Orchids have a magical beauty and allure, with incredible colors, shapes and scents. With over 30,000 species of orchids available, it is important to know what kind of orchid you have. This holiday season, Wenke will be offering the Phalaenopsis Orchid. These plants are commonly referred to as “Moth Orchids” and are considered among the easiest of the orchid family to care for. Here are a few basic tips help your Phalaenopsis orchid grow, thrive, and bloom.
Phalaenopsis enjoy a fairly warm climate. The ideal night temperature is 62 to 65 degrees F. and daytime temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees. Since this temperature range is similar to that of many homes, it makes an ideal house plant.
Phalaenopsis will flourish indoors under normal lighting conditions, with indirect sunlight being the most advantageous. Caution should be used when placing a Phalaenopsis in direct sunlight due to the fact that its leaves burn easily from too much exposure to the sun.
Water often enough to keep continuous moisture just below the surface of the medium, but be cautious of over-watering. Watering once a week is normally sufficient to keep your plant healthy and happy.
Watering your Phalaenopsis early in the morning, insures complete water evaporation on the foliage as well as the crown by nightfall. Water with rain, distilled, or reverse-osmosis water as the mix approaches dryness. Never use water that has been softened by a water softener. Plants should never stand in water. Plants that stand in water or that are watered in the evening could develop bacterial or fungal rot.
Good results may be obtained by using a high-nitrogen fertilizer year-round at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Feed your plant once a month. In this instance, less is more. So be sure not to overdo it.
It is important to provide good humidity. 50-70% is considered ideal. Since orchids like humidity, therefore, kitchens and bathrooms are great places to put them.
Phalaenopsis are one of the longest blooming orchids and can produce flowers that last several months before dropping. They have been known to bloom 2 to 3 times per year once they have reached a mature size.
It isn’t always easy but you can possibly get your orchid to re-bloom. After it has flowered the first time, cut your flower spike halfway down the stem. Continue caring for it and wait for a possible re-bloom. Carefully water and fertilize your plant to build it back into shape for future flowering on a brand-new stem. This can take up to a year or more, as Phalaenopsis, like most orchids, is a relatively slow-growing plant.