Care & Handling

Care and Handling of Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids are a hardy, easy to grow plant with extra long lasting blooms. In the wild they grow on trees and get their nourishment from whatever is borne by wind or rain. Like many orchids they come from tropical regions so they like warm, humid conditions. In spite of their tropical origin they are grown in all fifty states and the right conditions for them are not difficult to create. They make excellent houseplants.

The following are some hints to help you get the most out of your phalaenopsis(s):

WATER: Once a week but if the potting media is damp to the touch wait an extra day or two. Water by putting the pot in the sink and let the water run through the pot. Then drain. DO NOT let the pot stand in water. Over watering is a common problem that results in root damage or rotting.

LIGHT: They like subdued light such as you might find under a shade tree. Near an East or West facing window would be ok. Avoid direct sunlight.

TEMPERATURE: Ideally not below 65F (13 C) but they will survive temperatures down to 40F (7 C) for short periods. They will not add new growth at these lower temperatures. High in the nineties (35 C) is ok but not ideal.

HUMIDITY: Preferably above 40%. Usually if they are with other plants it will be humid enough. If it is very dry a daily misting will be helpful.

FERTILIZER: A weak solution of Miracle-Gro or Peters soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20 once or twice a month is fine.

REPOTTING: Not required until the media has become soft and mushy. Roots often grow out of the pot but they may be ignored or hidden by placing the plant, pot and all in a larger container that will cover the roots. Potting media should be fir bark or other things a local nursery might recommend. Do not use soil or potting mix for terrestrial orchids. Roots that are shriveled and brown should be trimmed off.

The plants will survive the shipping in good shape but often a leaf may turn yellow and drop off. This will not harm the plant and is common if not expected.

Occasionally the pot is broken in shipment. It may be replaced with the same size or slightly larger plastic or clay pot if preferred. The pot must provide good drainage.

If there is damage to the box contents report it to us immediately.

We hope you enjoy your orchid plant.