Caring for your Phalaenopsis Orchids
Phalaenopsis orchids are a flowering potted plant that we have seen grow enormously in popularity over the last few years. We love the way their graceful arching stems and clean, crisp colors add an exotic elegance to any room. It’s no surprise then that many interior designers feature this beautiful plant in so many contemporary room designs.
These plants make truly stunning floral statements, the end result is an exquisite yet unexpected gift appropriate for any special occasion. Best of all, it is a gift that keeps on giving. If you look after your orchid correctly, they will last for years and years and bloom spectacularly almost all year round.
They are not hard to care for, as some people may think, but they do require a bit of love. Phalaenopsis orchids do well inside with regular feeding. The trick is to find a nice warm spot out of direct sunlight where it can grow quietly spanning out its glossy leaves. Here are some care tips to ensure you get years of flowering out of these beautiful orchids!
Watering and Feeding
Water orchids when the top cm of Orchiata (bark) has dried out on the top of the pot. This will generally be 4-5 days in summer and up to 10 days in winter. In all cases, it is important to make sure the orchid dries out sufficiently before re-watering. If you think it is still quite damp, then it is! The biggest mistake people will make with this plant is overwatering.
To water orchids, thoroughly drench the pots with tap water in the sink and allow to drain. Ensure pots drain fully before placing back in pot holders or on saucers. Do not sit pots in water as this will encourage root disease and cause Orchiata to break down.
Add a little bit of orchid fertiliser every 2 weeks or according to the instructions on the packet. Remember less is more here.
Place your orchid in areas which are warm but not in direct sunlight (22-25°C day temperature is perfect). If conditions are very warm (height of summer) either move the orchids to a cooler spot or give a regular but light mist with water in a spray bottle.
Getting your Phalaenopsis to flower
To induce flowering, plants must have a drop in night time temperatures. Cool nights in winter or moving to a cooler area in the house at night will generally do this. Expect to see flower spikes in early spring if conditions are met.
Continue to feed plants during flowering and the flower spikes will grow quickly. Feeding will also encourage the flowering to last a long time.
Secure flower spikes early to keep them upright, place a thin bamboo stick into the pot where the flower is coming from. As the flower spike extends, gently encourage the spike upwards and secure to the stick with a twisty tie or clip.
NOTE: Wrap the twisty tie loosely around the stem to allow the stem to expand during growth. After flowering, cut the flower spike off approximately 2-3 cm above the base. This will eventually dry off.
Phalaenopsis roots may creep out of the pot as they are actively photosynthesising and/or looking for water and nutrients. If lots of roots start creeping out then the orchid may require a re-pot. Once a year when the orchid is not blooming, ease it gently out of the pot and repot it with some fresh orchid soil mix.
Orchids like to be restricted somewhat so use a pot which is approximately 2-3cm bigger in diameter at each re-pot. If the old media is breaking down, remove it and replace with new material. After repotting allow plants to sit for a day or two to recover or heal from any root wounds before watering and feeding again.
Remove Any Dust
Like any stunning centrepiece in your home, orchid leaves will get dusty from time to time. Gently remove any dust from the leaves by wiping them softly with a damp cloth.
With a little love and care we are sure your phalaenopsis orchids will continue to make a stunning statement in your home for years to come.
Moffatts Flower Company offers phalaenopsis orchids in a variety of colors, which you can check out here.