivation. Watering frequency and quantity should be decreased during this time so that the roots are kept moist but not unduly damp or wet. Also, throughout this time, there should be no fertilization.
The small Gastrochilus Japonicus seeds might be challenging for planters to handle for growing and propagation methods. Due to the fact that these orchids are on the list of endangered orchid species, in vitro techniques are usually used to increase their propagation.
Buyers are urged to buy from vendors who obtained these plants through legal and moral means in order to assure protection against unlawful poaching.
Placing a Gastrochilus Japonicus Plant
These plants have a distinctive appearance and are very adaptable and simple to display. Because of their environmental requirements, they are best kept indoors; placing them against a plain wall or in a dark corner of a room will quickly make the space feel brighter. However, a bright area might not be the greatest for it because the color would simply blend in and not stand out as much. It instantly gives your monochromatic interiors a vibrant, appealing aspect, and because of its small size, you can easily place it on a shelf, in a tight space, hang it against a wall, or move it around the house to wherever you believe it looks best.
Information about the Gastrochilus Japonicus
The Greek terms “gaster,” which means stomach, and “cheilosis,” which denotes lip, are the origin of the name “gastrochilus.” The name alludes to the flower’s lip’s peculiar appearance.
A mature plant for the small Yellow Pine Orchid can reach a height of two to four inches. The orchid, despite its diminutive size, packs a powerful visual punch thanks to its unusually beautiful and delicately patterned blossoms.
When the Gastrochilus Japonicus flowers spectacularly in its mature state, many orchid collectors find this small plant to be especially charming.
The leathery, thick leaves of the Yellow Pine Orchid are. The lanceolate, evergreen leaves can get up to six or seven inches long. The Gastrochilus Japonicus has short, densely packed stems that bear deep green leaves.
To avoid any type of fungal diseases and leaf rot, growers should take care that water does not accumulate for an extended period of time in between these compact leaves.
The Gastrochilus Japonicus has white, rounded, and delicate tendrils for roots. They are accustomed to obtaining moisture and nutrients through their aerial roots because they are epiphytic plants.
The Yellow Pine Orchid has strong roots that cling to loose organic decomposing debris, feeding the tiny plant with nutrition. Bright green is seen at the tips of the roots, which gradually turn white as they enlarge.
It is important to take precautions to keep the roots moist but not soggy or submerged in still water. Root rot may arise from fungal infections brought on by these conditions.
In the autumn, the tiny Gastrochilus Japonicus develops tiny blooms. The axillary thick inflorescences support the tiny flowers. Two to seven smaller-than-three-quarters-inch blooms, which can grow on each flower spike, can be found there.
The lip bag, from which the scientific term derives, is frequently white and creamy with yellow streaks. The tiny blossoms are covered in tiny pinkish-purple dots on the inside of the flower’s lip and have vivid yellow-green petals.
Position of Blooming
The blooms’ positioning would seem to indicate that they emerge from the plant’s root system. The flower spikes are quite abrupt and protrude minutely from the plant’s base when viewed up close. The Yellow Pine Orchid’s blooms can occasionally grow facing down, but they typically grow facing up or sideways.
A delicate, beautiful citrus scent is also produced by the distinctive Yellow Pine Orchid blossoms. The subtle aroma complements the amazing nature of the tiny colorful blossoms.
Japanese, Ryukyu Islands, and Taiwanese forests are home to the tiny Yellow Pine Orchid. The islands of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Sakisima, and Yakusima in Japan are home to the tiny orchid.
They are present in Okinawa, Amami-Osima, Ishigaki, and Iriomote on the Ryukyu Islands. The Gastrochilus Japonicus is a naturally occurring plant that grows on the forks and branches of trees in the humid highland forests of Taiwan and Japan.
The little orchid is primarily unique to these two nations, but it is also found in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Beautiful, vibrant plants called Gastrochilus Japonicus look stunning when placed in your living room, on top of a coffee table, or next to a window. They are incredibly simple to grow indoors and just need a small bit of food and water in warm, natural light with a filter. You may wish to keep them out of the reach of your pets and children because they are endangered, cannot be propagated at home, and are definitely not edible.