Caring for Phalaenopsis Orchids

By Pri Vag

How often should I water my Phalaenopsis Orchid?

The most common way to kill your orchid is by overwatering it! It is best to water your orchid then let it dry out between waterings. The general rule is to water every one to two weeks depending on the temperature and time of year. During the summer months when our days are warmer and longer these plants can be watered more towards the weekly to 10 days and when we are in the cooler shorter days of winter you can water less often sometimes leaving 2-3 weeks between watering. The best method of watering is to remove the plant from the ceramic or glass containing (making sure its still within its plastic container and water over a sink allowing the excess water to pass through the soil and roots. Be sure not to use cold water as this could shock the plant - room temperature is best.

Where should I place my Phalaenopsis plant?

Phalaenopsis plants like a window position where they will receive light (not direct). The leaf colour is a good indicator if your plant is getting the right amount of light. If your Phalaenopsis develops black blotches it is a sign of too much direct light (sunburn)!

What do I do when my Phalaenopsis stops blooming?

Surprisingly Orchids are not difficult to look after providing you follow the watering instructions detailed above. If your plant has thick healthy leaves (not wrinkled or drooping) try to cut the flower stem (before the last flower has died) at the highest node below the flower. The plant will often sprout a new flowering branch at this location. This can take upto a year or so as this is a relatively slow growing plant.

How do I know if I need to re-pot?

A newly potted plant should be Ok for about two years. Best to repot when the plant isn't in bloom. Be sure to use special orchid soil as normal soil/compost is not suitable and could kill your plant.

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