Growing Phalaenopsis Orchids

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Growing Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis - moth orchid 

Warm Growing Types
15 - 28 C (60 - 82F)

The Phalaenopsis orchid is commonly known as the moth orchid as the flowers are borne on slender arching stems and the blooms do look like moths in mid flight. This is a warm growing orchid and needs temperatures of at least 15C (60F) during the winter and can be allowed to rise up to 28C (82F) during the summer - 18C (64F) being the optimum. This type of orchid likes high temperatures and high humidity and so should be misted at least once a day during the summer but NOT allowing water to rest in the centre of the plant overnight or rot may occur with lighting speed! - and we are talking OVERNIGHT in some cases if it's cold too. Phalaenopsis make excellent house plants and will thrive in a centrally heated house providing misting is applied frequently. These orchids will strive to get out of their pots and want to adopt a more horizontal position, this is due to the way they grow in their natural habitat. They grow on the trunks of large tropical trees and grow at an angle of 30 - 40 degrees to the trunk. I have a Phalaenopsis which refused to grow in a pot and so it was mounted on to a piece of cork bark, 12 months later it flowered for the first time and currently has been in bloom for over 18 months! FANTASTIC

Phalaenopsis lueddemanniana - a species Phalaenopsis with the scent of citrus

Light requirements

Phalaenopsis like good light but will also tolerate some shade during the growing season, they should not be kept in full sun or they will scorch. Keep them in a well lit position during the winter months.

Watering requirements

Phalaenopsis do actually like plenty of water but they don't like sitting in damp situations so a very open mixture of compost of required to grow them successfully. Water these plants once every 10 - 14 days during the winter months (depending on temperature, warmer - more often, cooler less often) and weekly during the summer.

If you mount your orchid on Bark then you will need to water or spray the roots daily otherwise dehydration may occur.

Feeding requirements

Feed every two weeks during the summer months with an all purpose plant food at half the strength the pack recommends, feed no more than once every month with quarter strength food during the winter.

Re-potting schedule

Re potting should be undertaken during the spring months if grown in pots and should be done annually using a large grade bark compost, if you grow on bark then repotting or re mounting need not be done until the plant is unmanageable. Phalaenopsis can be induced to flower again on finishing flower spikes by cutting the flower stem off just above a node on the stem - this looks like a tiny leaf that lays flat to the stem. New growth will start from this node after about a month or so and flowers will develop after 2 to 3 months.

For more information on re potting Phalaenopsis orchids take a look at the Repotting Orchids page

Where can I buy a Phalaenopsis moth orchid

Here's some equipment you may find useful
Thermometers | Thermostats | Humidity Gauges


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