Orchid Care - Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis ("MothOrchids") Orchids

Blooming - These orchids generally bloom in the late winter or early spring. Their growing season then is in the summer and fall. They have long stalks on which the flowers bloom successively and a single, multi-branching flower spike can have more than twenty flowers.

Watering - Water once a week to every 10 days by saturating the plant; allow the water to drain completely and do not allow it to sit in water for any period of time otherwise this could lead to rotting of the roots.Do not water before your orchid is dry--if you water too often, it will lead to root-rot, which will cause your plant to lose its blooms and eventually die.When it is flowering, cut watering back to once every two weeks.

Lighting - These orchids do not like direct sunlight but rather thrive in indirect natural light so place your orchid in a spot in your home where they will get lots of indirect sunlight--preferably in an east window or low-light western or southern location.

Temperature - These plants like warmer temperatures, however, they do fine with normal house temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees F.

Fertilizer - During the growing season, fertilize your orchid weekly with a weak solution of balanced powder or liquid fertilizer using a 1 to 4 ratio of fertilizer and water.

Repotting - Generally, when you get an orchid, it will be in bloom. Orchids should not be replanted while they are blooming because the stress can cause the blooms to fall off. Wait until the plant is finished blooming, cut off the dead flower spikes with sterile clippers or scissors and then repot the plant. Be sure to completely remove any moss and other debris from its original planting. Use orchid potting compounds such as clay aggregate, chunks of pine bark, charcoal, sphagnum moss, perlite, coconut fiber, and Styrofoam as the media and make sure that the pot has drainage holes. You do not need to repot an orchid to a larger pot unless the roots are growing upward and coming out the top--generally every one to two years.

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