Phalaenopsis Orchids: A Quick Overview
In the United Kingdom, Phalaenopsis orchids, popularly known as Moth Orchids, are the most widely grown type of orchid by hobbyists. They are not only the simplest to cultivate but also the most accessible, with a wide range of beautiful colors to choose from. Pick this one if you’re a beginner at orchid cultivation.
Common Phalaenopsis Orchid Bloom
They should be grown solely in a controlled environment, such as a home. Plants that are grown in the ground in the UK quickly perish at the roots and crown. They are also not suited to being grown in a greenhouse. The leaves will be burned due to the high levels of direct sunlight. The greenhouse’s glass will make conditions much worse. Examining the leaves is the first step in determining whether or not an orchid is a Phalaenopsis. They need to be padded and supple. Now take a look at the compost’s surface, and you’ll notice the telltale root tentacles sprouting haphazardly. Last but not least, make sure there is no swelling or bulbousness at the plant’s base.
What to look for to tell a Phalaenopsis Orchid apart
Inexperienced orchid growers often make the error of trimming the roots above the compost surface because they look disorderly. For support in the wild, orchids will use their root systems to attach themselves to nearby tree trunks and limbs. Cutting or trimming the roots might have serious consequences for the plant’s health. In general, the larger the roots, the bigger and healthier the plant.
Following the guidelines in this article will help ensure that your Phalaenopsis orchid thrives in settings that mimic its native environment. The plants’ optimal growth and adaptation occur in these conditions. A great deal of contemporary Asia is their home. They prefer to avoid direct sunlight and instead grow on tree branches high in the forest. They require a lot of light but not direct sunshine because it will damage the leaves. It’s usually humid in between showers, but it dries off before the following one. These plants have evolved to thrive on the little nutrients found in tree branches, so they need relatively minimal feeding. orchids grow their flower stalks, roots, and new leaves. Throughout the course of the season, you will be treated to a comprehensive, step-by-step growth guide that will help you learn more about how the plants develop and how to care for them.
What Times Of Year Do Phalaenopsis Orchids Bloom?
Because the answer to this question determines whether or not your Phalaenopsis orchids are “growing” or “resting,” it’s crucial to know the answer. As will be seen in the following sections, there are distinctions between the two phases regarding watering, feeding, and lighting needs. There is no set time of year for phalaenopsis to bloom because it is so dependent on ambient temperature and humidity. However, when grown indoors in the UK, they often begin developing little flower stalks in October or November and blooms in March. The duration of blooming might range from a few weeks to several months. A decrease in daytime temperatures in September, after flowering, is complete but before most homes put on central heating, triggers the formation of flower stems.
Watering Instructions for Phalaenopsis Orchids
Overwatering Phalaenopsis orchids will destroy them far more quickly than not watering them enough. They’re perfect for the absent-minded plant parent. They are surprisingly tolerant if you forget to water them sometimes, but if you do, the crown and roots will swiftly perish.
When they are actively growing (as described above), water them every seven days, and when they are “resting,” water them every ten days. When we water our plants, we fill a large container (approximately 15cm / 6in deep) with tepid (room temperature) water, set the plant’s pot in the water, and let it sit for 5 minutes. You should drain the pot and set it wherever the water can run off. If the plant is standing in water, remove it immediately. Orchids like rainwater, but they can also thrive in unfiltered tap water. A definite no-no is the use of softened water. To efficiently collect rainwater for indoor plants, a tiny water butt is the best option.
Another option is to water the plant from above, taking care to avoid getting any water on the leaves or in the center of the plant. Just before it’s time to water, a Phalaenopsis orchid in a plastic pot will feel quite light since it has used up most of the water in its compost. Which is exactly how things need to be.
The orchid root system in Phalaenopsis
The outer sheath, typically pale greyish-green in color, comes first. When this is eliminated, the innermost, most delicate filament of the root is revealed. Water is absorbed and stored in the outer sheath. To get this water from the roots to the rest of the plant, the thin inner root acts as a conduit. This is very dissimilar to the root systems of most plants, where the water is absorbed by fine hair-like extensions rather than the primary roots themselves. In comparison to the mushy roots of a Phalaenopsis orchid, those fine hair-like structures are not very good at retaining water.
Orchids: When And How Often To Feed Phalaenopsis
Most orchids have a “rest period” once a year for about a month, during which time they don’t require as much plant food as they do when they’re actively growing. How to tell if a plant is actively growing can be found here. Orchids can be fed regular houseplant food instead of splurging on expensive orchid plant food. Indeed, when comparing the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) ratios of the many orchid diets on the market, none can agree on a single recommendation. As far as we know, there is no strong study indicating that orchid diets are prepared any better than ordinary houseplant food, and no valid data indicating that liquid houseplant feeds are not acceptable for orchids. Orchids, on the other hand, have extremely few nutrient requirements; we recommend only using a third (33.3%) of the regular plant food dose. Plant food should be applied every time you water the plant for optimal results. After watering as instructed above, mix the plant food into half a cup of water and add it to the potted plant. If you just water your orchid once every two months, make sure you don’t give it any houseplant feed. This will assist maintain the plant’s health by flushing out any leftover salts from earlier feedings.
Placement And Light For Phalaenopsis Orchids
Your goal, in terms of illumination, should be to approximate natural circumstances as closely as feasible. Substantial amounts of daylight, but no direct sunlight between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The leaves of a Phalaenopsis orchid will burn and turn brown if they are exposed to direct sunlight during the middle of the day, especially if the light is coming in via a window.
East or west-facing windowsills are ideal for indoor plant cultivation. In the morning, the light will shine in from the east, but by midday, you’ll be in the shade. Midafternoon onwards, the sun will shine onto a west-facing windowsill. If you plant them in either of these spots, you can get fresh produce year-round.
It’s also possible to cultivate them successfully in the shade of a north-facing window sill. Make sure the windowsill is fully exposed to light and not shaded in this setting. However, in the winter, windowsills can quickly drop to below 8 degrees Celsius (47 degrees Fahrenheit), so be cautious. It may be essential to remove the plants off the windowsill overnight. The worst possible conditions for Phalaenopsis orchids are a mix of low temperatures and draughts. When the flower stalks are fully developed, the plants should be transferred to a sunnier east or west-facing site. During the late spring and early fall, windowsills facing south can get too much direct sunshine. Net curtains are a practical way to block off the sun’s rays.
Orchid Phalaenopsis Needs The Right Rate Of Moisture.
The dry air produced by most central heating systems makes Phalaenopsis orchids the simplest type to grow. However, this is not their condition, and any extra moisture you can provide to the air will be very helpful. The simplest method is to always place the plant in its tray of water atop a sauce or other similar object to keep the soil from touching the water. Humidity around the plant can be raised by allowing water in the tray to evaporate. Put some pebbles in the bottom of the tray, then fill it with water until it’s at or slightly below the level of the stones for a more aesthetically pleasing option. The pebbles will keep the plant’s pot off of the water, so the plant can be safely set down.
Raise the number of PHALAENOPSIS orchid blooms
Flowers on a Phalaenopsis orchid are withering in the below image. They have gone slightly limp and will start falling off in a week or two.
There are two options open to you right now. The most frequent course of action is to trim the flower stem to around 5cm/2in above the base of the stem. Following its normal life cycle, the plant will stop flowering for at least four months. The lower daytime temperatures that typically occur in September and October prompt the plant to begin developing a new bloom stalk. The other option is to try to coax new flowers from the plant’s existing bloom stem. Nodes (as seen above) that have already produced blossoms will not generate any more flowers, but the lowermost three or four nodes on the stem will continue to do so. This is done by severing the stem above the top node, where no blooms have yet to form. It’s possible that doing so will coerce the plant into sending out additional flowering stems. It’s not always successful, but it never hurts to give the plant a shot. Some plants, like the one pictured above, generate blooms simultaneously from practically all of their nodes, while others produce flowers just from their upper nodes, leaving their lower nodes unflowering.
Phalaenopsis Orchids: How And When To Repot
Every two years, you should report your Phalaenopsis orchid into fresh orchid compost because the growing medium in the pot will have compacted. The optimal dimensions for a planting container are 12cm/5in across and deep. Repot your orchid into the appropriate size container if it is currently in a smaller pot; if it is already in the appropriate size container, simply report it into another container of the same size (using the same pot is fine).
When re-potting your orchids, only use orchid compost. Orchid compost is looser than typical garden soil and contains larger, woodier pieces. That way, water can drain away easily, and the conditions are more like what they would be in nature. If the compost is too dry, simply add some water and squeeze away the excess.
The goal is to choose a container big enough to hold plenty of water but small enough to contain the plant’s roots. It’s normal for the roots to climb over the edge of the container.
It’s not important why the plastic pot is clear so you can see the roots through it. If the roots are actively growing, you may see this from the top. Make sure the bottom of the container has multiple holes for drainage.
- They can be made to look even better by placing the inner pot within another, more decorative container. If you water them, make sure they are not sitting in the water.
- If you have a Phalaenopsis orchid (not all orchids are the same), repotting it right after it finishes blooming is ideal. The first step in repotting a flower is cutting off the stem.
- Pick a dry time, ideally right before you would ordinarily water the compost.
- Turn the pot upside down and use your free hand to carefully tug the plant out of the pot, taking care not to break the central stem.
- Use your fingers to shake the old compost away from the roots. It ought to peel off without any difficulty.
- Examine the plant’s roots to see if any of them are brown. If so, remove them to promote healthy new growth at the plant’s base.
- Using a sterile, sharp knife or scissors, cut half the roots to a length of 15 centimeters (6 inches).
- Plants should be replanted or repotted to the same depth as their previous pots. It is recommended that any roots near the surface be left alone.
- Gradually pour the compost into the container until it reaches the roots. Consistently tapping the pot will help the compost to settle into it. When the container is half full, press down firmly on the compost to begin staking the plant. Add more compost until it reaches within a few centimeters of the rim, then gently pack it down again.
Do not alter your usual routine when watering the plant. Spray water on the leaves and the roots that are close to the surface. Leaves should be plucked if they turn brown and/or wilt.
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Orchid Purchase Guide: Phalaenopsis
Both wild and artificially grown Phalaenopsis orchids bloom at random times of the year. They are versatile enough to be grown year-round for their blossoming. As time passes, in a regularly heated home they will eventually settle into a routine of sending up new flower shoots in September/October and blooming in March.
To get a good look at the blossoms before you buy, wait until the plants have just started to bloom. Pick the stems that already have one or two blooms and a few buds. The leaves have to be a shiny, clean green, with no visible dust on them.
If you’re looking to buy some, the best (but more expensive) location to do it is at a garden center. Discounts can also be found on these items at some of the larger grocery stores and home improvement centers. Another option is to look for local nurseries that specialize in orchids.
Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to buy orchids online due to the high cost of shipping and the fact that they do not travel well.
Orchids Of The Phalaenopsis Genus Propagated
Growing orchids is as simple as planting a seed or dividing an established plant. Both techniques are challenging for the inexperienced gardener, taking three to eight years to bear fruit. We wouldn’t suggest it to anyone but the most dedicated orchid fanatics who are looking for a challenge.
Orchids in the genus Phalaenopsis are susceptible to pests and diseases.
Phalaenopsis orchids are hardy houseplants that may be cultivated year after year with little to no pest or disease problems. Wherever issues arise, one of the following factors is usually to blame. If you need further help, please use the questions and comments section below.
Below, you can see the limp leaves of a Phalaenopsis orchid. This time around they’re looking shriveled and browning in spots, too. This orchid has a new, very healthy-looking leaf shoot, which is its only hope. Weak leaves are a common issue with orchids.
Even though your Phalaenopsis’ leaves are limp, their overall condition may be marginally improved. Remember that the condition that resulted in the limp leaves occurred a month or two before. There is a lag time between the onset of symptoms and the death of an orchid leaf.
Under- or over-watering is the two most frequent reasons for this. If the plant has been underwatered, its symptoms are due to that. The roots become damaged from over-watering, making it impossible for the plant to take up water and distribute it elsewhere.
Proposed Strategy Of Action
This applies equally to excessive or insufficient irrigation.
First, follow the steps above to repot the plant if you haven’t done so in at least a year. Don’t forget that it’s possible that the plants you just bought haven’t been re-potted in a year or more. By removing any compacted compost and re-potting the plant, the ideal root-zone moisture can be restored.
Cut off two or three of the worst afflicted leaves using sharp scissors. To tidy up your plant, trim the leaves close to the main stem; leaving a short piece of leaf behind is acceptable. If only a little bit of a leaf is limp, you should only remove that part. To prevent fungal and bacterial diseases, remove limp leaves or portions of leaves.
For the plant to continue photosynthesis and produce new, healthy leaves, you must leave at least two of the old ones on the plant.
Check out the watering directions again and remember to stick to them next time. In all likelihood, your orchid will bounce back and start blooming again, though it could take up to a year.
In no circumstances should you “boost” feed your orchid? Follow the above-mentioned guidelines for proper nutrition.