Learn how to grow Phalaenopsis Orchids and care tips or moth orchid that will help you get healthy plants. Phalaenopsis orchids are some of the most common orchids in the market. Not only are they beautiful houseplants but they are also easy to take care of even for people inexperienced with growing and caring for orchids. The phalaenopsis orchid is also commonly referred to as moth orchid. These orchids are easy to grow, maintain and flower every year as long as the owner tries to recreate the natural environment where the orchids grow.
Buying The Best Phalaenopsis Orchids
The first step to help you grow and care for a Phalaenopsis Orchid is to ensure that you buy a quality plant. Just like with all other houseplants, avoid buying cheap weak, and unhealthy plants.
Granted, it’s possible to find healthy plants from all sorts of places, however, most of them are usually not in excellent condition. Buying an unhealthy orchid is easier than you think. The plant might have been forced to flower prematurely which weakens it.
Buying plants from large retail stores is also not recommended because it’s unlikely that they received proper care during the period they were stocked in store. However, if you are confident you can rehabilitate the plant, you can give it a try.
As usual, if you’re buying your plant physically, check it for any plant disease, pests, and other problems. Some of the best places to source for plants is from a reputable local grower. Many people, myself included have found great success with reputable online shops such as Succulentbox and Leafandclay.
Best Soil For Moth Orchids
Selecting the best soil is also part of learning how to grow Phalaenopsis orchids. Orchids have different roots and root systems compared to other houseplants. The best soil for phalaenopsis orchids is one that provides sufficient moisture without making the plants sit in logged soil. Orchids, in general, don’t like sitting in water because it causes their roots to rot.
If you’re a beginner the best soil is a ready-made mix specifically for orchids. These commercial orchid mediums contain perlite, peat moss, and fir bark. The bark is a great recommendation because it helps protect the plants when plant owners unintentionally over water.
Commercial orchid growers often prefer sphagnum moss. This type of moss helps provide the roots with evenly distributed moisture and it also dries uniformly. If you decide to give sphagnum a chance, do it with caution to avoid over-watering.
Water Phalaenopsis Orchids
The best way to know when to water your orchid is when the soil mix is nearly dry. You can check the moisture in the soil by sticking your finger into the soil and see if it comes out wet. In most cases, you’ll need to water the orchid plant about once or twice every week.
During the hotter months, you will have to increase the watering frequency. Just like with many other houseplants, the hotter the temperature, the more frequent the water requirements.
Learning how to grow Phalaenopsis Orchids and care tips also includes knowing that your plant should be established in a pot with a drainage hole.
Fertilizing Moth Orchids
Orchids should be fertilized once a month during the slow-growing months and once every two weeks during the peak growing months. During Spring and Summer, the orchids experience faster growth and therefore require more food.
The best fertilizer is 30-10-10 and should be diluted into half. Overfertilizing orchid is a real thing and plant owners should be cautious not to kill their orchids.
Humidity Levels For Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis orchids do well at around 50% humidity. If the plants don’t get enough humidity they will not do well. If the humidity levels in the location you have kept your orchids are low, you can increase humidity using a humidifier.
You can also do so using a humidity tray. Commercial humidity trays may be bought at most local garden centers. However, you can also make a homemade version by lining a shallow container or tray with pebbles adding water and then positioning your potted orchid inside it.
Temperature Requirements Phalaenopsis Orchid
The temperature requirements for orchids range from 700 to 800 F during the day. During the nighttime, the temperatures should go down and range between 550 to 650. To get the healthy blooms, the orchids need a temperature fluctuation of between 100 – 150 F between daytime and nighttime.
Lighting Conditions For Moth Orchids
The orchids do well with indirect light. When the lighting is sufficient, the plants experience optimal growth and become healthy. Orchids don’t like direct sunlight because it can burn their leaves. Any orchid plants grown in dim light tend to not do well too, they develop floppy dark green leaves. Insufficient light also causes the orchids to experience delayed and rare blooming.
Cutting the Orchid Spike After Blooming
Phalaenopsis orchids re-bloom from the same spike. The orchid will bloom every year. After the first blooms die off, you can stimulate the plant to bloom again. To do so, cut the spike back to about the halfway point. Make sure to cut right above one of the visible nodes. Maintain the plant as normal and you get fresh flowers in about 8-12 weeks.
The spike should be cut back completely after the blooming season is over. Trimming the spike allows the orchid to regain its strength and prepare for the following blooming season. To avoid any infections, it’s advisable to seal the cut by dusting it with cinnamon powder which acts as a natural fungicide.
Check this post on How to cut off orchid stems after flowering to learn how to cut the stems of different types of orchids.
Re-potting Phalaenopsis Orchid
Re-potting orchid plants are necessary. The process allows plant owners to change the potting mix and provide the orchids with fresh medium. It also allows the owners to check the plant for dead or damaged roots, remove them and give healthy ones a chance to grow. Re-potting also gets rid of any residual fertilizer salts and mineral buildup in the soil.
Re-potting should be done every 1 to 2 years. Remove the plant from the container. Inspect the roots and remove and damaged roots. Fill the re-potting plant with fresh orchid soil mix and establish the orchid. Fill the sides with the mix and position it properly.
Phalaenopsis orchids are beautiful houseplants. I also love them because they are easy to grow and maintain. Following just a few simple steps leads to a healthy awesome Phalaenopsis orchid that lasts for several years.
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