In the home, Phalaenopsis orchids enjoy a spot near or
in a bright window. You'll want to avoid direct midday sun but early morning or
late afternoon sun is great. In darker or cloudy environments a shaded
southern window might be best. You can supplement normal light with
fluorescent lights placed approximately 1 foot above your orchid. Time
your lights to simulate normal day length. If you have a home greenhouse you
should consider using a heavy shade cloth (especially during the summer)
to limit light levels to 1,000 - 1,500 foot candles. The best test
for light is to hold your hand a foot above the leaf, if you don’t cast a
shadow then you have a proper amount of light. Giving your plant a little
too much light is ok, your plant can adapt, but giving your plant too little
light, will be like starving it. One can live with a little too much food, but
one can not survive if they are deprived of food. Watch the foliage of
your plants. If the leaves stay green, are crisp and firm, then the light
is probably right. If the foliage is dark green, then the light is too low. If
the foliage shows purplish marks or coloration, then the light is probably
too high. Sometimes if the light is too high the tips of the leaves will
dry up. Becareful not to mistake natually inheirted color traits as a problem,
only changes in leaf color and not what it initially looks like should be
used as an idicator.
The ideal temperatures for the orchids range between 55°
and 85° F. For ideal growing try to maintain 60° at night and between 75°
and 80° during the day. Cool night time temperatures in the fall encourage
flower spike initiation. However, once the flower spike is developed, wide
swings in temperature can cause unopened bud to drop off. Temperatures in
excess of 90° can slow growth. Phalaenopsis also benefit from
moderate humidity levels. Ideal levels range between 50 and 75% relative
humidity. In a heated home you will want to set your plants on a shallow
tray filled with gravel and water. This should help to keep the humidity
near your orchid at levels. Make sure that the plants roots are NOT
sitting in water.
Moth orchids do not like to be dry to the point of
wilting. They should be watered thoroughly and then not again until the
media is dry. After dry allow a day or so before watering.. How often you water
will depend on the type of media your orchid is growing in and its growing
environment. Once every week to 10 days is a good starting point. In
winter, it will take longer for plants to dry out due to less sun and cooler
temperatures. A good rule of thumb is if you can put your index
finger in up to the first knukle and can feel any kind of moisture that
the media in the center is still wet and the plant will not need watering. You
can also tell by the weight of the plant, a freshly watered plant will
weight alot more with the media retaining water than a plant with dried
out media. Remember to not get any water on the flowers as this will promote
fertilizer is all dependent on how well you know your plant. Some prefer
and you can go many different directions. For our
particular plant, we recommend Pete’s 20-20-20.
A quarter teaspoon in a one gallon jug is the right
dilution and do add this instead of watering once a month.
Remember once you become in tune with your plant you
will know the best fertilizer for it, in its current
environment. NOTE: too much fertilizer can cause root
burn and can kill your plants roots and leave your
plant healthy. Check your roots every few months for
dieing roots. Watch for salt/crystal build up on the
media at the top of your pots as a sign of too much
fertilizer. Fixing the problem will require repotting/flushing.
is something that is very important to the phalaenopsis. The phalaenopsis
enjoys a nice humidity.
As mentioned above the humidity should be around 50-75
percent humidity. If you have many orchids next
to each other they actually act as a small greenhouse
and increase the humidity around each other. Kind of
like huddling in the cold for warmth. If you do not
place your orchids near one another you can place a
small tray underneath your pot with pebbles in it and
place your pot on top of the pebbles ensuring that
the roots are not touching the of water. This will
increase the overall humidity of the plant
and will help keep it happy.
Most orchids break down their growing medium in about
1-2 years depending on the growth conditions.
So it is important that you repot to give them optimal
growing conditions. The first step when repotting
will be to remove the old mix from the pot and around
the roots. Try to be careful during this stage not
to break or crush any roots. Hollow or mushy roots
should be considered dead and cut off at this time.
Roots that are solid and hard are usually alive. After
you have removed the old media and trimmed the roots,
wash them thoroughly this will make them more flexible
as they absorb water and easier to repot.
When repotting, make sure that you give your plant
plenty of room to grow; an inch on all sides will
give him plenty of room to grow. (this does not apply
to seedlings only blooming size plants, all seedlings
need to be in community pots and are much more
sensitive to water conditions, we do not recommend
raising seedlings.) Place the plant inside the pot with
a little bit of growth media in the bottom, and fill in
around the plant evenly with medium, some roots will
break or get cracked during this procedure so it will
require time to recover about 2-3 weeks. If using bark
make sure to lightly shake or tap the pot to let the
bark settle so the medium settles. Make sure at this
point the plant is stable and does not wobble.
If it is not stable the plant medium needs to be
pressed in until it will hold the plant in. Also if using
sphagnum moss make sure that it is damp and wet before
use. Repotting is a big operation for a plant,
so it will need time to recover. Do not water for 3-5
days to allow roots to heal.
Also try to choose the best media for your orchid,
sphagnum moss is far superior to bark, it creates less mess
when pots are knocked over, retains more moisture
longer and b/c of it's high zinc content makes it
anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Bark mix is cheaper for
larger operatioins but for the home grower is not ideal
and unless the media required needs to be a well
draining media. Bark typically only lasts 8 months before
it begins to breakdown, sapping away fertilizer from
the plant for decomposition and hosting virus, bacteria
and fungus. Any store bought orchid potted in bark
should be inspected to see if it needs repotting
immediately after flowering.
What if your orchid is in spike or bloom. If your plant
is in spike, and you see it really needs repotting
(i.e. overflowing out of the pot or medium break down)
you may do so, the spike tends to handle repotting
pretty well. If an orchid is in bud, where the flower
buds are on the spike but have not yet opened, then
you can cause the buds to blast (dry up and fall off)
so repotting should not be done unless necessary.
If the flower is in bloom and you need to repot it will
usually cause the flowers to fall off faster than normal.
So it is highly recommended you do not do this.
you wish to place your orchid in a decorative pot while it is spiking, in bud,
or flowering, simply remove it
from its pot and keeping the medium and roots as they
come out of the pot together, drop it into
a decorative pot within the same dimensions as your old
pot, or if using one of our clear plastic pots just
drop it inside of the decorative pot. Remember that if
you use another pot that it must allow for proper
drainage, and also that some pots if in direct contact
with the medium (i.e. not having a plastic pot liner inside)
will absorb water and cause the plant to stay wet much
longer thus requiring more time to dry out.
The best pots are ceramic or those with coatings. Try
to avoid clay pots as they can harbor pathogens
since they are made of organic material. You should
never reuse a clay pot especially if the plant in it
before was dead, it simply isnt worth the cost of the
orchid for a 50 cent pot.
to get a second flowering
it been 3 months already? Its time to try for a second flowering! There are two
you can try. The first technique is to try and cut the
stem of your orchid. To cut the stem of your orchid
you should first wait until the last bloom on your pike
begins to fade. Once your last bloom is faded you can
begin to look for a good place to cut your stem. The
ideal place to cut your stem is 1 inch above the third
fleshy node from the bottom. What is a fleshy node?
Fleshy nodes are the bumps below your lowest bloom
along the shaft of your stem. If cut at the right time,
and with proper care your orchids node can be
jumpstarted into blooming within a few weeks providing
you with another bloom! Giving you 6months of
blooms out of the year!
approach to getting a second flowering is to start over from scratch. Once your
last flower begins
to fade one can cut the stem off completely
(recommended for younger plants) this is to encourage a new
stem to be grown that will be larger and thicker.
Without a stronger stem the flowers will not be able to get
larger. If you prefer the stem can be left alone all
together and flowers will grow again but tend to be much
smaller. After you cut the stem you can expect new
flowers in as little as 3 months or as much as a year
on average, and most likely you will get flowering in 6
months. To encourage your plant to flower again all
you need to do is follow the steps provided in our care
section. But in addition to those steps the plant must
be exposed to 50-55 degree temperatures at night and
about 70-75 degree temperatures during the day,
trying to keep at least 20 degrees difference. This
procedure is most easily done during spring or fall where
night temperatures near windows get this low. This
treatment needs to be repeated for 1-4 weeks.
After this period a stem will begin to form and you’re
on your way to a second bloom. For best results,
the stem should have been cut immediately after
flowering and the plant allowed to grow new leaves
and roots, outside in the shade in the warmth and
humidity of spring and summer. It should be left
there until the fall at which time you should already
see a spike from the temperature change.
you want to grow an orchid with a large amount of blooms or very large blooms?
Well just like a city that continues to grow, it needs
infrastructure. If there is not enough electricity
to power all the new homes being built then there can
be no new homes built. The same goes for orchids,
if there are not enough leaves on the plant, it will
not be able to support more flowers or larger flowers.
So the first thing u need to do is grow and enlarge
your leaves. To enlarge your leaves expose your plant
to a slightly more amount of light and try and keep the
temperature constant. This will help promote
the leaves to grow and not blossoms. Once you have
larger leaves or more leaves (4 or more)
your can follow the steps above to re-grow your