Phalaenopsis orchids come in different sizes, colors, and color configurations and patterns. They are easy and rewarding to grow, because their long spiky arch-like stems produce so many flowers at the same time. They are also appealing because they can flower as often as three times a year, and an added bonus is how long the flowers last. The name comes from Greek, translating as “moth-like,” an apt description for a plant that is sometimes referred to as the “moth orchid.”
Spruce up your house and drive away any suggestion of cooler weather with one of Central Square Florist’s beautiful orchid plants. If you can’t decide whether to get a purple or white orchid, get the Festive Blooming Orchid Plant, because you’ll get two plants in different colors.
How to Take Care of Your Phalaenopsis Orchid
Care tips, from the house to the garden.
Phalaenopsis orchids are low light orchids. They can’t tolerate intense or direct light. Put your plant in an east window, or in a spot where it will get diffused light. A healthy orchid has medium green-colored leaves. You want you leaves to be bright and firm. If you notice that the leaves are dark green, or they flop, that means your plant needs more sun.
Keep your orchid in a warm spot, making sure that there is plenty of air flow around the plant and the room you have it in is well ventilated. Leave an oscillating fan running in the room where your plant is, just to make sure that there is enough air circulating around the plant. Make sure that the temperature in the room where your orchid is never drops below 60 degrees F. The room should be warmer during the day and cooler at night. Cool night time temperatures help the plant store nutrition, either from the growing medium itself, or from fertilizer.
Orchids should be consistently moist, but never wet. If the growing medium gets too wet, your plant will be susceptible to root rot, a condition that can contaminate the soil. The best way to figure out whether your orchid needs water is by sticking your finger into the soil. It’s not uncommon for the top surface to be completely dry, while the soil mix that the plant is growing in is moist below the surface.
If at all possible, use rain water, distilled water, or highly purified water from a process like reverse osmosis. Unless you’re using purified water, saturate the growing medium with water once a month to flush out excess mineral salts that the plant doesn’t need.
During the growing season, or when the plant is flowering, alternate between an all-purpose plant fertilizer (diluted to half strength,) and a bloom boosting fertilizer with a chemical distribution of 10-20-10. Fertilize two or three times a month. During winter when the plant isn’t actively growing, fertilize less often – like once or twice a month.