Moth orchids are widely adored by people and most of the plant lovers try to grow them at home. For a Phal orchid, you need to take some safety measures as the shade plants need just the right light and humidity. Growing an orchid is not very difficult, and once you are through it, it will give you several months of blooming.
Phal orchids are beautiful and worth spending time and energies on. There are certain parameters which should be considered for the best results as after investing much time, no one wants to end up disappointed.
The Phal plants have to be watered regularly and on time throughout the growth stage. In summer however, you have to be a little cautious about watering the plants. In the winter season, the plants don’t need so much watering, so reduce the amount.
The undergrowth must be dry before next watering. This is the most important aspect of growing these plants! Their ground can’t be wet all the time. So much water running in the roots might harm them. It is the most common mistake when first orchid cultivation, because it is the most significant difference between growing epiphytes and other potted plants.
Do not splash the leaves while watering.
The plant has to be sprayed a bit in summer.
While it is advised not water too much, it doesn’t mean you leave the roots to dry out fully. Do not let the roots dry out, and also avoid too much water and maintain a proper balance of water. Phalaenopsis should be watered heavily, but rarely respectively – mature plants during the growing season usually once every 4 to 7 days, and in winter no more than once a week.
You can feed the plants regularly while growing along with the watering. For this, you have to use some liquid orchid fertilizer often.
The other watering condition is the amount of light to which your plant is exposed. If it is getting a little high intensity exposure to sunlight, it will soon need watering. In the summer, the Phal plants need more water as compared to the winter.
You also have to take into account the kind of medium in which you have potted your plants. If it is bark, then the water will be retained by it for most of the time.
More Watering Tips
You can also figure out by the weight of the pot whether it is watered or not. Remember, if you are in doubt about giving the plant its daily nutrition, wait till the next day.
When time comes, water the plants right accordingly. Usually, the morning hours are best for it. If you forget to do it, you can also water it by evening when the sun is low. It is generally considered that when the plants are exposed to sunlight, there are a lot more processes going on, and watering might slow them.
The type of water you must use in watering the plants is also a question. Do not use salted and mineral water, but put the plant under tap water – preferably boiled and cooled – to give it the best nutrition, but then you have to repot your orchid every year.
Make the water run through the plant for some time to make sure your plant is hydrated enough. Let the water run through the plant for a moment and drain it completely. Phalaenopsis orchids like to be fully watered, for 30 minutes to an hour. This is the only way that gives assurance that entire medium is hydrated.
The water however, must not remain on the crown of the plants. The crown is actually referred to the area of the plant where the leave joins the center of it. You can use a dry cloth or tissue to wipe the water of it as the area is sensitive. It can harm the growth of the plant.
As mentioned earlier, the Phalaenopsis plants are mostly shady plants, so they do not require intense light and not only that, direct exposure to light might damage the plant’s growth.
The moth orchids bloom to full in bright, but indirectly exposed, light. Low light are the best for such orchids, otherwise, the plants don’t grow to full and the leaves turns to a pale green color.
To consume proper sunlight for the orchid at home, it is best that Phalaenopsis plants should be kept by a window where sunlight can reach them indirectly. Sometimes, if the heat is too intense, the window can be covered by a curtain. East window is the best orientation for Phalaenopsis to grow. Because at the beginning of the day, when the plant receives more light, a temperature is lower. Moreover, you have to provide some shade on the south or west window in the period from May to September, for example, using thin curtains or blinds.
If the leaves of the plant are getting darker, it is a sign that the plants are not getting enough light. On the other hand, if the leaves of the plants are taking a reddish shade, it indicates that the amount of light has exceeded the limit. The right color for the leaves of Phal plants is olive green, and as long as it stays that, means you are taking perfect care of your orchid.
If the plant is not showing signs of re-blooming, increase the light exposure.
However, you have to take care that the plant is getting good supply of heat in winter time as this is very important for the flowers to grow. If the plant is placed in some East facing direction, the light will just be fine.
The light conditions are very simple for Phalaenopsis orchids; shadier spots in summer and light exposure in winter. You also need to take care of the dust on the leaves as dust particles can block the light.
Phalaenopsis is a South Asian plant with a fairly warm climate. The growth of Phal plant occur best on room temperature that makes it easier for us to grow them. It means that the orchids can grow best on the temperature in which we live. The range of temperature is above16-18°Cduring the night, while23-27°Cin the day. The maximum temperature that the plant can bear is27°C. The best growth of Phalaenopsis can be made sure in warm environments.
The temperature is different near the window and in the house generally, so just keep a check on your plant, so that it is exposed to the proper heat. If the temperature fluctuates too much, it can also cause bud dropping.
During summer plants usually tolerate slightly higher temperatures, but overheating of plants exposed to full southern summer sun may end up killing them. In the case of persistence in the summer season temperatures above 35 ° C it is absolutely necessary shading (eg. blinds) or shifting plants to another location. If orchids are too close to the window, it might burn leaves and flowers.
In winter you should be careful with ventilation during cold weather, chilling plants with strong current of air at a temperature of 0 ° C or less may freeze leaves. Frost damage may have a drastic effects for your orchid, strong freezing may lead to death of the plant.
Phalaenopsis orchids do not have pseudo-bulbs which store water. It is therefore important to provide adequate humidity. The ideal humidity has range of 50-70%. But if plant is well watered, can adapt to a lower level of humidity. Phalaenopsis is able to tolerate dry air in our homes, but of course will be better grow and bloom at elevated humidity. This can be achieved using a humidifier or by placing a plant on a tray with a several centimeters layer of porous material. While watering flowing water leaks through the porous material onto the tray, and when evaporating it provides higher humidity to the plant.
However, pot can’t stand in the water, but above it, providing access of air to the roots. But, if the water stays inside the roots of the plants, it will damage them. The easiest way to do it, is putting a metal mesh on top.
To create other humid effect, you can use a tray of pebbles with water in it and keep it near to the plant. This might help your plant breathe in a humid environment.
When the spike has turned yellow or brown, you have to cut it now to give way to new flowers to replace the old ones. Once the plant has finished blooming, you can cut off the spike to the leaf level so that the plant blooms with larger flowers for the next time, and doing so makes the stem strong too.
When your Phalaenopsis orchid has finished the bloom phase and is now falling off, it is time to work a little on it for a new cycle. Falling off flowers is a part of the cycle and it does not suggest that your plant is somehow rotting. An orchid can last for long, if taken proper care.
Cutting the spike, if repeated in a cycle, makes the plant very strong by providing more strength.
It is good to cut off the stem with three nodes as then one of these nodes will start growing, and ultimately, produce flowers within eight to 12 weeks. However, while cutting off the spike, you have to be very careful and vigilant.
The first question is, where to cut the spike of your plant? You can cut it at the base of your Phalaenopsis orchid as it will help to make the stems and leaves stronger and give them energy they require. You can cut an inch from where the spike has grown.
Cutting the spike, just from where the first bloom of the plant has sprouted, can help the leaves to grow in other direction wide and blooming.
One thing to be considered is that whether the instruments used for cutting are well sterilized or not. Gardening scissors are the best for this purpose, but if you don’t have one, you can use a new razor blade. The instruments can be sterilized by cleaning and rubbing them with alcohol before use. Once you are done with the cutting, you have to apply some antifungal tonic to the surface you just cut.
For the antifungal tonic, you do not need to run to the stores and get the good branded remedies, but, just check out the supplies present in your kitchen storage. Many of the antifungal tonics can be taken out of the home and used on the Phalaenopsis spike. Cinnamon, for instance, can serve as an excellent antifungal remedy for your plant.
To apply the remedy to the plant, you just have to splash a little powdered cinnamon to the cut area of the spike. It protects the plant against fungus with its natural properties, but just be careful not to dip the plant in the powder. It naturally has antifungal properties, so all you need to do is dab a bit of your plant into the antifungal remedy.
Most Phalaenopsis hybrids require no treatments that induce flowering, they bloom spontaneously every year or even more frequently. Phalaenopsis orchids produce flowers that continue to survive about two to three months, and even for longer periods once in a year.
The species in this genus can bloom at different times of the year, the period of flowering Phalaenopsis hybrid depends on their genealogy. Potentially plant can bloom at any time of the year. The normal flowering period for most popular hybrids is the period from late autumn to spring. But there are also varieties of orchids blooming in summer and autumn. Overgrown plants can bloom 2 or 3 times a year, and even still, creating new flowers on old stems and producing new stems.
After the full bloom of flowers, as they fade, you have a few options for your next steps.
You can take the wait; if the stem does not wither, can repeat flowering at the end of the existing flower stem, and may encourage the orchid to generate a new side flower spikes from one of the lower nodes. Flowering secondary can be as generous as the original, therefore Phalaenopsis spike is usually not cut after the end of flowering, unless it dries itself.
Cut stalk back to the place just above the third node. This may give birth to a new flowering shoot.
Remove the entire flower stem one inch from the base of the orchid so that can put more energy back into the roots and leaves to help it grow stronger and produce also a new flower spike.
Your orchid plant might face some problems when it comes to producing flowers. If a plant is healthy and still not producing flowers, just reduce the temperature between night and day by 6-10 ° C (for example. 25 ° C during the day, and 18 ° C at night) for a month. You can do it the easy way by dodging the window at night and closing them during the day. In summer – expose the plant outside in a pretty shady place. 30 days of this treatment automatically induces the growth of new flower spikes. This is also the secret of industrial cultivation, which ensures the availability of flowering plants all year round at florists or flower markets.
There are certain times when you can observe little plantlets coming out of the flower stems. They are a keiki – the orchid’s baby. You have to separate the sprouts after they have developed good roots and pot them in an orchid compost. Mist them thrice a week and water.
Many hybrids are presented each year, but most of the Phalaenopsis orchids offered for sale are not commonly named. Only some specialist can categorize the types of hybrids and name them. Even the hybrids are not named, they still get a large amount of buyers worldwide.