Caring For The Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis (Phals) are classified as the best beginner orchids.  There are two important factors in caring for Phals: light and watering.

Proper light is one of the most important factors for proper plant growth.  Normal lighting conditions are fine for a Phal.  Never place them in direct sun.  The sun will burn their delicate leaves.  Indirect bright light is usually what they require.  The proper color of your Phal’s leaves should be a light “grass” green color.  If your leaves have become a dark emerald green, move them to a spot where there is more light.  If the leaves are yellowing, move the plant to shade.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Watering is the other most important factor.  In nature, they grow on the sides of trees and never do they stand in water.  Never let the plant stand in water.  And never over water!!  It’s difficult to say how often to water a Phalaenopsis orchid.  Never water more than once per week as a general rule.  When you water, bring the orchid to the sink and let the water run steadily for a minute or two.  Let it drain before returning it.

Feed Phals with a high nitrogen fertilizer year round.  Fertilize once a month with a diluted solution.  Remember less is more and do not over fertilize.

Never allow a Phalaenopsis to go below temperatures of 60oF.  If exposed to cold temperatures, the plant will regress.  The chilly temperatures will cause bud drop.

Repot Phalaenopsis orchids when the plant is pushed out of the pot, when the potting media is breaking down or when the media smells bad. Never repot when the temperatures are either too hot or too cold. Remember orchids like to be tight in their pots. If the “new” pot size is too big, the plant will spend all its energy on root growth.

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