Information On Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis do not require special lighting or temperatures. They are widely available in supermarkets, florist shops, and garden centers due to their similar comfort range.
Joe Dixler, president and CEO of the Illinois Orchid Society, says that “they are straightforward.”
Phalaenopsis are often called moth orchids due to their large side petals that look like the insect. They bear their flowers along a single stem that arcs above broad fleshy leaves.
These orchids have a unique sculptural appearance that is attractive to interior designers. Today’s growers are constantly creating new hybrids that feature striped, swirled, or spotted blooms in various colors, including white, yellow, pink, and fuchsia.
Phalaenopsis are known as the starter orchid. Wilda Kintop was given two Phalaenopsis as a birthday gift in 1978.
She now has 800 orchids, which includes about 20 Phalaenopsis.
Phalaenopsis, which are native to the Pacific islands, live in the rain forest in the role of epiphytes. They cling with their roots to trees high above the forest floor.
This is a sign that moth orchids require great drainage. They cannot stand in the water, so they should be kept in a chunky bark mixture, not potting soil. This will ensure that their roots get plenty of air.
Hausermann suggests watering a moth orchid once a week or every 10 days. If you pick up the pot, it will seem light. The best time to water your plants is in the morning so that they can dry and drain properly.
Hausermann suggests that Phalaenopsis can be heavy feeders, so make sure to give them fertilizer for orchids labeled 15-5-5 and 30-10-10, almost every watering. To flush out any fertilizer, use plain water every fourth to fifth time.
Dixler suggests that you water the plant by placing the pot in a large bowl of water rather than pouring water on top. Leave it for about five minutes before removing it. He says that most orchid owners are overwater.
Moth orchids can withstand low light conditions and even indoors for a while. Hausermann advises, “When it’s in bloom, place it where you will enjoy it.”
They can last several months. After the blooms have faded, trim the stem to the crown where the leaves join it. Because the sun is too bright in a south window, it would be too harsh for the plant.
If the plant has the right light and fertilizer, it will likely rebloom if it experiences cooler nights and shorter days. Midwinter is when a new stalk of flower will be produced, and it will usually bloom.
Dry indoor air can affect Phalaenopsis, just like people. Kintop recommends placing the plant in a dish of stone, with water, on top. This will create a small zone of higher humidity around your plant.
Kintop prefers to keep her moth orchids indoors, as they can be easily moved outdoors in the summer. She notes that they would thrive in the shade of trees in their rainforest habitat.
Repot the plant with fresh bark mix once a year if the plant isn’t blooming. The bark mix eventually begins to break down and can choke the roots of orchids.
Hausermann states that most Phalaenopsis today are hybrids. There are many more on the market, and there are still thousands.
Many of these hybrids are imported from Asia as tissue cultures. The Hausermanns are orchid specialists and have been growing their own orchids in their greenhouses since 1920.
New hybrids are being tested in a locked greenhouse: Otto Debs, yellow, with delicate spots and white center; Alice Ainsworth; a delicate shell pink; Pepper Wild; a pale purple-spotted type.
Phalaenopsis blooms in greenhouses from December to February and continues to bloom for at least three months. The sight of so many orchids can be quite exhilarating.
You can also have the same beauty in your living space if you choose to grow Phalaenopsis.
As orchid collectors call the many hybrids of the Phalaenopsis genus, these Phals are among the easiest to care for and most popular with beginners.
The plant has low-growing, elongated round leaves rising from a central crown and producing long, arching flower sprays.
Colors in various hybrids may range from pink, yellow, peach, and red to green and white. They make excellent cut flowers, as well.
Because they are epiphytic in the wild (meaning they attach to trees or otherwise grow above the ground), Phals need an extremely well-drained potting mixture, such as a mix of medium-sized fir bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss.
They prefer low light — shade outdoors in summer — and warm temperatures indoors, with humidity enhanced by placing plants on plastic grids or pebbles above trays of water.
Phalaenopsis orchids seem to grow rather slowly, but eventually, they overflow their pots. When roots and stems begin to hang down the sides, it’s time for a new container.
Many orchids need a larger pot with a fresh growing medium; others are ready to divide.
To report, first, loosen the entwining roots from the old pot. Then follow these steps:
Cut off dead or injured portions.
Leave the orchid as one big plant.
Chose a pot large enough to allow 3 to 4 inches of new growth.
Repot in fir bark, tree fern, or orchid potting mix.
Stake or anchor the orchid to the pot and water.
Encourage new growth by moistening when the medium begins to dry.
Also, apply an orchid fertilizer every two weeks from March through October, monthly during the rest of the year.
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