Phalaenopsis orchids: cultivation and watering

Phalaenopsis orchids: cultivation and watering

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The orchids are increasingly common but there are some that are more widespread than others such as Phalaenopsis, a flower that comes from the East Indies, from Indonesia, the Philippines and even Australia. The name of this orchid derives from its butterfly shape, in fact “phalaena” means just butterfly and “opsis”, similar. This similarity was noted in 1752 by the botanist C. L. Blume who found a specimen on the island of Java. If Blume has the merit of having given the name to this flower, he does not have the merit of having discovered it because G. E. Rumphius arrived before him in 1600. This scholar found it and drew it in Herbarium Amboinense giving it the name of Angraecum.

The flowering of Phalenopsis lasts a long time, even cut flowers resist a lot in good condition, which is why they are also widely used as decorations in homes, and not only. This plant is quite robust, it is capable of also grow on rocks developing many roots, large and branched, which allow it to stay anchored to the substrate. On the one hand this is good, but on the other it can create problems when repotting the orchid, so it becomes necessary to be very careful not to damage the plant during this operation.

The leaves of the Phalenopsis they are firm and fleshy. They grow in groups of 2-6, have a very intense and often bright green color, very large: they can measure 10 centimeters in width and 50 in length. The leaves are very important for this plant, because they represent the only organ capable of storing water, since there are no pseudobulbs as it happens instead in orchids belonging to other genera.

The stems are thin and often rigid, there are simple or branched ones, and they support the flowers of non-trivial dimensions. They are composed of sepals almost equal to each other and of petals that have a trilobed labellum with the side lobes curved inwards.

Phalaenopsis: cultivation

To cultivate this kind of orchids with success it is necessary to guarantee them very high temperatures because they are heat-loving flowers. This means keeping an environment at 23-24 ° C, as the maximum, and 16-17 ° C, as the minimum temperature, but it can also be up to 35 ° C if the flower is placed in the shade and in a well-ventilated area. Let's carefully avoid the drafts that can disturb this flower, let's not insist on growing it outdoors: often if you are used to a corner of the house, it is best to leave it where it is.

There light is very important for an orchid like this, as long as it is not too direct, each species has its own needs. In general, the suitable place for this plant is behind a not too heavy curtain, in a house facing south or east. If there is not enough light, no flowers appear.

If we create the right environment, the Phalaenopsis they are able to give us a very abundant flowering that repays our efforts. Their branches can bloom a couple of times in a single year, and each flower lasts a long time, even for weeks and weeks. The classic flowering period is winter, in the months from December to April, but it often happens that these orchids surprise us by making flowers in the most unexpected months.

Gods can also be born from a flowering stem new lateral branches, or a new plant may appear which, once grown, can be separated from the plant to become an autonomous orchid. These special plants are called Keiki.

To encourage the flowering of a Phalaenopsis we can act on the temperature and fertilization. For the fertilizer, we must get one with a greater quantity of phosphorus and potassium while as regards the temperature, we must try to make the plant perceive a slight temperature change between night and day.

Phalaenopsis: watering

The roots must be kept in one state of perennial humidity, therefore it is necessary that watering be very frequent, at least weekly, especially in summer and spring. We must also take into account the size of the plant and the pot to dose the amount of water to be administered, understanding if the substrate tends to dry out more or less quickly.

In general it is best to organize yourself for wet the plant in the morning so that the leaves are dry in the evening and water stagnation is created between the interstices of the leaves.

Since the optimal environment for this orchid has a rate of humidity around 70%, we must spray its leaves once a day with non-calcareous water and put a saucer to be filled with expanded clay or gravel together with a little water.

Phalaenopsis: soil

At the time of repotting a ready-made soil for orchids or a mixture obtained with bark and polystyrene, useful for maintaining humidity.

The repotting itself must be done in spring, at the time of vegetative restart, when the new roots appear, never when the flowers are emerging. Immediately after repotting it is necessary to leave the plant away from direct sunlight and temperature changes, without water for about seven days.

We recommend that you also read our related article dedicated to the cultivation of orchids in the house.

Video: MY SIMPLIFIED FERTILIZING ROUTINE. How u0026 When To Fertilize Orchids. Orchid Fertilizer Mixture (June 2022).


  1. Bardolf

    In no event

  2. Zolorg

    sounds in a seductive way

  3. Emmanuele

    People, let's respect each other ... I think that the writer is right, well, it could have been softer. P. S. I congratulate you on the last Christmas!

  4. Sekou

    Author, what city are you from?

  5. Toshakar

    you can say this exception :)

  6. Reule


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