our homes are perfect for phalaenopsis orchid care
The light and temperatures of our homes make Phalaenopsis orchid care easy.
"Phals", short for Phalaenopsis are very popular. They are a wonderful God gift, the easiest orchid to grow in our homes.
Phaleanopsis may also be called
When they were
first seen in the jungles they looked like white moths fluttering in the
breeze. Hence the term "Moth Orchid" came into being.
Modern white Phals have been refined
and bred up in size. Their white flowers and plants are large compared to other
The large whites are the standard
other Phals are judged by.
The Classic White Phalaenopsis Are Gorgeous!
Now-a-days we can get Phalaenopsis orchids in a
variety of colors.
- The stunning semi-alba has white
petals with red lips.
- There are beautiful pinks, from
light to dark pink, even yellows.
- The intergeneric cross of a Phal
with a doritis is called a doritaenopsis. It has slightly smaller flowers, but
they come in hot pink colors. They bloom a bit later than the Phals
extending the flower season well into summer.
- There are Phals with spots,
splashes, blotches and blushes in all sorts of colors.
- Miniature Phals have been available
the past few years. They can fit comfortably on a windowsill.
phalaenopsis orchid care is easy
Phalaenopsis are happy in bright
light, but not direct sunlight.
Direct sun on their leaves will
cause them to transpire water too fast trying to stay cool. If they run out of
water or can't do it fast enough their leaves will scorch and burn.
East windows are ideal for
phalaenopsis orchid care.
South or west window should have shade cloth or some
curtains to protect the Phals from the direct sun.
Be aware that the temperature right
against the window will be warmer and cooler than temperatures of the room.
They also may be grown on a plant
stand with growing lights about a foot above the plants.
phalaenopsis enjoy our house temperatures
Summer blooming Phal
One thing that makes the Phalaenopsis orchid such a
good house plant is the fact that they like the same temperatures most of us
have in our homes.
The like it from 60 to 65 degrees at
night. Too many nights below 60 will inhibit their flower initiation.
During the day they are happy from
70 to 85 degrees.
They will tolerate temperatures from 90 to 95
degrees, but they are not so happy in real hot temperatures.
The natural environment of Phals is
humid. They like sitting on a tray of pebbles with water in the tray below the
top of the pebbles. Do not have the bottom of their pot sitting in water.
If they are in high humidity, then
they require some gentle air movement (such as a ceiling fan) to prevent leaf
Don't set them near a heat or air
vent where the air will be blowing on them. It will dry them out too fast. And
it could cause their flower buds to drop and/or the flowers to wither.
Brightly colored Doritaenopsis
Phalaenopsis don't have the capacity
to store much water. They can hold some water in their roots, but they don't
have pseudobulbs like Cattleyas to store larger amounts of water.
Good phalaenopsis orchid care
includes regular watering.
If they are growing in bark or other open potting
medium they will require water more often. If they are growing in sphagnum moss
they will be watered less frequently.
They use more water in warmer
temperatures. And in cooler temperatures during the winter, they use less
Plants in small pots need to be
watered more often than those in large pots.
WHEW - that's a lot - so how do you know when to water?
A gorgeous Semi-alba Phal
Water by judging the weight of the pot.
Wait about 10 minutes after you
water. Pick up the pot and see how heavy it is. Water again when the pot is
half the weight it was after you watered it last time.
When the top of the potting medium
is dry there is still moisture down in the pot.
If you are in doubt wait a day
or two before watering. It is better to under water than over water. Keeping
the roots too wet can cause root rot.
I learned how to water orchids the
Good phalaenopsis orchid care requires thorough
Water until you see water running
out of the bottom of pot. About once a month give it a good watering to flush
extra fertilizer salts out of the pot.
Do not water with softened water or
strongly chlorinated water.
Water in the morning. The leaves must be dry before
nightfall to prevent leaf diseases. This is important for taking care of phalaenopsis
DO NOT GET WATER INTO THE CROWN OF
THE PLANT, where the leaves join together in the center of the plant.
sitting in the crown will cause it to rot and you will most likely lose the
If you accidentally get water in the
crown blot it out with tissue or a paper towel. Or I blow it out with a
forceful puff from my mouth until I can no longer see water in the crown.
French Spots Phal
Phals need fertilizer for growth and flowers
Phalaenopsis growing in bark will
require more fertilizer than a Phal growing in moss. The bark uses nitrogen to
break itself down and it takes nitrogen away from the plants.
Orchids growing in bark should get a
weak strength fertilizer every watering.
Phals growing in moss may be
fertilized about once a month.
Orchid fertilizer is good for
phalaenopsis orchid care or use a regular 10-10-10 fertilizer.
Young Phal plants that are still growing should be repotted
Phalaenopsis orchid care requires
repotting about every year for plants in bark. Soak the bark in water for an hour
or two before potting.
Sphagnum moss is my favorite.
Phals in sphagnum moss are good for
about three years. Wet the moss before using it and squeeze out the extra water.
Potting is usually done in the
summer after they are finished flowering.
Take the plant out of the pot and
remove all potting medium, wash the roots under running water to remove the
last bits of medium. Cut off any broken or rotted roots.
Place the plant in a clean pot with
plenty of drain holes. The best is to use an orchid pot that has holes on the sides of the pot. Then the air can get in around the roots.
Pack the potting medium firmly
around the roots. Water the plant. When the pot feels light, it's time for the regular watering.
Phalaenopsis orchid care is one of
my hobbies. Painting is another of my hobbies. This painting is of a Phal in
a clay pot. I liked the complimentary colors of the clay pot.
Phals actually are happier in
plastic or glazed ceramic pots because they hold the moisture better. They dry
out too fast in terracotta pots.
During painting, I was thinking about wild Phals in
the jungle and how they look like white flying moths. So, this painting is named
Growing and caring for orchids has
been one of my passions for many years. They bring so much joy.
phalaenopsis are a wonderful gift from god!