Caring For The Phaius Tankervilliae (Grandfolius)

The Nun’s Orchid

This orchid is unlike many other varieties that attach themselves to trees or higher up.  Therefore they must be treated differently.

The nun orchid is a terrestrial orchid that thrives in the ground.  They are tolerant of bright light but for best results, place in medium light. In bright light, plants may require more fertilization.

Phaius Tankervilliae Phaius Tankervilliae

In the beginning, use a complete 1-1-1 fertilizer.  It's best to start with modest levels as the plant matures, gradually increase the strength of fertilizer.  An all-purpose fertilizer is fine; start with ¼ strength and move into ½ strength gradually.

Ideal day temperatures range from 75-85oF, and night temperatures from 55-65oF.  Ideal humidity is 70%.  High temperatures (90oF+) may cause new leaves to be narrow.  They are grown outdoors in zones 9 and 10.

Aphids, thrips and spider mites can be a minimal problem.  However, broad mites can create distortion in newer growth.

Phaius Tankervilliae Close-up Phaius Tankervilliae Close-up

Nun's orchids like to go dry between waterings, for they originated in warm, dry climates with well drained media made up of mostly soils (Canadian peat, perlite, and bark).  Use a deeper, well drained nursery container or standard pots in order to provide more space for a very vigorous root system.  They like to be pot-bound, therefore do not repot frequently.

Natural flowering occurs in late winter or early spring depending on your geographical location.  Extreme temperatures can affect growth rate and initiation of spike.  Spikes appear to be induced on short days

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