our homes are perfect for phalaenopsis orchid care

The light and temperatures of our homes make Phalaenopsis orchid care easy.

"Phals", short for Phalaenopsis are very popular. They are a wonderful God gift, the easiest orchid to grow in our homes. Phaleanopsis may also be called Moth orchids.

When they were first seen in the jungles they looked like white moths fluttering in the breeze. Hence the term "Moth Orchid" came into being.

Modern white Phals have been refined and bred up in size. Their white flowers and plants are large compared to other Phalaenopsis.

The large whites are the standard other Phals are judged by.

Phalaenopsis-orchid-careThe Classic White Phalaenopsis Are Gorgeous!

Now-a-days we can get Phalaenopsis orchids in a variety of colors.

  • The stunning semi-alba has white petals with red lips.

  • There are beautiful pinks, from light to dark pink, even yellows.

  • The intergeneric cross of a Phal with a doritis is called a doritaenopsis. It has slightly smaller flowers, but they come in hot pink colors. They bloom a bit later than the Phals extending the flower season well into summer.

  • There are Phals with spots, splashes, blotches and blushes in all sorts of colors.

  • Miniature Phals have been available the past few years. They can fit comfortably on a windowsill.
Orchid-Miniature-PhalaenopsisMiniature Phalaenopsis

phalaenopsis orchid care is easy

Phalaenopsis are happy in bright light, but not direct sunlight.

Direct sun on their leaves will cause them to transpire water too fast trying to stay cool. If they run out of water or can't do it fast enough their leaves will scorch and burn.

  • East windows are ideal for phalaenopsis orchid care.

South or west window should have shade cloth or some curtains to protect the Phals from the direct sun.

Be aware that the temperature right against the window will be warmer and cooler than temperatures of the room.

They also may be grown on a plant stand with growing lights about a foot above the plants.

phalaenopsis enjoy our house temperatures

Orchid-summer-blooming-phalainopsisSummer blooming Phal

One thing that makes the Phalaenopsis orchid such a good house plant is the fact that they like the same temperatures most of us have in our homes.

The like it from 60 to 65 degrees at night. Too many nights below 60 will inhibit their flower initiation.

During the day they are happy from 70 to 85 degrees.

They will tolerate temperatures from 90 to 95 degrees, but they are not so happy in real hot temperatures.

Humidity

The natural environment of Phals is humid. They like sitting on a tray of pebbles with water in the tray below the top of the pebbles. Do not have the bottom of their pot sitting in water.

If they are in high humidity, then they require some gentle air movement (such as a ceiling fan) to prevent leaf diseases.

Don't set them near a heat or air vent where the air will be blowing on them. It will dry them out too fast. And it could cause their flower buds to drop and/or the flowers to wither.

great gifts ezine

Sign up for the Gifts Ezine to stay up to date with the latest news and tips on gardens, the kid's books and painting techniques.

Get a free download of "Painting a Wave".

SIGN UP!

water regularly

Orchid-phalaenopsis-5Brightly colored Doritaenopsis

Phalaenopsis don't have the capacity to store much water. They can hold some water in their roots, but they don't have pseudobulbs like Cattleyas to store larger amounts of water.  

  • Good phalaenopsis orchid care includes regular watering.

If they are growing in bark or other open potting medium they will require water more often. If they are growing in sphagnum moss they will be watered less frequently.

They use more water in warmer temperatures. And in cooler temperatures during the winter, they use less water.

Plants in small pots need to be watered more often than those in large pots.

WHEW - that's a lot - so how do you know when to water?



Orchid-phal-semi-albaA gorgeous Semi-alba Phal
  • Water by judging the weight of the pot.

Wait about 10 minutes after you water. Pick up the pot and see how heavy it is. Water again when the pot is half the weight it was after you watered it last time. 

When the top of the potting medium is dry there is still moisture down in the pot.

If you are in doubt wait a day or two before watering. It is better to under water than over water. Keeping the roots too wet can cause root rot.

I learned how to water orchids the hard way!

  • Good phalaenopsis orchid care requires thorough watering.

Water until you see water running out of the bottom of pot. About once a month give it a good watering to flush extra fertilizer salts out of the pot.

Do not water with softened water or strongly chlorinated water.

  • Water in the morning. The leaves must be dry before nightfall to prevent leaf diseases. This is important for taking care of phalaenopsis orchids.

DO NOT GET WATER INTO THE CROWN OF THE PLANT, where the leaves join together in the center of the plant.

Water sitting in the crown will cause it to rot and you will most likely lose the phalaenopsis plant.

If you accidentally get water in the crown blot it out with tissue or a paper towel. Or I blow it out with a forceful puff from my mouth until I can no longer see water in the crown.

Orchid-French-spots-phalaenopsis-2French Spots Phal

Phals need fertilizer for growth and flowers

Phalaenopsis growing in bark will require more fertilizer than a Phal growing in moss. The bark uses nitrogen to break itself down and it takes nitrogen away from the plants.

Orchids growing in bark should get a weak strength fertilizer every watering.

Phals growing in moss may be fertilized about once a month.

Orchid fertilizer is good for phalaenopsis orchid care or use a regular 10-10-10 fertilizer.  

Potting

Young Phal plants that are still growing should be repotted every year.

Phalaenopsis orchid care requires repotting about every year for plants in bark. Soak the bark in water for an hour or two before potting.

Orchid-phals-grow-well-in-mossSphagnum moss is my favorite.

Phals in sphagnum moss are good for about three years. Wet the moss before using it and squeeze out the extra water.

Potting is usually done in the summer after they are finished flowering.

Take the plant out of the pot and remove all potting medium, wash the roots under running water to remove the last bits of medium. Cut off any broken or rotted roots.

Place the plant in a clean pot with plenty of drain holes. The best is to use an orchid pot that has holes on the sides of the pot. Then the air can get in around the roots.

Pack the potting medium firmly around the roots. Water the plant. When the pot feels light, it's time for the regular watering.

painting orchids

C-White-FlightWhite Flight

Phalaenopsis orchid care is one of my hobbies. Painting is another of my hobbies. This painting is of a Phal in a clay pot. I liked the complimentary colors of the clay pot.

Phals actually are happier in plastic or glazed ceramic pots because they hold the moisture better. They dry out too fast in terracotta pots.

During painting, I was thinking about wild Phals in the jungle and how they look like white flying moths. So, this painting is named "White Flight".

Growing and caring for orchids has been one of my passions for many years. They bring so much joy. 

phalaenopsis are a wonderful gift from god!

more garden gifts

  • MY FIRST TWO ORCHIDS CROAKED! Why? I didn’t know how to water orchids, after learning I had a whole greenhouse full of orchids and won blue ribbons at the shows.

    How to Water Orchids

    MY FIRST TWO ORCHIDS CROAKED! Why? I didn’t know how to water orchids, after learning I had a whole greenhouse full of orchids and won blue ribbons at the shows.

  • Everything you need to know about how to care for roses, watering, fertilizing, pest control, where and how to plant a rose, pruning roses, and rose bush types.

    How to Care for Roses

    Everything you need to know about how to care for roses, watering, fertilizing, pest control, where and how to plant a rose, pruning roses, and rose bush types.

  • We already know how to care for orchids, if we grow houseplants. Orchids are one of the modern houseplants that are easy to take care of with just 3 or 4 things.

    How to Care for Orchids

    We already know how to care for orchids, if we grow houseplants. Orchids are one of the modern houseplants that are easy to take care of with just 3 or 4 things.

  • What types of butterflies do you see around your house? Identify thirty common butterfly types seen in the United States with their photos and information.

    Types of Butterflies in the United States

    What types of butterflies do you see around your house? Identify thirty common butterfly types seen in the United States with their photos and information.

  • Common garden flowers our grandmothers grew. They are easy flowers to grow. Pretty flowers we don't have to fuss with, grow these hardy annuals and perennials.

    Easy Flowers to Grow

    Common garden flowers our grandmothers grew. They are easy flowers to grow. Pretty flowers we don't have to fuss with, grow these hardy annuals and perennials.