Even if you are not really a plant person, you probably are an Orchid person, am I right or am I right? The Phalaenopsis Orchid is one of the most common houseplants and makes a beautiful and long lasting gift. There are only a few things you need to do to keep your Orchid happy and thriving.
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Before we jump to care tips, I’d first like to mention a few things to look out on an Orchid before purchasing it. If you already purchased it, feel free to skip to the next section.
When you’re at the store looking at a bunch of Orchids and wondering which one to choose, here are a few tips.
Of course the first thing you need to choose is the most obvious one – the color of the flowers. Even this may not be such an easy task if you need to choose only one.
You can find them in a variety of colors, pure white, white with pink, light pink, dark pink, pink with dark pink, yellow, yellow with orange, and many many more.
After you chose the color, there are three things to look out for – buds, leaves and roots.
You want to choose the one with the most buds because this means your Orchid will have flowers for a longer period of time.
When flowers already bloomed, we can’t know how long they’ll last. They may have opened a few days ago or two weeks ago or even a month ago, who knows.
The second thing to look are leaves. You want to choose the on with firm, green healthy leaves, not the one with yellowish or limpy leaves.
Lastly, take a look at the roots. It should be easy as Orchids are usually potted in transparent pots. Roots should not be brown or soft. Only silverish or green roots are healthy roots.
How much light does a Phalaenopsis Orchid need?
Orchids need bright indirect light in order to get it to flower or maintain the flowers for a longer period of time.
Placing your Orchid on an east facing window would be ideally.
While Orchids do need bright light, they can’t tolerate direct hot sunlight. If you place your Orchid in front of a south or west window you need protect it from direct sunlight to avoid leaf burn or drying of the flower.
Orchids will love a spot with lots of indirect sunlight.
Since Orchids are sensitive to cold, it’s best if you avoid placing them near cold drafts. If you have yours on a windowsill, move it from there while the window is open if cold air is coming from the outside.
How to know when to water Phalaenopsis Orchids? | Phalaenopsis Orchids watering
When it comes to watering our Phalaenopsis Orchid, we need to look at its roots.
Roots will tell us when it’s time to water your Orchid. That’s one of the reasons we pot them in transparent pots.
Water your Orchid when roots become silverish in color.
You’ll also feel the pot is light, because water evaporated from the substrate.
If roots are still green, you don’t need to water it.
How often you’ll need to water it, it’s difficult to tell. There are many factors that affect this.
So it’s important to water only when the plant actually needs it and not water without even looking at the plant. You may need to water it every 5 days or once a week, you’ll see that for yourself.
How to water Phalaenopsis Orchid?
Now that we know WHEN it’s time to water it, let’s see HOW to actually water it. It’s not difficult but there are a few things you need to be careful about while watering.
The best way to water your Phalaenopsis is to combine top with bottom watering.
Place your orchid (with its pot, of course) into a deep saucer or a larger pot. Pour water from the top along the edges of the pot.
Never water on top or next to the leaves.
If water remains in the crown or between the leaves, it can easily rot. So make sure you remove that water.
Water will fairly quickly drain out of the drainage holes into the saucer/pot. Keep your Orchid submerged in this water (in about an inch or two of water) for about 15-30 min. You’ll see roots turning green.
After approximately 15-30 min, throw out all excess water that remained in the saucer/pot. Leave your Orchid like that for a couple of minutes because some excess water may still drain through the drainage holes. Then place it back to its place.
What is the best substrate for Phalaenopsis Orchid
Orchids are epiphytes, which means that in nature they grow on trees.
Their roots are not used to regular soil.
Their roots need a lot more oxygen than “regular soil roots” and will quickly rot if you pot them in a regular potting mix.
You need to pot your Orchid in an Orchid potting mix that will consist primarily of bark.
Well, since we are trying to mimic natural environment conditions, tree bark will absorb water like it would in nature while allowing great air flow around the roots.
How often do you need to fertilize your Orchids
Since Orchids are epiphytic plans, they rely on nutrients from rain and trees they grow on. Because of this, neither our indoor Orchids don’t need a ton of fertilizer.
To fertilize your Orchid you can use either an Orchid fertilizer or a regular complete houseplant fertilizer.
The difference between these two is in the amount of nutrients they contain and if you buy a complete houseplant fertilizer it may be too strong for an Orchid.
If you choose the universal one, dilute it to half or even to a quarter strength. Orchids don’t need much fertilizer and are sensitive to too much fertilizer.
When do you need to fertilize your Orchid?
When you see it’s starting to bloom, you should fertilize at least once a month, but you can also do it every couple of weeks with a more diluted solution.
If your Orchid is not blooming, fertilize it once a month during spring and summer, while completely backing off from the fertilizer during winter.
All you need “Orchid kit”:
Are Phalaenopsis Orchids toxic to pets?
The Phalaenopsis Orchid is considered non-toxic to cats and dogs