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Caring for an orchid, phalaenopsis as an example

Phalaenopsis orchid

Phalaenopsis orchids are tropical flowers that adapt very well to growing indoors.  It’s quite easy to care for this type of orchid, and it can bloom all year round.

From planting and repotting to watering and exposure, here are our tips on proper care to trigger and maintain nice blooming in every season.

It is also called the “butterfly orchid” because its flowers look a lot like that fluttering insect.

Ideal exposure for orchids

Phalaenopsis exposureExposure is a very important factor in getting your orchid to bloom well.

Light for an orchid:

Too much sun can be fatal, but not enough of it means it won’t ever bloom.

The ideal temperature is around 65 to 70°F (18 to 22°C).

  • The Phalaenopsis orchid will also be quite happy outdoors during the summer months.
  • You can bring it out starting from the month of May.
  • In any case, select a luminous location but without any direct sun.

Watering orchid

Phalaenopsis orchid cherishes moisture, and needs to be watered often but without forgetting that the root area must drain well or the roots will rot.

As a consequence, it’s important to avoid soggy substrate while ensuring it always finds the moisture it needs.

Never let water pool up and sit at the bottom of the pot, it’s important to let water drip out completely after watering.

Watering frequency:

  • Watering phalaenopsisIn spring and summer, water 1 to 2 times a week
  • In winter, water only twice a month.
  • Mist water often on leaves and roots. If done often enough, you won’t need to water at all.
  • If the tap water in your area is very hard, best select rainwater or mineral water because orchid is very sensitive to it.
  • Adding special orchid fertilizer will help extend the blooming.

Again, remember to mist foliage and leaves very often, once or twice day is great if you can manage it.

This recreates the moisture present in its natural environment.

To learn more: How to water an orchid in a pot?

Orchids after flowering

orchid care phalaenopsisAfter a few weeks of nice blooming, the flower wilts. You might wonder if it will ever bloom again! Don’t worry, if your orchid has bloomed once already, it’s a good sign that it can bloom again.

  • This is normal, since blooming can last for several weeks, but there comes a time when it must end.
  • Sometimes, you might wait for weeks before seeing new flowers on your orchid.

After flowers have wilted, there is a special technique to trigger a new round of blooming.

How to make an orchid bloom again

Phalaenopsis orchid can bloom again after its first blooming:

  • Cut the stem which has just finished blooming at about mid-length. Snip it just above a bud (there’s a swell along the stem where buds are).

If this is already the second time the flower blooms, cut the flower scape all the way back to the main stem.

  • As long as your orchid lives, you’ll be culling the stems that have born flowers.

Bringing phalaenopsis outsideIf your orchid isn’t blooming but it still has lush, green leaves:

  • Place it in a cooler spot (around 55-60°F / 14-15°C) for a fortnight (two weeks)
  • Only water half as much as before.
  • When these 2 weeks are up, bring it back to its normal setting and wait – a new floral scape will appear!

Read also:

Repotting an orchid

Like all indoor plants, repotting is part of the orchid’s life cycle and it supports its root system.

How and when to repot an orchid:

Repotting is important. This step usually is performed every 2 or 3 years and is critical to ensure continued development of your plant.

Smart tip

The orchid is a perfect houseplant: it will bloom for most of the year with only very little care.

Read also on the topic of orchids:

Images: depositphotos: Enika100, IKvyatkovskaya; dreamstime: Mariia Boiko; own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois; Pixabay: juemi
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