Buying Phalaenopsis Orchids from the store is a big challenge. You may see orchids in the big store as beautiful and lovely in their blooms even if it is out of season. These orchids seem to look very healthy and well-nourished. However, after bringing them home, the plants become dry and withered.
If you are buying Phalaenopsis Orchid with the intention of growing them at home, indoor or outdoor, there are several things that you have to watch out for.
Things to Look For When Buying Phalaenopsis Orchids
- Look for the Plant
The plant should be in proper proportion. It should be clean, without blemish, and has rich color. The stems and leaves should also be free of pests.
- Look for the Flowers
Flowers should appear lustrous, strong, and properly held on well-supported spike, no blemish and free of spots from fungi. It is best to choose flowers with some buds still yet to open and avoid flowers already in full bloom.
- Look for the Roots
A healthy root system is one with green or silverfish color and plump. The ones with yellowish and mushy color mean the plant will soon die. If the roots appear to be brown and dry, it only say the plant is dead and you can never do anything to save it.
- Look for the Pots
Most of the vendors put the plants in expensive pots or containers so that they will cost more. If you plan to repot the plant, it is best to choose plants in simpler pots to cut the cost.
Repotting Your Phalaenopsis Orchids at Home
First and foremost, why do you need to repot your Orchids? There are several benefits to repotting the plants:
- The pots used at the store are meant for selling. If you want to grow your orchids at home so that they will multiply and bloom more, you need to repot them as soon as you get home from the store.
- Orchids need as much as sunlight and air just as much they need nutrients and some amount of water. Repotting them allow them to get enough supply of the sunlight, air, water, and nutrients they need to grow and bloom.
- Repotting them will also avoid sphagnum moss from developing, which can lead to asphyxiation and rotting of roots.
- Proper repotting procedure will lead your plant to grow new spike after the blooms fall down. On the other hand, improper procedure may cause the plant to become unhealthy. Repotting requires proper procedures.
Caring for Your Phalaenopsis Orchids
Not under the direct sunlight, Phalaenopsis Orchids need bright light for photosynthesis and for healthy growth. This type of plant tends to burn when placed under direct sunlight but will also tend to become weak without light. A greenhouse is perfect for their system because it provides them natural light and the glass diffuses the rays from the sun. Caring for this orchid without a greenhouse is also possible. You can simply move them to the location or windows facing south or west. During winter months, you can also move them to places with bright light.
- Temperature and Humidity
The Phalaenopsis Orchids need 60 to 70 degrees F ideally. A greenhouse has this ideal temperature and humidity that orchids of this type love. Moreover, placing them near air conditioner or heater is also not a good idea. If you grow them indoor and your home is a bit too dry, it is best to put the pots on a tray with pebbles and water. This will balance the temperature for your plant.
- Food and Watering
The Phalaenopsis Orchids need sufficient supply of food and water. You can feed your plant once a month with regular fertilizer in 10-15-10 proportion. The food proportion may vary during the flowering season. Soaking is also ideal, but it should be done once a week. A spray can be done once a day depending on the drainage system of the pots or medium used.
Orchids growing in bark tend to dry out faster as compared to those growing in moss, which holds water for longer. If your plant is in bark, you may need to spray a few amount of water on it every day or let the roots soak in water every week. However, if your plant is in moss, it may take up to 3 long weeks before you need to water it completely again.
- Pruning and Re-blooming
The best time for pruning and re-blooming is when the last flower finally drops off from the spike. Before the pruning and re-blooming process, it is best to assess the spike first. Some Phals have single spike while some have double spikes. If you see brown and unhealthy spikes, you need to cut them back to the base because they will not re-bloom anymore. The healthy green spike is the best one for pruning. Prune them at least 1 inch above the node so that the spikes will regrow faster. If the plant did not re-bloom after pruning, it means that it does not get the nutrients it needs from the sunlight, air, and food.
Roots can be trimmed, too. Since Phalaenopsis orchids tend to have roots growing out of the pot, especially if the pot is small, you may choose to cut a couple of them. You may also choose to cut off those roots that are dry and dead. Phalaenopsis Orchids have roots that are aerial roots, which mean that they want to reach and grab onto something. They are naturally epiphytes with spider-like roots that grow on other trees and plants.
Phalaenopsis Orchids are considered exotic plants and flower specie but they are the types of Orchids that make easy care and grow houseplant. It has a diverse color assortment such as yellow, green, dark purple, blush, waxy, stripes, sunburst, harlequin, spots, pink, and white. The flowers vary in sizes ranging from 2 inches to 4.5 inches long. They are available in an array of designs for unique decorative purposes.