How to Care for a Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchids genus may have a confusing name, but they are quite simple to care for. They will continue to bloom wonderfully for up to six months if just a few basic guidelines are followed.

With its long stems, delicate wing-like blooms, and dark green leaves, this sophisticated plant is a stunning addition to any room in the house or at the workplace. Orchids, particularly Phalaenopsis Orchids, are extremely commonly given as gifts because of their ability to thrive for a long time. You can’t go wrong with an elegant Phalaenopsis Orchid if you’re looking for a gift that will persist for a longer period of time. The lucky recipients of your gift may look forward to taking pleasure in this plant that requires little care for many months to come with only a small amount of upkeep. You shouldn’t be surprised if you decide that you want one for yourself as well!

These plants are so beloved by several of the florists on our staff that they even have them in their own collections at home. As a result, we’ve collaborated to produce a thorough list of the approaches that we’ve found to be effective in taking care of Phalaenopsis Orchids.

How to Care for a Phalaenopsis Orchid

1. Don’t Water It Too Much

We are confident that you will adore your Phalaenopsis Orchids, but make sure you don’t become an overprotective plant parent! Orchid roots prefer to be irrigated, but then let to nearly completely dry out before receiving further moisture.

This is due to the fact that the roots are extremely prone to decay if they are kept in a consistently damp environment.

By sticking your finger into the orchid’s container, you may easily determine whether or not it is time to water the plant. If it feels damp, don’t water yet! You might also try lifting the pot to gauge how heavy it is using your own body weight. When the container is completely dry, it will have a very light feel to it, indicating that it is likely time to water your orchid.

Only about once a week, on average, Phalaenopsis Orchids need to have their soil moistened; but, during the warm summer months, this frequency may need to be increased somewhat.

2. Keep The Crown Dry

The roots of the orchid are not the only part of the plant that can rot; the crown of the orchid, which is the center of the plant and where new leaves sprout, also does not like when it gets wet. It is possible for the crown to decay if water gets caught inside of it.

Be careful when you’re watering your orchid, and make an effort to keep any moisture from seeping into the top of the plant. If you happen to spill a little bit in there by accident, you may try blotting it out with some paper towel if you want to get it all out.

3. Keep Warm, But Out of Direct Sunlight

Phalaenopsis Orchids are houseplants that thrive in warm environments with temperatures ranging from 24 to 29 degrees Celsius. Orchids require a warm environment, so if you prefer to keep your house toasty, you’d make a great owner for them!

Orchids, however, are similar to us in that we may enjoy the heat, but getting a sunburn is not good for our health. To protect your plant from being sunburned, make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight.

4. Humidity is Crucial

We are aware that these sophisticated orchids are beginning to sound quite pretentious, but bear with us here! Even though they don’t like it when they get too much water, a humid environment is ideal for them since it allows them to stay hydrated without becoming wet.

Keep your Phalaenopsis away from the air conditioner since the constant dry air might cause the plant to wither. Unopened buds are more likely to fall off in situations that are hot and dry.

Put the plant’s container on a tray of pebbles and then fill the tray with water to provide the necessary level of humidity for the plant. The pebbles will keep the plant’s roots from sinking into the water while also creating a humid zone in the area of the pot where the plant need the most moisture. On really hot and dry days, you might also try spraying the pot with water.

5. Feed Well

Only the very best foods should be given to your orchid if you want to ensure that it remains content and provides you with the most stunning blooms in return.

To promote flowering, feed your orchid a liquid orchid food that is rich in potassium. Spread a thin layer of the diluted fertilizer over the soil once every two weeks, or as directed on the packaging. You won’t have to feed her as frequently when it’s chilly out since her metabolism will slow down.

6. Keep Bugs Away

Unfortunately, it appears that insects like the Phalaenopsis Orchid just as much as we do! The mealy bug is the most common pest that attacks the plant; however, you may keep them away from the plant by spraying or wiping both sides of the leaves with white oil or eco oil.

This is not a poison, but it will cause the insects to suffocate, and your prized plant will remain unharmed and content.

7. When To Trim The Roots

Therefore, we are going to take the advice of those who specialize in orchids! It is common knowledge that you should under never circumstances remove the roots since there is a significant risk that you may cause damage to the plant or introduce a virus that might be harmful. You should only prune an orchid root or stem if it is dry and you are convinced that it has died; nevertheless, you should prune cautiously to prevent cutting too deeply, since this might cause damage to the plant.

8. When To Repot Your Orchid

If you’ve noticed that your orchid’s roots have outgrown its pot, or if they’ve started to creep over the side of the pot, then it’s an obvious sign that your pot has become too small. Repotting orchids should be done once every one to two years. If you also notice that the soil in your present container is not draining correctly and there is an odd scent, this is another clue that it is time to repot your plant! 

Note: While it comes time to repot your plant, please use caution when removing it from the container it is now growing in. You will need to purchase a new container for your orchid that is at least a couple of inches larger than the one it is now outgrowing. Additionally, you will need to ensure that the container contains drainage holes.

Can You Grow Phalaenopsis Orchids Inside?

Phalaenopsis orchids are only hardy in USDA zones 10 to 12, and the only place in the continental United States other than the southernmost part of Florida where they are known to grow naturally outside is the state of Florida. Almost everywhere else, the cultivation of these orchids must take place indoors since there is no other way to replicate the ideal environment for their growth.

Types Of Phalaenopsis Orchids

Types Of Phalaenopsis Orchids

Orchids belonging to the genus Phalaenopsis come in around sixty different species. There are hundreds of hybrids of these plants, ranging from the traditional white hybrid moth orchid to jewel-like miniatures with clouds of yellow and candy pink blossoms. These plants have been hybridized to a great extent, and there are now thousands of hybrids. The following are some of the growers’ favorites:

– Phalaenopsis ‘Liodoro’ has leaves that are wavy and brilliant green, and it bears star-shaped flowers that are pink and purple. This plant has the potential to grow to a height of 49 centimeters.

– The Phalaenopsis schilleriana plant has huge, 2.5-inch blooms that are pink and purple, and it has dark green leaves that are variegated. Up to 200 blooms can be produced on each stem of this particular cultivar.

– The Phalaenopsis stuartiana plant may grow as tall as 30 inches and has white blooms marked with yellow and red spots. The flowers are borne on many stems.

– Mini-Phalaenopsis available in a variety of bloom hues and require less water than their larger counterparts due to their more compact form.

Container and Size

Phalaenopsis, like all other epiphytic orchids, has to be planted in pots that drain well and have big drainage holes to ensure that the roots do not become waterlogged.

Phalaenopsis may typically be grown in azalea pots with a diameter of either 4 or 6 inches, and they are almost never planted in containers with a diameter of more than 6 inches. Both plastic and terra cotta pots can be used successfully as long as the drainage system is satisfactory in the container.

Potting Soil and Drainage

In their natural habitats, moth orchids can be seen growing on trees. Because of this, we classify them as an epiphyte, which is a type of plant that grows on other plants but does not feed off of them like a parasite would. It is common practice to cultivate potted orchids in potting mix composed of fir tree bark, redwood bark chips, or Monterey pine bark chips in order to simulate the circumstances described above. 

The majority of bark-based potting medium, including those containing perlite, sphagnum moss, charcoal, or coconut husk chips, can assist the orchid in its ability to retain water. You might also purchase a professional potting mix that is specifically formulated for orchids to use with your plants. Phalaenopsis are unable to flourish in a medium that is too dense for them to breathe, thus they require a lot of air flow around their root systems.

Potting and Repotting Phalaenopsis Orchids

Orchids of the Phalaenopsis genus should have their pots changed in the spring, after the flowers have died off and when new roots begin to emerge through the drainage holes. Phalaenopsis plants that have reached adulthood usually continue to thrive for two years without needing to be repotted. Use a pot that is a couple of inches larger than the one that is currently being used, and disinfect it using a bleach solution that is not very strong (orchids are very sensitive to bacteria). You should properly clean both your hands and any instruments that you will be utilizing. 

First, the container needs to be let to completely dry out, and then it should be planted with orchid material. After carefully removing the orchid from its previous container, trim away any roots that have become brown, and then transfer the orchid to the new container along with the bark media that has been soaked in water. Move the earth around the roots in a gentle manner. Apply daily mist until new root formations appear.

Bonus tip: Cut the stem to get flowers again

Don’t lose hope when the flowers on your orchid die off and you’re only left with the stem of the plant after they’ve finished blooming. Cutting down the stem of an existing bloom might actually stimulate the growth of additional blossoms.

Take note of the tiny nodes in the shape of triangles on the stem. Find the lowest one on the stem and cut the stem around 1 cm above the node. The upper ones will have been were your flowers were previously blossoming from, thus they won’t be able to flower again. (You’re going to want to invest in a quality set of gardening shears.)

Your orchid will begin to produce more flowers as a result of this! As this is the one and only period when the Phalaenopsis plant requires being maintained at a temperature that is a little bit colder, you should attempt to keep her in a cooler section of the home while you wait for blooms to start appearing again.


Are Phalaenopsis Orchids Prone To Get Diseases?

They are susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases, including foliar blights, leaf spots, fungal rots, and flower blights. The majority of these issues may be remedied by chopping off the diseased part of the plant (whether it be a leaf, a root, or a flower), and in certain cases, by applying a fungicide to the soil around the plant. All of these problems, however, may be avoided by maintaining healthy soil conditions.

Why Are The Leaves Of My Orchids Wrinkled?

If the leaves of your orchid are wrinkling, it is likely because you are under-watering it and there is not enough humidity in the environment. Put a tray of pebbles and water under the plant to raise the relative humidity, but don’t let the pot get completely submerged in the water.

What Pests Are Most Common To Orchids?

Orchids of the phalaenopsis genus only infrequently have issues with pest insects, particularly when they are kept inside. Even yet, pests such as scale, mealy bugs, slugs, and snails may make their way into an outdoor or greenhouse-grown orchid on occasion. Insecticidal soap can be used as an effective treatment for a wide variety of pest problems.

Why Are The Buds Of My Orchids Dropping?

Bud blast is a disorder that can affect orchids, and it causes the flower buds to fall off before the flowers open. In most cases, this is brought on by abrupt shifts in temperature, humidity, moisture content, or fertilizer. It is expected that keeping perfect growth conditions would reduce the number of difficulties that develop.

How Can I Get Phalaenopsis Orchids To Rebloom?

Orchids of the genus Phalaenopsis only produce flowers once a year when they grow in the wild. If you bring them indoors, on the other hand, you may force them to bloom once every three months by following a few straightforward instructions. When all of the blooms have fallen off, the brown stem should be trimmed to a height of no more than three inches. 

You should go on as usual with the care of your plant and give it a diluted liquid fertilizer to feed it in order to encourage development and blooming. When the stem has developed a new leaf, the flower should be ready to bloom again. Move your orchid to a location where the temperature stays between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and there is bright indirect sunshine. Your orchid should start producing new flowers once it has been kept in this colder setting for a month.