Phalaenopsis is one of the easiest orchids to grow, and the blooms can last for many months. They are an excellent choice for a beginner orchid parent. Phalaenopsis orchids’ biggest threat is the risk of rot. Be sure to keep the crown of the plants dry, especially at night. Also, groom your plants constantly, remove all old leaves and flowers, and check for bugs. These orchids are an advantageous plant for the beginner due to their easy culture.
PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID CARE
Phalaenopsis orchids don’t need a great amount of light. They really prefer a more shaded condition. Always filtered light – NEVER direct sunlight. If too much light is provided, leaves will turn reddish or yellow-green. A medium green color indicates a good light level.
Keep phalaenopsis orchids slightly damp at all times. These plants have no way to store water and therefore should not be allowed to dry out. It is important to water with tepid water and only in the morning, so the leaves have a chance to dry out before night. If water is left in the leaves’ crown, a rot may develop, so dry the crown before nightfall.
Phalaenopsis orchids should be around 70% to obtain the best growth. This can be provided by grouping plants together or to fill a tray with gravel and keep a layer of water in the bottom of the tray, making sure the bottom of the orchid pots do not come in contact with the water.
Phalaenopsis orchids like warmth and prefer night temperatures above 60 degrees. 85 degrees during the day is ideal. To help initiate flowers, a period of lower night temps around 55-60 works best.
During growth periods, a 30-10-10 formulation should be used if growing in the bark and a balanced formulation if other media is used. Do not feed during the winter months.
POTTING PHALAENOPSIS ORCHIDS
Repot your phalaenopsis orchids about once a year as it seems to like being repotted, and it seems to encourage new growth. Many times the oldest leaf will die after repotting. It is a common occurrence. Most phalaenopsis will only have 3-5 leaves on the plant at one time. Making sure the air movement is essential to growing all orchids. Remember that they live in the tops of trees. This also helps the flowers to last for a longer period of time in pristine condition.
OTHER ORCHID SUGGESTIONS
CYMBIDIUM ORCHIDS – Cymbidium flowers last for several months, and they typically bloom early in the year to brighten a winter day. They are hardy enough to withstand a few degrees of frost. Cymbidiums are grown outdoors in many parts of the country. Cymbidium orchids have an oriental look with their grass-like leaves and the flowers high above the foliage. Flowers have excellent, lasting qualities and come in every color but blue.
PAPHIOPEDILUM ORCHIDS – Paphiopedilums or “paphs” are very easy to grow. They remain compact in their growth habit and have attractive foliage with long-lasting flowers in a wide range of colors. Although classed as terrestrials, they do not really grow in the ground. Rather, they grow in a layer of decaying vegetation found on the forest floor. It is helpful to know where an orchid grows in nature to more easily duplicate these conditions in our home or greenhouse.
VANILLA ORCHIDS – The Vanilla Orchid is grown for curiosity more than the flower. The fleshy green leaves grow in a zig-zag pattern clinging to the bark by aerial roots formed by each leaf node. The plant can climb up to 30 feet tall when it then produces the flower and the seed pods. The blooms are yellow-green with a yellow-orange labellum resembling the Cattleya flower. Since the Vanilla is vining, a stake or trellis should be used for support.
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