Beautiful, elegant and poised, it is not hard to see why the phalaenopsis is such a sought-after plant to have in the home and office. Also known as the moth orchid or butterfly orchid because of its large blooms, they are prized in Asia as they are believed to bring its owner good luck. Their blooms can grow up to 10cm in diameter and last for months at a time, if you know how to care for them. Here are 3 simple ways to care for your beloved phalaenopsis to ensure they thrive and re-bloom thereafter.
Not too much, not too little, but just right! Yes, beautiful as they are, phalaenopsis are slightly picky. Bear in mind that they are epiphytic plants and will die quickly if their roots are left soaking in water. The amount to water your phalaenopsis depends on the type of potting medium it is in. For those potted in bark mix, watering once every 7 – 10 days should do it, if it is potted in moss, water only when the top moss is dry. And if in doubt, just remember that under watering a phalaenopsis does less harm than over watering it.
Do not put the phalaenopsis under direct sunlight, long exposure can cause their leaves to “burn”. Instead, place them indoors by the windowsill or at a place near a window where they can get indirect sunlight. With that being said, putting them in a dark area with too little light will actually stop them from re-flowering. To tell if they are receiving enough light, just take a look at their leaves. Olive green leaves would show that the phalaenopsis is having enough light, any darker means they are not getting enough, and red tinged leaves means it is getting too much sunlight.
Like all other plants, a nutrient boost in the form of orchid specific or 20-20-20 (20% nitrogen, 20& phosphorous and 30% potassium) fertilizer will ensure that your phalaenopsis remains happy and re-blooms. Follow the dosage recommended on the orchid specific fertilizer or feed your phalaenopsis half the dosage every other week.